Legal

Police impose limits on protests at Notts shale gas site

181112 Tinker Lane FFTL3

Tinker Lane, north Nottinghamshire, 12 November 2018. Photo: Frack Free Tinker Lane

Nottinghamshire Police has introduced restrictions on where and when people can protest outside the IGas shale gas site at Tinker Lane, near Blyth.

A spokesperson for the force said the controls were necessary to “prevent intimidation” and the risk of serious injury to protesters and police. Opponents of IGas’s activities have dismissed suggestions of intimidation and said the protesters looked out for each other to minimise risk.

One person was arrested today for breaching the restrictions, a police spokesperson said.

The controls were introduced in a Section 14 notice, issued under the Public Order Act. It restricts protest to an area with temporary fencing on one side of the bellmouth at the site entrance.

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Tinker Lane, north Nottinghamshire, 12 November 2018. Photo: Frack Free Tinker Lane

A police spokesperson said:

“The designated protest site is the only site permissible for protest within one mile of the entrance gate to the Tinker Lane drilling site”.

The spokesperson said the designated hours of protest were between 7am and 7pm, Monday to Friday. No protests would be allowed outside these hours. The spokesperson added:

“The designated number of protestors is capped at a maximum of 50 (the safe occupancy level for the designated protest area).”

Asked why the force had issued the notice, the spokesperson said:

“Nottinghamshire Police believe that the circumstances and conditions, in which the public assembly and protest activity at Tinker Lane is being held, show that the organisers purpose is to intimidate others not to do something they have a right to do.

“Furthermore, the above conditions are necessary to prevent this intimidation and the reasonably foreseeable likelihood of serious injury to protestors and/or police officers that protesting in the highway represents in terms of pedestrian v vehicle contact.”

181112 Tinker Lane FFTL2

Tinker Lane, north Nottinghamshire, 12 November 2018. Photo: Frack Free Tinker Lane

People opposed to IGas’s activities at Tinker Lane rejected this explanation today.

A person speaking on behalf of protesters, who call themselves Tinker Protectors, said the Section 14 notice was issued after the police “lost control of the situation”. He said protesters had danced in the road and had taken part in a slow walk protest in front of lorries delivering to the site.

Responding to the police statement, he said:

“There are no organisers of this protest. This is a protest by people from communities across the region who oppose shale gas exploration and fracking.

“There has been no intimidation. No drivers or workers at the site have been intimidated. They may have been slowed down but they have not been stopped from entering the site.

“It would be hard to be intimidated by a group of people dancing in the road.”

He said the designated protest area was on the more dangerous side of the bellmouth, adding:

“We minimise the risk of injury by looking out for each other.”

181112 Tinker Lane FFTL1

Tinker Lane, north Nottinghamshire, 12 November 2018. Photo: Frack Free Tinker Lane

Frack Free Tinker Lane reported a large police presence at the site this morning. Nottinghamshire Police said it was unable to say for operational reasons how many officers were on duty.

Tinker Lane will see the first shale gas drilling in Nottinghamshire. IGas began bringing in drilling equipment last week (DrillOrDrop report) and this continued today. A convoy delivered rig components, water tanks, cabins, lighting and staircases. One person said an estimated 10-15 more flatbed lorries were expected in coming days.

  • IGas sites in Nottinghamshire and Cheshire are subject to an interim High Court injunction on protests (see DrillOrDrop report) This is due to be considered at a hearing in London next month.

40 replies »

  1. {Edited by moderator} They have only themselves to blame for the perfectly acceptable restrictions and injunctions they are now facing. One only has to watch some of their videos to watch them attempt to intimidate all and sundry, and inflict their view on others by force.

    Hopefully some will soon be losing their property when they breach the injunction.

    Protest is NOT defined as getting your own way, and preventing others going about their lawful business as you seem to think it does.

    Have your little protest, have a little shout and wave your banners around, delay the trucks for a few minutes, then toddle off for some warm muesli and a good ole whine on Facebook 😉

    • Fracking does not have public support at Tinker Lane or anywhere in the country. I’m so impressed that people give up their lives to stop something that is both stupid and dangerous. We’re the sixth mass extinction, these people will be the heroes of the future, if we have one.

  2. A lorry driver held up for ten minutes yesterday whilst having to drive slowly angrily complained, even got out his cab wanting to fight with a protester in front of the police because protest should not inflict inconvenience on others.
    How I chuckled – I wonder if he was in the rolling roadblocks across the country by lorry drivers protesting at diesel hitting £1 a litre.
    Muppet.

  3. Good to see that the police have not put any limits on supporters ( well not that I can see from the report ).
    Good news for local residents.

  4. “Gas to be worlds second largest energy source by 2030. Energy demand will grow by 25% between 2017-2040 even with energy efficiencies. Gas demand +45% by 2040.”

    IEA report from Reuters.

    So, SIMPLES, that gas self sufficiency is an imperative, if possible. If that is too simple for some, look up the supply:demand:price equation available in all kiddies guides to economics. Or do a little modern history reading regarding the 1970s.

    Or, you could ignore and take the anti approach that there are huge quantities of cheap oil and gas sloshing around the world so everything is sorted.

    • Or we could just stop using as much gas and concentrate our efforts on a solar industry that’s getting better and cheaper all the time, instead of wasting our time with gas and fucking the environment at the same time…

    • Insulate our house and heat them with reneweable electricity. The only reason we are not doing this is 5he profits and power of fossil fuel companies who are using your tax as a subsidy. Yes have fuel independence, tidal and wave are our obvious gifts but we’re not using them. They could be locally owned, provide more jobs and secure future as fossil fuels have to stop sometime. Why not now. Such brave protestors and supported by the local community.

      • If you read Martin’s e-mail you will note that it refers to “global”:

        “Gas to be worlds second largest energy source by 2030. Energy demand will grow by 25% between 2017-2040 even with energy efficiencies. Gas demand +45% by 2040.”

        You can bleat on all you want about what the UK should do / doesn’t do / will do (rely on gas) but it won’t make any global difference. Why not sail to China / India / Indonesia etc and try your protesting out there? I assume flying is not an option….

  5. Why not now?

    Because the private companies find the returns on many alternatives are not good enough unless the public pay through the nose for them. Of course some individual schemes will do better, but in the bigger picture, most will not. You only have to look at the situation with hybrid cars. Bought for the tax break and to avoid congestion charges. Charging leads not even unpacked in many cases.

    Many in the local community I have spoken to have no time for these protestors, some of whom think we can just tow the UK a thousand kilometers south to make solar work well.

    Look at the countries where alternatives are being developed well. Norway and USA are good examples where a strong oil and gas industry is the base for that happening. Why? Because they provide the revenue that can be utilised to support such projects. The antis want to gift aid that revenue to other countries and still think the magic money tree will be there to subsidise their pet projects. Look at the 1970s-the result are 3 day weeks and high unemployment as businesses cut the costs of the asset that can be reduced the quickest-people. Of course, many do not remember the 1970s, but you only have to see the impact of the Beast from the East on the support against fracking (as reported by DoD), to identify how reality soon overtakes fiction.

  6. Only intimidation going on is by the Establishment and the Constabularies dealing with Environmental Protectors!
    The discredited fossil fuel industry is rightly in it’s death throes and thrashing around.
    Facilitating it’s survival is facilitating Ecocide!

      • Jack TL

        I bet the residents of those properties in Groningen affected would love some fracking to take place elsewhere to reduce the pressure on the Dutch Gov to extract the gas in order to, inter alia meet EU budgetary requirements.

        So a frack ban is of no interest or benefit to those living above the gas field.

        The Groningen field is a conventional gas reservoir. It is somewhat large and has been producing since 1959.
        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groningen_gas_field

        Similar field extend across the N.Sea, and have been exploited since the 1960s ( hence the large offshore gas industry tied back to Dimlington, Theddlethorpe and Bacton).

        It now , the field has some issues, as the Sandstone compacts there is subsidence, excacerbated by the soft clay the build is are built on. Hence the earthquakes and damage to housing.

        https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/oct/10/shell-exxon-gas-drilling-sets-off-earthquakes-wrecks-homes

        What is not clear is why the Dutch Government did not act sooner to deal with the issues.

        However, there is historical context. On the discovery of this fantastic gas bonanza the Dutch decided to shut their very large and ( then ) modern coal mines.

        You have to be careful what you wish for, as you may get it. Said Dutch gov was good at sorting out coal mine induced subsidence and tremors, but over the intervening years lost that competence.

        Likewise here in the UK, good old coal requires carbon capture, much cheaper to burn gas. And even cheaper if we produce it here in the UK. Ho hum.

        But, what will replace the gas from Groningen? Cue Russia and from somewhere LNG, while other sources are developed.

  7. What do I think? I think the Dutch will be paying a lot more for gas over the next few years, and “enjoying” interrupted supplies-just like a number of countries.

    Maybe they have little choice, but maybe others do.

    Perhaps they are relying on supplies from elsewhere? Jim probably quite willing to let them have some. Shame it will not produce any jobs or revenue for Nicola. I think the Donald also thinks Junker is going to keep to his word, and arrange increased imports from USA. All looks very reliable! LOL.

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