Events Latest News

Book your tickets now to ensure Josh Fox film screening

UPDATE . . . We are pleased to announce that enough tickets have been sold to ensure that the screening at Blackpool Odeon will now go ahead, and that Josh Fox will attend for a Q&A session. If you haven’t already done so please purchase a ticket; it’s likely that this event will attract media attention and we want to show the rest of the world that Lancashire’s residents are united in their fight against fracking

 

The latest film by Josh Fox, How to let go of the world and love all the things climate can’t change  is being screened on 14th October at Blackpool Odeon.

We still need to sell more tickets very soon to guarantee it gets screened. Josh Fox will attend the screening and will do a Q&A afterwards . He is happy to talk about any aspect of the film and any aspect of fracking.

Josh Fox is wrote and directed the film  GASLAND amongst other and was nominated for an Academy Award for that film.

Please book you tickets at https://tickets.demand.film/event/1054/qKERZGEp

Further information on the film www.howtoletgomovie.com/

 

An open letter to Queen Elizabeth, Part 2

This is the second of two press releases aimed at her Royal Highness, The Queen, inviting her to meet with the Nanas for afternoon tea at the Victoria Memorial.

* The Grandmother Elizabeth,

* Please note that we address you in this way, out of respect for what we consider to be your noblest role and highest obligation: to protect the young.

We recently contacted you about the plight of Lancashire residents who have used every democratic channel available to them in the fight to stop fracking coming to their communities. If you recall, our elected county councillors refused planning permission for two fracking sites in rural Fylde: Cuadrilla then appealed and the decision will now be made by the Secretary of State very soon. We appealed to you as our last democratic resource and asked you, ‘What would you do Ma’am?’.

We understand how busy you are and so we thought we’d make it easier for you to meet with us by holding a tea party at the ‘Grandmother’s Memorial’ outside Buckingham Palace. Like you, many of the Nanas are grandmothers, and are concerned for the future health and safety of their children and grandchildren should fracking go ahead. As well as being such a fitting memorial to a Queen and Grandmother, we believe that the symbolism of the Victoria Memorial represents mothers and grandmothers everywhere, who are fighting for their children’s futures.

The monument represents Peace, Agriculture, Progress and Manufacture. Ours is an entirely peaceful movement; we need agricultural land for food production rather than fracking; to frack for fossil fuels is a retrospective step and we want to see progress in renewable energy, an industry that could revitalise Lancashire’s proud manufacturing base. Also represented are Truth and Justice. We have been researching the truth about the shale gas industry for five years and have found it to be a dirty industry with far-reaching effects on health, the environment and the well-being of communities wherever it has been undertaken.

Our local councils, from parish to borough to county, have all said ‘No’ to fracking. Yet, the government will more than likely say ‘Yes’. Where is the justice in that Ma’am? To us, justice would be a ban on fracking in the UK and as we have proven that our voices are not heard in our democracy, we are beseeching you to call for the ban.

Like you, we take our obligations very seriously and so cannot stop our course of action; we are standing between a dangerous industry and our children and it would be impossible for us to step aside and open them up to a risk like this.

We would dearly like you to consider our plight and if you can, accept the report we have left for you. It is The Human Dimensions of Shale Gas Developments in Lancashire by Dr Anna Szolucha and it will tell you something of the impact this industry is already having on citizens here in the UK, even before it gets a foothold.

Of course, on the very top of your Great Grandmother’s memorial is a bronze Winged Victory. How appropriate. Nothing less than Victory would be acceptable because we will not allow fracking to destroy our communities. As a mother and grandmother, please help us secure this victory by supporting us and ensuring a healthy future for all of our children and grandchildren.

We’ll be outside on 27 September 2016 from 2pm for a tea party and invite you to join us or send a message, although most will go home later in the day, some of us will linger for longer in case you get the chance to meet with us.

Yours faithfully,

Tina Rothery, on behalf of the Nanas & Residents from Lancashire

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

For further information, please contact:

 

Claire Stephenson

Frack Free Lancashire Press Contact

(07929) 969664

 

Tina Rothery

Nanas

(07494) 708515

 

Julie Daniels

Nanas

(07533) 003133

Lancashire residents appeal to Queen and ask her ‘What would you do Ma’am?’

Lancashire residents and Nanas have sent an open letter to Her Majesty, The Queen, as a fellow mother and grandmother and asked her, ‘What would you do Ma’am?’ The letter has also been sent out as a press release.

The letter has also been sent by post to Buckingham Palace. This press release is part one of a two-part action that will culminate in a peaceful presence at Buckingham Palace on 27th September 2016.

 

PRESS RELEASE                         19th September 2016

Your Royal Highness,

An important note before you read on: I am writing this as a fellow grandmother and would ask that you consider my question from your obligation to defend your young and with your heart, rather than your crown.

We are a group of UK citizens who feel increasingly shut out of the decision that is soon to be made on shale gas extraction in Lancashire. It is a basic tenet of democracy that power should remain as close as possible to the people and not be concentrated in the hands of a few.

We have seen democracy in action in Lancashire, where the people said ‘No’ to fracking and both their borough and county councils agreed with them, and in their turn said ‘No’ to Cuadrilla’s planning applications to frack two sites in rural Fylde, Lancashire [1].

Cuadrilla appealed and a public inquiry was held earlier this year at which we – the residents – spent weeks giving evidence. The planning inspector’s report has subsequently been submitted to Sajid Javid MP, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, who will make a decision at the beginning of October.

The decision to refuse planning permission for fracking in Lancashire was local democracy in action. However, the government’s support for shale means that the power has been passed from Lancashire’s elected representatives to the hands of a few, who are interested in aiding the interests of big business, rather than the interests and health of the residents of Lancashire [2].

This is not democracy.

During the last five years we have spent a considerable amount of time, energy and money pursuing every democratic opening available to us. We have:

  • Held public meetings to gauge opinion & share information ☑
  • Helped create groups to discuss the hundreds of peer-reviewed studies ☑
  • Provided residents’ feedback to councillors ☑
  • Engaged with and provided MPs with feedback on residents’ concerns about the effects of fracking so close to residential areas ☑
  • Engaged with government ministers over residents’ concerns ☑
  • Attended industry information events in order to discover/understand their plans and what they might mean for residents ☑
  • Created petitions and obtained thousands of signatures which were delivered to County Halls and Downing Street ☑
  • Organised and attended peaceful demonstrations locally and nationally ☑
  • Took peaceful, direct and non-violent direct action  ☑
  • Co-operated with NGOs to put pressure on central government ☑
  • Given evidence at the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee on the Economic Impact on UK Energy Policy of Shale Gas and Oil ☑
  • Attended and gave evidence at Lancashire County Council Development and Control meetings on planning        ☑
  • Attended and gave evidence at the weeks long Public Inquiry ☑
  • Contacted Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with an invitation to visit proposed sites and meet residents (not accepted) ☑
  • Sought help from our Monarch (this action) ☑

 

We have exhausted every democratic channel. We are desperate.

What would you do, Ma’am?

 

Yours sincerely,
Tina Rothery, on behalf of the Nanas & Residents from Lancashire

ENDS

 

For immediate release.

Notes to Editors:

  1. Fracking plans rejected: Lancashire council throws out Cuadrilla proposal
  1. Minister says he will have final say on Lancashire fracking plans

For further information, please contact:

 

Claire Stephenson

Frack Free Lancashire Press Contact

(07929) 969664

 

Tina Rothery

Nanas

(07494) 708515

 

Julie Daniels

Nanas

(07533) 003133

Social impacts report now available to download

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 11.13.47

 

The first peer reviewed report on the social impacts of fracking has been launched please see post below. The report, by Dr Anna Szolucha, looks at the impact of shale gas extraction on communities in Lancashire.

The report, The Human Dimension of Shale Gas Developments in Lancashire, UK, can be downloaded here

 

New academic report highlights the social impacts of fracking

Last Tuesday (30/08/16) RAFF was invited to the launch of the first peer reviewed report on the social impacts of fracking. It was hosted by Dr Anna Szolucha, author of the report. Below is a press release relating to the event.

PRESS RELEASE 31st August 2016

Launch of New Research on Social Impacts of Fracking in Communities


Frack Free Lancashire were delighted to attend the launch of The Social Futures of Resource Extraction and Energy yesterday evening in the Harris Museum in Preston. The research and publication was carried out by Dr Anna Szolucha from the University of Bergen, Norway.

The event was invite-only and was fully subscribed. It was attended by Lancashire County Councillors and Lancashire residents from all sides of the fracking debate.

Distinguished speakers included Professor Anthony Ingraffea from Cornell University, USA and Professor of Global Energy, Michael Bradshaw, from the University of Warwick, spoke informatively on the Energy Trilemma that the UK faces and the limitations on shale gas development that might be imposed by the 5th Carbon budget. Professor Debra Davidson from the University of Alberta, Canada, both speaking via a live video link.

Pam Foster from Residents Action on Fylde Fracking said: “Dr Szolucha’s publication is a critical report containing the first peer-reviewed research based on the social impacts of fracking in the UK. It will join a huge library of 888 other peer-reviewed papers that reveal negative and unwanted impacts on water, air and health of people living close to fracking sites.”

Claire Stephenson from the Preston New Road Action Group said: “This comprehensive research marks a new level in our understanding of the destructive social impacts of fracking and the threat of fracking in rural communities. This is the first peer-reviewed evidence of its kind, and yet another nail in the coffin of an industry that deserves no place in our communities. It was interesting to watch one of the few pro-shale attendees, Stephen Tindale, actually fall asleep mid-presentation and he also left 30 minutes before the speakers had concluded.” 

Halsall Against Fracking stated: “The event was organised by Dr Anna Szolucha PhD, Department of Social Anthropology University of Bergen to launch her peer-reviewed study. The pro-fracking “lifelong environmental campaigner” in attendance, slept through most of the presentations and left before the end therefore is able to make no reference to the subject of the study itself, only quoting the same old tired industry rhetoric.”

Barbara Richardson from Roseacre Awareness Group said: “I was incredibly impressed with the quality of speakers during the evening. Professor Ingraffea is a world-renowned scientific voice on fracking and its effects. His speech, No, “Tough” Regulations on Shale Gas Development Are Not the Answer to a Sustainable Energy Future was enlightening and the key message was that: shale gas development is spatially intense, large-scale and causes unwanted impacts on air, water and human health.”

John Hobson from Defend Lytham said: “As we heard from Prof. Bradshaw, the recently ratified Fifth Carbon Budget has turned fracking into an irrelevance given the pressing need for rapid decarbonisation. It is definitively not the answer to the Energy Trilemma he presented to us. Without Carbon Capture and Storage, fracking is the equivalent of a low-tar cigarette: better but not the right answer to the problem. We need to kick this dirty habit entirely.”

 

ENDS

For immediate release. For further information contact:

Claire Stephenson hello@pnrgroup.org.uk

Lancashire locks the gate

This brilliant meme was created by Claire Stevenson from Lancashire’s Preston new Road group. It has been created in advance of the imminent decision from our government as to whether they will  overrule the wishes of the residents of Lancashire and the democratic decision taken by Lancashire County Council to say no to fracking.

There are NO copyright restrictions so please feel free to adapt this image to suit your county or place.

 

lockthegate

Words below from Tina Rothery, Nana and member of RAFF:

“Does it seem a little quiet? That’ll be because in meetings, around kitchen tables, over garden fences and in various places… the people of Lancashire are readying themselves for the imminent decision about fracking Lancashire.

“We are many, we are varied and we all have one point of complete agreement – the UK will remain frack free. We may reach for that aim differently – but we are ALL reaching together.

“IF the decision comes and it has no respect for democracy or plain logic… then we will act (non-violently) but in a multitude of ways to prevent progress. We’re hoping the many will be willing to stand with us in some way – online sharing or perhaps in person here in Lancashire or where you are but in solidarity in some way?

“…IF the day comes – we will call and hope to hear a roar in response from this incredible movement.”

Frack Free Lancashire responds to Energy MInister’s shale sales pitch

RAFF along with other Frack Free Lancashire groups has responded to comments made by Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe in The Gazette earlier this week (16 August 2016).

PRESS RELEASE August 18th 2016

                                Residents’ Anger at Minister’s Shale Sales Pitch

Lancashire should be at the forefront of a green revolution to embrace clean, renewable energy, not be dragged back to the dark ages with yet more climate-damaging and short-term energy solutions found in hydraulic fracturing.

Frack Free Lancashire remains unconvinced of Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe’s vision (I believe shale gas is an exciting opportunity, August 16). The Conservative government still appears to be on the slow foot of technology with their continued dependence on fossil fuels, when worldwide, countries are striding forward with renewable technologies such as solar, hydro and wind power.

Our climate commitments to mitigate global warming are non-negotiable. The pursuit of dirty fossil fuels is in no way a match for a low-carbon future.

Tina Rothery from the Nanas said: “The suggestion that it is only a matter of ‘how much’ that is causing this incredible community resistance across the country to fracking, is as insulting as it is ignorant. Judging parents, grandparents and worried residents by their own standards, is a mistake made by each in the government who is championing this dead-end industry. We are protecting our young – there is no price tag on this. We said no, we meant no and the result will be, no fracking in the UK (if democracy prevails).”

Pam Foster from Residents Action on Fylde Fracking said: “Ever since the government overruled Lancashire County Council’s decision to say no to fracking, people have been flocking to either join or create new anti-fracking groups. The movement grows daily and Lucy Neville-Rolf’s remarks will aid our cause. We’re still awaiting the decision from the Secretary of State yet she is acting as if this is a done deal. This is undemocratic and could influence the final decision. The people of Lancashire are angry – very angry – and ready for action should the decision go in favour of the government and the shale gas companies.”

Claire Stephenson from Preston New Road Action Group said: “The Shale Gas Wealth fund scheme, once dissected, is underwhelming and a transparent attempt at cash in exchange for social acceptance. That will never happen. Baroness Neville-Rolfe seems rather confused regarding the jobs argument from fracking: Cuadrilla’s statistics were spectacularly discredited during the planning inspector’s hearing in Blackpool as fanciful figures.

“I would suggest that Westminster should urgently consider their potential position on forcing shale gas on unwilling communities, before a slippery slope of totalitarianism is reached. Lancashire said no. The minister needs to understand that.”

Pat Davies, Chair of Preston New Road Action Group said: “It is incredible that the Baroness believes shale gas to be an exciting opportunity. Lancashire has been clear in its vociferous refusal of shale gas at any price.

“The lure or idea of handouts to make the unacceptable become acceptable is profoundly disturbing.

“The government and its Ministers must fulfil their sacred duty to protect and serve all communities. Prime Minister May stated that upon her election.

“People’s health and lives should come before profit. Local Communities have the right to determine how they live. Lancashire wants local democracy to be observed, clean air and our land protected. The rights of families to the quiet enjoyment of their homes must be respected. Fracking at Preston New Road will answer none of those basic needs.

“Democracy on fracking must also be seen to be being observed in Lancashire, otherwise it is an empty word which promises much but delivers little. The eyes of the country will be upon any decision relating to fracking as this matter is now not just about fracking but about social and environmental justice for the people of Lancashire and beyond.”

ENDS

REFERENCES: 

  1. New energy minister, Lucy Neville-Rolfe, shares her thoughts on fracking

For immediate release on behalf of Frack Free Lancashire. For further information contact:

Claire Stephenson

hello@pnrgroup.org.uk

 

Frack Free Lancashire merchandise for sale

The Government will shortly be making its decision on whether or not Lancashire is to be fracked. Show your solidarity by purchasing some merchandise before coming along to the many activities we have planned. You can buy products here.

 

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 22.08.49

Why the UK government’s fracking payout claim is just not true

Following on from yesterday’s media frenzy that the government are likely to gift £10,000 or more to households affected by fracking, Greenpeace’s Energy Desk has been scrutinising the claims. Below we reproduce their analysis in full. Thanks to author Damian Kahya and Greenpeace.

On Friday evening, just after 6pm, government spin doctors sent select media an email with a big fracking announcement.

Theresa May has re-written Osborne’s plans to ensure local people benefit directly from fracking.

“Communities could receive up to 10% of tax revenues derived from shale exploration in their area to spend on priorities such as local infrastructure and skills training. The new fund could deliver up to £10 million per eligible community.”

There were just two rules. First, the story was embargoed until Sunday, so there were no working hours between the email being sent and the story going live.

Second, the information was “shared on a no approach basis”. Reporters had to report the news without actually checking it with anyone else – a trick used extensively during the referendum campaign.

It’s easy to understand why.

Like much of what was said in the build up to Brexit, the government’s fracking claim is, at best, massively misleading and, at worst, a bald-faced lie.

It’s almost certainly not £10k

Helpfully for some, Westminster spin doctors were available to take the calls of confused reporters who were unable to ask anyone else anything at all.

We don’t know exactly what they said – because they briefed anonymously and off the record – but it appears they briefed out that the £10m could, in theory, be divided by number of households in a village.

At the very least they didn’t deny it.

Someone must have said the phrase £10k per household.

The claim was reported hereherehere and here though the Observer (and PA) went with “it is understood that” it could be “between £5,000 and £20,000”  and the Mail on Sunday made it’s own calculation of £13,000.

The message definitely got out.

Yet in public no number was ever mentioned. Not in the eventually published public release, not in the consultation.

In fact, the silence was such that one media outlet – Sky – seemed to panic, changing it’s own headline from £10k to just “payments” with no number to be seen anywhere in the copy.

That’s because nobody knows the actual number. The “up to” £10m is meant to be divided various ways with household payments being just one (the rest going to community benefits).

As the Mail on Sunday suggests, to get to a figure like £13,000 you have to assume

a) fracking happens

b) it’s really profitable

c) we get loads of tax

d) the full £10m is allocated

e) it all goes to household payments (which is not even policy) and

f) that the community in question has fewer than 1,000 households

There won’t be payments during exploration

But wait. We’re getting ahead of ourselves. Back up.

The whole point of the announcement is to build support for shale gas exploration in communities right now. That’s why the presser said “derived from shale exploration in their area”.

But the money it’s talking about only exists after shale exploration. It applies to the tax on the profits from full-on commercial gas extraction, which is totally different.

Indeed, as the government’s own consultation highlights, exploration and production may not only be years apart, they may not even happen in the same place.

“As these production sites have not yet been developed,” the consultation notes, “we do not yet have a full picture of precisely which areas will host shale developments, and how the communities associated with a particular development should be defined.”

Instead, the consultation goes on, communities during the exploration phase will be offered £100,000 per “fracked well” under a non-legally binding industry scheme.

There is no plan to pay that directly to households but if they were it would work out to be £136 for each of the 735 households in the village of Balcombe.

There may never be money for the payments

But there is a bigger problem.

Even once the industry is up and running, the whole plan depends on the government raking in around £10bn in tax from shale gas – which could politely be described as optimistic.

That’s because the UK has already claimed “the most generous tax regime in the world” for shale gas companies, who will pay tax at between 30 and 40% on their field profits.

If they make any profits, that is.

Profits depend on much gas there is, how costly it is to extract and the market price of oil and gas, which has been volatile of late.

In its latest update on the UK’s North Sea fields the government’s tax and spend watchdog, the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR), noted that “there are only a few profitable firms” left in the sector.

In the US it is fracking firms heading for bankruptcy leaving communities and taxpayers with the costs of cleaning up afterwards.

And even profit-making firms don’t always pay much tax.

As we reported earlier this year, UK fracking firms will be able to offset the money they spend on drilling and infrastructure against their tax liability.

Treasury documents suggest the costs of that will start being felt as soon a production starts.

In fact, right now, the UK is paying tax back to the oil and gas sector.

The latest OBR forecasts suggest the the taxpayer will pay oil companies over £1bn a year from this year through to 2021 as they reclaim money to pay for their losses and costs of decommissioning.

In fact, the payments idea may not happen at all

Indeed the policy itself doesn’t really exist

The consultation states that households should “gain directly” but the issue of “direct payments” is instead phrased as a question, with no guarantee it will actually happen.

It notes that household payments may not be very generous

“There will clearly be a trade-off for communities in either choosing to benefit from funds directly, which may result in a relatively small per-household payment depending on the revenues and size of a particular community”.

With officials themselves noting concerns that fracking could reduce the value of house-prices by 7% it’s easy to see how a payment of a few hundred or thousand pounds if things work out in future may prove a hard sell.

The payments that may happen aren’t from the government

There is – actually – another scheme to pay communities who find themselves close to new fracking wells.

The industry has suggested it will give 1% of revenues, with two thirds going to communities affected – though again the pledge is both non-binding and constantly up for review.

If it was paid to households on a big site – let’s say with revenues of £100m – that would work out at around £1000 for a small rural community like Balcombe.

And there isn’t any plan to do that either.

Promise of fracking bribes shows government’s desperation

frackingbribe

Teresa May has shown her intent towards supporting the shale gas industry with her latest ugly PR attempt to bribe residents. In an obviously desperate attempt to get fracking accepted, our new Prime Minister is now considering paying up to £10,000 directly to individual households instead of local councils.  A consultation will be launched this week (8 August 2016).

Setting aside the morality of bribing local residents to compromise their health, their water and their air, £10,000 is a drop in the ocean, given the loss of value properties will suffer, coupled with the fact that owners will face large insurance premiums, that is if they can get their property insured at all. As John Hodson, a councillor on West Lancashire Borough Council, commented, “Big, big mistake. As the Americans say ‘do the math.’    Simple analysis is:  average UK house price as in May 2016 = £211K x 7% ( if that is reliable, probably much more due to market sensitivity on the issue) drop in value according to the unredacted DEFRA report means £15k  – so – what sort of a good deal is swapping £10k in your hand for £15k loss on your property AND all the environmental impact on your amenity?” 

This is an ugly and cynical PR stunt. If sums of money are to be offered as bribes it will exacerbate community tensions with some accepting and others refusing. We’ve already witnessed such divisions amongst communities on the Fylde where some farmers have sold out to Cuadrilla. This latest move is a blatant attempt to buy a social licence for a dirty and polluting industry, and shows little regard for the well being of residents.

Even more worrying, May’s actions display an indication of the failure of commitment to tackle climate change. Her abolition of the Department of Energy and Climate Change was a stark warning that she is no more Greeen than her predecessor.

 

Comments from the anti-fracking community

Tony Bosworth Energy Campaigner, Friends of the Earth:
“Communities across the UK have made it clear that they don’t want fracking. A YouGov survey for the Sunday Times last year showed that, even where communities were offered £1 million, they still remained opposed to fracking taking place near them. Local people won’t suddenly be bribed into accepting this unpopular practice, which poses risks to people and the environment.”
Dr Doug Parr, UK chief scientist, Greenpeace
“The government has tried to sweeten the fracking pill with cash payments before, and it didn’t work. Over the last two years, public opposition has soared and support for shale has tanked. People’s concerns about climate change and their local environment cannot be silenced with a wad of cash. You can’t put a price on the quality of the air you breathe, the water you drink, and the beauty of our countryside. If Theresa May wants to show the UK is open for business, she should reverse the policies that have harmed our vibrant clean energy sector and back the technologies that can supply cheap, homegrown energy for decades to come.”

 

Lancashire reaction

Maureen Mills, Halsall Against Fracking (HAFF)
“We are undergoing a seismic survey in PEDL 164 and already at least one house sale that we know of has fallen through just because it showed up on the search. Theresa May says her government will be ‘driven by the interests of the many – ordinary families for whom life is harder than many people in politics realise.’ Her government will be driven, as always, by ‘the powerful’ who stand to make billions out of inflicting fracking on communities. No amount of bribery, community or individual, will give her social license for fracking and she knows it.”

Pam Foster, Residents Action on Fylde Fracking (RAFF)
“If Theresa May wants to give power back to the people why not uphold the democratic decision of their elected representatives, Lancashire County Council, who said no to fracking? Power is being transferred from the people of Lancashire to central government and the shale gas industry.”

Tina Louise Rothery
“The UK government is trying anything it can to enforce fracking on communities across the UK – this will not work any better than all of their previous failed PR initiatives. We are not driven by greed – we are driven to defend our young.”

Barbara Richardson, Roseacre Awareness Group (RAG), which opposes fracking plans by Cuadrilla
“As if ‘up to £10k’ could compensate us for what we would have to endure. We moved to the countryside for the peace, quiet and way of life it offers. We worked hard to afford it. Our home is not likely to sell at all with a 24 x 7 fracking site next door to it, so how this could ‘compensate for any disruption and impact on property prices’ is ridiculous.This tells me the government is desperate. They know there is huge and growing opposition and rightly so.”

Claire Stevenson, Preston New Road Action Group (PNRAG), which opposes fracking plans by Cuadrilla
“I think it’s unreservedly outrageous that what is in effect, a bribe, is now due for a government consultation on how to force communities to accept fracking. The headlines are stating cash for ‘communities affected by fracking’. Is this finally an admission that we WILL be affected by fracking? The reporting on this release from the mainstream media is flawed and fanciful and contains so many inaccuracies about the fracking process. We will scrutinise this consultation when it is released tomorrow to see how they are imagining they can administrate it in their fairyland of fracking. Theresa May stated again yesterday: “As I said on my first night as Prime Minister: when we take the big calls, we’ll think not of the powerful but of you.” I think that basically translates as we’re actually thinking about the ‘big calls’ whilst trying to keep you, the little insignificant people, mollified and controlled. Our opposition to fracking isn’t about money – it’s about our health, our children, our safety, the quality of the air that we breathe and the cleanliness of the water that we drink. You can’t buy that and you can’t buy us. Communities are furious that this is now turning into a cash bribe and it will only serve to reinforce our opposition and strengthen our resolve. We said no to fracking. No amount of dirty money will change that.”

 

North Yorkshire reaction

Sue Gough, Kirby Misperton, where Third Energy has permission to frack an existing well
“This is a cynical attempt by the Tories to bribe local people to accept fracking by offering them hard cash. People need to know that by accepting this money they are selling their communities down the river and condemning them to industrialisation and ruination by the frackers, who have no respect for our environment, our livelihoods or health. If Third Energy is allowed to frack in Ryedale it will open up the floodgates to all the other companies who are waiting in the wings to move into North Yorkshire and will bring about the widespread industrialisation of the county – we need to continue to oppose the industry and persuade people to see through this blatant bribe.”

Cllr Di Keal, Liberal Democrat, Thirsk and Malton, Liberal Democrat member, Ryedale District Council
“This is such an obvious ploy by the Tory party, led by pro-fracker Theresa May, to try and buy support for this hugely damaging industry. This move smacks of desperation from a Tory government that is losing the democratic argument on fracking.In the current economic climate people, when many people are struggling financially, the offer of £10,000 might seem appealing, but it is little compensation for the risk to the environment, our health and well-being and the wrecking of the countryside that the industry will bring. While the money may sound attractive to some hard pressed families it will not even scrape the surface in terms of the compensating for the huge fall in house prices that would follow in the wake of fracking. All local people in the vicinity of exploited wells will also face the damage and disruption caused by lorry journeys associated with the process, the pollution risks and damage to agriculture and tourism. North Yorkshire is a beautiful county that relies heavily on tourism and agriculture, both of which face irreparable damage if fracking is allowed to go ahead.”