Residents vote to share Cuadrilla’s £100,000 fracking fund – but some reject “blood money”

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Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas sie, 27 September 2017. Photo: DrillOrDrop

People living within 1.5km of Cuadrilla’s shale gas site in Lancashire are to share a £100,000 community benefit fund, the company confirmed today.

The decision follows a public consultation with people living locally.

Cuadrilla said 79% of consultation participants from the parish of Westby with Plumptons wanted the money from the site’s second exploration well to go directly to households nearby.

But only 250 of the 741 eligible households (34%) participated in the consultation. And at least one resident said he wouldn’t take the money.

29 households within 1km of the centre of the site will qualify for £2,070. Another 259 households within 1-1.5km qualify £150. They must apply for the money within 30 days of a letter dated 30 October 2017.

John Tootiill, whose nursery is within 1km of the Preston New Road site, has supported opposition to Cuadrilla’s operation. He told The Guardian he didn’t want the money:

“It is absolutely the most appalling thing. How can you give money to compensate for affecting people’s health and spoiling their environment?

“What we want is our health. It’s just blood money really, because no amount of money can compensate for somebody’s health being affected. You can’t buy health. Most certainly I wouldn’t take it.”

The Green Party MEP, Keith Taylor, said in a statement today:

“These proposals are immoral and tantamount to bribery. Britain and the world is on course to miss climate targets. Kickbacks won’t keep catastrophic climate change at bay.

“Residents in Lancashire will not be swayed by a naked attempt to use bribery to divide and conquer communities. It is time for the Government to stop circumventing democracy and, finally, listen to the public.”

A £100,000 sum for the first well at Preston New Road has been paid into an independently-managed fund. Cuadrilla said a community panel would make decisions on how this money would be distributed. The panel is likely to be appointed by the end of the year and the first payments made in early Spring 2018. Money not claimed by residents for the second well would go into this fund, Cuadrilla said.

A consultation on the priorities for the fund suggested that people wanted money to go to local environmental issues (24%), health living (19%) and safety (14%).

Asked how the local community could be supported, 24% of participants said it should be through resident-led projects, while 18% said through existing community activities and services.

Community Consultation Report


52 replies »

  1. Lol “one” didn’t take the cash aye! Surprise Surprise. Wonder what our resident antis will conjure up in response :p

    • Peeny, do try to read the report, the “one”, it says is part of the 34% who participated but would not accept the money.

      “But only 250 of the 741 eligible households (34%) participated in the consultation. And at least one resident said he wouldn’t take the money.”

      741-250=491 did not participate more would not accept the money, is that clear now?

      “at least one’ said he wouldn’t take the money, which means, one of the 491 plus the a number of those 34% who replied and would not take the money.

      Quite different isn’t it? Another one who only sees what they want to see.

  2. Have to say I’m genuinely shocked at that. As John Toothill said, you can’t buy health at any price. I’d certainly refuse this immoral money too.

  3. Really interesting this reaction by a few when the vast majority of the UK population look with envy upon the Norwegian system where the population benefits hugely by the investment return from their massive Wealth Fund, produced by Norwegian oil and gas.

  4. ‘Another 259 households within 1-1.5km qualify £150.’
    £150? What a pathetic joke! HS2 are paying way over this just to ‘see’ the train whooshing past in the far distance….

  5. Terribly cheap bribe isn’t it? It would be interesting to know if a gagging order accompanies the bribe?
    I wonder if people realise you never accept the first offer?
    They might have got 10 times that amount?
    But I suppose in a country which has pushed the tax payer to the brink of penury by their own government which is supported by an off shore tax haven based industry, it’s really not that surprising.
    It should not stop anyone from opposing and demonstrating against the industry of course, if it does it really is blood money.

  6. “Only when the last tree has died,
    And the last river been poisoned
    And the last fish been caught,
    Will we realise that we cannot eat money.”
    This Cree Indian prophecy will come to haunt all those short sighted people who sell out to bribery.

  7. I have to say that is a great shame that some people have accepted that money. We here in the Peak District fought a recent campaign to stop several wind generators being built. The challenge for us was to persuade others that the offer of £300 grand per each of 3-4 villages from the developers was nothing short of plain bribery.
    We managed it – planning perm was refused and the company seems to have gone away (but they are rather schemers aren’t they, so who knows what’ll turn up next).

    • Paul Heppleston
      I guess to compare apples with apples, you would have to refuse the wind turbine money, after they have been built, whether you wanted them or not.
      But maybe you are kidding us. Why would anyone not embrace pollution free, non toxic, never ending, cheaper than everything power?

  8. Sorry Sherwulfe you do post without a lot of thought. I presume your point is that the wells are off-shore? I suggest you visit Norway and you might find they have a great deal of maritime industry apart from oil and gas so the same proximity issues pertain. Strangely, you will also find oil and gas is delivered to land. I used to trade with Norway into their salmon farming industry and they had few concerns regarding oil and gas, and benefitted considerably by the marine technology spin offs and the infrastructure improvements.

  9. It’s interesting that if the area had the average population density and household make up of Lancashire, then the payments to each household < 1km would have been just £85 each and between 1 and 1.5 km just £44 each.

    A peanut compared to the loss in property values that will be inevitable, and you can't put a real price on health or amenity value.

  10. IMPORTANT ……. HOW MANY ???????

    How many of the people who are willing to accept this ” Pittance Payment ” are actually the owners of the properties they are living in ???


    HOW MANY PEOPLE are renting from
    (1) Private Landlords ?
    (2) Housing Association ?
    (3) Council ?

    People who fall in to the above three categories clearly would NOT give a ” monkey’s ” about the possible 10s / 100s thousands of house depreciation value, or the possible difficulties/extra cost in obtaining certain types of building cover .

    Any difficulties obtaining buildings cover, may also effect the Mortgage Ability of a property …..

    • Jack
      According to council information, there are no council or Housing Assiciation Tenants in that area. So .. private ownership and private landlords.
      People renting could be in to a good deal, especially if they get 4 bungs for 4 wells. The landlord does not have to worry unless they plan to sell up, or struggle to get tenants. Rentals are holding up according to the Zoopla Data. There is only one house available to rent in Little Plumpton plus 1 mile.
      For Little Plumpton, the average house price is £416,300, and prices have gone up over 3% this year, 24% in 5 years. ( Zoopla )
      So no signs if massive property devaluation yet due to the activity or threat of it.

      Re Insurance, Blackfriars Group have some information on insurance and fracking, and are cool about it.

      Presumably the people living in the area have continued to get house insurance and mortgages. Similarly people at Kirby Misperton amd Knapton are not saddled with such troubles for the conventional extraction activities. Likewise those living next to Tier 1 and 2 COMAH Sites.

      But one to keep an eye on, and any comments on my assumption welcome.

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