Residents Action on Fylde Fracking

Is the rig here or is it more Cuadrilla spin?

In the small hours of this morning, amid a huge police and security presence, a convoy of 18 lorries rolled into Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site. According to the police, Lancashire County Council allegedly facilitated this convoy by permitting Cuadrilla to breach their traffic management plan in allowing the convoy to travel through Preston (rather than the M55) and to deliver outside of agreed times. However, we are hearing reports that Andrew Mullaney, Head of Planning at LCC has said that they did not give their agreement for this action.

Cuadrilla claims that these deliveries contain the components necessary for constructing the rig and have issued a press statement confirming the claim. Some observers have questioned the validity of Cuadrilla’s claims and believe the components are for the construction of a work over rig. Others claim that the rig is still over at PR Mariott’s in Chesterfield.

An interesting point about Cuadrilla’s statement is that they don’t say that they will be fracking by the end of the year. The company’s website still claims that they will be drilling by the second quarter of 2017 – mmm. Due to opposition by the anti-fracking community they are hugely behind time and their shareholders are getting very nervous. Is this news a piece of spin to keep their backers happy or has the rig really arrived? We will try and confirm one way or the other as facts unfold during the day.

One indisputable fact is that the police are facilitating Cuadrilla’ s progress at every step of the way. Why did they say that LCC had agreed to this breach when it appears to be untrue? Cuadrilla has a long history of breaching planning regulations. It is to be hoped that LCC impose penalties. The lack of transparency by the pice is more worrying.

Frack Free Lancashire’s response to Cuadrilla’s claim that rig is now on site

PRESS STATEMENT

Frack Free Lancashire

“We understand that early this morning, Lancashire Police and Conservative-controlled Lancashire County Council facilitated Cuadrilla bringing in a mass convoy of equipment onto the site at Preston New Road, under the cover of darkness.

“We note that Mr Egan has claimed this week that his project is “progressing to plan”. However, even if Cuadrilla have managed to get their drilling rig onto the site it is hard to see how they will be able to start drilling in the second quarter of 2017 (as their web site still claims 1), unless they have managed to get a time machine onto the site at the same time.

“It is abundantly clear that community protest has had a major impact on Cuadrilla’s attempts at making progress at this site and it will continue to do so. As Cuadrilla’s work on this site intensifies and its predicted impacts start to be felt, our protest will continue, as is our legal right.”

ENDS

 

Notes to the Editor

  1. Cuadrilla’s website states: “Work commenced to build the site in January 2017 and the drilling phase of operations is expected to commence in Q2 2017.”

Netpol compile video of police behaviour at Preston New Road

Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 18.06.00

Netpol have out together a video of footage taken at Preston New Road showing police behaviour towards the protectors. Although there have been over 250 arrests to date, none of these have been for violence.

The video can be viewed here

Three generations of Lancashire family disrupt Cuadrilla’s proposed fracking site

 

 

PRESS RELEASE
Three generations of Lancashire family disrupt Cuadrilla’s proposed fracking site

LANCASHIRE, UK — This morning, three generations of a Lancashire family have taken action against the fracking industry, blockading the gates to Cuadrilla’s proposed site on Preston New Road. The intergenerational action saw four members of the same family ‘lock-on’ in protest of plans to frack on the Fylde Coast [1].

The family members locked into boxes reading ‘families against fracking’ outside the gates of the Preston New Road exploratory fracking site.

Gillian Kelly (73) – mother of Sebastian and grandmother of Megan, locked on at the site – commented:

‘I’ve never done anything like this before, but I can’t sit idly and watch the place I was born and raised be poisoned and polluted by fracking. I feel now I’ve got to make a stand. This will affect my whole family and their futures; my sons, my grandchildren – and that’s why we’re taking action together as a family today.’

The lock on followed a silent demonstration by over 100 women from the anti-fracking community, entitled ‘Call for Calm’, seeking an end to increasingly violent police and security tactics witnessed at the site [2].

Today’s action comes as part of the ‘Rolling Resistance’ month of action, organised by local anti-fracking groups and national network Reclaim the Power. It aims to disrupt work at Cuadrilla’s site every day in July [3].

The blockade marks the eighth working day disrupted at the site since the beginning of the month – actions so far have included multiple lock-on blockades, a mass public demo last Friday, and people climbing onto delivery lorries [4].

ENDS

CONTACT: For all press enquiries, interviews and information, please contact 07404 016676, press@nodashforgas.org.uk

NOTES:

Full names and ages: Gillian Kelly (73), Sebastian Kelly (48), Megan Kelly (19), Paul Martyn (61)
Police tactics at fracking protests need urgent review, says MEP
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 2013 when they organised mass action at Balcombe. Since then, they’ve hosted anti-fracking action camps in Blackpool and at Didcot Power station, and taken countless actions to expose and resist the industry as well as the businesses in its supply chain. Read more at reclaimthepower.org.uk
Photos available via Reclaim the Power Flickr
For a round-up of last week’s actions, see: reclaimthepower.org.uk/news/rolling-resistance-weekly-round-up-what-a-start/

 

Thirteen locals, including three councillors, take lock on action at PNR

For immediate release

03rd July

13 Lancashire residents, including three councillors, have this morning taken direct lock-on action against an industry that threatens the health and lives of Lancashire residents.

At 03.00hrs, a group of residents arrived at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site on the Fylde Coast in Lancashire, where the drilling rig is expected any day now, and blockaded the entrance, locking themselves to heavy objects and preventing any vehicles from entering the site.

Lancashire County Councillor Gina Dowding, who is one of the councillors taking part in this direct action, stated:

“It’s abundantly clear that when it comes to fracking, local councils have been rendered weak and helpless. I feel I need to be here with the community to say that we won’t roll over and accept this. We are putting our bodies on the line because our voices haven’t been heard.”

Fylde Borough Councillor for Warton and Westby, Julie Brickles, stated:

“I’m sometimes called the anti-fracking councillor. I strongly disagree with this: I’m the pro-community councillor and Westby is my community. Residents are rightly scared and we have now run out of options.”

Kirkham Town Councillor, Miranda Cox said:

“When your community and family is threatened, you are often left with little choice but to take direct action. As a councillor and member of this community, I have been left with no more alternatives. I feel our way of life locally is under attack by an industry that, backed by a distant central government, is seeking to turn Fylde and Lancashire into the largest gas field in Europe. I cannot stand by and allow this mass industrialisation to happen.”

Nick Danby, a resident of Inskip and retired civil servant, stated:

“I believe that the imposition of fracking on our communities is unfair and unjust and it makes a mockery of local democracy. I have never been inside a courtroom before but, having exhausted all other legitimate means of resistance, I now feel that I have no choice but to continue my protest in the only way left available to me.”

Growing protests by local community members have been taking place every day at Preston New Road in Lancashire since the start of 2017, slowing and often halting Cuadrilla’s work to prepare the site for drilling. Sustained opposition has caused months of delays, and millions of pounds of losses for Cuadrilla, and supply chain companies are cancelling their contracts. A new survey has shown that 66% of Lancashire residents oppose fracking near their homes [2].

The action today is part of Reclaim the Power’s Rolling Resistance month of action supporting local community efforts to resist fracking in Lancashire.

ENDS

 

Notes for the Editor:

66% of Lancashire residents oppose fracking near their homes

  1. Reclaim the Power is a UK-based direct action network fighting for social, environmental and economic justice. We have been working to oppose fracking since 2013 when we    organised mass action at Balcombe. Since then, we’ve hosted anti-fracking action camps in Blackpool and at Didcot Power station, and taken countless actions to expose and resist the industry as well as the businesses in its supply chain. This April, Reclaim the Power implemented a fortnight of action against the fracking supply chain – leading to a number of companies cancelling their contracts. Read more at www.reclaimthepower.org.uk
  2. Reclaim the Power Flickr photo stream
  3.         Image attached, please credit © Kristian Buus for Reclaim the Power
  4. For all press enquiries, interviews and information, please contact call (07376) 530298 or email press@nodashforgas.org.uk

Lancashire Fracking Challenge Court Dates

PRESS RELEASE from Preston New Road Action Group

23rd June 2017

The Court of Appeal has granted Preston New Road Action Group (PNRAG) permission to appeal the planning court’s earlier judgment to allow fracking in rural Lancashire. In April, the planning court dismissed PNRAG’s challenge against the Secretary of State’s decision to overturn Lancashire County Council’s rejection of an application by Cuadrilla to drill for and extract shale gas through hydraulic fracturing (commonly known as fracking).

The group’s legal team announced today, that their appeal will be heard in London on the 30th and 31st of August.

A spokesperson for Preston New Road Action Group said:

“We hope and pray that justice will be delivered and that Sajid Javid’s decision will be found unlawful and quashed.

“Our community, Westby Parish Council, Fylde Borough Council and Lancashire County Council all refused this dangerous application, and for many good reasons.

“Local democracy was dismantled and overturned by central government, who seemingly wish to micro-manage decisions that are not theirs to make. We believe that this was unlawful and that Cuadrilla’s site development should be stopped.

“This case is no longer simply about fracking: it is about true justice and genuine democracy being delivered at local level.

“For this reason, we will continue with our strategy to challenge this decision on every level. We are hugely grateful to everyone who has supported us, in so many ways, to reach this point.”
ENDS

 

Two out of three Lancashire residents oppose Conservative manifesto proposal to allow non-fracking drilling without planning permission

• Large parts of Lancashire are licensed for onshore oil and gas extraction

• Cuadrilla have already been delayed with plans for fracking due to significant local opposition

A YouGov survey [1] of Lancashire residents for Friends of the Earth released today reveals that 66% of respondents are opposed to the Conservative manifesto proposal to allow non-fracking drilling without planning permission, with almost half (46%) strongly opposed.

The Conservative manifesto contained controversial proposals on fracking. It laid out an ambition to let fracking firms with exploration licences carry out drilling for shale gas without any need for planning permission. This would mean that companies could drill and sample a well, often the first step towards full-scale fracking, without planning permission.

Friends of the Earth is calling on the government to:

•     drop controversial deregulatory fracking and non-fracking drilling proposals – proposals that will face strong parliamentary resistance;
•     implement an immediate ban on all fracking; and
•     invest in renewable energy to put us on par with countries like Germany

Lancashire resident, and Friends of the Earth North West campaigner Helen Rimmer, said:

“This polling shows what Lancashire residents already knew, that this industry is unwanted not just here but anywhere in the country where fracking is proposed.

“We suspect that these damaging ideas may be quietly dropped in the face of significant opposition to fracking.

“These are desperate and undemocratic policies, in response to the fact the proponents of fracking have lost the public argument. The government should follow the lead of the growing number of places around the world, including Wales and Scotland, which have halted or banned fracking due to the risks posed to people and the environment.”

-ends-

Notes to editors:

1. Polling results here.
2. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,148 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 26th May – 6th June 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of adults in Lancashire (aged 18+).

If you’re a journalist looking for press information please contact the Friends of the Earth media team on 020 7566 1649.

 

Published by Friends of the Earth Trust

July is Rolling Resistance month – time to get involved!

A message from Reclaim The Power:

I’m sure many of you will have been involved in the long-standing battle against fracking in Lancashire, and the incredible resistance that’s held this frontline against fracking for over 5 years. Thank you for everything you’ve done.

We know fracking company Cuadrilla are making huge losses year-on-year as their ‘flagship’ project meets powerful opposition, and Theresa May’s pro-fracking manifesto stands on shaky ground after losing a parliamentary majority. With major delays to work, but the drilling rig supposedly arriving any day now, all eyes are on Blackpool and whether the fracking industry can get away with it. Let’s show them they can’t.

This July, Reclaim the Power are joining forces with Lancashire anti-fracking groups to organise the ‘Rolling Resistance’ – a month of concerted action to take on the fracking industry at Preston New Road, Lancashire, to stop the UK’s first commercial fracking site and send a clear message to the fracking industry and it’s backers that fracking will not be tolerated – not here, not anywhere.

Come along to the ‘Rolling Resistance’ launch event on Saturday 1st July to find out more and get involved.

The ‘Rolling Resistance’ month of action runs for the whole of July. There will be daily actions, as well as workshops, trainings and speaker events at the new ‘Community Hub’ space. Every Friday there will be ‘mass, family-friendly demos’ at the Preston New Road site to boost numbers (when there are over 100 people present they have to shut down the site).

Whatever your skills, background or experience with fracking campaigning so far, everyone is welcome to take part – from chopping veg to sending tweets to joining actions – this resistance movement needs you. Do come along whenever you can!

Join us at the launch event on Saturday 1st July, 12.00- 16.00 at the Maple Farm Polytunnels on Preston New Road to find out more.

The launch event will be family-friendly affair, with BBQ, games, music and speakers from the local area. It’ll be the launch of the Rolling Resistance, the new Community Hub and an anti-fracking exhibition, as well as a chance to celebrate the power of the local community.

Please invite your friends, family and neighbours, and share widely – and come and show your support and get involved.

While most other countries in Europe have banned fracking, the government in Westminster is pushing ahead against the wishes of local people. This is a critical moment to stand in solidarity to stop fracking in the UK – not in Lancashire, not anywhere.

Breaking News: Preston New Road Action Group granted permission to appeal

From the Preston New Road Action Group website:

We are delighted that the court has agreed that there is validity in our arguments and they have therefore upheld a right of appeal against the decision to allow fracking at the Preston New Road site.

We have put forward credible evidence through our legal team indicating why we believe that decision is unlawful and should be overturned.

It is important to remember that local democracy has been dismantled and denied in Lancashire to allow Cuadrilla and this fossil fuel industry to press ahead.

Lancashire said NO loudly and clearly yet locals are being forced to accept the unacceptable from this external corporate industry.

It is for that reason, we will continue through this appeal and due process to resist, and seek true justice in line with the planning decisions made through Lancashire County Council to reject Cuadrilla’s planning application to frack at Preston New Road.

We hope that this appeal will finally recognise the will and voice of local democracy, and ensure that this application is revoked and the work at Preston New Road terminated.

We await further information on times and dates for our case to be heard at the Court of Appeal and are grateful for the support we receive continually.

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