Residents Action on Fylde Fracking


National Climate Crisis Rally


21 OCTOBER 2018


Yesterday saw upwards of 1,000 people marching together for the National Climate Crisis Rally at Preston New Road, following the week where Cuadrilla began fracking operations and five earth tremors were experienced on the Fylde Coast.

Speakers included Tim Farron MP, Deputy Leader of The Green Party, Amelia Womack and representatives from NGOs, the Trade Unions, along with local and national campaigners. All spoke of the urgent need to take action on climate change and to prevent fracking from gaining a foothold in the UK.

Lib Dem MP Tim Farron said:

“Leaving the EU is nothing to the existential threat to humanity of climate change The most important reason to oppose fracking at this site is that fossil fuels must stay in the ground.”

The Green Party’s deputy leader, Amelia Womack, stated:

“It’s rank hypocrisy that politicians who supported the suffragettes are currently criminalising peaceful protest.

“From the draconian use of injunctions to the wrongful imprisonment of three anti-fracking activists, a sustained attack on the right to protest is making it harder and harder for people to stand up for what is right.”

Estelle Dehon, a barrister who has represented several campaigners in legal challenges against fracking, said:

“I know there have been deep disappointments and there may be more with the law.

“But I firmly believe that the law realises that climate change is an existential threat. There will come a day when the law says no to fossil fuels.”

  Stephen Hall from Greater Manchester Association of Trade Union Councils said:

“It seems crazy to me when we are threatened with catastrophic climate change as the IPCC if say, we don’t act within 12 years, and the same week we’re going in the opposite direction here on the Fylde, in that we’re bringing in another fossil fuel. Something that we don’t need and shouldn’t want as I’ve often said even if it was safe with knobs on, which clearly it isn’t.

“There are much better alternatives at our disposal which would create considerably more jobs that the pitiful few that would likely be generated by fracking.”

The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union, who were the first Union to come out against fracking, also attended the Rally.

 Ian Hodson, National President, told the crowds:

“This is our community and when they come for our community, we stand together and fight. We’re a welcoming community and we welcome people from all around the UK and the world.

“But we don’t welcome Cuadrilla. Because what they want to do is put us all at risk. They’re putting thousands of our members’ jobs at risk. There’s over 1000 local people working in the food industry around here and are dependent on a decent water supply. We as people, depend on a decent water supply for food manufacturing and without it, we won’t exist.

“This isn’t an issue about defending jobs: this is an issue about defending the human race.”

A spokesperson for Frack Free Lancashire commented:

“With the IPCC having made clear the existential threat that climate change in general and fracking in particular pose to us all, it was fantastic to see so many people joining together in solidarity for this event. The pledges of support our community has received in recent weeks has been both overwhelming and empowering.

“Cuadrilla caused five tremors in their first week of fracking operations, so the writing is clearly on the wall. It is time for Cuadrilla to pack up and move on because there is no future for them or their industry, either here in Lancashire or anywhere else.”


  2. 3. In 2015, Lancashire County Council democratically refused planning permission for Cuadrilla’s application to carry out exploratory hydraulic fracturing at Preston New Road, on the Fylde Coast in Lancashire. Cuadrilla subsequently appealed to the Secretary of State, who in October 2016, controversially overturned the local council’s decision and gave Cuadrilla the go-ahead for planning permission. 
  3. Blackpool hit by four earthquakes just days after fracking started again in the area


Further information: Claire Stephenson


Minor earthquake activity detected in Lancashire as Cuadrilla begin fracking once again

19 OCTOBER 2018


Frack Free Lancashire are deeply concerned to note that shortly after fracking commenced again on the Fylde, there has been an almost immediate recurrence of seismic activity recorded by the British Geological Survey. [1]

The tremors are clustered near Penny Farm, west of the fracturing site, and near where Cuadrilla have indicated that their well terminates. There have only been two other quakes in the vicinity of the site since 51 tremors, including two significant quakes, which led to fracking being stopped in the UK for 7 years.

The three quakes yesterday were stronger than many of the tremors recorded at Preese Hall in 2011. It is too early to say with any certainty whether this activity is a result of fracking or whether we can expect further stronger quakes.

Today, David Smythe, Emeritus Professor of Geophysics, University of Glasgow stated:

“Recent research [2] by Stanford University shows that these tiny tremors can be indicators of bigger quakes to follow – like canaries in a coal-mine. The problem for Cuadrilla is that if it carries on regardless, bigger earthquakes may well be triggered. To quote Cole Porter; “There may be trouble ahead”. Cuadrilla’s only safe option is to cease fracking.”

A spokesperson from Frack Free Lancashire stated:

“We will continue to monitor these events closely. Considering the relevant past history with the Fylde Coast’s geology and having two significant seismic events which effectively shut down the fracking industry, all eyes are currently on Cuadrilla. These events may be dismissed as being minor and “can’t be felt” but what occurs under the earth is beyond anyone’s control.”



  1. British Geological Survey Earthquakes Around the British Isles in The Last 50 Days.
  2. Small quakes at fracking sites may indicate bigger tremors to come, say Stanford scientists
  3. Professor Smythe is available for interviews. Please contact Claire Stephenson for information.
  4. BGS table of earthquakes

Claire Stephenson




12 October 2018

For Immediate Release

A spokesman for Frack Free Lancashire today said:

“The court decision is hugely disappointing. Our local councillors have been demanding information about emergency procedures for months now and fracking is about to begin at the site.

“The case was all about the failure of Lancashire County Council to provide adequate Emergency Evacuation procedures, and have public consultation and communication into Civil Contingency plans in the event of an explosion or gas leak at the Preston New Road fracking site.

“Given that an emergency situation at the site could impact health, threaten natural resources, or require evacuation, and particularly with the close proximity of a number of schools, it is unthinkable that Lancashire County Council or our government should have considered allowing Cuadrilla to go ahead with fracking without the local community being fully aware of what would happen in the event of an accident on site.

“The recent pipeline explosion in British Columbia resulted in an evacuation zone extending over several kilometres – there were just 100 people in that area: in the equivalent zone near the PNR site there would be thousands if not tens of thousands

“Cuadrilla can now carry on regardless, ignoring the urgent warning issued this week by the IPCC about the need to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, but all of the fracking companies need to know that fracking will never get a foothold in the UK because they will meet resistance at every stage of their projects.”


  1. For further information, please contact Frack Free Lancashire media team:
  2. The Facebook event for a National Climate Crisis rally can be found here.
  3. In 2015, Lancashire County Council democratically refused planning permission for Cuadrilla’s application to carry out exploratory hydraulic fracturing at Preston New Road, on the Fylde Coast in Lancashire. Cuadrilla subsequently appealed to the Secretary of State, who in October 2016, controversially overturned the local council’s decision and gave Cuadrilla the go-ahead for planning permission.



 2 OCTOBER 2018


The Conservative Party Conference 2018 has seen the controversial issue of fracking being raised several times by party members during fringe events at the Birmingham ICC.

Today’s fringe event organised by Policy Exchange and EnergyUK, was on Powering the Clean Growth revolution: making the opportunity a reality. The debate focused on the government’s Clean Growth Strategy and decarbonisation plans.

Conservative MP for Wells, James Heappey MP, reiterated the election concerns of backbenchers, and stood to voice his concerns on fracking, stating:

“I wonder if we should look again at fracking.”

On Sunday, during a fringe debate at Conference, Conservative MP for North East Derbyshire, Lee Rowley, warned [1] that the government could lose the next general election and parliamentary seats unless it drops its backing for fracking. Mr Rowley, a former oil and gas analyst, likened the government’s unbridled support for shale gas as a “barnacle that needs to be removed from the Conservative boat as quickly as possible,” quoting Tory strategist, Sir Lynton Crosby’s previously-used phrase.

Mr Rowley told a fringe event:

“At the moment the lion has not roared on fracking because we have dealt with less than a dozen applications in this country for the last eight years. If we’re to do it at scale, if we’re to achieve whatever objective the government is setting, we will have to have hundreds in Derbyshire.

“We cannot go from the level of objections that we have had with one well to hundreds of them and not expect a political impact.”

“We (the Tories) have so many problems at the moment… we all want to get back on to domestic agenda items as quickly as we can because we saw last week the danger of Jeremy Corbyn if we don’t do that.”

This echoes the rumblings on the Conservative backbench of rebellion [2] against the government’s policies on fracking, with the Permitted Development and NSIP consultation plans to remove local democracy from fracking planning applications, drawing objections [3] from councils and MPs across the country.

Feelings are running high within the Lancashire community where fracking is about to take place in the coming weeks. Anger is directed at the government who in 2016, overruled [4] Lancashire County Council’s refusal of Cuadrilla’s fracking application back in 2015, drawing criticism over the top-down power-grab for local democracy.









For MP comment:

Lee Rowley MP’s office – 0207 219 4197

Lewis Preston (Mr Rowley’s aide) – 07772 715657

Frack Free United Steve Mason – 07793 821242


Lancashire Suffragettes Against Fracking






100+ women dressed as Suffragettes will travel to Parliament Square on Wednesday 12 September, raising public awareness against fracking and local democracy failures. [1] The women are predominantly from Lancashire, where fracking is imminent, having been forced upon communities whilst blatantly disregarding local government decisions. Joined by women from across the country, they bring a message to Westminster: let communities decide on fracking, without the top-down power doctrine of central government.

The 21st Century Lancashire suffragettes have invited all MPs to join them and make clear which side they are on when it comes to the issue of fracking. The women are asking MPs not to support the proposed planning rule changes over permitted development in fracking applications – this policy is currently out for consultation. The women will also present their message on a giant postcard to at the Department for Business, Energy and Industry (BEIS). [2]

2018 is the 100th year anniversary of women’s victory in gaining a parliamentary vote after the Suffragettes’ campaign to achieve voting equality for women. The Parliament Square event will highlight how there are still many democracy issues on dirty energy companies taking priority over communities.

With cross-party support and from NGOs Friends of the Earth, and Greenpeace, several other MPs, politicians and campaigners will give speeches, including Baroness Jenny Jones, Green Party leader, Caroline Lucas MP and former leader, Natalie Bennett. They stand in solidarity with residents who are being undemocratically forced to host fracking sites in their communities.

Award-winning actress, Emma Thompson, sent a message of support ahead of the Parliament Square event:

“Everyone should know the story of Lancashire, where local democracy was flushed away by the government along with the decision of the local people to RESIST fracking in the area. Fracking is a ludicrous way of creating energy and flies in the face of everything this government pledged to support in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
“Support the Lancashire Women and force this government to listen.”

Dot Kelk, an environmental campaigner who will travel from Lancashire stated:

“We have brought our message from Lancashire to London: local democracy must be respected. On a local level, communities must be able to make planning decisions that are not interfered with on a national level. Otherwise, what is the point in having local governance?
“We say: let communities decide. Dirty energy infrastructure projects that have health, environment and climate impacts for years to come, should not be forced upon communities that have already clearly said no.
“The Suffragettes fought hard to give women a voice, but even today, we find we still can’t be heard by politicians.”

Green Party co-leader, Caroline Lucas MP, said:

“In July the Government quietly approved fracking in Lancashire – abandoning its commitment to tackle climate change by prolonging our dependence on fossil fuels, and defying democratic decisions made at the local level to block this dangerous drilling.

“Just 18% of people in the UK support fracking, while 85% back clean renewable energy. With MPs and women from across the country debating fracking next week in Parliament, ministers must listen to the public’s serious concerns and end their dash for gas.”
In a timely addition, there is also a parliamentary debate [3] on the same day, proposed by Conservative MP, Lee Rowley, debating planning permission and shale gas exploration. This will take place in Westminster Hall at 11.00hrs.



Notes to Editors

– For all enquiries on the day, please contact Tina Rothery on 07496 842334 or Gina Dowding 07838 793674

– Speeches will begin around 12.30- 13.00hrs, on Parliament Square, following Prime Minister’s Questions.


– Event photocalls are at 1.15 -1.30 and 14.00hrs – 14.30hrs.

  1. Fracking is back in England – and only the Tories want it | John Ashton
  1. Postcard presentation at BEIS – time TBC.
  1. Parliamentary Debate on Shale Gas


Claire Stephenson


Media Consultant & Journalist  | The Write Type


mobile: 07929 969664





Frack Free Lancashire




For immediate release

14 AUGUST 2018


Three local councillors have written an open letter to Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; Michael Gove, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Mark Menzies, MP for Fylde, highlighting crucial defects in the regulatory bodies and highlight the bias demonstrated in favour of the fracking industry over communities.

The three local councillors, who have all been part of the group since its formation in 2017, complain that recent events have revealed serious deficiencies in the power of regulators, and in the completeness of information provided to the group.

Their concerns were prompted by the revelation that information about Cuadrilla’s sixth recorded set of breaches was apparently withheld from the group’s last meeting, and was only discovered as a result of an investigation by members of the public.

The councillors stated:

“If a regulator is not sharing information with the Community Liaison Group (CLG) there is no transparency in the system. The CLG is therefore undermined as it is clearly unable to provide the open forum for debate that is necessary around a controversial and untested industry.

“The timing of this is deeply troubling given that Cuadrilla is currently preparing the site to commence fracking within the month.
The government intends to take planning decisions for fracking away from local authorities and enable decisions to be fast-tracked. In our opinion, the robust regulation that we have been promised is non-existent.
The regulatory authorities have been rendered ineffective by consistent cut-backs and directives and therefore, public safety is being compromised.”




Cuadrilla breach environmental permits at Preston New Road – again

The Environment Agency has warned Cuadrilla for a number of breaches:

  • Exceeding waste limits ‘significantly’
  • Storing waste at ‘unpermitted’ site
  • Using ‘unlicensed’ waste contractor










Talk Fracking Issues Pre-Action Legal Letter to Secretary Of State For Local Government For ‘Clear Failure To Conduct A Strategic Environmental Assessment’

* Failure to Adhere To Existing Climate Change Act 2008 Obligations To Reduce Greenhouse Emissions

* Failure to Consult On a Fair Basis

* Failure to Review Three Years of Advanced Scientific Developments

Talk Fracking, the campaigning group led by Dame Vivienne Westwood and her son Joe Corré, has issued a pre-action legal letter (8th August 2018) to James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (SofS).

The group, backed by Yoko Ono, Sir Paul McCartney and Lily Cole are challenging the legality of the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) published on the 24th July 2018, the last parliamentary day before Summer recess, after a consultation began on the 5th March 2018 – because of the Clear Failure By The Secretary Of State For Local Government To Conduct A Strategic Environmental Assessment before issuing the revised NPPF.

Talk Fracking is advised by Leigh Day with Barristers including Jennifer Robinson of Doughty Street Chambers, David Wolfe QC, Matrix Chambers and Peter Lockley, 11KBW.

Energy Minister the Rt Hon Greg Clark MP immediately issued the first permit to Cuadrilla to start fracking at a well in Lancashire immediately following the publication of the revised NPPF. Fracking is expected to start in late August or early September 2018 at the Preston New Road site, between Blackpool and Preston.

According to Talk Fracking, rather than consult on a fair basis and conduct a Strategic Environmental Assessment, Mr Brokenshire blindly incorporated the outdated and flawed Written Ministerial Statement (WMS) of the then Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Amber Rudd from 16th September 2015.

According to Ms Rudd’s WMS, adopted by Mr Brokenshire, the Minerals planning authorities should: “Recognise the benefits of on-shore oil and gas development, including unconventional hydrocarbons, for the security of energy supplies and supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy; and put in place policies to facilitate their exploration and extraction”.

“Mr Brokenshire had a duty to British voters to review all of the available scientific data available,” says Mr Corré. “There are now over 1,300 scientific, peer-reviewed papers evidencing harm from fracking. All were ignored.”

Amber Rudd’s statement has been proven “completely wrong on the energy security issue,” according to Corré.

“Fracking companies are in no way guaranteeing energy security from their activities – in fact the UK’s biggest fracker, INEOS, uses fracked gas imported from America to produce more and more disposable plastic. That’s the same plan for fracked gas from the UK.”

“Amber Rudd’s statement has also been proven totally wrong in terms of its claims about fracking’s role in a low-carbon economy, a requirement in terms of our obligations to the Climate Change Act 2008.

“Fracking is, in fact, worse than coal in terms of emissions.

A response to Talk Fracking’s letter is expected back from Mr Brokenshire by the 21st August 2018. If this is unacceptable, it is anticipated that a legal action will be lodged in the Court before the 4th September 2018, which falls within the 6-week deadline for challenges to the NPPF.


Legal Letter from Leigh Day.


A critical report on fracking’s impact on the UK air pollution levels has been deliberately hidden by the Conservative government for more than three years, it was revealed yesterday.

The document was quietly published last week on the 27th July, just days after the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) gave final permission for Cuadrilla to carry out fracking at Preston New Road, in Lancashire.

The report showed that 400 fracking wells would increase pollution levels, nationally, with an increase in nitrogen dioxides of around1-4% and volatile organic compounds(VOCs) increasing around1-3%.

The report also warned that: “Impacts on local and regional air quality have the potential to be substantially higher than the national level impacts, as extraction activities are likely to be highly clustered.”

Chair of the government’s Air Quality Expert Group(AQEG) and University of Leicester, Professor Paul Monks stated:
“The thing that surprised me was you think the main sources of air pollution are going to be coming from the actual process of fracking, but it is as much all the industry – diesel generators, lorries running up and down roads, and all the stuff used to support it.”

Three years on, Professor Monks states:

“That hasn’t changed. If you have any industrial process at a local level, you are going to get an impact on air quality. If you increase the amount of wells you are bound to broadly increase [pollution].”
Campaigners are rightly shocked and appalled that a critical piece of evidence was withheld and not for the first time. The scandal of the redacted DEFRA report by the government in 2015, during Lancashire’s Planning Inquiry, was another indication of ‘dirty tricks’, especially with the impacts on rural communities redacted so heavily, the report barely made sense. A challenge by Greenpeace led to the Information Commissioner ordering the government to publish the full, unredacted report.

Preston New Road Action Group, who have mounted several legal challenges against Cuadrilla and the Secretary of State over planning consent on the Fylde Coast, stated:

“Residents living close to the site at Preston New Road site are already extremely concerned about their health and wellbeing after the government’s decision last week to give consent to frack. To now find out that there has been a report in existence for three years, detailing the impacts of this decision on our air quality which was only published after the fracking decision was made is an indication that the government are absolutely determined that shale gas exploitation should go ahead, irrespective of the harm it may cause to people and the environment. It feels as though we just don’t matter.”

Claire Stephenson for Frack Free Lancashire said:

“It is simply disgraceful that yet again, democracy and justice has been withheld from our community. How can it be that scientific evidence has been deliberately buried from the public and especially during planning inquiries? This is contemptuous behavior, and sadly, one we are used to seeing from the present government, who put their industry pals before local communities.

“With asthma deaths in England and Wales rising 25% due to air pollution and a government who have already been taken to court three times – and lost – over their failure to act on illegal levels of air pollution, it’s time we held them to account.”

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

“You’d be forgiven in thinking there was a government conspiracy around fracking. Last week, we had the drilling by dictatorship announcement, removing local democracy from drilling applications, then fracking by decree with the ministers deciding the fate of communities, the removal of solar subsidies, and now this. We are supposed to be cleaning up our air: the next generation depends on us.

“This is yet another example of the clear and present danger fracking brings to us all.”


Notes to Editors

1. Frack Free Lancashire (FFL) is part of an expanding national movement that opposes the development and extraction of shale gas worldwide.

Our mission is to protect our environment for our children and for future generations. Taking action now will safeguard the health and well-being of our communities from the effects of air pollution, water contamination, seismic movement and toxic & radioactive waste.

The anti-fracking movement is growing in strength. Hundreds of localised groups have developed across the UK over the last five years and communities have come together in solidarity to form their own anti-fracking groups

Petition United Utilities to stop supplying Cuadrilla with our drinking water during drought

We kicked off our latest petition – asking United Utilities to stop supplying our drinking water to Cuadrilla during the drought – on Saturday 28 July in St Annes Square. Thanks to all who came down to offer help. Ironically the wet and windy weather meant that there were few people out and about! We shall be running this petition for the next few months and will keep you updated as to where and when we will be via our website and Facebook pages.

A copy of the petition is available to download here. Please get your family, friends, work colleagues, etc to sign it. Completed petitions can be dropped off at Maple Farm or we can collect – please email

Thank you.






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