Judi Dench supports fundraiser for legal action against Surrey oil drilling

Dame Judi Dench has given her support to an online auction to raise money for a court challenge to the expansion of oil drilling at Horse Hill in Surrey.

The multi award-winning actor, who lives in Surrey, donated a signed copy of her autobiography, Scenes of my life, for an online auction.

The fundraiser has been organised by the campaign network, the Weald Action Group, which opposes fossil fuel expansion.

All the proceeds will go towards the legal challenge to Surrey County Council’s decision to grant planning permission for oil production and more drilling at Horse Hill.

A judicial review of the permission, sought by local campaigner Sarah Finch, was dismissed in the High Court in 2020.

But an appeal court judge said the key argument over greenhouse gas emissions “has far reaching ramifications” and “is a matter of considerable public concern”.

The case will now be heard at the Appeal Court in mid-November 2021, a week after the end of the Cop26 international climate talks in Glasgow. The campaigners  need to raise £13,727 for the challenge.

Friends of the Earth, which has intervened in the case on the side of Sarah Finch, has described it as one of four legal challenges that threaten the UK’s climate reputation.

The online auction opened yesterday and runs for a month. Other donated items include artwork, crafts, services, holiday accommodation and workshops. A supporter has offered to double cash donations and auction bids.

Sarah Finch said:

“We hope that the amazing items up for auction will give people the chance to buy something fun or useful, while contributing to the fight for climate justice and a fossil fuel free future.”

“This legal case is so important – our planning system is out of step with the climate emergency and we need to stop new fossil fuels developments being permitted in the Weald and across the UK.”

The legal costs of the judicial review were met by crowdfunding, fundraising efforts by local campaigners and support from a range of local groups, including parish councils.

10 replies »

  1. Looks as if UK oil is producing even more income within the UK-another £13,727!

    Imported oil a sad shadow of a competitor-again.

    Another reason to utilize UK oil in preference to imported.

    Wressle Inquiry:

    There is no suggestion that this proposal would increase the use of hydrocarbons, and the evidence demonstrates that the effect would be simply to transfer production to a more local source.

    The Inspector seemed to have missed the bit about it will also help to employ loads of UK legal beagles.

  2. Dear Dame Judi, Before you lend your revered name to this cause please consider what these eco-warriors have achieved so far.
    World wide coal burning has recently surged. Coal as you will know is much more polluting than oil & gas. Among many reasons one is without doubt the clamp down on oil & gas production & exploration.
    The anti-oil & gas lobby have therefore actually contributed to a surge in emissions.
    Among other achievements, *certain nations with human rights records which I am sure you deplore have gained an even greater sway over the West. * energy costs have surged adding to fuel poverty *energy security further & needlessly weakened.
    Any positive achievements?
    Well, some nimby communities have been spared the vulgarity of hosting potentially tax & energy producing projects in their areas. Their energy of course being piped in from “less special “places.
    Dear Dame Judi, protesting is great fun but in this case has caused only damage to the cause it promotes. Please think again.

      • Hi Jono! Balcome’s just fine but some of her citizens must be hanging their heads in shame over their contribution (admittedly small) to the current surge in coal burning.
        Not original but read somewhere recently ” Governments faced with the choice of industrial collapse & people dying of cold or burning coal ,will …burn coal” If that happens to an even greater extent than now perhaps even the eco- warriors will regret their actions.
        And to Dame Judi, in the unlikely event you are reading; joining the green blob is easy. Be brave. Thank the
        Oil Industry for their huge contributions to the Arts & encourage them to continue helping to reduce coal burning. That would really hit the headlines & might even actually help to reduce emissions!

  3. She should sort out 007!

    All that high speed chasing about. Much better to kit him out with a bicycle-or, an E scooter.

  4. Her life as an actress in big productions, is a statement of massive oil product user…. transportation all over the world, equipment (ie 007 explosives), cameras, all the plastic and size of those productions . And yet, she is against production close to her home [edited by moderator] So happy to use it, not happy to have anything to to with cost of this use. Funny that.

    • She may not be happy to use gas, Arron, but may, like the rest of us, have to use what we’ve got until the subsidies which keep the industry alive are diverted in toto to the production of renewables. There is nothing “funny” or incoherent about using the only resource available to us, nor does it indicate hypocrisy.

      • Yes, it is incoherent, funny and hypocrisy.

        There are alternatives available, especially for the wealthy. They can chose that route if they wish-it is not the only resource available. Remember the “Good Life”?

        Meanwhile, there are millions asking for green SUBSIDIES to be removed from their rocketing domestic fuel bills and worrying about paying the bills for their petrol/diesel and hoping that some of the £20 billion (plus) per year TAX they pay in fuel duty might be lowered. And then there is ” Every electric car sold in the UK is costing the Treasury around £1k in lost fuel and vehicle tax in it’s first year”.

        So, yes, incoherent, funny and hypocrisy. There is a lot of it about, but it is still not possible to deflect away from it when another example surfaces.

  5. The truth is sometimes inconvenient Aaron. Books were thrown on bonfires in the 1930s, today attempts are made to disrupt the Press.

    Good, though, that her book has survived the thought police.

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