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Update about ‘Balcombe Drilling: Cease the oil exploration activities of Cuadrilla in Balcombe.’ on Change.org
The Fracks in local democracy.
(Concerning the WSCC planning meeting to decide on Cuadrilla’s planning application)
Despite a petition of nearly five and a half thousand signatures, despite over 850 objections – West Sussex County Council chose to ignore the material objection that Cuadrilla has no social licence to be in Balcombe. Well informed and well researched speeches were delivered by residents, which only served to highlight the obvious lack of reading and thought that the voting councillors (with the exception of one – thank you Sue Mullins) had put into this planning meeting. It is a sad day for democracy when the committee, like every other body involved in this process from the EA to the DECC, dismisses some of the most serious concerns as ‘not in their remit’. Then whose responsibility are these concerns? It shows a ridiculous lack of foresight, when an exploration company is allowed to have its process considered piecemeal in separate planning applications, without considering the end-game of oil production close to residents. Thus, each new application is in part validated by the fact that the previous one was approved. Very clever Lord Browne!
Cuadrilla director Lord Browne
Back to our WSCC committee of elected representatives – evidence of health risks from flaring? Not their concern. Cuadrilla’s own researchers admit fluid can migrate up to 2000ft along fault plains and intend to put fluid down an uncased lateral borehole in a highly faulted area, within 1600ft of the aquifer- apparently nobody’s concern. Cuadrilla failed to include certain gases in their models of flaring emissions; have lost air samples and failed to consider the contour of the land so that the flare will actually pump chemicals out at more or less the level of our village (Lower Stumble is lower than Balcombe remember) -apparently nobody’s concern. Then of course there are the regulatory bodies that are supposed to protect us, but instead make assumptions that Cuadrilla has effectively self-regulated, which we know from past history that they have not. The HSE for example, have admitted they made no onsite checks of the well, yet this is part of their own best practice to ensure well failure does not occur. The WSCC and EA have then based their own permits on the idea that the well is, in fact, sound. This cannot be guaranteed, and as we have seen in Singleton, well failure does happen. Again – apparently nobody’s concern. Climate change? Clearly nobody’s concern, and certainly not the government’s, who admit climate change is occurring in one breath whilst redirecting subsidies away from renewables and into onshore oil and gas with the other. At what cost do we want our energy? We can only hope now, that an educated public will use their votes wisely.
By a concerned Balcombe resident.
As a result of the decision taken in this meeting Frack Free Balcombe Resident’s association has now written to WSCC to inform them that they are prepared to take the case to a Judicial Review on the basis that the decisions of the committee were unlawful. They were not made with due diligence and attention to a number of very important issues. Among these being the issue of flaring, lack of well checks and WSCC ignoring public opinion.
More information available on:
Please make your vote count on Thursday this week at the European elections. As yet the Greens are the only party to have a fully anti-fracking stance, but please visit this website for information on how all MEPs have voted. These elections use proportional representation so your vote really does count.
Please continue to spread the word about this petition, we hope, if the judicial review is successful, that it will be of use again. Also West Sussex County Council get emailed every time someone signs up.
Please continue to lobby, all those on the planning committee below took the decision to allow this planning permission to go ahead. If you are a WSCC resident or particularly in one of their wards, then they made a decision on your behalf. Following this are other people you may wish to lobby…not least the final lists of government decision-makers.
Councillors on the planning committee that made the decision to allow Cuadrilla’s application:
Andrew Barratt-Miles. Burgess Hill town: Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org
Heidi Brunsdon. Imberdown: Heidi.email@example.com (Chair)
Trixie Hall. Durrington and Salvington:Trixie.firstname.lastname@example.org
Liz Kitchen. Warnham and Rusper: email@example.com
Duncan Crow. Tilgate & Furnace Green: Duncan.firstname.lastname@example.org
Gordon McAra. Midhurst: Gordon.email@example.com
Janet Mockridge. Southwick: Janet.firstname.lastname@example.org
Simon Oakley. Chichester East: Simon.email@example.com
Lionel Parsons. Sompting & North Lancing: Lionel.firstname.lastname@example.org
John Rodgers. Cissbury: John.email@example.com absent at meeting, Mr Hunt acted as substitute
Robin Rodgers. Northbrook: Robin.firstname.lastname@example.org
Sujan Wickremaratchi. Haywards Heath Town: Sujan.email@example.com
Recommendation to allow the work to go ahead made by:
Jane Moseley – Principal Planner: Jane.Moseley@westsussex.gov.uk
Mike Elkington – Minerals and Waste Dep: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note Sue Mullins (Gossops Green and Ifield East: email@example.com) was also on this committee and voted against.
Bill Acraman County Councillor for Worth Forest inc Balcombe, Mr Acraman was at this meeting and allowed to speak, although not to take part in decisions: firstname.lastname@example.org,
Copy and paste into your browser to see the Webcast of the meeting.
Others at WSCC:
email@example.com, Head of WSCC
firstname.lastname@example.org, lead on Waste and Minerals
Helen.Card@westsussex.gov.uk, WSCC community liaison
Mid sussex District Councillors:
Leader: Gary Wall email@example.com
Christopher Snowling (Health and Community) firstname.lastname@example.org
Pru Moore (Leisure and Sustainability)email@example.com
Gary Marsh (Planning and regeneration) firstname.lastname@example.org
Other people worth lobbying…
email@example.com, conservative MP Sussex South Coast firstname.lastname@example.org or: email@example.com MP Balcombe, Horsham, Billingshurst.
firstname.lastname@example.org, Green MEP SouthEast.
email@example.com, asks parliament questions for Maude
firstname.lastname@example.org, Secretary of State for communities and local government.
Health and Safety Executive:
Department of Energy and Climate Change:
email@example.com (Senior Geoscientist UK Onshore)
firstname.lastname@example.org, Ed Davy at (DECC)
email@example.com, Energy minister
Baroness Verma: firstname.lastname@example.org
Owen Paterson: Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,
Labour, Shadow DECC:
Chris Ruane: email@example.com
Baroness Worthington: firstname.lastname@example.org
Annelise Dodds is asking for comments on Labour MEP’s website :
Please note this list is not exhaustive, but it’s a great start, every email counts! Thank you once again for your kind support.
This message was sent by No Fracking in Balcombe Society (No FiBs) using the Change.org system. You received this email because you signed a petition started by No Fracking in Balcombe Society (No FiBs) on Change.org: “Balcombe Drilling: Cease the oil exploration activities of Cuadrilla in Balcombe..” Change.org does not endorse contents of this message.