Councillors ask Rathlin Energy for community fund

Three East Yorkshire councillors have asked an oil company to establish a community fund if its expansion plans are successful.

Rathlin Energy is seeking planning permission to treble the width of its West Newton A site to drill six new wells and produce hydrocarbons for 20 years.

In a letter today, the local Conservative county councillors asked the company to enter into a legal agreement if its application is approved.

Cllrs Jacob Birch, John Holtby and Brian Skow, who represent Mid-Holderness ward, said:

“Rathlin Energy UK and partners are set to benefit significantly from the extraction of oil/gas at the West Newton sites, if planning is granted over what will be a 20-to-25 year period.

“We firmly believe that given the huge impact the application would have on the local community and environment, Rathlin have a duty to put back into the community financially, by working with the community.”

The councillors proposed a section 106 agreement, which is signed by the developer and the council after permission is granted. Similar agreements have established funds linked to local wind farms.

The councillors said:

“Whilst a community fund will not offset the impact of the development, it goes a long way to helping the local community benefit from what is an impactful and often controversial development”.

They said the fund should be administered independently and would “benefit the local area in whatever way it can”.

They welcomed Rathlin’s funding for a defibrillator:

“It is this kind of work we wish to see continue if Rathlins operations continue in and around West Newton”.

Expansion plans at Rathlin Energy’s West Newton-A site

Local opponents of Rathlin’s application have criticised the councillors’ suggestion. The campaign group, West Newton and Sproatley Gateway to the Gas Fields asked:

“Why aren’t they objecting to it themselves.

“None of these three councillors have come out and said they will oppose on behalf of their residents.

“They should be asking people to come and share their views, not give Rathlin a chance to buy the community.”

DrillOrDrop invited Rathlin Energy to comment on the councillors’ proposal. This post will be updated with any response.

11 replies »

  1. It’s bad enough when these filthy companies come into an area and attempt to buy the community. When elected officials whose job it is to support their communities (who after all, gave them their votes) actively encourage the polluting fossil fuel industry to manipulate and exploit the people, those officials should hang their heads in shame and hand back their elected seats.

    • The community fund would be nothing different to the one set up by the renewable energy company operating the wind farm at Withernwick, which is the village adjacent to Rathlin’s West Newton site.

  2. It’s bad enough that the bird mincers have bought their way into communities already, with similar agreements!

    Most UK on shore oil sites already offer such agreements, and the local communities benefit. However, Wressle has lost £400k thanks to the antis. I think the ones who should hang their heads in shame are pretty evident, when the oil companies look after the local communities and the antis cost them.

    Good for those Councillors, thinking that if the development is to proceed then how can it benefit the locals. Pragmatism rather than dogma.

  3. If those communities had all given up on the use of fossil fuels, you may have had a good point Deborah. However they haven’t, which means that by following your proposal, the councillors would just be backing the nimby’s, hypocrites and those who are unwilling to accept the changes required to reduce the country’s carbon footprint and move towards net zero.

    Also can we expect to see a community fund or crowdfunding effort from those organising opposition to the application, if their actions result in a loss of services, similar to that which occurred at Wressle?

    • “If those communities had all given up on the use of fossil fuels, you may have had a good point Deborah. However they haven’t, which means that by following your proposal, the councillors would just be backing the nimby’s, hypocrites and those who are unwilling to accept the changes required to reduce the country’s carbon footprint and move towards net zero.”
      As Mann comments in ‘The New Climate War’: “Climate communicators must operate within the system that exists to be effective while articulating the case for changing that system.” It takes only a moment to appreciate the accuracy of that statement. To brand them as nimbys and hypocrites and as unwilling to accept those changes which, ironically, they are advocating is clearly to adopt the classic denier ‘deflection’ tactic. To quote Mann again in his tireless efforts to expose such tactics: “The problem the deniers face is that the evidence is so overwhelming that attacks on the science itself aren’t credible. Exposing scientists [and by extension others – my intercalation] as supposed “hypocrites”, however, is a relatively effective way of undermining their perceived integrity along with their credibility as climate messengers.” Furthermore, Mann points out, such attacks plant the seed in the victim’s and in the reader’s mind that personal carbon footprints are the [my italics] important thing to concentrate on rather than public policy when it comes to climate solutions. Deflection successful! Look elsewhere.
      Note also how the supposed contribution of fossil fuels to the attainment of net zero is here slipped in under the wire as a proven fact, as a ‘given’,and admire the skill underlying deflection. Thus has powerful industry lobbying persuaded Johnson that fossil fuels must continue to be exploited, now for the production of blue, rather than exclusively green planet-friendly, hydrogen. Blue hydrogen is not climate friendly.
      Deflection and manipulation as well as ad hominem attacks, character assassination and misrepresentation have proved astonishingly effective in persuading large sections of the community to be worryingly complacent about the continuing exploitation of oil and gas despite more and more urgent appeals from the relevant scientific bodies. One sees it everywhere. It can be summed up – “We’ll still need these fuels for the next X years. Why not cash in while we (and the polluters) can?” This attitude makes light of the argument that X recedes as we proceed along this path, all the while exacerbating the problem.
      I fear we are too gullible: a fact the industry will use until its dying breath.We must wake up now, to the awful risks, to the machinations of those who try to persuade us differently, and to the necessity of persuading those entrusted with leading us to take decisive action to adapt to, to mitigate, and to seek to reverse global overheating. We live in a self-styled democracy: let’s use its instruments – our MPs. Hope, pray if you can, and act.

      • “We live in a self styled democracy”!!!


        From someone who continually tries to make political points on DoD against the Government that has been democratically elected in the UK.

        As a previous poster has accurately commented there is more to do with left wing political activism and the fact that democracy has not worked for them, than a real concern for the environment.

        If Kane is transferred from Spurs he will no longer play football for Spurs, so the transfer of production (player) moves it to another place. Maybe Man City, maybe the East Riding. In the latter case, transport emissions will be reduced and the environment will benefit. (As it would with Cornish lithium-must be true, Channel 4 confirmed it!)
        Already established by the Wressle Enquiry, at a cost of £400k to the local community who were not well represented. Hopefully, this has been taken on board by these 3 Councillors and they are looking to benefit their communities with better representation rather than cost them.
        Doesn’t look to me that there are all that many “wes” who are gullible.

        • It’s isn’t as if the area hasn’t got its fair share of offshore and onshore wind farms. solar parks, thermal biomass plants and anaerobic digestion plants.

          The area does however still have a number of refineries, chemical plants and CCGT’s all of which use imported oil and gas.

          There is a great deal of work and effort currently going on to drastically reduce the environmental impact of these facilities, given the fact that they will still be required to be in operation up to and beyond 2050.

          A local source of oil and gas with a smaller carbon footprint is one of number of options that could be taken to achieve this aim.

  4. Yes, John, I think the antis should be required to set up a Bond before they are allowed to protest, so that local communities do not have to fund their costs incurred. Perhaps set at Wressle, times several-as the next costs are likely to increase if lessons have not been learned.

  5. It is very good for the area. Will bring in money and jobs. Every home in the area is heated by natural gas and possibly soon to be blue hydrogen. The carbon footprint is minimised by extracting and producing this locally.

  6. OMG and I suppose None of you drive cars or Heat your Homes with gas of electricity & before you start harping on about green energy well that’s a joke there is nothing greed about it as it requires the burning of a tremendous amount of fossil fuel to even build a wind turbine.

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