Lancashire MP tops 2016 table for parliamentary fracking questions


The Conservative MP for the area where Cuadrilla wants to frack in Lancashire asked the most parliamentary questions about shale gas and fracking in 2016.

Mark Menzies, MP for Fylde, was closely followed by the Green Party peer, Baroness Jones.

Analysis by DrillOrDrop shows a total of 48 MPs and Peers in the Westminster parliament asked ministers 98 formal written and oral questions about fracking and shale gas during 2016.

Mark MenziesMr Menzies asked a total of 11 questions, followed by Baroness Jones on 10 and the Conservative MP for Chippenham, Michelle Donelan, on 6.

The data comes from transcripts of questions included in DrillOrDrop’s Fracking Week in Parliament posts. The figures do not include statements made or questions asked during parliamentary debates or meetings.

The top 10 list for fracking questions

  1. Mark Menzies, Conservative, Fylde – 11
  2. Baroness Jones, Green – 10
  3. Michelle Donelan, Conservative, Chippenham – 6
  4. Caroline Lucas, Green, Brighton Pavilion – 4
  5. Cat Smith, Labour, Fleetwood – 4
  6. Dennis Skinner, Labour, Bolsover – 4
  7. Kevin Hollinrake, Conservative, Thirsk and Malton – 4
  8. Baroness Featherstone, Lib Dem – 3
  9. Baroness McIntosh, Conservative – 3
  10. Chris Matheson, Labour, City of Chester – 3

Questions by party

The questions distributed by party were:

Conservatives 38

Labour 35

Green 14

Lib Dem 5


Plaid Cymru, Democratic Unioinist and Ulster Unionists 1 each

72 questions were asked by MPs and the remaining 26 by peers

Questions about Cuadrilla’s fracking sites

Nine of the questions from Mark Menzies were asked after the Local Government Secretary, Sajid Javid, made his announcement in October about Cuadrilla’s fracking plans in Lancashire.

Mr Javid said he was reopening the inquiry into fracking at Roseacre Wood and overruled the decision by Lancashire County Council to refuse planning permission for fracking at Preston New Road.

The issues in Mr Menzies’ questions included:

Follow the red links to read the full questions and answers in Fracking Week in Parliament posts

Baroness Jones questions on counter-terrorism

baroness-jonesNine of the questions by Baroness Jones were asked in the past two months and most stem from the labelling of anti-fracking protesters as domestic extremists by police and the security services. Her questions covered:

Monitoring of anti-fracking protests, guidance on infiltration of protests and exchange of information between police and the hydrocarbon industry

Challenges to the inclusion of anti-fracking protests in the Prevent policy of counter-terrorism strategies

Monitoring of the work of counter-terrorism units

Did you MP ask a fracking question?

Full list of MPs who asked questions


Fracking questions asked by peers




4 replies »

  1. Tut tut Kevin Hollinrake, claiming that no one has worked harder than yourself so far as fracking is concerned. Looks like he has been beaten by Mark Menzies. Wonder if Menzies has started to feel uncomfortable by the SOS’s decision – particularly with regard to Roseacre?
    He certainly should do. And as for Kevin Hollinrake, he is just full of pro fracking BS.

  2. What does this infer? Doesn’t seem like a lot of questions for something that the whole country is against? Type “Climate” in the Parliament questions subject box and you find there were 1,058 questions in the same period, type Energy and you get 2,364 questions. Nuclear – 431. Electricity – 382. Cats – 49.

    Type in Fracking for 2016 – 60 results, Shale 40.

    Does not appear to be a significant topic for discussion in Parliament?

  3. Ruth – can we have a count of how many of those questions got acceptable answers? The answer is almost none by the way. Just look at the votes on They Work For You.

    For example Mr Menzies asked :

    “To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how many times the power he has under section 17(7) of the Town and Country Planning (Inquiries Procedure) (England) Rules 2000/1624 to reopen a planning inquiry has been exercised by him and his predecessors to allow an appellant to adduce further evidence in their favour since the introduction of those rules.”

    and received the reply:

    “The Secretary of State has the power to re-open a public inquiry as he thinks fit, for example if he considers that would be the best way to allow parties to put forward any further evidence and for parties to respond to any such evidence. No records are kept of how frequently that has occurred.”

    On They Work For You (https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2016-11-21.54078.h)

    13 people indicted that they believed this didn’t answer the question
    0 people indicated that they believed it did

    Still, it seems that Mr Menzies has finally sniffed the wind and noticed which way it blowing. Maybe Mr Hollinrake will be next?

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