Latest Public Sector News

16.08.13

Anti-fracking campaigners lead to drilling pause

Fracking company Cuadrilla is scaling back operations in West Sussex as 1,000 extra campaigners are expected at the site this weekend.

Environmental group No Dash For Gas had warned that it would engage in mass civil disobedience. The Balcombe site, where Cuadrilla is engaged in exploratory oil drilling, has had reinforced fences erected.

Cuadrilla has not ruled out fracking at the site, but would have to apply for a future licence to do so. Prime Minister David Cameron recently urged the public to support fracking as a viable alternative to mining for coal.

Cuadrilla said in a statement: “After taking advice from Sussex Police, Cuadrilla is scaling back operations ahead of this weekend's No Dash For Gas event.

“During this time, our main concern is the safety of our staff, Balcombe's residents and the protesters following threats of direct action against the exploration site. We will resume full operations as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Campaigners have been camped at the site for the past three years. Jamie Kelsey Fry, from No Dash For Gas, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: “People aren't going down there for fun. It's not fun to see the heavy policing that I predict will be happening over this weekend.

“Your listeners have to ask themselves why are these people taking these risks and putting themselves out? I would suggest it is because they have studied and they know the dangers of hydraulic fracking and this insane dash for gas.”

Supt Lawrence Hobbs, of Sussex Police, said: “We are acutely aware of the impact that this is having on the residents of Balcombe and back their call to protesters not to engage in any criminal activity in the pursuit of their aims.

“We will continue to facilitate peaceful protest but newcomers to the site should be aware that if they commit criminal offences then we will collect the evidence and they will be arrested.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

Image c. Dale G. Young/ AP PA

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the open more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Government accountability: A year in crises

15/01/2019Government accountability: A year in crises

From Windrush to Univerisal Credit: the Institute for Government’s (I... more >
Rethinking public-private partnerships

15/01/2019Rethinking public-private partnerships

Trinley Walker, senior policy researcher at the New Local Government Networ... more >

interviews

Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

17/12/2018Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

One of the public sector’s key technology partners has recently welco... more >

the raven's daily blog

Bus franchising is the biggest power new mayors have - they should use it

15/01/2019Bus franchising is the biggest power new mayors have - they should use it

It will face opposition at first, but transitioning to a system of bus franchising is the best and only option to truly modernise transport systems across our city regions, ar... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >