A Lancashire opponent of shale gas exploration set off this morning on a 230 mile walk to London, in his words, to “openly bribe” Theresa May not to frack his home.
Gayzer Frackman, from Lytham, plans to deliver a cheque for £10,000 to 10 Downing Street at the end his 15-day walk.
He said the “payment” was inspired by the Prime Minister’s proposal to give money from the shale gas fund to people living in fracking areas. Many news reports said the payments could be £10,000. Opponents of fracking described the payments as bribery.
Mr Frackman, who changed his name by deed poll, said his cheque was “openly bribing” Theresa May not to frack his home, Blackpool and Lancashire.
“After the announcement last month that the new PM was offering £10.000, to be paid directly into people’s accounts if they allowed fracking in their communities, I thought it would be rude not to offer the same opportunity.
“It seems the expert evidence and science is not enough to expose the many flaws in the fracking processes.
“Add to this the testimonies of communities and countries who have been blighted by this industrial process, then it may be a good idea to take the Conservatives lead and outright bribe them not to do it.”
Mr Frackman said opponents of fracking in Lancashire had “tried every other legal means” to stop shale gas development in the county.
Cuadrilla’s proposals to frack up to four wells each at Roseacre Wood and Preston New Road were turned down by Lancashire County Council in June 2015. The outcome of a six-week public inquiry on the applications will be decided by the Communities and Local Government Secretary, Sajid Javid. An announcement is expected by Thursday 6 October.
Mr Frackman said:
“We need to ask why Theresa May – knowing that we do not want it and will not allow it – is proceeding with the commitment of her predecessor, knowing he had failed to convince the UK”.
His walk began at about 8am this morning from Blackpool Football Club, the scene of the public inquiry. From there, Mr Frackman was due to walk to Blackburn.
He is expected to arrive in London on Monday 19 September and will deliver the cheque in a brown envelope at noon. Later that day, he said he would announce a legal challenge to fracking on the grounds of human rights and climate change.
4 September: Blackburn
5 September: Burnley and Hebdon Bridge
6 September: Halifax
7 September: Barnsley
8 September: Doncaster
9 September: Gainsborough
10 September: Lincoln
11 September: Nottingham
12 September: Leicester
13 September: Corby
14 September: Northampton
15 September: Leighton Buzzard
16 September: St Albans
17 September: Edgware
18 September: central London
19 September: Downing Street
And a cheque for an MP
Opponents of fracking in Ryedale in North Yorkshire presented a “cheque” for £10,000 to their local MP Kevin Hollinrake yesterday outside his meeting with constituents in Malton.
The campaigners also gave him a copy of recently published research by the Public Health Department at John Hopkins University. It found an association between people living near fracking in Pennsylvania and migraines, severe fatigue and sinus symptoms.
Dr Liz Garthwaite, Malton resident and medical doctor, said:
“I do not accept this fracking bribe. The health evidence in the latest health paper, such as migraines, severe fatigue, chronic nasal and sinus problems, are not trivial symptoms, but have a debilitating effect on people’s lives. They cause a huge amount of lost days at work. This is a serious piece of research that residents and government alike would be very unwise to ignore.”