Anti-fracking groups are expected to converge on Blackpool tomorrow for a protest outside the Conservative Party’s spring conference.
Campaigners from across England are responding to the renewed calls for fracking from some members of the government.
The shale gas industry in the Blackpool area was suspended in 2019 after a series of earthquakes caused by fracking at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site. This was followed by . Ban England-wide moratorium on fracking.
Cuadrilla has been preparing to plug and abandon the Preston New Road wells. But the Oil & Gas Authority has offered to consider a request to postpone the operation for a year.
Barbara Richardson, a campaigner from Frack Free Lancashire, said:
“Making sure we have a voice – that’s why we’re going to the conference. We want the government and industry to hear us.”
Other campaigns are expected to call for insulated homes, humane response to the refugee crisis, fair wages and support for the NHS.
Jem Bendell, professor of sustainability leadership at Cumbria University, said:
“We want a just transition to low-carbon living for everyone. And we know that corporate greed is the enemy of peace, health, freedom and our families.
“The view that starting gas projects that take years to come on stream will help people in fuel poverty today is just as bonkers.
“We know that anyone saying either doesn’t actually care about what’s happening in the world. We care.”
This is the first time since 2007 that the Conservatives have held a conference in Blackpool.
Protest organisers have called for noisy demonstrations with samba bands, pots and pans and a variety of speakers hoping to be loud enough to be heard inside the Winter Gardens’ new Conference Centre.
The protest is due to start at 10am on Friday 18 March in St John’s Square. On Saturday 19 March, the protest begins at 11am at the Comedy Carpet, opposite Blackpool Tower, followed by a rally at St John’s Square.