Residents Action on Fylde Fracking

Anti Fracking Campaigns Unite in General Election Message: ‘Vote Frack Free’

Screen Shot 2017-05-10 at 10.19.22Press Release

Frack Free United & Cross Party Frack Free

Anti Fracking Campaigns Unite in General Election Message: ‘Vote Frack Free’

Two prominent national campaign groups, Frack Free United and Cross Party Frack Free, have come together in a bid to put fracking on the Election agenda, encouraging tactical voting and highlighting individual candidate and party policies on fracking. With 60% of the UK offered for exploration in the last licence auction, leading to large parts of country threatened by the fracking, it is set to become an election issue across large parts of the country.

Both groups have been overwhelmed by reaction to their anti-fracking message since the announcement of the general election and have united to cross pollinate and pool resources to get their message out.

Frack-Free United has seen a huge rise in signups with supporters from across the country, joining the growing network of individuals and groups and has a high volume leafleting program at their disposal ready to spread the word about fracking.

Cross Party Frack Free will hold the register of politicians that have agreed to a UK wide ban on fracking. Until now the register has only been open to elected officials including MPs and Peers but now for the first time, candidates can also register to support a ban on fracking in the UK.

They are ready to utilise their networks too simultaneously to promote the cause, both online and on the doorstep and all supporting candidates are invited to ride this wave through the election period.

The online campaign launch has built a social reach of nearly one million people and orders for leaflets has topped 100,000 already, prior to the official launch on Tuesday night.

A spokesperson from Frack Free United said:

“This general election is a whole new ball game. This is now about national policy and we are focused on the bigger picture. Fracking has to be stopped by changing Government policy and we are urging people to find out more about the damage that fracking will do to their communities and before they cast their vote on June 8th – this is a brilliant opportunity to drive home our anti-fracking message and promote the alternative technologies needed to help meet the UKs legal obligations to stop climate change.

“We want voters to make an ‘informed choice’ on who is the best person to vote for in their constituency to stop fracking. We have to get the issue on the agenda now and we will try our best to make June 8th the turning point in the fight against fracking.

“Our interactive map has been updated to include parliamentary constituencies and fracking licences and will also provide the candidate names and contact details in each area, encouraging voters to ask them ‘what is your position on fracking?’ The Cross Party Frack Free Register will be accessible from both the Frack Free United and Cross Party Frack Free websites and across the networks on social media.

“We haven’t even launched our general election campaign yet and we have been already been inundated with supporters signing up from across the UK. We are providing guidance and info to spread our message, which includes supplying the ‘Your home is in a fracking area’ leaflet, giving them opportunity to raise awareness and inform candidates of fracking in their area.”

 Notes to the Editor

  1. For further information visit: www.frackfreeunited.org / www.crosspartyfrackfree.uk
  2. For more information call: Steve Mason (FFU) – 07793821242; Leigh Coghill (FFU) – 07982 236653; Stuart Lane (CPFF) – 07739 836619

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAFF’s outreach activities

RAFF believes in taking out the message and spreading the word. Last weekend we supplied Miranda and her group  in Lancaster with t-shirts, badges, etc. to sell and leaflets to give out. If you are thinking of setting up a group do get in touch. We have CDs and videos, fact sheets and photos you can use. WE can also assist in setting up a public meeting.

Join the movement, get the facts. If you can, come and chat to us at Solidarity Saturdays at Maple Farm, Preston New Road. We’d love to see you or get in touch at RAFFgroup@hotmail.co.uk

FOSSIL FUELED EARTHQUAKES NEAR NUCLEAR INSTALLATIONS?

Nuclear and Fracking Campaigners across the UK have joined forces to oppose fossil fuel extraction within the vicinity of the UK’s key nuclear installations, Sellafield in Cumbria and Springfields in Lancashire.

Radiation Free Lakeland has sent a letter to the Health and Safety Executive urging a moratorium. The letter says: “Given the vast uncertainty regarding the classification of nuclear materials at both Sellafield and Springfields at the very least there should be a moratorium on fossil fuel extraction within the vicinity of nuclear installations. We call for a comprehensive inquiry, which includes the worst-case scenarios that could result from induced seismic activity near nuclear installations. The inquiry should be undertaken honestly and transparently and be fully independent of current government policy”.

Currently there is no limit on the proximity of fossil fuel extraction to nuclear installations despite the known risks of induced earthquakes.

 SELLAFIELD AND COAL

 “The prospect of reopening and extending the Whitehaven Coal Mine with licenses extending to within a few miles of the decrepit and highly dangerous Sellafield nuclear waste complex is ringing alarm bells in North Wales where we experienced a 5.4 Richter scale earthquake in 1984, the largest ever recorded in Britain. Deliberately creating seismic dangers by reopening this mine so close to the deadliest stockpile of nuclear waste at Sellafield is a deliberately wreckless act of environmental vandalism. PAWB supports Radiation Free Lakeland’s call for an immediate moratorium on fossil fuel extraction, either coal or fracking, within the vicinity of the nuclear installations at Heysham, Sellafield and Springfields because of the obvious seismic risks.”

Dylan Morgan on behalf of the anti-nuclear campaign group PAWB, Pobl Atal Wylfa B / People Against Wylfa B http://stop-wylfa.org/wp/

SPRINGFIELDS AND FRACKING

“It beggars belief that a fracking pad is being constructed five miles from the Springfields Nuclear Fabrication plant and their nearby nuclear waste dump at Clifton Marsh landfill. We have already witnessed the effects of induced seismicity in the area from one frack at Preese Hall six years ago. Cuadrilla is planning 40-60 wells on the super pad at Preston New Road and maybe up to 100 other pads throughout the Fylde. The area is heavily faulted making it more susceptible not only to seismicity but also to groundwater contamination from the Clifton Marsh nuclear dump. For Sajid Javid to overrule Lancashire County Council’s decision and allow these two forms of extreme energy to sit side-by-side is madness. The people of Lancashire are unprotected and the public health implications are enormous.

Pam Foster from RAFF (Residents Action on Fylde Fracking)

http://stopfyldefracking.org.uk/

Martyn Lowe from Close Capenhurst Campaign says that:

“The danger of something happening at Springfields with any of the Uranium Hexaflouride which is on the site is already very worrying. If there was even a very minor earth tremor as the result of fracking, then it might well increase the odds of something really nasty happening at the site. I very much doubt if Toshiba Westinghouse or the Office for Nuclear Regulation have factored in such a danger in to any of their emergency procedures about what would happen to the plant.”

http://close-capenhurst.org.uk/

 LIQUEFACTION AT SELLAFIELD AND SPRINGFIELDS?

Radiation Free Lakeland’s letter to the HSE points out that induced seismic activity from fossil fuel extraction would not have “stand alone” consequences in this part of the North West. For example The North West of England has been the only area in the UK ever to have suffered a liquefaction event following a rather minor earthquake near Barrow (now home to Trident) in 1865. The magnitude was probably in the range 2.5–3.5 ML.” pure and applied geophysics November 1998, Volume 152, Issue 4, pp 733–745

ENDS

for press enquiries please contact rafl@mariannebirkby.plus.com

 RADIATION FREE LAKELAND’s FULL LETTER TO THE HSE

HSE head office

Health and Safety Executive
Redgrave Court
Merton Road
Bootle                                                                                              19th April 2017
Merseyside
L20 7HS

TRADE UNIONS SHOW SUPPORT FOR LANCS COMMUNITIES FIGHTING FRACKING

image1

Trade Union organisers from PCS (Public and Commercial Services), BFAWU (Bakers Union) and Unite joined the Bolton and Wigan ‘Diggers’ (1) at Preston New Road roadside fracking protest today (24 April) to show support for the communities fighting fracking in Lancashire. Over fifty people were at the site posing with banners supporting green energy and the campaign for one million climate jobs. (2)

On the same day the Bells Angels Cycle Club cycled along Preston New Road en masse to show the opposition to fracking from local cyclists. (3)

Stephen Hall from Greater Manchester Association of Trade Union Councils and a committee member for the Wigan Diggers said:

“We want to add our support to the fantastic work of Bolton Against Fracking, Frack Free Wigan, Leigh & Makerfield and the many other local and national campaign groups and individuals who are doing their utmost to resist and hopefully, ultimately stop the roll out of fracking in Britain and everywhere else. We are building solidarity with campaigners at Preston New Road.” (4)

Barbara Richardson from Frack Free Lancashire said:

“It is fantastic to have the support of trade unions and the Diggers movement in the North West in our campaign to keep Lancashire frack-free. The vast majority of trade unions are opposed to fracking and are calling for the creation of a million climate jobs, and with our fantastic renewable energy resources we believe Lancashire workers and businesses could be at the heart of this.”

Cuadrilla’s site in the Fylde has been hit by daily protests since work began in January, and residents have vowed to continue to protest at the site, with drilling expected in the next few months.

Notes

1. The Diggers movement was founded in the 17th century by Gerrard Winstanley, a Wigan born textile trader who believed the earth was a common treasury for all. The movement has been reborn in recent years, with an annual festival in Wigan to celebrate the Diggers movement and bring together social justice and environmental campaigns https://wigandiggersfestival.org/about/

2. One Million Climate Jobs is supported by PCS, TSSA, UCU and CWU Unions: http://www.climate-change-jobs.org/ The UK’s largest trade union, Unite, has an official position opposed to fracking, and members of the Lancashire branch spoke against fracking at the Preston New Road and Roseacre planning inquiries in 2016.

3. https://www.facebook.com/events/1863659697254783/

4. https://www.boltonrise.com/single-post/2017/04/22/Bolton-and-Wigan-Diggers-unite-to-fight-fracking

STATEMENT FROM FFL FINANCE SUB – GROUP

STATEMENT FROM FFL FINANCE SUB GROUP

Mr. Gayzer Frackman has demanded to know how much is held in the Frack Free Lancashire Legal Fund and questioned the integrity of those involved in its collection and distribution.

It would be improper to disclose financial details in the public domain for obvious reasons; not least of which is disclosing such information to the industry.  We can say though that the greater majority of the funds remaining in the Legal Fund after the Blackpool Public Inquiry have been “ring-fenced” for ongoing costs of the communities currently under threat of fracking at Preston New Road and Roseacre (including Mr. Jules Burton) in relation to Judicial Reviews. As they submit invoices they are paid out of the ring-fenced funds.  This method acts as a clear audit trail whilst giving those communities and individuals reassurance in financial terms so they could pursue their actions and it has worked well.

A representative from PNRAG has said “We have a representative on the finance sub-group which oversees funding efforts and distribution of funds. It is good to know that there are ring fenced funds available to assist us.”

Mr. Burton has said “Without the security of the ring-fenced funds I could not have even considered making a legal challenge and I thank those kind supporters who made it possible”.

The balance of their ring-fenced funds were going to roll forward for the Roseacre re-opened public Inquiry, however Mr Burton submitted an application for a permitted hearing at the Manchester Court on 21 April and therefore FFL will continue to support our member in his endeavours.

A representative from RAG has said: “We are pleased to see that Mr. Burton has not been deterred following his application for a Judicial Review being refused. We wish him every success with his hearing and hope that the sitting Judge will see that Justice Dove’s dismissal was incorrect and allow the JR to proceed.”

For the record and by his own admission, Mr. Gayzer Frackman has not supported Frack Free Lancashire since 2015 (nor were FFL ever consulted about his case); that was of his own choosing, therefore the Frack Free Lancashire Legal Fund could not properly make any donation to his fundraising.  He has alleged that the Legal Fund has supported our friends in Yorkshire but that is not true.  Nothing that has been collected for the Frack Free Lancashire Legal Fund has been, nor could it be, donated to any Yorkshire group because they are also not members of Frack Free Lancashire individually or collectively.  The truth is that Frack Free Greater Manchester collected in buckets themselves at the Manchester Rally in November 2016 and handed it to us on the day to be shared three ways, when counted, between PNR, Roseacre and Yorkshire.  The donations (notes and coins) were counted after the Rally and paid into the Legal Fund account and a cheque for one third was sent to Frack Free Ryedale.  Clearly notes and coins could not be sent by post.

We hope that this statement sets the record straight.  All those who kindly and so generously donated to the Frack Free Lancashire Legal Fund can be assured that their donations have been, and will always continue to be, handled with the utmost propriety for members and groups of Frack Free Lancashire.  We are now moving to a time when other Lancashire communities are under threat and it would be extremely sad for those communities if Mr. Frackman’s accusations in any way adversely affect future fundraising efforts under the well-known and respected Frack Free Lancashire banner.

Frack Free Lancashire

Finance Sub-Group

Australian Anti-Fracking Film Makers on Tour in UK

PRESS RELEASE

Australian Anti-Fracking Film Makers on Tour in UK

The Anti-fracking Nanas of Lancashire are delighted to welcome to the UK and Fylde, the filmmakers from The Bentley Effect; a feature-length documentary that tells the story of how an Australian community took on the gas industry and won.

The film will be shown during May, in two venues on the Fylde Coast, which itself is under the direct threat of the unconventional gas industry. A question and answer session with the filmmakers and a workshop about peaceful opposition will follow the screening.

Brendan Shoebridge, Simon Clough and Ian Gaillard were all part of the community stand against the dirty coal seam gas industry in Australia, and the resulting documentary, filmed over five years, is a powerful testament to building united community opposition movements and hope for the future.

The venues that will be hosting the documentary screening are The Island Cinema at St Anne’s on 24th May at 19.00hrs and Ribby Hall Village, Wrea Green on 26th May (screening and workshop 18.00hrs – 22.00hrs).

Reserved tickets are offered free of charge, with donations gratefully received on the evening of the screenings.

Andy Severyn, a local dad and teacher worked with local campaigner, Kate Styles, to bring the film to the Fylde. Andy said

“I was inspired by the trailer and contacted the director about getting the documentary to the UK. I am delighted that it will help to inspire and mobilise people to protect our environment and future generations against the fracking industry.”

Kate Styles of the Nanas said:

“We are delighted to welcome The Bentley Effect Tour, a timely message of “the power of community” to a community that feels powerless to stop the fracking juggernaut that is Cuadrilla, and their plans to turn Lancashire into the largest gas field in Europe.

“Simon, Brendan and Ian have experienced The Bentley Blockade, where unconventional resistance met and saw off unconventional gas. They also have first-hand knowledge of the very real damage wrought by fracking – on communities, on the environment and on health of people who find themselves living in a gas field against their will.  We hope that people will see this award-winning documentary and appreciate the very real dangers that fracking on the Fylde poses.”

 

ENDS

 

Notes to the Editor

 

  1. Simon Clough will be available for interviews whilst visiting the UK. Please contact KateStyles for further information on (07984) 296463 or bentleyfylde@gmail.com (phone number not for publication).

 

Claire Stephenson
Media Spokesperson
Preston New Road Action Group
hello@pnrgroup.org.uk
www.pnrgroup.org.uk

Serious and false allegations

It has come to our attention that certain individuals are using social media to try and undermine the efforts of Frack Free Lancashire, Friends of the Earth, and some of our most well respected anti fracking campaigners for their own purposes/agendas. Until now we have maintained a dignified silence but  this has now become a serious matter and we are concerned that others, who do not know the background, will take these allegations at face value.

We do not understand why anyone within the anti fracking community would want to try and undermine the efforts of people fighting this industry. Not only is it divisive and dangerous but it plays into the hands of the industry who must remain the full focus of our attention if we are to stop fracking.

In particular there has been a serious allegation regarding the whereabouts of donations made to Frack Free Lancashire.

This is an extremely serious accusation. Frack Free Lancashire has always made it absolutely clear that all donations collected were to go into the Legal Fund and that is where every penny has gone. FFL wishes to assure everyone who has donated to the Frack Free Lancashire Legal Fund that they can be certain that their donations have ONLY been used and will continue to ONLY be used to directly support the legal challenges of members and their groups. We would like to thank all those people who have so kindly and generously donated to make the legal challenges possible.

We hope that this accusation and other allegations against individuals stop immediately. Online defamation is a serious offence and if it continues we will take legal advice/action.

Frack Free Lancashire is an umbrella for many anti fracking groups and individuals who are all working extremely hard to stop fracking in the UK. The FFL name is known and respected not only in the UK but worldwide. There is no hierarchy. Whilst we may not always agree we all work together and try to reach a consensus. There is no-one trying to control. There is no impropriety or substance to these allegations.  It is by working together we remain strong. To try and destroy this is not only divisive but dangerous and damaging.

Rest assured we will carry on the fight. We believe in unity and will work to unite as many local groups as possible. We have strength in numbers. This is what the  industry fears most. We will continue to help those groups who need it most such as the Preston New Road Action Group (PNRAG) and  Roseacre Awareness Group (RAG) who are both under immediate threat and have fully embraced the ideology of a united Frack Free Lancashire.

Issued on behalf of Frack Free Lancashire

Lancashire Group Loses Anti-Fracking Legal Challenge

Lancashire Group Loses Anti-Fracking Legal Challenge

For immediate release

Wednesday 12th April

Preston New Road Action Group react with heartfelt disappointment that Mr Justice Dove has ruled in favour of the Secretary of State, Sajid Javid MP, following a Manchester High Court hearing.

The group challenged the lawfulness of Sajid Javid’s overruling of Lancashire County Council’s solid decision to refuse Cuadrilla planning permission to frack at the Preston New Road site. The group sought to have Sajid Javid’s determination declared unlawful, weighing on five points of law having being breached.

Today’s decision also sets a terrible precedent for other communities facing the unconventional gas industry. The fracking industry does not constitute as sustainable development and is a backwards step for the UK’s commitment to mitigating climate change and upholding the Paris Agreement.

Pat Davies, Chair of Preston New Road Action Group said:

“The ramifications of allowing an unwanted industry to proceed, against the express wishes of the democratically-elected local planning committee and local community’s wishes, are immense.
“Residents are suffering ill health and overwhelming anxiety about their future, with concerns for the the environment they and future generations live in. The Fylde Coast will become the guinea pig for this dirty industry and no longer be a safe or desirable place to live, work or retire to.

“For residents to have no say in shaping the community they live in, is also against the overarching commitment outlined as a key aim within the government’s own National Planning Policy Framework.

“This contradictory approach smacks of muddled thinking at best, or autocracy at worst. If a planning process can be controlled by external corporate interests and the government policy of the moment, it is neither fit for purpose and begs the question whether local democracy now plays any valid part in the planning process.”

Ironically, 46 miles down the road from Preston New Road, the government has devolved power from Westminster to Manchester to allow local determination.

Theresa May’s already-worn oratory platitudes of “a government for all” and “righting burning injustice” has proved worthless and it is not the reality experienced by communities at Preston New Road.

Claire Stephenson from the group said:

“Justice and democracy have not been observed in Lancashire. We are truly dismayed at this decision. We will now take time to reflect on the ruling and liaise with our legal counsel to advise us further. We said no and we will continue to say no. This is not the end.”

ENDS

RAFF statement

RAFF has come under attack recently, a sustained and vicious attack directed at RAFF members personally. We have been attacked before, notably by a couple of local Councillors and various supporters of the fracking industry, but this assault is particularly nasty as it is coming from people who are supposed to be on the same side as us fighting the industry. It is blatantly obvious that these detractors have forgotten who the enemy is.

We are being accused of various things but one topic that has generated some really malicious outpourings is the liaison work that RAFF has done with Lancashire Police. We are being abused on the baseless, false assertion that we negotiated the 15 minute slow walk at Preston New Road that held for the first two or three weeks of activity at the site. We played no part in that. By the time we got to the site on the first occasion that 15 minute slow walk was already in place.

We have also been accused of not welcoming protectors from outside of the area. Again this is untrue and RAFF welcomes all protectors and their legal peaceful actions.

RAFF would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have sent messages of support. We hope this divisive behavior by a tinyl minority will end now, so that the anti-fracking community can be seen to be presenting a united front.

Something in the Water: Satirical adverts appear in bus stops around Leeds to protest fracking

For immediate release: 28/03/17
Contact: 07719761795
Photos available on Flickr.

Bus-stops in Leeds have been taken over by activists in a creative protest to raise awareness that thousands of gallons of fracking fluid could be headed for the city. The action is part of the national ‘Break the Chain’ fortnight of action by Reclaim the Power [1] which yesterday saw protesters suspended by swings above a quarry in Carnforth for 11 hours. [2]

Campaigners placed adverts, mimicking Yorkshire Water’s branding, in stops around the city overnight. The group have taken action on the concern that wastewater from potential fracking sites in Lancashire and Yorkshire could be heading to the city’s Knostrop treatment works, run by Yorkshire Water and FCC Environment.

Something in’t Water: Satirical adverts appear in bus stops around Leeds to protest fracking.

Correspondence between Lancashire County Council suggested that waste from Lancashire fracking sites could be heading to Leeds.[3] The Department of the Environment has also listed Knostrop as one of just 3 in England with permits that would allow for the treatment of liquid fracking waste.[4]

George Calvert, from Reclaim the Power commented:

“Yorkshire Water’s most recent advertising campaign has refered to clean water as a ‘liquid birthright’ but we know this could be threatened if the Knostrop treatment works accepts fracking fluid. That’s why we decided to do some extra advertising for them and let people around Leeds know what could be on the way. There’s currently no fracking in the UK, and Yorkshire Water and FCC Environment can cut ties with the industry now before it gets started to help protect the people of Leeds and the global climate”.

This action follows on from a community campaign run by the Frack Free Leeds group against the proposal for the past year. Whilst the adverts created are satirical, the group hopes that the message will be taken seriously.

Coralie Datta from Frack Free Leeds said:

“We’re really concerned about the volume of toxic waste that could be heading our way. We’re worried about traffic implications and worried about possible contamination. We’ve been campaigning on this issue for months but we’re still not sure enough people are aware of the threat. We’ll be keeping up the dialogue over the coming months and hope this action by Reclaim the Power will help make more people in Leeds aware and encourage Yorkshire Water, FCC Environment and Leeds City Council to do the right thing and refuse to accept this water in our system”.

Local campaigners have been in conversation with the City Council and Yorkshire Water for a number of weeks over concerns that the site in Leeds will not be able to safely treat the fluid. They hope that any contracts or agreements to accept fracking waste into Leeds will be terminated. Discussions are still underway.

At least five companies in the fracking supply chain have already pulled out after public pressure [5]. Protests by locals have also been taking place every day at one of the proposed fracking sites in Lancashire, slowing and often halting Cuadrilla’s work to prepare the site for drilling [6]. Surveys have shown that public opposition to fracking is far higher than support, with just 18% supporting [7].

The action today is part of Reclaim the Power’s Break the Chain fortnight of action targeting fracking supply chain companies. Break the Chain aims to disrupt and expose the networks propping up fracking in the UK – from firms supplying equipment, to PR companies – ahead of further action this summer supporting locals resisting drill sites in Lancashire and Yorkshire.

CONTACT: For photos and more information – press@reclaimthepower.org.uk,

NOTES:

  1. Reclaim the Power is a UK-based direct action network fighting for social, environmental and economic justice. They have been working to oppose fracking since organising mass action at Balcombe in 2013. Since then, they’ve hosted anti-fracking action camps in Blackpool and Didcot, and taken countless actions against the industry. Read more at: www.reclaimthepower.org.uk
  2. Protestors swing into action https://reclaimthepower.org.uk/press-releases/release-anti-frackers-swing-into-action-at-lancashire-quarry/
  3. http://cdn.frack-off.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/2015-03-04-FoE-Watson-Response_to-LCC.pdf?x22615
  4. https://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm140717/text/140717w0002.htm
  5. See the full list at www.reclaimthepower.org.uk/break-the-chain
  6. For examples, see Drill Or Drop (www.drillordrop.com/2017/03/01/drilling-diary-march-2017)
  7. Statistics from BEIS Public Attitude Tracker (www.gov.uk/government/statistics/energy-and-climate-change-public-attitudes-tracker-wave-20)
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