Residents Action on Fylde Fracking

Ecotricity      Britain's leading green energy supplier     

Ecotricity promises 100% green electricity and Britain’s greenest gas, complete with a Frack Free promise – that it will never use shale gas as part of its energy mix. It offers one tariff and one price for all of its customers.

If you are considering switching to a greener energy supplier then please choose Ecotricity. Please go to the Ecotricity web site here and select RAFF  on the right hand side of the page. For each new customer RAFF will receive a £60 donation from Ecotricity, which will help us fight fracking in the Fylde and beyond. Thank you.                                                 

Please come along and lobby the Labour Party on Saturday 1 November, in Blackpool

This weekend (1-2 November 2014) the Labour Party is holding its North West conference at the Imperial Hotel in Blackpool, providing us with an opportunity to raise concerns with delegates about fracking. The Labour Party is largely pro-fracking but some Labour MPs are against it and this event provides us with an opportunity not only to show our support for them but to also raise awareness of the impact of fracking in the north west, why Labour should be anti-fracking and the implications of Labour’s position on the trespass law. It is worth reading the following article which sets out Labour’s position on shale gas.

The doors open at 9.30 am, with up to 1,000 delegates expected.  Please do come along on Saturday 1 November and join groups from Frack Free Lancashire as well as Friends of the Earth. We aim to be outside the hotel at 9.00 am to catch the delegates as they arrive. Hope to see you there.

Imperial Hotel, North Promenade, Blackpool, Lancashire FY1 2HB.

 

Please write and invite your councillors to a public meeting on 4 November

There will be a public meeting, Fracking in Lancashire? Your say . . . on 4 November in Preston. The event will include speakers from Unite the Union, Friends of the Earth, Frack Free Lancashire, RAFF and Morecambe Community Renewables. Cuadrilla have also been invited.

Lancashire County Council will soon be meeting to approve or otherwise the two planning applications, submitted by Cuadrilla, to frack sites at Roseacre and Preston New Road (Little Plumpton). We need as many councillors as possible to attend this meeting and so we’re asking for your help. Please can you send a letter to your LCC councillors asking them to attend. We have created a letter for you to download here – you can copy and paste it into an email or a conventional letter. Please remember to include your own address/contact details. Even better, write one in your own words! If you are unsure who your councillors are, this website will tell you. All you need to do is enter your postcode and it will retrieve the contact details of your LCC representatives.

If you would also like to attend the meeting yourself then you need to register here. The event will take place on Tuesday 4 November at 7.30, at St John’s Minster, Church Street, Preston PR1 3BU (10 minutes walk from the railway station).

 

Please sign these petitions against changes to the Infrastructure Bill

A few days ago the House of Lords debated the Infrastructure Bill with a complete disregard for the safety of our homes, environment and health. Not only did they vote to allow the Government to alter the Bill to allow drilling companies to drill and frack under our homes and land without our permission, but they also updated the Bill to allow fracking companies to put “any substance” under people’s homes and property and leave it there. These ‘substances’ could include radioactive waste.  Additionally, the amendment would give fracking companies “the right to leave deep-level land in a different condition from [that before] including by leaving any infrastructure or substance in the land”.

The Government is changing the law to favour fracking, despite a public consultation which saw over 40,000 messages/letters from the public saying that the law must not be changed and fewer than 500 supporting it. This makes a mockery of democracy. There are a couple of petitions to sign telling our Government that we will not put up with laws being changed to suit the shale gas industry: one is an eGov petition and the other has been organised by Greenpeace.

The eGov petition is available here 

The other petition has been created by Greenpeace (see below).  Please sign both. Thank you.

Greenpeace UKGreenpeace UKGreenpeace UK

This is what Greenpeace has to say:

We already knew that fracking was a bad idea, but this is astonishing.

Last night, David Cameron’s plan to allow fracking firms to drill under our homes was rubber-stamped by the House of Lords.

But here’s where it gets even worse: At the very last moment, the draft of the law was updated to allow fracking firms to pump “any substance” under people’s homes and property — and leave it there! [1]

This makes a mockery of the prime minister’s claim that UK fracking regulations are some of the most stringent in the world. And it absolves fracking firms of any responsibility for clearing up the mess they create.

Our MPs are now the last defence before the laws are approved by Parliament. Can you sign the petition asking all MPs to strike down Cameron’s new fracking law?

The fracking industry has already been mired in accidents and mistakes. In April 2009, cattle were discovered dead near a drill site in Louisiana. An investigation later found fracking fluid had leaked from the well pad and run into an adjacent pasture. And in July 2013, US fracking firm XTO Energy was forced to shell out $100,000 in compensation after a spill of contaminated wastewater in Pennsylvania. [2]

Despite claiming that the UK has tough regulations to prevent disasters like this, the government is now rushing to remove obstacles, muddling through laws that will put the interests of shale drillers before the safety of our environment and our climate.

We don’t have long before MPs will get their final say on Cameron’s plan to allow drilling under our homes. If we can show them how unpopular his idea is, they’ll think twice before voting it through.
Please ask your MP to take a stand today: Sign here

1. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/oct/14/uk-to-allow-fracking-companies-to-use-any-substance-under-homes
2. http://issuu.com/greenpeace/docs/case_against_fracking-withadditions/21

Russell Brand supports Frack Free Lancashire

Love him or loathe him, he gets the attention of the media and so we say a big thank you to Russell Brand for offering his support to the Frack Free Lancashire campaign. We also offer a big thank you to those supporters who are currently in Parliament Square in London campaigning for a fairer and just world. Thank you!

Sign FoE’s petition to stop fracking companies dumping waste under your home

 The UK Government is trying to push through legislation not only to frack under your home without your permission, but also to to allow fracking companies to use ‘any substance’ under people’s homes. And leave it there. This could be nuclear waster – anything. If you disagee please sin Friends of the Earth petition here. Thank you.

 

 

The UK Gov is trying to push through legislation to allow fracking companies to use ‘any substance’ under people’s homes. And leave it there. </p>
<p>Disagree? Sign our petition: http://www.foe.co.uk/act/ask-mps-stop-companies-fracking-under-homes-without-permission

 

 

Fracking in Lancashire? Your Say…

In a matter of weeks Lancashire County Council will be deciding whether to allow Cuadrilla to frack in Lancashire again.

Join Friends of the Earth in Preston to hear views from across the county on whether Lancashire should be fracked.

Speakers will include:

  • UNITE the Union
  • Friends of the Earth
  • Morecambe Community Renewables
  • Frack Free Lancashire
  • Residents Action on Fylde Fracking
  • Cuadrilla invited

The event will take place on 4 November 2014 at St johns Minster, Preston PR1 3BU. Doors open at 7pm for 7.30pm start

North West shale gas seminar – ‘An Operators Perspective’ – to be held at UCLAN 11 November

Shale Gas: An Operators Perspective is the title of a seminar organised by the trade body UKOOG (UK Onshore Operators Group), in conjunction with RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors). The presentation on Shale Gas will be given by UKOOG’s Chief Executive Ken Cronin.  The seminar will take place at UCLAN, Preston on 11 November 2014.

One of our colleagues has found a recent presentation by Cronin and posted on Facebook: ‘ Page 3 is very interesting…lies I haven’t actually come across before – about ‘fracking’ being carried out at Beckingham Marshes for 50 years! His source quoted being the Daily Mail!” The newspaper says, “50-year-old fracking site that makes a mockery of the Balcombe zealots: It’s next to a nature reserve – and has fracked enough gas and oil to power 21,000 homes every day… with no complaints from locals.’ 

Mmmm – this statement makes rather a mockery of the DECC’s letter to RAFF confirming the HVHF has been carried out once in the UK and that was at Preese Hall in the Fylde.

Ken Cronin’s recent presentation UK Operators Perspective‘ can be downloaded here. This presentation is dated June 2014, so it’s likely he will be using the same one in Preston. We need to ensure that there are enough of us in the audience to highlight the inaccuracies, exaggerations and downright lies that will be peddled to the audience.

The RICS says that: ‘At the end of the session Kevin will cover some of the key areas that come up in discussion with local people like insurance, house prices, community engagement and benefits etc. We’re sure that lots of Fylde residents will have plenty of feedback for Kevin!

The event is open to anyone and costs £4.17 for admission. Tickets are available from RICS.

Cuadrilla injunction granted – judge describes costs as ‘considerable’

Reproduced from Drill or Drop? Independent evidence-based reporting of the exploitation of onshore oil and gas and the campaign against it

The interim injunction granted to the drilling company Cuadrilla and a group of Lancashire landowners to prevent protests on proposed fracking sites has been extended unopposed at Manchester High Court.

But the judge rejected the company’s application for legal costs of £54,000 against a single anti-fracking campaigner. It was also confirmed for the first time that Cuadrilla is paying the legal costs of the landowners.

The case centred on four areas of land at Little Plumpton and Roseacre, where Cuadrilla has submitted two planning applications to drill and hydraulically fracture shale gas wells. It was brought following the establishment of an anti-fracking camp by a group of grandmothers for three weeks in August in a field belonging to one of the landowners.

At a hearing on August 28th, the claimants (Cuadrilla and the owners) sought an injunction against “persons unknown” and a wide range of anti-fracking groups. That case was adjourned when an anti-fracking campaigner, Tina Louise Rothery, asked for more time to consider opposing the injunction.

Today’s case was against Miss Rothery, “person’s unknown” and anyone who accessed the land. It centred on legal costs because Miss Rothery did not contest the terms of the injunction.

Tom Roscoe, for Cuadrilla and the landowners, said Miss Rothery was liable for the costs because the claimants had been the successful parties. He said evidence of this included the end of the occupation of the field days before the first hearing.

If Miss Rothery had not requested an adjournment, Mr Roscoe said, there would have been no need for today’s hearing. He said the claimants had sought to limit the costs, which otherwise would have been above £100,000.

Mr Roscoe said Miss Rothery had played a key role in organising the occupation of the field and she had publicised the action. He also accused her for making misleading statements about the previous hearing.

He said the rights of freedom of expression and assembly under the European Convention on Human Rights did not legalise trespass or protect a person from liability for costs.

When asked by Judge David Hodge why no VAT had been added to the costs, Mr Roscoe said it was because the VAT could be claimed back. “Is this because Cuadrilla is paying”, asked the judge. “Yes”, said Mr Roscoe.

Felicity Williams, for Miss Rothery, said there should be no order for costs. She said the claimants had not been successful because at the previous hearing they had failed in their attempt to outlaw any actions that encouraged or instructed people to oppose fracking. The only issue that divided the two sides had been the timescale of the injunction against trespass, she said, and Miss Rothery had sought to come to an agreement over that.

Miss Williams said the costs of £54,000 was “manifestly excessive”, adding: “there is a danger that the level of costs will have a chilling effect on the rights to protest and on access to the courts”.

She said additional evidence submitted by the claimants today was unnecessary and some of it duplicated material submitted at the previous hearing. She also accused the claimants of trying to tarnish Miss Rothery’s reputation. Miss Williams said there had been confusion about the scope of the injunction imposed by the previous hearing and this had been clarified only by a transcript made available recently.

Judge Hodge said he was satisfied the claimants had won the case, to which members of the public gallery wearing anti-fracking black and yellow shouted “absolutely not” . The judge extended the injunction to 28 days after a decision was made on planning permission. If this was unexpectedly delayed, he said, the injunction could continue for no more than two years.

He described the costs as considerable and questioned both the hourly rate and the number of hours sought by the claimants. “In my judgement”, he said, “it would not be just to visit considerable costs of bringing these proceedings on one of the trespassers just because she raised her head above the parapet and submitted to be joined to the proceedings. If she had kept quiet the burden of costs would have fallen on the claimants and Cuadrillla. It seems to be to be wrong that she should be subjected to excessive costs.”

He ordered that a separate judge should assess the costs and, as he put it, “scrutinise their reasonableness and proportionality”.

The judge said that in seeking the adjournment, Miss Rothery made today’s hearing inevitable. “In these circumstances I am certain that Miss Rothery has to bear these costs on her own”. He suggested that she invite people who supported her to contribute.

Farmers say ‘NO!’ to fracking

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Farmers from the Fylde and Lancashire have said a resounding ‘NO’ to fracking. About 10 tractors and large agricultural vehicles brought traffic to a standstill in Preston City centre yesterday as Frack Free Lancashire protesters led the tractor cavalcade along Fishergate to County Hall, where a full council meeting was taking place. The anti-fracking protestors also met up with Friends of the Earth at County Hall who were campaigning for clean solar energy over dirty shale.

Lancashire farmers are letting the County Council know they will not tolerate the approval of planning applications from Cuadrilla to carry out operations on or near their land. As the tractor cavalcade pulled away, a light aircraft with a “Keep Lancashire Frack Free” banner flew round and round County Hall before taking its message to Blackpool.

 

 

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A massive thank you to all of those involved. Special thanks go  to Tony Holden for organising the farmers and to Andy for the wonderful fly-by. The farming community is being torn apart by the likes of Cuadrilla who are offering farmers large sums of money to turn agricultural land in industrialised fracking pads. Hats off to the brave farmers who showed their true colours at yesterday’s event.

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