The Oscar-winning actor, Emma Thompson, visited Cuadrilla’s shale gas site near Blackpool today for a regular protest by local women.
About one hundred opponents of fracking, many dressed in white to symbolise peace, walked to the Preston New Road site at Little Plumpton.
Ms Thompson last visited in April 2016 for a Greenpeace “bake-off” protest in a neighbouring field. Then, the landowner sprayed her and her sister, Sophie, with manure.
Lancashire County Council refused permission for the Preston New Road site in June 2015 but it got the go-ahead from the Communities’ Secretary, Sajid Javid, in October 2016.
Emma Thompson said today:
“It’s so inspiring to be here with these brave and determined women who have been opposing fracking for years. They speak for a community whose voice was first ignored then shouted down by the Westminster government.
“And what’s happening across the country shows these women were right. Seven years from the first frack, all we have are a pile of broken promises and some holes in the ground. Council after council have been rejecting fracking, and projects have been delayed. The future of this industry is so uncertain ministers have all but stopped talking about it. Fracking is a dud – it’s time to move on.
“Ministers should stop wasting time and energy imposing fracking and its imaginary benefits on local communities and focus instead on the real jobs and investment clean energy sources like offshore wind can create.”
John Sauven, Director of Greenpeace UK, (above) also visited the site today.
Cuadrilla is expecting to frack the first well at Preston New Road around June this year. A spokesperson said in a statement yesterday:
“We respect the right to lawful protest and hope that, as with other activists involved, the visitors from London ensure that local residents and commuters are not inconvenienced by any road blockages and unlawful behaviour.”
With thanks to Refracktion for the use of photographs