Picture post: Actors present 102,000+ signature petition against oil drilling near Leith Hill

180315 Leith Petition hand-in 2

Actors Sue Jameson and James Bolam present the petition to the Environment Agency 15 March 2018. Photo: DrillOrDrop

Actors Sue Jameson and James Bolam handed in a petition with more than 102,400 signatures to the Environment Agency this evening.

The petition, urges the Environment Agency (EA) not to grant environmental permits that would allow oil drilling  at Bury Hill Wood near Leith Hill in Surrey. It also calls for improved water monitoring proposals at the site.

The signatories said the risks of water contamination from the proposed operations by Europa Oil and Gas were unacceptable. The company has said it would pump dilute hydrochloric acid into the well and surrounding rocks.

The EA has said it is minded to grant the permits. It said its draft permit would “ensure that a high level of protection is provided for the environment and human health”. A public consultation on the decision runs until 29 March 2018

Ms Jameson and Mr Bolam, who live near the oil exploration site at Broadford Bridge in West Sussex, have campaigned against hydrocarbon exploration.

The hand-in was at an EA drop-in information event in Dorking about the Leith Hill permits.

Earlier this week, the EA said it would not publicly accept the petition and would not be photographed.

180315 Leith Petition hand-in 1

Applause at the drop-in meeting for the petition, 15 March 2018. Photo: DrillOrDrop

But the organisation changed its mind and allowed people attending the event to film the presentation. People applauded the petition organisations and the agency staff for allowing the hand-in.

180315 Leith Petition hand-in 3

Campaigners outside the meeting, 15 March 2018. Photo: A Voice for Leith Hill.

Reporting on this event was made possible by individual donations from DrillOrDrop readers. You can contribute to independent reporting by  DrillOrDrop by clicking here

13 replies »

  1. I imagine the EA had its mind changed by the bad publicity it was getting . I wonder if they gave contact details ?

      • Well done Sue Jameson and James Bolam and 102,400 signatories and also thank you the EA for stepping up to the plate and accepting the petition in public on film.
        Wasn’t so bad was it?
        Now please continue to be publically accountable, since your own government have declared they know nothing about it and have pointed somewhat indirectly to the EA and other such unspecified regulating bodies and operators for public approachability, enquiry and accountability.

        We trust that this new atmosphere of publically accountable and approachable regulators and operators will continue and lead to a rational and open dialogue about fracking and it’s related avoidances of the word.

        Perhaps you could begin by publishing and explaining the precise incontravertable definitions of these “gold standard regulations” we hear so much about but see little evidence of and how such “gold standard regulations” are applied and what penalties are being imposed for non compliance?
        Thank you, I will be in touch directly, and I trust you will receive such enquiries with equal openness and public accountability?

        [Word added at poster’s request]

  2. So, the petition called for oil drilling not to be allowed, and also for improved water monitoring!

    Somewhat confused. How many signed the petition who were not against the first but thought the second was a good idea?

    • Why not take your own advice and try the local pub solution? Perhaps the answer is written on the bottom of a glass? Though it usually just says “drink me”?
      Then maybe you could apologise to Vicki at the same time?

  3. The EA is ” minded ” to grant permits .Same language used by Sajid Javid in October 2016 when he overruled LCC decision and referred to Roseacre . . How disgraceful. A country ruled by corporations and their puppets.

    • It is interesting to see what is being revealed by the Salisbury nerve agent poisoning, is evidence to suggest such agents were not produced in Russia but it’s satelite states. When many of those became independent, those materials became easy to come by and materials and technology to produce them could have travelled here there and everywhere.

      It would also appear that Russian gas, far from being a contributor to the UK, only gets in via the EU and even then without any direct attribution.
      So the fear mongering about Russian gas simply is not true, and what little does piggy back on other sources is small to insignificant.
      What has become apparent, though, is that Russia does supply significant amounts of gas to Germany and other EU participants.
      So what does that reveal? That perhaps the Russian gas is more of a brexit card than a UK supply card, and that this situation embarrasses the EU far more than it does the UK?
      As I said before, government is a dirty game of thrones and there are agendas within agendas within agendas, like a Russian doll.

      This is Ian R Cranes view on the situation:

      ( )

      Keep informed and try not to be caught up in the official hate speech rhetoric, there are agendas here far more complex than simplistic Russian boogie woogie big bad bears.

  4. Well, James seemed to be dressed for the Beast from the East. Perhaps they should have turned up the heating? Ahh, I see a problem with that.
    Two wealthy luvvies trying to impose their Nimbyism on those not so well off. I used to live in the area-has long been the same. Goodness knows what the reaction would have been if a golf course was involved.

    • Well here lies the sad literary remains of two rejected scriptwriters for The Unlikely Lads, whose Boats Will Now Never Come In?
      Forever relegated to Beavis and Buthead re runs in the wee small hours in outer Mongolia?

  5. Well Martin, yet another connection to a site where such activities are being proposed, are you a campaigner for the industry or you keep moving to escape their insidious plans?

  6. Unfortunately the EA has been rendered a mere puppet so that May’s Cabinet can continue to go ahead with its already decided plan to frack whether it goes against Climate science or not. They don’t care. Deals have been secretly negotiated and signed, already in Cameron’s time as PM. Mays’s government even changed the law giving the final word to the Minister of Energy. They’re just copying the American EA modus operandi and have become the ruling party’s puppets. They will never go against the grain of the hand that feeds them. Our democracy is slowly bu surely being eroded.
    Of course its good to protest. Don’t want to make it that easy for them! And well done for delivering this fantastic petition. I support it 100%.
    But Fracking was already decided upon then Brexit conveniently came along and despite all the evidence, the Electoral Commission is as powerless as the EA. Nobody can go against May’s government. The Elite boys have decided and invested in what they think will continue to make them wealthy at the cost of our environment, our biosphere, human and animal welfare.
    I know this site is often visited by pro fracking Trolls but they have to defend their financial investment. However, why should they impose their money-making toxic plans on the rest of us! It is an outrage, even protesting can be twisted conveniently to their advantage as they’re little by little making it literally illegal! Corporations have their own security services and when they’re lacking they’re even calling on the services of our national police. Is Britain fast becoming a banana republic? I certainly hope not.

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