Residents Action on Fylde Fracking

Second Cuadrilla Public Planning Inquiry to Start in Lancashire

PRESS RELEASE

Second Cuadrilla Public Planning Inquiry to Start in Lancashire

On behalf of Roseacre Awareness Group, Frack Free Lancashire and Central Lancashire Friends of the Earth

 Thursday 5 April 2018

For immediate release

*Photo opportunity 09.00hrs on Tuesday 10 April 2018, outside Blackpool Football Club

On Tuesday 10  April at Blackpool Football Club, a further Public Inquiry, into Cuadrilla’s plans to frack for shale gas at Roseacre Wood – their second Lancashire site – is due to commence and will last two for weeks.

Residents of Roseacre village and supporters from across Lancashire and beyond will gather outside the Inquiry on the first day, from 8.30am-12pm (1). The rally will hear from speakers from a range of political parties, community groups against fracking, trade unions and other groups.

Cuadrilla applied to frack at two sites on the Fylde in June 2014 but both were rejected by Lancashire County Council. These sites became the subject of a Planning Inquiry in 2016.
​The UK government overturned the council’s refusal at Preston New Road, and was “minded to approve” fracking at Roseacre if Cuadrilla could overcome concerns related to traffic and safety (2).

Cuadrilla’s revised traffic plans would negatively affect many more communities as Cuadrilla’s proposals include three alternative traffic routes to get the largest HGVs to this quiet rural Fylde location. The routes include the A583 Blackpool Road and A585 Fleetwood Road, passing through many villages such as Clifton, Salwick, Inskip, Roseacre, Crossmoor andElswick.

The revised traffic plans were unanimously rejected by both Fylde Borough Council and Lancashire County Council (3).Two Lancashire Conservative MPs, Mark Menzies and Ben Wallace, whose constituencies will be affected, have joined in opposition to the plans. Mark Menzies MP for the Fylde, in his letter to Lancashire County Council, objected stating:

“I do not believe that HGV traffic concerns can be addressed at the site. The company’s proposals simply cannot be reconciled with the quiet rural roads that service access to the proposed shale gas site. I am therefore clear that Cuadrilla Resources’ proposed Roseacre Wood site must not be permitted to go ahead as there are no circumstances in which it can mitigate against the unacceptable hazard that the introduction of such a large number of HGVs will present to local road users.” (4)

Wendy McKay, the Planning Inspector from the previous Planning Inquiry, concluded that planning policy supporting “national need” for shale gas does not overcome public safety (5). Roseacre Awareness Group has highlighted the risks of the latest traffic plans and HGV movements on the narrow country lanes. The residents’ group points out that Cuadrilla’s mitigation includes installing 39 new passing places along the route in places where HGVs cannot pass other traffic.  They further emphasised that Roseacre Wood is highly popular for tourism, recreation and leisure especially cycling, running and horse riding. All of these pursuits would be directly threatened by the proposal.

Barbara Richardson, Chair of Roseacre Awareness Group, who will be presenting evidence to the Inquiry opposing the revised traffic plans on behalf of residents and seven parish and town councils, said:

“It has been four long years. These fracking plans have been rejected at every level from the residents to our parish, borough and county council. We are only a small community and it has taken us thousands of hours of unpaid work and tens of thousands of pounds, but we are determined to fight this to the bitter end. We see this is an injustice and infringement of our human rights.

“We were absolutely appalled when the Secretary of State said he was still minded to approve the plans if Cuadrilla could overcome traffic problems. They haven’t managed to do this in four years, why should they have been given another chance now?

“We are ordinary members of the public who understand the harm this industry will bring to our community, our health and well-being, our environment and ultimately climate change, and we are prepared to stand up and speak out.

“Our evidence is strong and robust and, if it was just down to that, we believe we would win. Should the decision go against us we will not stop here. We will continue to oppose the plans and will fight at every level to protect our community, and others, from harm. We will not stop until fracking is taken off the agenda, after all, extracting fossil fuels is a backward and unwelcome step. It is far better to invest in energy efficiency programmes and sustainable renewable energy solutions.”

Dorothy Kelk from Central Lancashire Friends of the Earth stated:

“Instead of forcing fracking onto communities and locking us into more climate-changing fossil fuels, the Government should invest in clean renewable energy technologies to power us now and in the future, and which could create tens of thousands of new jobs in Lancashire and the North West.”

“The Inquiry is being closely watched by communities across England who are facing the threat of fracking, and comes as several councils across the Midlands and the North have opposed shale gas exploration already this year (6).”

Kelly Jennings is from Woodsetts Against Fracking in South Yorkshire, where Rotherham council voted last month against plans by INEOS to drill a well for shale gas exploration. She is attending the Public Inquiry in support of Roseacre community next week. Kelly said:

“If fracking can go ahead in a rural community like Roseacre it could get approved anywhere. Communities like ours in Woodsetts and all over England are starting to wake up as the threat becomes more real. Opposition to fracking will continue to grow as more people become aware of the impacts and take a stand against this polluting industry.”

Since Cuadrilla began work at Preston New Road in January 2017, the site has attracted daily protests, which continue with three months of peaceful action ahead of Cuadrilla’s planned fracking at the site later this year(7).Frack Free Lancashire outlined that the policing costs have already passed £7 million of taxpayers’ money.  There are grave resource implications of a second site in the Fylde (8).

ENDS

Contacts

Barbara Richardson – Chair of Roseacre Awareness Group, 07918 106875, Barbara.martin@talk21.com

Helen Rimmer – Friends of the Earth 07940 006783

Claire Stephenson – Frack Free Lancashire 07929 969664

Notes

  1. https://www.facebook.com/events/212372212679848/
  2. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/recovered-appeals-cuadrilla-bowland-ltd-and-cuadrilla-elswick-ltd-refs-3134386-3130923-3134385-and-3130924-6-october-2016
  3. https://drillordrop.com/2018/01/17/lancs-planners-stand-by-objection-to-roseacre-wood-fracking-site/and https://drillordrop.com/2018/01/19/borough-councillors-vote-unanimously-against-cuadrillas-revised-fracking-plans/
  4. 4 December 2017 http://www.markmenzies.org.uk/news/fylde-mp-mark-menzies-objects-to-roseacre-shale-gas-appeal
  5. para 12.860 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/recovered-appeals-cuadrilla-bowland-ltd-and-cuadrilla-elswick-ltd-refs-3134386-3130923-3134385-and-3130924-6-october-2016“Since the proposed development would be neither safe nor sustainable, it would not have the support of the WMS (Written Ministerial Statement). The national need for shale gas exploration cannot, therefore, be pleaded in support of this appeal. Even if it were appropriate to take that factor into account, I believe that the need to ensure the safety of members of the public is paramount and would strongly outweigh that important consideration.”
  6. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/08/uk-fracking-backlash-seven-out-of-eight-plans-rejected-in-2018
  7. http://frackfreelancashire.org/the-united-resistance/
  8. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-43575535
  9. Roseacre photograph attached

 

cyclists roseacre road

United Resistance – three months of love & defiance

UR poster

 

Cuadrilla claimed that they would begin fracking during the second quarter of 2018. As a result anti-fracking groups from Lancashire and elsewhere will come together to show both Cuadrilla and the Government that we will not tolerate this toxic industry that is being forced on us with absolutely no social licence.

Please don’t turn away, it really is you that can make all the difference to the people of Lancashire who are in urgent need of your help. We face a huge threat to our health, our children’s futures and the safety of the air and water we all depend on and share throughout the country. We have worked so hard for seven years to stop this industry and as a UK-wide movement, have grown, united, resisted and succeeded in halting any further fracking in the UK since the one and only fracking operation here in 2011. But now… we are so close we can sense the methane, feel the tingle of potential seismic activity and ache just knowing, what more could come.

The stress on our community reached its peak on 4th January 2017 when Cuadrilla came back and started development of a new site on the busy A583 (Preston New Road) and that stress has not eased in the many hundreds of days since. We residents and generous supporters who travel to support us, have gathered at the site every single day and used every lawful and non-violent method we could find to stop this industry from bringing industrialised danger to our doorsteps.

Drillers Cuadrilla are about nine months behind schedule (yay!) but we need to make this stop before it ruins even more lives and depletes and exhausts those of us who have had to put so much into this. Of course we cannot expect people to just stop working, stop providing for their families, stop tending to the needs of those who depend on them and join us each day… all we’re asking for is that when you book a break and some time off, that you think of us.

We have arranged a wonderful opportunity for anyone to find their way to help…. from banner waving, bearing witness or help with cooking and welfare – to non-violent direct actions and everything in-between. The United Resistance… 3 months of Love & Defiance, divides up and distributes the hard work of daily activism into ‘niche weeks’ where groups take responsibility for a set Monday to Friday 8:30-18:00 period of time with the sole aim to resist fracking. You… can join on any day, stay for any period of time and all we ask is that you bring your very valuable self.

In return, we will provide a wonderful space at our ‘Community Hub’ (just 10 mins from the Cuadrilla site) for breakfast and evening meals (no cost) and deliver lunch at the roadside. We also have 3 camping areas (no cost) and of course as we’re so close to lovely Blackpool, plenty of B&B options nearby. The added extras you’ll enjoy should you join us include a huge sense of warm solidarity, self empowerment and a real sense of community and purpose… and the children will eternally be grateful that you stood for them.

Please do come and along and join us even if it is only for a few hours – numbers count!

A link to the United Resistance events is available here.

 

United Resistance: three months of events

United Resistance starts with a celebration of community at Easter Family Fun Day on EASTER MONDAY before kicking off with the BUSINESS of stopping Cuadrilla from fracking, with the 100Women march on TUESDAY 3rd APRIL… we’ll gather, walk to the fracking site on Preston New Road (between Blackpool & Preston) and do our best to protect our families with the only tool left to us in this broken ‘democracy’… our bodies.

100 Women March on Tuesday 3 April 2018 marks the beginning of a three-month sustained campaign against fracking in Lancashire and beyond.

The Lancashire Nanas and Women Against Fracking will lead Tuesday’s march in solidarity with their sisters before them, fighting for equal rights and their voices to be heard in the 100th year of women being given their rightful ability to vote. Wearing the sashes of the Suffragettes, those participating in the #100Women March will focus on other rights that have become relevant today; the right to protect themselves and their children from the ill-effects of polluting industries, the right to protect reproductive health and the right to be heard and listened to in the process of government approving plans seen as detrimental to health.

Peer-reviewed studies show that expectant mothers who live near active fracking wells have an increased risk of giving birth prematurely and for having high-risk pregnancies as well as increases in childhood illnesses. Studies also show a link between increased cases of breast cancer and proximity to fracking wells; the women plan to leave behind bras at the fracking site in order to draw attention to this aspect of opposition to fracking.

Each week of the United Resistance sees a different group or aspect as its focus: Week One continues with the women-led theme. On Wednesday 4 April, the women will participate in the weekly Call for Calm that has seen gatherings for a silent ritual on Wednesdays for the last 35 weeks, followed by an action called ‘Yarn-On’, which involves knitting baskets at the entrance gates to the fracking site.

Thursday 5 April’s action is entitled ‘Toxic Thursday’ and is an opportunity to showcase the inadequacies seen in the county’s Local Plan for dealing with toxic spills that occur at fracking sites. White overalls and face masks will be worn and there will be information and demonstrations of the types of materials likely to be encountered during a fracking operation. Also examined will be how regulators and emergency responders are able to safely deal with this new industry in a densely populated and busy area.

The final day of Women’s Week will end with ‘Funeral Friday’ seen as a poignant reminder of how it came to be that women are so clearly prominent in this movement. Participants refer to the early evidence brought out by the Utah Midwives who encountered increasing health issues amongst newborns and miscarriages amongst the women living near active fracking sites. Representative of those lost children, dolls will be placed at the fracking site and the women will hold a ‘funeral’ service followed by a wake.

The following weeks’ specific information will be released in due course, but please find below, the weeks’ outline of the United Resistance campaign, with clickable links:

Week One, 2nd – 6th April: Nanas/Women against Fracking
Week Two, 9th – 13th April: Political Colours
Week Three, 16th – 20th April: North West Week
Week Four, 23rd – 27th April: No Faith in Fracking
Week Five, 30th April – 4th May: Art And Music Against Fracking
Week Six, 7th – 11th May: Save Our Land
Week Seven, 14th – 18th May: Uniting the Roses
Week Eight, 21st – 25th May: Local Camps and Health day
Week Nine, 28th May – 1st June: International Week
Week Ten, 4th – 8th June: Unions
Week Eleven, 11th – 15th June: Green Party Week
Week Twelve 18th – 22nd June: Preston New Road
Week Thirteen 25th – 29th June: Reclaim the Power + Finale Week

Dear Police Officers, What Are We To Do?

The following is from a blog by Tina Louise Rothery. Tina wrote this following angry clashes between the police and protectors (mainly female) outside the gates at Preston New Road, earlier this week.

One of those nights where you can’t put the day down…

Dear Police Officers,

What are we to do? How do you see this playing out? The reality that you as well as we (those acting to stop fracking) see is that this government wants hundreds of frack sites here in Lancashire and many thousands across the country – and equally clear is that residents throughout the UK will continue to act to stop this. It’s been 7 years now and we’re still here, still growing and not stopping. Our opposition in England is a part of a worldwide movement that has succeeded in getting this industry halted and we know we can succeed because of this… Scotland, Ireland North & South and Wales have set examples and England is the last place still pursuing fracking in the UK.

We are in the middle of an undeniable dilemma because none of us want to see our councils bankrupted by the cost of policing for fracking sites and none of us want to witness our communities denied proper levels of policing because you’re being used as truck escorts for fracking vehicles .. yet the government has seen fit to use officers like you, to enable a despised industry to be forced into communities without social license; what the hell did they think would be the outcome?

You can’t say it too loudly but we know that you have huge cause to consider this government in the same way we do; your numbers cut (20,000 less officers now than in 2010), your pension age raised and standards undeniably lowered due to cost cutting. Privatisation is nibbling away at your force in a stealth-like fashion similar to what is happening in education and the NHS …outsourcing forensics, prisoner processing and other departments and considering giving rights to arrest to private security firms. You are not treated with respect… and nor are we.

The UK is supposed to be a democracy and one of the better-off countries in the world and yet, our successful rejection of fracking through our Council was overturned and you have seen cuts you can’t fight against yet have to manage the fall-out from. So where we each stand and what we each suffer in our daily work (yes, I am working – my job is to protect my young as my first priority) is caused by the same people – who then set us against each other in an unwinnable scenario that is destined to bring serious harm.

I have witnessed tired officers grow angry and act dangerously …of course we get tired too and tempers fray and we make you more angered and aggressive by taking our frustration and anger out on you too. Meanwhile back in Westminster… lobbyists for the fracking industry and lobbyists for companies like SERCO and G4S, have the ear and favour of senior politicians. You and we go unheard and unheeded. When Theresa May finally leaves Downing Street, we will see more clearly which industries she got close to as we have with former Prime Minister Cameron this week; he spoke at a large Oil & Gas industry event in America… they like him and he is well rewarded for his work with them. It’s clear that he made these connections during his time in power and easy enough to work out what contracts, laws and actions led to the positive relationship.

Yesterday an Officer used what I assume is usual force in getting someone out of the way in an incident… the only thing is, the person thrown wasn’t a dangerous criminal, drunk aggressor or violent thug – it was a small woman and she flew further than the Officer judged. Cath landed in the path of an oncoming vehicle that swerved instantly and only missed causing serious harm or death by a moment. Today, a respected elder witnessed more rough handling by the police and broke down. She was genuinely shocked and said in a tone of absolute disbelief “I HATE THE POLICE!”. She is a warm, kind and gentle woman who like so many of us – never imagined life could look this ugly. We paid taxes, voted, believed we lived in a fair country and that if danger came… there were safeguards in place to call upon and before the reality kicks in along with the sadness and anger, we break with the realisation of truth. The government is responsible for this and you, like us are bearing the pain.

A community’s police force is there for public safety and we are unsafe every day because of a dangerous industry – yet you are tasked with protecting that industry’s metal trucks and equipment… from soft-fleshed people – many of whom are women over the age of 50 for goodness sakes.

What is right, lawful, just or fair about this picture?

We are nearly too far down this path to repair and something serious must happen to change this situation because your force and our residents are at breaking point and that’s with just ONE frack site… they want hundreds. Government and industry will aim to injunct everything they can but we’ll just nudge up next to the edge of every injunction or we’ll go to the places the equipment sets off from and we will not stop because we can’t. What would it take for you to move out of the way of a child and let danger come to them? That’s what drives us and keeps us in this truly awful situation… we CAN’T go till the frackers do.

The solution? No bloody idea – but I suggest it starts with a conversation within the police force and that there needs to be a forcing of the government to see the truth of the danger that is growing on the streets that surround a fracking site in Lancashire.

Statement from Frack Free Lancashire Finance Sub-group

The historical and ongoing accusations by Mr. Gayzer Frackman, questioning the integrity of individual members of the Frack Free Lancashire Finance sub-group and the committee in its entirety, seriously damages the movement.

For the avoidance of doubt, NO ONE INDIVIDUAL makes any decision about distribution of funds raised for the Frack Free Lancashire Legal Fund. The sub-group members give their time voluntarily to raise the funds and distribute those funds on a “need” basis, guided by the constitution. It is not autonomous, the sub-group reports fully to FFL monthly meetings.

Again, for the avoidance of doubt, the Legal Fund is NOT a charity; its sole purpose is to assist FFL “members and groups” with legal and related experts’ costs. It does not and cannot support groups or individuals that do not fall within that definition. Many avenues are open to, and are used by, other groups and individuals to raise funds from the same sources evidently with success.

Susan Holliday, Chair of PNRAG and a member of the sub-group, would like to add her voice to this statement:

These wild accusations concerning the sub-group and its individual members, of which I am one, has to stop. PNRAG has been well supported by the FFL Legal Fund in its efforts against Cuadrilla’s appeals against Lancashire County Council’s refusal of permission to frack at Preston New Road. To allege otherwise is totally wrong. These wild accusations seriously undermine FFL’s ability to continue raising funds from those who support our aims. The threat to us all is ongoing and FFL, an internationally supported group, should be applauded, not denigrated, for raising much needed funds for its members and member groups.

Jim Nisbet, former Chair of RAG and also a member of the sub-group, adds:

There exists a constitution by which the sub-group must abide in the distribution of the Legal Fund. Mr. Frackman is not, by his own admission, involved with Frack Free Lancashire, therefore the Legal Fund cannot support his actions. The Legal Fund donations and grants have been administered on a “need” basis to the members and member groups, with incoming funds ring-fenced for those groups’ likely future needs. This is done in consultation with the representatives of those groups on the sub-committee and is reported at FFL meetings, which Mr. Frackman does not attend. By accusing any individual of wrong-doing he therefore indicts every member of the sub-group, including the Chair of PNRAG. Simply put, the Legal Fund has supported both PNRAG and RAG on application for help and continues to do so. Mr. Frackman’s allegations are without foundation and border on defamation.

Frack Free Lancashire Finance sub-group condemns Mr. Frackman’s allegations and, once again, assures those who have donated to the Legal Fund that their donations have been, and continue to be, distributed with the utmost propriety.

Signed by members of the sub-group:

  • Chris Cannon, SAFE (Singleton Against a Fracked Environment)
  • Anne Fielding, RAFF (Residents Action on Fylde Fracking)
  • Susan Holliday, PNRAG (Preston New Road Action Group)
  • Maureen Mills, HAF (Halsall Against Fracking)
  • Jim Nisbet, RAG (Roseacre Awareness Group)
  • Ian Roberts, RAFF (Residents Action on Fylde Fracking)
  • Mel Tarplee, HAF (Halsall Against Fracking)

“LESS THAN 1% OF UK GAS COMES FROM RUSSIA”, CONTRADICTING GOVERNMENT’S OWN MPs & FRACKING INDUSTRY SPIN

 

image002

PRESS RELEASE

FRACK FREE UNITED

16th March 2016

For immediate release

“LESS THAN 1% OF UK GAS COMES FROM RUSSIA” TWEETS GOVERNMENT ENERGY DEPARTMENT IN RESPONSE TO PRO-FRACKING CLAIMS OF ‘OVER-RELIANCE’ ON RUSSIAN GAS

In response to claims from pro-fracking MPs such as Kevin Hollinrake (MP for Thirsk and Malton) and the right-wing think tank the Global Warming Policy Forum, led by climate change denier Sir Nigel Lawson, that Britain is over-reliant on natural gas from Russia, the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) took the unusual step of issuing a tweet to directly contradict these views.

The tweet (also attached) states:

Claims that we rely on gas from Russia are false. Almost half of our gas comes from Great Britain, with Norway and Qatar being our major international suppliers.” 

The tweet included an official government meme, which added:

 “Great Britain benefits from highly diverse and flexible sources of gas supply. Less than 1% of our gas comes from Russia and we are no way reliant on it.” [see attached screenshot]

Steve Mason, from campaign group Frack Free United, said:

“The pro-fracking lobbyists are deliberately using the Russia crisis to forward their agenda by incorrectly claiming that the UK is dependent on Russian gas. Nothing could be further from the truth. As the BEIS tweet states, we only get less than 1% of our gas from Russia, and so there is absolutely no way that Putin could ‘turn the lights off’ across the UK. It is refreshing to see these pro-fracking myth-makers being put in their place by the very government department that is in charge of the country’s energy supplies.”

“This disgraceful scaremongering by pro-fracking lobbyists on the back of a very real international crisis smacks of panic and desperation, and reflects the fact that local communities and councils up and down the country are rejecting this unwanted, unnecessary and unsafe industry.”

“If people are so concerned about securing UK supply of home-produced gas, then why does the British Government allow a quarter of the gas we produce to be sold to other countries?”

The latest figures published by UKOOG, the oil and gas industry trade body, show that in 2016 the UK received 65.2% of its imported gas by pipeline from Norway, 21% as Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from Qatar and 11.8% by pipeline from Holland and Belgium. Small amounts of gas also came from countries such as Algeria, Egypt, Trinidad and Tobago – and Russia.

Furthermore, the UK currently exports over 25% of all the gas it produces, according to the 2017 DUKES (Digest of UK Energy Statistics) report – see tables on page 109 and 111 – mainly to the Republic of Ireland, Belgium and Holland. Anti-fracking campaigners have frequently pointed that fact out.

This controversy comes at the end of a week in which a coalition of conservation groups, scientists and anti-fracking community groups sent a letter to the Prime Minister in support of the National Trust, who are resisting efforts by multinational chemicals giant INEOS to conduct seismic surveys on their land, and asking her to immediately halt unconventional gas exploration and invest in clean renewable energy instead. This coalition included the CPRE, the Marine Conservation Society, the WWF and Friends of the Earth with Unions, numerous eminent scientists and over 40 local campaign groups plus leading climate campaigners like Vivienne Westwood and Jonathon Porritt.

Steve Mason added:

“In the case of The National Trust, they are duty-bound to protect the land in their care. This government have given permission to a corporation – INEOS – to sue this national institution for access to their land. The grand coalition that have signed this letter shows that fracking is more unpopular than ever, and is never going to be accepted by local communities, however many unsubstantiated scare stories the pro-fracking lobby have in the pipeline.”

Signatory Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch and Food & Water Watch Europe, said:

“Ineos’s fracking dreams are a nightmare for communities on both sides of the Atlantic, and that’s why so many anti-fracking campaigners are speaking up to stop them. Anyone who cares about the climate crisis, the increasing burden of global plastics pollution, and the air and water pollution associated with petrochemical manufacturing should get active in the fight to stop Ineos from fracking the UK–and anywhere else for that matter.”

 

ENDS

Notes to the Editor:

  1. Meme from the government’s BEIS department:

image002

  1. BEIS TWEET. https://twitter.com/beisgovuk/status/974351365014245378
  2. Letter to the Prime Minister attached

For all media enquiries, please contact: 

Steve Mason: steve@frackfreeunited.co.uk 07793821242 

Claire Stephenson: 07929 969664

Dinah Keal on 07593 682402

Letter of support for the National Trust sent to Theresa May

RAFF is just one of many community and anti-fracking groups who have put their name to this letter delivered to Theresa May on behalf  of the National Trust who are facing bullying threats of legal action by INEOS if they refuse to allow seismic testing on their land.

You can read the full letter here.

 

PRESS RELEASE

FRACK FREE UNITED

13 March 2018

For immediate release

Dear Editor,

On behalf of a nationally supported coalition of signatories, a letter has been issued to Prime Minister Theresa May, in united support for the National Trust who are facing bullying threats of legal action by INEOS if they refuse to allow seismic testing on their land.

With seven out of eight national fracking applications having been rejected by local councils this year already, this is timely news: fracking is deeply unpopular in all communities it is being forced upon.

Steve Mason from Frack Free United said:
“This letter sends a clear message to the prime minister, that fracking is not the way to go. When will the penny drop? Fracking is not necessary and it is clearly not wanted. The National Tryst are duty-bound to protect the land in their care. This government have given permission to a corporation – INEOS – to take this national institution to court.”

The letter signatories are from national NGOs, such as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, The World Wide Fund for Nature, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Food and Water Campaign Against Climate Change and Campaign for National Parks.

Many eminent scientists and academics have signed, with notable climate activists Vivienne Westwood and her son, Joe Corré also signing. UK anti-fracking community groups are also amongst over 70 signatories.

ENDS

Tory-controlled Fylde council favour removing local democracy from fracking decisions

28 February 2018

For immediate release

Frack Free Lancashire is extremely concerned by a Decision Item [1] that Fylde Borough Council has drafted for the upcoming planning committee meeting. In this item, the Head of Planning has recommended that fracking decisions in the Fylde should be decided by central government in Westminster. This runs counter to the accepted principles of local democracy.

Head of Planning, Mark Evans stated that there “would be some merit in the consideration of such planning applications under the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP) process.” It was also suggested that this decision item has no impact on Human Rights and Equalities, Sustainability and Environmental Impact, Health and Safety Risk Management: all of this is entirely questionable.

The government’s own recent report on Gas Security and Supply [2], released in October 2017, gave a strategic analysis of outline energy requirements for the coming years. The government indicated that shale gas is not needed for energy security and did not include it as a contribution to energy requirement figures for the UK.

The same week, the government also released The Clean Growth Strategy [3] with positive comment from the UK government about a low-carbon future for the UK resulting from ‘decarbonising the gas grid by substituting natural gas with low carbon gases like biogas and hydrogen.’

Theresa May was quoted in the report as saying:
“Clean growth is not an option, but a duty we owe to the next generation, and economic growth has to go hand-in-hand with greater protection for our forests and beaches, clean air and places of outstanding natural beauty.
A spokesperson for Frack Free Lancashire said:

“From the government’s own analysis, fracking cannot be considered a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project if there is no national need. Local democratic bodies must be allowed to determine unnecessary and unwelcome applications from the oil and gas industry. Cuadrilla’s activities at Preston New Road have already clocked-up five breaches so far this year, resulting in warnings from the Environment Agency. To place decisions relating to this unwanted industry under central government control would be an abuse of our democratic process.”

Fylde Borough Councillor, Julie Brickles said:

“People need to understandthatFyldeBoroughCouncil are effectively washing their hands of difficult decisions and advocating the undermining of local democracy, rendering themselves obsolete.”

 

ENDS

NOTES TO THE EDITOR:

  1. Fylde Council Decision Item: House of Commons Select Committee Consultation
  2. Gas Security and Supply: A strategic assessment of Great Britain’s gas security of supply
  3. The Clean Growth Strategy: Leading the Way to a Low Carbon Future

Former government climate change expert speaks out against fracking at Cuadrilla’s “inflicted” Lancashire site

“You can be in favour of fracking or you can be in favour of doing something about climate change. But you certainly can’t be in favour of doing both at the same time.”

 

Yesterday (26 February 2018), during the ‘Green Monday’ event at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road fracking site, local residents and campaigners opposed to fracking were joined by John Ashton CBE, the former Special Representative for Climate Change at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Mr Ashton is an esteemed diplomat and climate change expert, having served UK governments between 2006-2012.

In March 2014, Mr Ashton presented an energy and climate change address to Lancashire County Council, to support the communities of Preston New Road and Roseacre.

Mr Ashton’s visit came as Cuadrilla is in the final stages of preparation for fracking at Preston New Road, and they are also, once again (following a planning refusal) seeking permission for fracking at Roseacre at the reopened public inquiry in April. Earlier this month, Lancashire County Council development control committee voted unanimously to maintain its objection to Cuadrilla’s exploratory fracking plans at Roseacre in the forthcoming public inquiry.

During his speech, John Ashton stated:

“You can be in favour of fracking or you can be in favour of doing something about climate change. But you certainly can’t be in favour of doing both at the same time.”

 

John Ashton CBE

 

Jamie Peters from Friends of the Earth also spoke. He said:

“What you’re doing is making a difference. You’re eating into their profit margin, you’re slowing down their work. That’s what really terrifies the industry. You were not part of the plan for the fracking industry.”

Fracking: The Wild West Comes to the UK

An excellent TEDx talk by Emeritus Professor (Glasgow) David Smythe on fracking in the UK.

He exposes the fracking industry as being both unprofitable and environmentally damaging. He also describes how the industry has been misleading the public.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYCMrcjtBWg

Screen Shot 2018-02-19 at 11.35.20

Next Page »