13 local residents, including three Local and County Councillors, have locked-on at the fracking site in Lancashire today, Monday 3rd July 2017.
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.
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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 .
The action today is part of Reclaim the Power’s Rolling Resistance month of action supporting local community efforts to resist fracking in Lancashire.
Notes for the Editor:
1. 66% of Lancashire residents oppose fracking near their homes
2. 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
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4. Image attached, please credit © Kristian Buus for Reclaim the Power
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