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

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

New rules to change the future of Social Value

05/06/2019New rules to change the future of Social Value

The government has announced the introduction of new rules to change the future of social value and make the way housing developers stump up the money for infrastructure both ... 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 >