Opposition

Woodsetts villagers to send INEOS protest photo to Downing Street

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Protest in Woodsetts against INEOS injunction and shale gas plans, 25 October 2017. Photo: DrillOrDrop

People in the village of Woodsetts in south Yorkshire gathered this evening for a giant photo with pieces of tape printed with the INEOS logo stuck across their mouths.

They were protesting about legal action taken by INEOS to deter anti-fracking demonstrators, as well as plans by the company to drill a shale gas well near their homes.

The picture will be handed in to 10 Downing Street tomorrow by the campaigner, Joe Corre, and a nine-year-old boy who wrote to Theresa May in January asking her to stop fracking.

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Many homes in the village display posters for Woodsetts Against Fracking, the organisers of this evening’s Halloween-themed event. All the people that DrillOrDrop spoke to were angry at what INEOS was seeking to do in Woodsetts and the way it was going about it.

They used words like “horrendous”, “disgusting”, “frightening” and “abhorrent”. INEOS was said to be “bombastic”, “arrogant” and “not prepared to listen”.

The company’s planning application for a vertical well – but not fracking – is expected to be sent Rotherham Borough Council imminently.

The proposed site is an open field, 450m from bungalows lived in by elderly and vulnerable people. The main entrance is 40m from homes and had been marked by a legal notice saying it was covered by a High Court injunction granted to INEOS. The wooden post had been broken and the notices were in the hedge bottom.

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INEOS’s proposed site at Woodsetts, south Yorkshire, 25 Occtober 2017. Photo: DrillOrDrop

The injunction, regarded as one of the widest ever granted in the UK, seeks to prevent interruption of INEOS operations by protesters. It covers INEOS sites, offices, operations, transport routes and locations used by its contractors and supply chain.

Next week it will be challenged by Mr Corre and another anti-fracking campaigner, Joe Boyd.

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Joe Corre speaking in Woodsetts, 25 October 2017. Photo: DrillOrDrop

To cheers, Mr Corre told the residents gathered on Woodsetts recreation ground this evening:

“You are fanatical, dangerous lunatics. That is how INEOS has portrayed you to the court.”

Mr Corre said:

“We will be able to put your side to the judge at the hearing next week. Because you are such dangerous, lunatic fanatics, the judge had to hold the first hearing in secret.

“Despite attempts by the company to threaten you in your homes and schools I am pretty sure you are not going to stand for it.”

The court will be given evidence from Richard Scholey, who lives in Woodsetts and retired today as a police inspector. He worked as a public order commander and trainer.

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Retired police inspector, Richard Scholey, 25 October 2017. Photo: DrillOrDrop

He said of the INEOS injunction:

“What I see is an erosion of human rights resulting from it.

“It is not just a bad thing in the community. It is a real risk for the relationship between police and the public. It will bring the police into conflict with law-abiding people who have environmental consciences.”

Mr Scholey said he’d been told by INEOS that the police would have to enforce the injunction on evidence provided by the company. He said:

“Under statutory legislation you will generally understand when you cause an obstruction of the highway, for example, and if you are convicted in a court what the penalty is likely to be.

“The problem with this injunction is that you won’t know if you have overstepped the mark and if you go to court you will have no idea of what the ultimate sanction can be. INEOS can seize your assets and seek imprisonment. Are we going to lose our homes?”

Mr Scholey described this evening’s event as “better than we could have ever expected. It shows the depth of feeling and the strength of opposition”.

The Green Party’s former leader, Nathalie Bennett, who attended the event, said fracking had engaged a lot of people in politics and as a result they had learned new skills and met new people.

“The community is taking back control and saying we are not going to let this happen.

“We have to make sure this continues when we have won.”

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A survey in Woodsetts carried out after INEOS announced its plans in August, found that 90% were against fracking and one per cent was in favour.

People told DrillOrDrop how much they loved living in the village and what a strong sense of community it had.

They were concerned that if the INEOS well were approved all the large site traffic would have to come through the village. A low bridge would prevent it being routed from the other direction, they said. People also mentioned worries about noise, air pollution and the effect on the open landscape of the area.

One woman said:

“I think it is just going to poison everything. Things will never be the same.”

Another said:

“What were they thinking of putting it here?”

Although the Woodsetts application does not include fracking, one man said:

“The only reason they are doing a test well is to be set up for a fracking site.”

Reporting for this post was made possible by donations by individual DrillOrDrop readers

29 replies »

  1. Fantastic stuff. Wherever this industry tries to get its drills into the ground there will be protests like this. This industry will never achieve the social licence it needs to be successful. More power to Woodsetts!

    • If May won’t come to Woodsetts, Woodsetts will have to go to May.
      Excellent move, well done everyone, it’s communities that will overcome this pernicious unwanted invasion of our countryside.
      Clearly this government are gasping and tottering in their last totalitarian tiptoe frackboots, it will only take a little push and they will be out and good riddance to them.
      It is local and linked communities that should have local control of potentially dangerous imposed industrialisation in this country, not the central government, and particularly not private corporate invaders.

  2. Dont worry about the solid scientific base and the deliberate misinformation that people are acting on then Ellie. What is ‘social licence’ anyway? An excuse to stop something of national importance that you dont like? On that basis nothing would ever get built or done. Whats the latest cleverly produced propaganda film that winds everybody up based on nonsense? Just a reminder of how people are being mislead. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-38499811

    • The only person doing the misleading Ken is you. No doubt still spouting that outdated 2012 report that is now well and truly flawed. The industry also can’t even make these sites secure, Kirby Misperton a prime example. Disgraceful really when you know how hazardous and toxic these sites are. One thing that we always knew would happen is that they’d cut corners and we’ve already been proven right. This will all be explained nicely to the public next week. I know yourself, Lorraine and Ken C will be looking forward immensely to that.

      • Please advise what flaws there are Raymond. The RAE follow the situation and there has been no need to update particularly. The EA are on top of the regulations. There has been no criticism of that report of any substance. Its the same with recent Scottish investigations that found no significant issues provided the regulations are followed. If they are not, the companies are reprimanded and would be eventually prevented from drilling in serious cases.

        Did you really write ‘the industry cannot even make the sites secure’? The site was broken into by illegal action. Would you blame women with short skirts if they get assaulted as well?

        Drilling for shale gas is the least hazardous of all drilling, and ‘toxic’ materials are specifically forbidden in drilling additives. Enviro protections are strong. Please however feel free to refer to some rare dated issues that would never occur under UK regs as a reason to oppose it. Do you oppose air travel on safety issues because the first Comet planes crashed? Or do you accept that engineers learn from their mistakes. Why would that not apply with drilling? Engineers are paid a lot, so they get the best graduates.
        You may not know it but drilling has taken place for decades in the UK and the N Sea and the UK has an impressive record in safety and performance.

        Please also advise why Friends of the Earth could not provide any credible evidence for their claims when I complained against them, after 14 months of trying. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-38499811

        • What I was implying and rightly so, is that these sites according to industry are highly dangerous and with hazardous chemicals to public health. That in itself should make the site itself one of high security. Reports I’ve seen no more than a few security guards and a perimeter fence which a 10 year old could get through. Would security be like that at Shell (Stanlow) or Grangemouth (Scotland) o r any other place with this level of hazardous chemicals. Not very safe from Terrorists like ISIS. These companies and regulating authorities have no concern for the public otherwise that site would be secure and not accessible.

          • Alas the materials are low risk and dont need high security, tho the well does. When I saw the wellsite it seemed well protected, and anyone going in there is definitely committing criminal activity.

            1. When asked on TV what ‘toxic’ chemicals were involved, Fiends of the Earth said SAND as its carcinigenic. This lead to much ridicule. The HSE have stated that they have no issues with this in the way it will be handled. There is an issue with the dust but the UK uses 4 million tonnes of the stuff every year.

            2. Polyacrylamide. You can buy this as a childrens amusement. https://www.amazon.co.uk/AINOLWAY-1Pound-Almost-Transparent-sensory/dp/B06XQHHZWZ/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_201_tr_t_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=SE0VHHXSWJMTX5A5Y23S Its the chemical in nappies, its used in water treatment, and put in plantpots to absorb water. Its also a food additive!

            3. There are a couple of others that may be proposed, but all are covered by EU and UK law. They have to be NON HAZARDOUS. The definition of hazardous can be seen in para 4 of http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2010/9780111491423/schedule/22

            So you can see that as normal, the fears that people have are not based on fact. Its not your fault, but the fault of groups like FoE who spread this type of scaremongering nonsense.

            • So Ken. Whilst polyacrylamide is not currently on the dangerous list it breaks down into acrylamide which is. Research is still taking place into the effects on women and children in particular and those in the workplace handling these substances.

              A caveat : Smoking was not consider dangerous until research began to present its findings. Actions have been slow and are continuing due to the influence of the industries involved.

      • Raymond Ratcliffe

        It is an interesting situation.

        Third Energy did not prevent people entering the site for a lock on. Why this hapenned I so not know, and nothing in DOD has shone any light on that security breach. They were offered hot drinks.

        That company has not gone down the same road as INEOS who have set their stall out, very early in the process, to prevent such transgressions.

        For this activity, which solves your concerns re site security, they are lambasted by those against fracking, and maybe any Hydrocarbon related activity.

        I will ponder on this conundrum tomorrow as I drive through Woodsetts. On the way I will pass a producing oil well, complete with nodding donkey and oil Tank.

        The hazards on the site are, rotating machinery, electric shock, methane, oil, and whatever else pops out the oil tank vent.

        There is a fence, and a sign saying, do not enter, hazardous site. It has been there for 10s of years. There is no guard, there never has been. No one has been daft enough to go in their with the intent of injuring themselves.

        Maybe the company needs to review its security procedures in light of recent events.

        Meanwhile, the large switch yard down the road ( danger of death it says ) remains unguarded.

        Appropriate fencing and signage used to be enough, but now days, who knows.

    • I never heard a judge being ridiculed [Edited by moderator]. Maybe you should let us know some more about Radioactive waste disposal GBK down boreholes

      • There are no plans to put radioactive waste down boreholes. Again that is a scare story with no basis in fact. The permissions to put ‘any material’ in a well are restricted to activities related to petroleum.

        They will put radioactive sources down the well, but that is a well established science to measure borehole parameters. In fact its what I used to do many years ago as an engineer. Thats how I learned about wells and drilling.

  3. If the protestors had not protested in the way that they have, and has been well documented, with hundreds of arrests, there would be no need to look at injunctions. And since the last hearing, of course, there have been no further illegal incidents, or arrests?

    I still have difficulty working out how free speech is being eroded. But then, the use of visual messages by the antis has been poor all the way through.

    • Would you like the people to just stand a wave a banner Martin or sign a petition that gets totally dismissed instead? Therein nullifying any opposition to the destruction of the environment. Surely you’ve seen the pictures of the state of Preston New Road. It’s the ugliest piece of land in the country right now. Looks like there been a hurricane passing through there. An absolute mess that I’m sure local people can’t wait to have in their villages!

      • It is all pretty well invisible from the outside as they have screened it all off. Its very quiet apparently, and is only a temporary intrusion. The building site just off the M55 is a real mess but again only temporary. Perhaps the (permanent) electricity lines should be removed but then there would be no electricity.

        The retail outlets just up the road are really ugly (and permanent)

  4. Just like Blackpool in the winter than Raymond!
    Or, you could get similar comments from villagers who have had wind farms imposed upon them, or my own village whilst our solar farm was being built, or my village now with the housing developments under construction.

    PNR is a construction site, everyone recognises that. The antis have made it far more intrusive than it needed to be but if the locals find it an eyesore at least they have a community fund to mitigate against that, if the site remains. (Trees are good.) Not a penny from my village’s solar farm or housing developments.

    Ineos are not nullifying anything. They take their request to the court and have to provide the evidence to the court. Others can object against that to the court. It is the court who decides. If the antis have already overstepped the line and provided evidence for the court to agree with Ineos, why blame Ineos for that? Protest has to accept some responsibility. I have done my fair share years ago, and we were always marshalled to prevent lines being crossed, as well as for safety reasons. The marshalls liased with the police before hand and were held responsible during, and after. The antis have allowed themselves to be hijacked by some elements who do not believe in that sort of protest, so please don’t complain about the result of that.

    • They took their evidence to court behind closed doors though didn’t they discursively so no one could put a case forward in the first instance. Word on the street is that there are some powerful arguements to be presented next week and then hopefully citizens/campaigners (Anti’s) can get on with their democratic rights to peaceful protest. Out of interest were you marshalled by police infiltration or a dodgy steering group?

  5. The injunction will be upheld, however, it may be watered down slightly. The recent activity by the protestors hasn’t done them any favors.
    It’s been interesting to see the scientists were on the frackers side in Scotland. That seems to have emboldened the PM.

    • I haven’t seen any recent activity against INEOS’s operations though GBK. Can you provide me with some evidence of this? Would love to know what protestor activity you on about.

  6. No Raymond, by the organisers. The equivalent of Woodsetts Against Fracking.

    But then we did not receive incitement before hand from someone saying we were fanatical dangerous lunatics. (Who can believe any court having that put in front of them? Courts look at evidence. Try that one if you have a dispute with a neighbour. Medical Certificates would be required and documentation evidence of how that would impact.)

    I agree with GBK that the injunction is likely to be upheld and there could be a result in terms of liaison channels to facilitate communication. Just my view because courts can produce some results that are unpredictable.

    • There is something quite interesting here isnt there? Carefully avoided i notice by the ranti ranti’s, and that is the testimony of Richard Scholey, who lives in Woodsetts the retired police inspector, who worked as a public order commander and trainer.

      Quoting from the text above:

      “He said of the INEOS injunction:

      “What I see is an erosion of human rights resulting from it.”

      “It is not just a bad thing in the community. It is a real risk for the relationship between police and the public. It will bring the police into conflict with law-abiding people who have environmental consciences.”

      Mr Scholey said he’d been told by INEOS that the police would have to enforce the injunction on evidence provided by the company. He said:

      “Under statutory legislation you will generally understand when you cause an obstruction of the highway, for example, and if you are convicted in a court what the penalty is likely to be.

      “The problem with this injunction is that you won’t know if you have overstepped the mark and if you go to court you will have no idea of what the ultimate sanction can be. INEOS can seize your assets and seek imprisonment. Are we going to lose our homes?”

      Mr Scholey described this evening’s event as “better than we could have ever expected. It shows the depth of feeling and the strength of opposition”.

      And this is from a retired police inspector who trained on public order.

      what does that reveal? We are told by some here that the injunction planned by Ineos, will not affect freedom of speech or action and yet Ineos have said they intend to use it for just that purpose and enforce draconian measures to “seize assets and seek imprisonment” and that It will “bring the police into conflict with law-abiding people who have environmental consciences.”

      This is clearly unacceptable in any democracy and this must be highlighted so that no one is in any doubt what dangers the proposed injunction poses.

      So lets put this clearly shall we? Not only are Ineos intending to enforce and impose a proven destructive industry on this country, they also intend to make a legal injunction condition that is intended to stop anyone complaining or demonstrating or even talking about it for fear that Ineos will “seize assets and seek imprisonment”!

      This injunction is clearly anti democratic and must be stopped and overturned or we will see ourselves become little more than slaves in a corporate owned police state where nothing can be objected to or demonstrated against.

      It must be remembered that none of us wanted this, it has been imposed upon us by our own government and private corporate greed and avarice, we each of us have to consider now, just what sort of country we are living in and what to do about it? Or we might as well walk willingly into our ghettoised slave pens ready for exploitation or worse.

    • Its not unpredictability anyone is interested in though is it, its decisions based on law. Thankfully I have faith in the judicial system and hope for decent people everywhere the injunction is dismissed otherwise a sad day for human rights!

  7. If you have faith in the judicial system Raymond why state if the injunction is not dismissed it will be a sad day for human rights?

    If the injunction is not dismissed it will mean the court has decided other people’s human rights are also important, and has weighted them accordingly. Simples.

    • Here there be dragons martin,

      in fact a legal “person” is not the same as a living breathing person of flesh and blood, one is an artificial legal construct, literally a fabrication in law, whereas a living person is a human being, ie a corporation is a legal fabrication person, we are all however living beings who “may” take on the part of the equivalent, but not equal legal fabrication person.

      “Other people’s human rights” is not the correct form, a corporation is not a living breathing person of flesh and blood, it is a legal fabrication person. So the law acts only and exclusively in terms of legal fabrication persons, and assumes by way of secretly convincing normal living persons, human beings, by assumed “consent” (now there is a magic word) into assuming they are also the legal fabrication person (your name in capitals) notice all (or most, and that is another can of worms) of your legal documents have your legal name in capitals.

      So the correct term, would be “other legal fabrication persons rights”.

      This matter is such a wild can of legal worms, there are moves to separate normal living persons from the legal trap of the legal fabrication person identity, which would effectively leave legal fabrications such as corporations, nations and governments (all legal fabrication corporations) effectively high and dry. (admiralty or maritime law terminology)

      Fascinating reading here:

      https://wakeup-world.com/2014/02/08/if-a-person-is-a-legal-entity-whats-your-real-identity/

      Capitalisation of your name and legal fabrication person

      http://humansarefree.com/2015/07/heres-why-your-legal-name-is-written-in.html

      list of types of law:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_areas_of_law

      Wade through all that and then perhaps we can begin to understand how law assumes you know all of this and are submitting yourself to their authority over you?

    • Earthquakes in Holland were caused by compaction of a sandstone reservoir. Reservoir porosity was probably much higher than any shale reservoir.

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