Government considering fracking consent and cash for protest policing

171011 KM Eddie Thornton

Policing anti-fracking protests at Kirby Misperton, 11 October 2017. Photo: Eddie Thornton

The Government has confirmed  it has received an application for hydraulic fracturing consent for Third Energy’s wellsite in North Yorkshire.

The details came yesterday in a reply by the Energy Minister, Richard Harrington, to Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas.

171014 KM KMPC

KM8 well with workover rig, Kirby Misperton, 14 October 2017. Photo: Kirby Misperton Protection Camp

This is the final consent needed by Third Energy to frack the KM8 well at Kirby Misperton. The company has said it expects to complete the fracturing operation by Christmas.

Dr Lucas also asked whether the Business Secretary would consult parliament or the public before granting the consent.

Mr Harrington replied:

“There is no legal obligation to consult on associated hydraulic fracturing.”

Link to question on hydraulic fracturing consent and link to question on consultation

Cost of policing fracking protests

During Home Office questions yesterday, two MPs asked about the cost of policing anti-fracking protests in Lancashire and North Yorkshire.

Burnley MP and shadow health minister, Julie Cooper, said:

“Since January 2017, policing the anti-fracking protest in Lancashire has cost Lancashire constabulary close to £4 million.

“Given that 78% of the protestors are not from Lancashire, when will the Government step in to meet those costs?

“It cannot be right for the council tax payers of Lancashire to bear the burden of what is essentially a national protest.”

171010 pnr anne power

Police remove 85-year-old campaigner, Anne Power, from the Preston New Road protest, 10 October 2017.

The Policing Minister, Nick Hurd, replied:

“I understand the hon. Lady’s point. I am sure she is aware that we have a special grant pot, from which police forces can bid to cover significant, unexpected costs.

“A number of forces, including Lancashire, have put in bids to cover the costs of fracking protests. That is under review.”

Link to question

Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake, who represents Thirsk and Malton which includes Third Energy’s site, asked:

“The policing of shale gas protests in Kirby Misperton in my constituency is putting pressure on local budgets, but many of the protestors are connected to national campaigns.

“Will the Minister agree to a meeting with me and the police and crime commissioner, so that we can make our case on why the costs should be met with national funds rather than by local taxpayers?”

Mr Hurd replied:

“The short answer is yes.”

Link to question

Thanks to TheyWorkForYou.com for the transcripts


18 replies »

  1. The short answer is you don’t want to talk about it. Just grant all the dodgy licenses and leave the people to pick up the bills and clear up the mess afterwards. Who owns the land underneath our feet?

  2. Where does Julie Cooper get this ‘Given that 78% of the protesters are not from Lancashire’ nonsense? Did someone do a survey that I missed, or is this just another bit of spin from the industry?
    And anyway, fracking is a national issue, even a global one, and what happens at Preston New Road and Kirby Misperton affects us all, as it will possibly enable the fracking industry to drill thousands of wells across our countryside and increase climate change at a time when we need to be moving fast towards renewable energy solutions. So of course there are people from other parts of the country protesting at these sites – why shouldn’t there be?
    Those who are in favour of fracking can’t have it both ways. Either you’re a Nimby, as Norman Tebbit recently said (one can assume there is not going to be fracking within 400m of his mansion), or you’re an out-of-towner, so apparently not allowed to protest. Which means that to pro-frackers, nobody is allowed to protest.

    • Why are MPs such as Julie Cooper allowed to come out with statements such as “78% of protestors at PNR are not local” and it goes unchallenged? As Ellie Gold said, where do they get this figure of 78% of protestors at PNR are not local from? I’m local and I can vouch for the fact that Julie Cooper’s statement is a load of rubbish. The majority of people who have been constantly present at Preston New Road are ordinary, peaceful, local people, many of them elderly, who have been concerned enough to stand at the roadside in all weathers and be brutally manhandled by the police since January. They do this in order to demonstrate their opposition to fracking everywhere and to defend their county which said “No” to fracking but was overruled by Sajid Javid.
      I also agree with Ellie that fracking is a national and global issue, so where protestors are from is irrelevant anyway.
      If Julie Coooper was meaning that Lancashire should not be paying for policing protestors from out of the area, may I remind Ms Cooper that Cuadrilla, who the police are facilitating, are from far further afield than any protestors and can certainly not be said to be local.

  3. Perhaps the data came from the courts!!! (The antis who are over stepping the mark and creating the cost of policing and the inconvenience to the majority of the locals?)

    I find it interesting that some think that fracking is a single case where “public opinion” ie, internet fed fever, will be the rule. Well, maybe where some authorities have decided they are not there to make a balanced decision, but elsewhere that will not be the case. It never has been, and there are many industrial sites across the country which would equally fail such a simplistic test.The cost of policing will not be the weapon to stop fracking being tested, injunctions will mitigate against that. So, the antis will pursue their agenda to increase policing costs and inconvenience to all and will create the reaction themselves. It’s a Catch 22 situation, because there is a desperation to stop the public seeing the benefits and that just leads to more of the over stepping. Hey ho,

    • Whatever happened to the old concept that ‘the polluter pays’ or in this case the troublemakers. I couldn.t agree more let’s start ticketing these protesters to pay for the police having to attend.

  4. So Martin, you don’t care if the statistics presented to parliament are in fact lies? Corrupted information leads to corrupted decisions. I bet they cannot prove there were 78% outsiders.

  5. The only data the police could have supplied would be those who have been arrested. They would have no right to demand details of the addresses of the numerous other protectors. Therefore this figure is very skewed. Most of the arrests have been for obstruction when locking on, with a few for lorry surfing. These activities are not really suitable for pensioners to engage in and locals have been extremely grateful for the younger, more nimble people who have come to our aid. I still maintain that the vast majority of anti-fracking protestors at PNR are definitely local. There is also a large number of locals who support us but are unable to come to PNR because, contrary to Backing Fracking’s ” Get a job” mantra, most of us do have jobs.Myself included. I’m almost 71 and still work 2 days a week.

  6. Why are they “lies”? There would be little cost to policing if it was not for the antisocial elements. There have been several HUNDRED arrested and they have caused the high cost of policing. The rest of you sit on your hands, having welcomed these “persons” with open arms to try and prevent lawful activity and then try to claim the protest is peaceful! “Come to our aid”!!! What an absolute joke when you can see, and hear, individuals shouting and spitting obscenities into the faces of the police. If you welcome them, and have no control over them and not interested in that, the responsibility is YOURS. Many of your own group are disgusted with the behaviour, and posts on DOD inciting actions against the police just exacerbate the situation. If more injunctions follow, remember they are based upon evidence-and it will be the antis supplying the evidence for the exploration companies.
    The antis have created this situation. At least have the honesty to accept it-but you will not. Just more of the “Infamy” nonsense.

    • The majority of arrests occur simply to get people away from the scene for a while and are later dropped without charge or thrown out of court. What makes you qualified to comment when you are not there? You know nothing about the way Cuadrilla are facilitated every step of the way whilst protest, which is a legal right of the population who pay the salaries of the police, is denied. As for swearing, I do not swear myself but can understand it, given the partisan, inconsistent policing encountered on a daily basis. It’s obvious the police are under orders from higher up to intimidate protestors and quell protest at all costs. Talk of injunctions is for the same reason.
      It seems by your support of injunctions and disproportionate policing, you support this country being one where the only form of protest allowed is holding up a placard, well away from those ,being protested against or maybe writing to an MP who is under the thumb of industry lobbyists and vested interests.
      If this state of afffairs is allowed to happen, it won’t only be fracking that is imposed on an unwilling public. Be careful what you wish for.

  7. A Labour MP confirming vast majority of protestors are from outside area!!!!!
    I’m actually witnessing a genuine swing against protestors over the past few weeks as their images have appeared on a national level…not surprising to me. Image counts for a heck of a lot nowadays and the antis image isn’t a good one.
    A flattening economy and stagnant wage growth will always see business prevail.
    Keep talking sense Labour and you may start to pressurise the Tories.

    • GottaBKidding Believe what you like. I don’t care if the comment is from a Labour MP or not. Ms Cooper has never been near PNR and police statistics do not tell the whole story. I’m local. I’ve been at the gates of PNR since January and I can assure you the majority of people standing there protesting against this abomination that’s being forced upon us ARE LOCAL.

      • Do you honestly think you’re going to stop this? You’ve made your NIMBY point now jog on and stop being a nuisance.

        • Come on GottaBKidding. You can’t have it both ways. You complain when people from outside an area protest and if they are local, you accuse them of being NIMBYS.

  8. Paul-thanks for the advice, reference incitement.

    It is not a problem to me. You know the main contenders and they do what they do. (Some in the small hours fuelled by who knows what?) I simply refuse to read their posts anymore as my interest is for a reasoned debate.

    I suspect others will observe their posts in a different way, but that is life.

    Pauline-I only support injunctions if the courts decide they are required. Courts are still independent, even if you want to claim they are not. If the antis (genuine and others) give the courts reason to impose an injunction it means the antis have caused the situation. You take the protest to that level and that is one of the means to control the situation. There are plenty of others which may be utilised. You go on and on about the companies taking their actions and responsibilities seriously. It works both ways.

    • WARNING ….. hewes62.

      Posting on this forum around the hours of 6am , may well have some thinking you are fuelled by more than just Horlicks. HAHAHA.

      I wonder , what is the correct time to be posting on this forum ????

      Wouldn’t want anyone with a vivid imagination thinking members of this forum were possibly taking ( fueled by ) something …..

  9. Well, Jack-you easily removed yourself from the reasoned debate profile. Shame-NT was good fun.

    I do note the times people post, not only for the reason you have suggested, but it also provides a pretty helpful indication of those who are posting from other time zones but suggesting they have intimate local UK knowledge. You know the ones, the ones who get incorporated falsely into “local objection”. The internet equivalent of “body language” should not be ignored. But that’s just me reverting to previous practice. Each to their own.

    By the way-I have yet to note a Russian time zone weighting, but I have my eyes on it! Little rascals could practice overtime and that would complicate matters.

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