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Axed JP editor to advise company in ‘fracking’ row

A weekly editor axed by Johnston Press earlier this year has been given a new role advising a company at the centre of the row over so-called ‘fracking.’

Steve Singleton left his job as editor of the Lytham St Annes Express following a restructure that saw his role combined with that of editor of the Blackpool Gazette.

Now he has joined communications agency PPS to take up a role as a community adviser to gas exploration company Cuadrilla.

The company is engaged in bitter controversy with local campaigners over its use of the technique of hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ to explore potential new gas fields.

Steve, who lives locally, will effectively act as the company’s liaison man with the local community in Fylde, one of the areas where the drilling is taking place.

He said:  “As a local resident I know that people do have questions about Cuadrilla’s operations and future intentions. What impresses me about Cuadrilla is their openness with the community and the fact that top-level management get personally involved in site visits, information days and meetings.

“I think that it’s important for Cuadrilla to see things from a local’s perspective. Being Sandgrown and living in St Annes all my life, I am as keen as anyone to see that all the facts are made available to the community and questions continue to be answered.”

Mark Miller, director of the company’s Lancashire operations said: “We are really pleased to welcome Steve as another local working for the Cuadrilla team. As a respected member of the community I’ll be listening carefully to his advice.”

Cuadrilla is currently engaged in exploring for natural gas found in shale rock deep beneath the surface in Lancashire.

However residents from around its sites in the county blame the ‘fracking’ operations for several earthquakes in the area last year which resulted in property damage.

Steve, pictured above, began his 37-year career at the Lytham St Annes Express as an 18-year-old junior reporter having been born, bred and educated on the Fylde coast.

He also worked for the Blackpool Gazette as news editor and then supplements editor before returning to the Express as editor.

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  • July 17, 2012 at 10:27 am
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    I think fracking has far more genuine potential to help this country out of its energy black hole than useless, unsightly windfarms. Good to see someone of Steve’s calibre is at the centre of things to make sure residents and management see eye to eye before outside hysteria complicates matters. Spent a lot of time round Lytham St Annes and Blackpool as a child so would hate for anything untoward to happen there.

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  • July 17, 2012 at 10:46 am
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    Steve could advise JP on how not to make a fracking disaster of running a newspaper company.

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  • July 17, 2012 at 11:52 am
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    Modest or what? Mark Miller says: “As a respected member of the community I’ll be listening carefully to his advice.” How the frack does Mark know what his own standing in the community is?

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