FRACKING and its dangers will be the issue topic if hot debate at a public meeting in Stroud on Monday.

The controversial practice, which involves drilling into the earth to release gas inside rocks, is intended to help reduce energy bills but many are concerned about its impact on the environment.

It emerged earlier this year that Sharpness, near Stroud, had been identified as a potential area for fracking.

Last month an anti-fracking protest was held in Gloucester amid concerns that a licence to explore for oil and gas may also be sought for the Forest of Dean.

However, whether exploration can actually go ahead is subject to local planning consent.

As of yet, no applications have been received by Gloucestershire County Council.

The meeting, titled ‘What does fracking mean for Gloucestershire?’ will be held at 8pm in the Old Town Hall in Stroud on Monday November 16.

Polly Higgins, barrister and earth lawyer, will be speaking about her first-hand experience of the frack fields of North Dakota.

And Frack Free Five Valleys' and Toxin Free Network’s Katy Dunne and Jojo Mehta will be presenting the community strategy about revoking fracking licences.

"We cannot leave it to our representatives to act on our behalf here,” said Jojo.

“Communities who take things into their own hands can ultimately make a huge difference - recently a whole region of Australia (Northern Rivers) was obliged to revoke fracking licences at considerable cost because there was simply no social licence for it. “The community strategy known there as Lock the Gate and here as the Toxin Free strategy can be taken up anywhere in the face of toxic practices.

“Its grassroots, simple and powerful - and clearly shows that people will not accept an industry that does harm and ultimately commits climate crime. Industry and government ignore it at their peril."

MP for Stroud Neil Carmichael has previously said that he would only support fracking in a region if it was 'economically viable and environmentally sustainable.'

But he has always maintained that it was 'extremely unlikely' that fracking would go ahead in Stroud district.

Gloucestershire is one of 28 other locations in England where licences to frack for shale oil and gas may be offered.