Last week Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government decided to ignore massive local opposition and overrule Lancashire County Council to allow the drilling company Cuadrilla to frack for shale gas at Preston New Road on the Fylde. Local residents, environmental groups and thousands of supporters throughout the UK including Cat Smith, MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood, regard this as an affront to local democracy.
Pat Davies, Chair of Preston New Road Action Group, said: “This is a sad day as it is clear to all that this government neither listens nor can it be trusted to do the right thing for local communities… Profit clearly comes before people… and this travesty of justice will not be accepted. This is not the end. We will challenge this.”
Barbara Richardson of Roseacre Awareness Group said: “If fracking goes ahead in Roseacre, it would devastate our community. We are allowed to make decisions over wind turbines or solar farms, which have far less impact, but not fracking… It is a backward step in energy policy. Ours is a small and densely populated country, unlike the wide open spaces of the US, which cannot support such an industry without devastating results. Be assured this is about money not people.”
Friends of the Earth north-west campaigner, Helen Rimmer, concluded: “This is bad news for Lancashire – the community have been fighting fracking for more than five years. This fight continues until this unproven and unpopular industry disappears for good.
Javid’s decision shows the government remains unwavering in its support for unproven, climate-polluting and unpopular fracking, whilst cracking down on proven, clean and popular renewables.
Full report by Friends of the Earth select here
Halsall Against Fracking remain in full support of our colleagues on the Fylde (see posts below).