Cuadrilla, its supporters and opponents have made statements this afternoon following the decision by two contractors to stop working at the Preston New Road fracking site.
Just before 9am today, Moore Readymix said a protest blockade outside its depot in St Anne’s had given it no alternative but to cease supplies to the site being prepared for shale gas exploration. (DrillOrDrop report)
Yesterday at 1pm, Armstrong Aggregates said it was terminating all work with Cuadrilla following a blockade at Montcliffe Quarry in Horwich. (DrillOrDrop report)
Frack Free Lancashire
“There have been and will continue to be peaceful protests wherever this unwanted industry imposes itself on a community. People are exercising their legal right to protest against fracking when all three levels of our democratically-elected officials have rejected it. In Lancashire, a parish, a borough and a county council all said a loud and clear no to the fracking industry.
“There are still outstanding legal challenges ongoing against Cuadrilla and the Secretary of State, yet Cuadrilla have chosen to disrespect this and relentlessly press forward with their work on the Preston New Road site before the High Court cases are heard. Did Cuadrilla honestly believe communities would stand back and watch this destruction continue, unchallenged?
“The fact that both Armstrongs Group and Moore’s Readymix have recently chosen not to continue working with Cuadrilla, is clearly their own business, but we are extremely pleased that they have reassessed their relationship with an industry that has no democratic place nor social license in our communities.”
Frack Free Lancashire added that it condemned all violence against peaceful protesters. A protester was hurt in a collision with a vehicle at Moore’s Readymix Concrete earlier today. Frack Free Lancashire said witnesses had made statements that some drivers had been incited to “run over protesters”.
“The intimidation and bullying by hard line activists who are from outside the area against some of our North West suppliers is disgraceful.
“They are preventing hardworking people from running their businesses and earning their living. Whilst we empathise with suppliers who take the difficult decision to terminate contracts with us due to unrelenting intimidation we and our main contractors will not be brow beaten by a small group of irresponsible bullies.
“Lancashire jobs and revenue opportunities are at stake and we will not allow activists to rob the county of those.”
Lancashire For Shale
Tim Freshney, a steering Group member and a financial backer of the group which supports Cuadrilla’s operation, said:
“People have a legitimate right to peaceful protest, but some of what we’ve seen in recent days goes above and beyond this. We find it totally unacceptable that small employers are being targeted with blockades and intimidated into withdrawing from contracts.”