Over 150,000 stand with the people of Lancashire in opposing fracking
Campaigners from Lancashire will today be joined by Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth to deliver a 150,000-strong petition calling on the Government to respect Lancashire’s decision to reject fracking.
Local campaigning groups Frack Free Lancashire, Preston New Road Action Group and Roseacre Awareness Group will also be joined by Lancaster and Fleetwood MP Cat Smith, who says fracking has no “democratic mandate” in Lancashire, following the local council’s decision to prohibit the controversial practice.
In a joint statement, campaigners Hannah Martin of Greenpeace and Rose Dickinson of Friends of the Earth, said:
“We are here today on behalf of more than 150,000 people who have stepped up to defend Lancashire’s democratically-made decision to say ‘no’ to fracking. We are asking David Cameron and Greg Clark to stand by their commitment to local democracy, by respecting the decision of Lancashire County Council – a decision supported by local residents, businesses and councillors. Fracking poses risks to people and the environment, and politicians in Westminster shouldn’t force this risky technology on any community.”
The Government announced last year that it would fast-track fracking. Communities Secretary, Greg Clark has ignored requests to personally receive the petition and has announced that his department will make the final decision on whether energy company Cuadrilla will be allowed to frack for gas in Lancashire.
Mark Menzies, MP for Fylde, has said:
“I believe the previous decision by Lancashire County Council to turn down these applications was made by councillors in strict adherence to planning law and should be upheld.”
Cat Smith, MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood, said:
“Fracking is not the answer to the question of climate change and how we meet that challenge, nor does it have a democratic mandate in Lancashire. When I have been asking questions in Parliament in the past few weeks about the risk to jobs in tourism, no one has any answers to that either. I’m proud to stand up for my constituents, their jobs and our planet by joining Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth handing in this petition.”
Pat Davies, of Preston New Road Action Group, said:
“We are asking Mr Clarke and Mr Cameron to recognise our democratic right to have the decision to reject fracking at this site made by Lancashire County Council upheld. As residents, we have followed due planning process and our community has made it clear there is no social licence to proceed here.”
Barbara Martin, of Roseacre Awareness Group, concluded:
“Roseacre Awareness Group are humbled by the strength of public feeling and would like to thank the many thousands who took the time to sign this petition. This is not just about fracking and fossil fuel extraction; it is about local democracy and local communities being empowered.”
Notes to Editors
For more information, including quotes and interviews, please contact:
Luke Massey, Press & Communications Officer, Greenpeace UK – 07973 873 155 // firstname.lastname@example.org
Claire Norman, Senior Press Officer, Friends of the Earth – 020 7566 1422 or 07718 394 786
Time of petition hand-in:
1.00pm at 10 Downing Street
1.30pm at DCLG (map)
The petition will be submitted to both the Prime Minister at Downing Street, and Communities Minister Greg Clark at the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
Images from the petition hand-in will be accessible at the following link, once available: http://photo.greenpeace.org/shoot/27MDHUWM2V9
Mark Menzies blog: http://www.markmenzies.org.uk/news/my-week-in-westminster-189
About Greenpeace: Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Greenpeace does not accept donations from governments, businesses or political parties.
About Friends of the Earth: For more than 40 years we’ve seen that the wellbeing of people and planet go hand in hand – and it’s been the inspiration for our campaigns. Together with thousands of people like you we’ve secured safer food and water, defended wildlife and natural habitats, championed the move to clean energy and acted to keep our climate stable. Be a Friend of the Earth – see things differently. For further information visit www.foe.co.uk, follow us at @wwwfoecouk, or like our Facebook page.