Rally at Preston New Road – 8th October 2016

HAF and local groups were well represented at the rally at Preston New Road on Saturday 8th October.  A fabulous, swift, first response to the Secretary of State’s “decisions” on Cuadrilla’s fracking plans at PNR and Roseacre.  Democracy died on 6th October and we will not stand for it!



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An Affront to Local Democracy


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).

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The “Fracking is Safe” Roadshow!

Venue: Christ Church, Long Lane, Aughton, Wednesday 12th October 2pm – 7.30pm.  Meet the “Regulators” of the fracking industry!


“As regulators and agencies involved in assessing the impacts of the oil and gas industry our role is to ensure that any exploration and development, including fracking operations, is done in a way that protects people and the environment.

Local communities rightly look to us all to provide reassurance that health and environmental risks are being controlled and managed properly, and to hold oil and gas operators to account.

This session will be a great opportunity for us to meet with local people, explain our respective roles and discuss some of the key issues before sites are identified for development.

Regulating shale gas The Environment Agency is the principal environmental regulator in England. The Environment Agency issues environmental permits for onshore oil and gas exploration.

Licences for onshore gas exploration are granted by the Oil & Gas Authority.

Safety on the drilling site, including well integrity, is regulated by the Health and Safety Executive.

Public Health England is responsible for reviewing the possible effects of site activities on public health.”

Come along and ask questions!

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Lancashire Responds to Secretary of State’s abuse of democracy!

Members of our local anti-fracking groups, Halsall Against Fracking, Ribble Estuary Against Fracking, Haskayne/Downholland Against Fracking and Frack Free Formby took part in the support rally at Preston New Road on Saturday 8th October:

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More photos:


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Updated MEDACT Report


Since the release of the original MEDACT report in 2015, over 350 academic papers of various sorts have been published, examining the impacts of high volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) for shale gas on air and water quality, health, climate change, social wellbeing, economics, noise and light pollution, and seismic events.  This new report updates the findings of a review of the more recent evidence.

David McCoy, the report’s lead author states that ‘the biggest threat posed by shale gas is via global warming, but there are also direct risks to the health and wellbeing of local populations. What is striking is the lack of an integrated social, economic, environmental and health impact assessment of fracking”.

Medact’s view that the UK should abandon its policy to encourage shale gas production remains unchanged.  

In arriving at this view, Medact carefully considered the arguments put forward by the industry-funded Task Force on Shale Gas, which concluded that shale gas production in the UK would be safe, economically beneficial and important for the UK’s energy security. Medact’s latest report disagrees with their conclusions and explains why:

Hazardous pollutants are produced at all stages of the shale gas production process.  The range of pollutants are outlined in the report.  Based on current evidence it is not possible to conclude that there is a strong association between shale gas related pollution and negative local health effects.  However, there is clearly potential for negative health impacts.   In particular, there are risks of:

(i) adverse reproductive outcomes due to exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals,

(ii) risk of respiratory effects resulting from ozone and smog formation,

(iii) stress, anxiety and other psycho-social effects arising from actual and perceived social and economic disruption.

Further information can be found here.

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Businesses Against Fracking_001

Calling all businesses that stand against fracking in PEDL 164, 165 and 261.  Please email


to sign up to the “Businesses Against Fracking” list prior to any planning applications being submitted by Aurora to Sefton MBC or Lancashire CC.


The Human Dimensions of Shale Gas Development

Frack-Ture Community

The prospect of fracking for shale gas in Lancashire has already had a profound effect on local people, according to new research.

A study by Anna Szolucha, of the University of Bergan in Norway, found that even before exploration had begun residents living near proposed sites had experienced stress and anxiety.

Much of this was caused by what she described as “a profound sense of moral outrage” at the activities of the gas company, local authorities and the government.

This had led to depression, annoyance and feelings of disenfranchisement, she said.

Residents also reported:

  • Atmosphere of intimidation and fear
  • Feelings of powerlessness
  • Conflicts between former friends
  • Disillusionment with politics and politicians
  • Lack of confidence in the shale gas company, Cuadrilla
  • Distrust of council officers and regulators
  • Changed perceptions of the police

The 123-page report, The Human Dimension of Shale Gas Developments in Lancashire, concluded that Cuadrilla and decision-makers in Lancashire had failed to take account of social and psychological factors when considering plans for fracking at two sites in the county.

Ruth Hayhurst  – 31 Aug 2016

See Drill or Drop for further analysis of Dr Szolucha’s report

Human Dimensions of Shale Gas Developments in Lancashire, UK is available here

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Join us again for our third “All we stand to lose” journey around the seismic survey area!  Sunday, 21st August at 11 am from St. Aidan’s Hall, Shirdley Hill.  We will be going for a nostalgic journey around the survey area taking in all the lovely countryside that will turn into an industrial wasteland if fracking ever took hold!  We will also be raising awareness in Southport during the Flower Show when lots of visitors are in town.

It will be a fun, family event whilst getting our message out in the survey area!


Email for places: haf@fastmail.com





From Frack Free Formby’s Facebook page:

FFF is holding a public meeting at the Hop & Horn on Tuesday 16 August, starting at 7.30 pm.

We will be joined by representatives from:

• Halsall Against Fracking
• Ribble Estuary Against Fracking (REAF)

They will be there to give you all the information you need and answer all your questions as to why we all should be concerned about the consequences of fracking.

Please pass details to any friends and family in Formby!


“Rolled up” hearing – first step towards a full hearing Judicial Review of NYCC’s decision to allow Third Energy to frack KM8


Following the decision by North Yorkshire County Council on 23rd May 2016 to grant permission to allow Third Energy to frack at Kirby Misperton near the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, Friends of the Earth and local residents’ group, Frack Free Ryedale applied to the High Court for a judicial review of the NYCC decision.  FOE said:

The key reasons for pursuing legal action are:
•    The council’s failure to properly assess climate change. This is because the council did not consider the environmental impact of burning gas extracted to create electricity at a nearby power station in Knapton;
•    The council also failed to secure long term financial protection against environmental damage.

These are the main areas that have led us and Frack Free Ryedale to believe that the decision taken on 23 May was unlawful.

Despite the clear rejection of fracking by residents in North Yorkshire and by 99.2% of people who responded to the council’s consultation on the plans, the council voted on 23 May to allow Barclays-owned Third Energy to frack in Kirby Misperton, Ryedale.

The case proceeded to the “permission stage” and a Judge has now ordered a “rolled up” hearing to decide whether or not a full hearing should be carried out.  If permission is granted, the claim goes to a full hearing on its merits.  The “rolled up” hearing will be heard before the end of October!

There is a lot happening in the autumn that will affect our lives forever!

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