All posts by Jules Burton

Has Anybody Seen Our Goalposts?

It appears that the government is concerned. When Theresa May promised that she would listen to our concerns and allow local issues to be decided by local people, she didn’t mean that we could disagree with her. Theresa meant that we should all cheer from the rooftops saying what a wise, insightful and caring Prime Minister resided in Downing Street. It seems we’re not doing what we’re told and that we are allowing ourselves to be persuaded not by our honest, wise and altruistic politicians but by peripheral nonsense such as scientific fact and evidence.

Our politicians have therefore decided that for our own good they should probably take all decisions regarding fracking out of our hands and leave it to those with a vested interest in the industry who can be trusted not to care about our health, homes, children, environment and way of life. After all, if it’s left up to us, good chaps like those former Carillion directors might not get another high-paying job – they could even find that their bonuses are withheld.

If this sounds far-fetched, click on the button below. I suspect that the Maybot and Savage Javid would find Genghis Khan a trifle left wing for their tastes.

Planning Guidance For Fracking

If You Don’t Like The Answer, Change The Question.

In March 2012 the Department of Energy and Climate Change
launched a tracking survey to understand and monitor public
attitudes to the Department’s main business priorities. On 14 July
2016, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)
merged with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
(BIS), to form the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial
Strategy (BEIS). As such, the survey is now BEIS’s Energy and
Climate Change Public Attitudes Tracker (PAT). This is more commonly known as the ‘Wave’ survey with soundings on attitudes to fracking being taken every 3 months – we are now up to Wave 24. Unfortunately for the government, the unrelenting trend of these surveys shows that the public is increasingly in favour of renewable energy with fracking rapidly becoming  the least popular option. The government’s answer to this quandry? To change the questions in the hope that fracking will appear more popular!! As our politicians keep telling us:  “There Are Lessons To Be Learnt.” On this occasion it would seem that they are relying on Benjamin Disraeli’s observation that “There Are Three Kinds Of Lies. There Are Lies, Damned Lies, And Statistics!!”

Full Article


The Iron Fist In The Iron Glove?

Last week was a cause for some celebration as Cheshire and Rotherham Councils refused fracking applications whilst Greg Clark seemingly put up further barriers to Third Energy’s plans to begin fracking operations at Kirby Misperton. At the same time our own Lancashire County Council, supported by its planning officer, Fylde Borough Council, all the affected Parish Councils and both MP’s, announced that it is to recommend refusal of Cuadrilla’s latest traffic mitigation proposals at the re-opened Public Inquiry on 10th April. We wondered how Mrs. May and her party would react to these setbacks, surely, they couldn’t overturn every refusal as they spread across the country? The answer has not been long coming. This government has no intention of heeding the wishes of the people nor listening to the decisions of their elected representatives. Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (and he bears this title without a trace of irony or embarrassment), and his department’s Select Committee will seek ‘Submissions’ as to whether fracking applications should be treated as National Infrastructure under the 2008 Planning Act, thus being decided by him alone and by-passing the tiresome and unnecessary procedure of democracy.

Full Story

Mayor of Liverpool Says No

Steve Rotheram, the Mayor of Liverpool, has joined Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Manchester, in banning fracking, saying:

“The UK Government needs to do a great deal more to live up to its responsibilities to avert the devastating impacts of climate change, which ironically pose a direct threat to our low-lying coastal areas where fracking companies want to operate.”

The full story can be read by clicking on this button:

No Fracking In Liverpool

What a Fracking Week!!

As Winston Churchill famously said, “This Is Not The End – It Is Not Even The Beginning Of The End, But It Is Perhaps The End Of The Beginning.”

The beginning of the month saw the previously unprecedented action of two of the Fylde’s Conservative MP’s – Mark Menzies and Ben Wallace – write letters objecting to Cuadrilla’s traffic mitigation proposals saying that the Roseacre Wood development “Must Not Be Permitted.”

Lancashire MP's Letters


The setbacks continued as last week saw a massive thumbs down for fracking right across the country start here in the Fylde.

On January 18th Fylde Borough Councillors followed the MP’s lead and voted unanimously to reject Cuadrilla’s latest proposals, sending a clear and unequivocal message to both the company and to Lancashire County Council.

Fylde Borough Councillors Say No


Then last Wednesday – 24th – Lancashire County Council’s Planning Committee followed the advice of their Planning Officer in agreeing that to allow Cuadrilla’s HGV traffic onto the country lanes around the Roseacre Wood site would pose such a severe risk to  road safety that it could not be countenanced under any circumstances and voted – again unanimously – to maintain their position, joining the other parties at the re-opened Public Inquiry objecting to Cuadrilla’s ‘Mitigation’ proposals.

Lancashire County Council Say No

These successes alone would have given cause for celebration but the good news continued as Surrey County Council found that an application by Angus Energy to drill at its Brockham site was invalid and was thrown out.

Invalid Application

Then last Thursday 25th (will it become known as Thunderous Thursday?) the previously seeming unbreachable wall began to crumble as firstly Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy who had been widely expected to give the green light to Third Energy, enabling them to begin fracking at Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire, announced that he was delaying any decision until Third Energy had filed their overdue accounts for 2016 (as they are required to do by law). He further announced that he was adding 2 further financial checks for all fracking companies before giving the go-ahead.

Minister Delays Kirby Misperton Decision

On the same day Rotherham Councillors unanimously voted to reject INEOS’ application to begin operations at its Harthill site

INEOS Application Refused

Reaction to INEOS Refusal

And Cheshire Councillors voted 10 – 1 to refuse permission for I-Gas plans for gas testing at Ellesmere Port

I-Gas Not Welcome In Cheshire

Reaction to I-Gas Refusal

Surely this must give our Frack-Happy government a headache. Will they finally accept that WE SAID NO to fracking or does Theresa May really believe that she can ride roughshod across the country, overturning every local decision with impunity?