Infiltrating schools and issuing fracking propaganda

Speaking at the Shale Gas World UK 2013 conference, Andrew Dawson, Councillor for Frodsham – Cheshire West and Chester Council and serving on Frodsham Town Council, recommended to the assembled fracking companies that they should use schoolchildren to get their message across:

“Can I just push the schools to you again – one of the best places for you to get our messages across, one of the best ways to get community engagement is to get the kids talking about it at the dinner table at night with their parents, and actually say ‘DO you know what, I had a presentation from such and such a company. They showed me whatever it is”. And the children not only are our actual future, but they are the most powerful advocates in getting the message across. So, whatever your limited budgets are, spend it on the kids and actually get the education there , because by doing it that way you’ll be getting to many more people than just those in the classroom alone”

If, like us, you find it hard to believe that an elected representative could suggest such a thing click here to listen to a recording

We have pointed Dan Byles, head of the APPG on Shale Gas, to this post via Twitter to ask what his opinion of this suggestion is, and we will let you know here how he responds.

Here is what he tweeted:

“heard of NGOs in schools, but wd be surprised if priv co. allowed in. Ultimately tho kids, like adults, need to hear both sides”

so we responded

“Of course private companies get in – surely u know that? So you condone that tactic and can see nothing wrong with it?”

he came back with

“I wouldn’t condone children receiving one sided information from any source, no.”

– a sentiment we’d agree with 100% but to be sure we asked

I’m glad to hear that – So would you agree that this advice from Cllr Dawson is totally unacceptable?


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