Legal

IGas responds to community anger over protest injunction

180804 owl day at Misson 4 FFM

Owl day event opposing fracking at the Springs Road, Misson site. Photo: Frack Free Misson, 4 August 2018

The shale gas company, IGas, has been criticised for treating communities with “disrespect and contempt” after serving a High Court injunction on two residents’ groups.

The injunction, granted earlier this month, was designed to outlaw what were described as “unlawful” protests at IGas sites in Nottinghamshire and Cheshire. (DrillOrDrop report)

The draft order identified “organisations, groups and individuals believed to oppose the Claimants’ activities” at Springs Road, near Misson, Tinker Lane, near Blyth, and Portside in Ellesmere Port.

The list included Misson Community Action Group (MCAG), a residents’ group established to provide information about local issues of concern.

MCAG is a member of the Springs Road community liaison group, set up as a condition of planning permission for shale gas exploration at the site. The order was sent to Jayne Watson, the administrator of MCAG’s Facebook page, who is also chair of Misson Parish Council.

The other group was listed via its domain name, TinkerLane.co.uk, the website for the Tinker Lane community liaison group. This group was also established as a condition of planning permission.

In a letter to IGas, Mrs Watson said she was “appalled to be a sent a copy of the High Court injunction”. DrillOrDrop understands that IGas has also received complaints from people associated with the Tinker Lane community liaison group.

This evening, IGas solicitors, Fieldfisher, told DrillOrDrop it had written to Mr Justice Morgan, who granted the interim injunction. The letter said IGas had no objection to the groups being removed from the order.

The injunction prompted anger among people living near the IGas sites in Nottinghamshire. Mrs Watson told the company’s chief executive, Stephen Bowler:

“It appears that you have given up on building positive relationships through effective community engagement and you have decided as an alternative, to employ this clumsy and insensitive strategy in order to suppress the opposition.

“You are treating people and communities with disrespect and contempt by attempting to put a slur on certain individuals and groups in order to undermine and discredit them.

“In this case, you have failed miserably with your community engagement through this heavy handed tactic that is designed to threaten and intimidate ordinary people.”

Mrs Watson added:

“MCAG has been effective in disseminating information from the CLG about progress at the exploratory drill site on Springs Road for several years.

“Many people who access the MCAG pages do so because they wish to obtain information about your activities.

“They are not necessarily anti or pro fracking but merely wish to remain informed. By naming this group in the injunction, you are targeting the very community that you are endeavouring to engage and are deterring some individuals from freely expressing any negative opinions about your development for fear of repercussion. How can we have any measure of trust and confidence in you as an industry when you behave in this way?”

Mrs Watson’s letter was posted in full on the Misson Community Action Group Facebook Page.

In today’s letter to Mr Justice Morgan, Fieldfisher also said it would remove the statement that the groups were “believed to oppose the Claimants’ activity at the sites”.

  • DrillOrDrop.com was also listed on the draft order. We asked Fieldfisher and the court to remove our name. Fieldfisher’s letter to the judge said IGas had no objection to this either.

 

16 replies »

  1. Title should be “Mrs Watson responds to iGAS – anger protest injunction”. not really much said by IGAS was there.

    [comment corrected at poster’s request]

  2. So you have nothing to say Greg? I’m sure Ruth prefers to keep it grammatically correct , maybe try writing headlines for the Sun or the Mail , their readers wont notice .

  3. So Field Fisher the corporate {edited by moderator] have landed an own goal, oh dear what a grave mistake. I wonder if now this community and other community groups will realise that liaison group are only really there to spy on the community and keep them fed with carrots. Representative democracy created by the nuclear lobby for the frackers to continue its discourse of cooperation, Wakey wakey communities liaisoning with these frackers is just like liaisoning with a mob with guns

    • I am very grateful for the work done by several of our local councillors here in Fylde who tirelessly (and thanklessly as far as you are concerned obviously) work to ensure that the local community gets its voice heard and is kept informed of what is happening. The people who give so much time and effort into this are real community heroes in my book. BTW it’s liaising not liaisoning.

  4. Clueless! Inept and a massive PR cock-up! How could they manage to get an injunction on the basis that a person or group is “believed to oppose the Claimants’ activity at the sites”. There is nothing illegal or abnormal in opposing the activities of a company or organization. By the time they remove all of the individuals, groups or organisations who should not really have been named, there won’t be anyone subject to the injunction lol!

    Two thirds of the country oppose our Conservative Government. Should they be subjected to an injunction? I believe that some Manchester City supporters oppose the activities of Manchester United and vise versa – is that worthy of an injunction? The Judges granting these silly injunctions should read the detail, ask more questions and stop taking everything at face value. The injunctions should not be made in secret. It should be in a open court with those affected being allowed equal time and opportunity to respond to the very often pathetically weak submissions.

    Ian R Crane has referred to such decisions as “kritarchy (Rule by Judges) …”

  5. Over 300 arrests at PNR and counting. “Pathetically weak”?

    No, those pathetically weak were the ones who ever thought that would be allowed to continue and now whinge about local democracy being eroded because it isn’t allowed to continue. Seems local democracy is just another phrase for mob rule.

    Like the way you have adopted the two thirds rule, Waffle. Is that the same two thirds who DO NOT oppose fracking? The majority may be relatively silent, but they are still the majority.

  6. Try some punctuation Jono. Wont and won’t have two different meanings.

    Oh, how I love to see someone try and take the high ground in an attempt to censor free speech, and fall flat on their face.

  7. Nimbys are against loads of things locally. I am listening to the road drills as I type this. The housing development is happening.

    Are these the same individuals who were so against, they would reject the Cuadrilla payments out of hand? That proved to be more fake news. What will be the local vote when/if significant money is available to them?

    The reality is that UDI does not apply to locals. An inconvenient truth but still a truth. Equally, mob rule will, and has been rejected.

  8. Ahh, another Bot wades in.

    I know it is the day you were dreading refracktion, but take a few deep breaths, do a bit of yoga, and just think of all the coming opportunities to add to your snap collection and submit for that prize money. All that pent up anxiety-could produce a seismic event.

    I have little use for a mirror. Unlike some, no beard to trim, nor man bun to arrange. I left such attachments behind around 40 years ago. They were fashionable then and a signal to others.

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