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Lancashire fracking: Green Party leader Natalie Bennett to join protests at Council meeting

Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party Credit: PA Images

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett says she will join protests against fracking at Lancashire County Council's meeting next week.

She was speaking in response to the Council's decision to recommend approval for a fracking site at Preston New Road.

The Green Party leader said:

"It is disappointing that Lancashire County Council officers have recommended approval for one of the two proposed fracking sites, but this is only a technical judgment, which will be open to challenge."

"The actual decision will be made by elected councillors next week. I would urge them to consider the strength of opposition to fracking in the surrounding communities, and around the country - which polls have demonstrated have only grown as the public has learnt more about extreme energy extraction."

"I will be joining what I am sure will be huge protests against fracking outside the council meeting. I would urge everyone who wants our Government to not just talk about climate change but actually take the actions necessary to cut emissions to join me."

Greenpeace UK: Lancashire Council faces 'stark choice' on fracking site

Environmental groups have been reacting to the news that Lancashire County Council has recommended approval for a fracking site.

Greenpeace UK energy and climate campaigner Daisy Sands said:

"Planning officials have shown there are strong grounds to reject fracking at one of Cuadrilla's two sites. But councillors have even more compelling reasons to deny it at both."

"There's just too much research pointing to the potentially damaging impacts on water supply and air quality, as well as strong public opposition, for fracking to be allowed in the UK again."

"The decision Lancashire authorities will make next week is not about technicalities. It's a stark choice between protecting their communities' health and quality of life and working towards a clean energy future on the one hand, or sacrificing all this for the sake of an unproven and risky industry that may never deliver."

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Bez's bed-in to fight fracking

John Lennon and Yoko Ono's famous bed-ins in the Sixties saw the couple try and bring an end to the Vietnam War and since then there've been other bed-ins for worthy causes. Now one it's the turn of the Happy Mondays star Bez to spend a week in bed to support those fighting fracking in Lancashire. Tim Scott grabbed brought us this report:

Bez goes to bed for a week in anti-fracking protest

Bez bed in Credit: PA Images

Maraca shaking Mancunian, Mark 'Bez' Berry, of the Happy Mondays has started a seven-day bed-in at the Montcalm Hotel, London. The founder of the Reality Party is staging the protest with his girlfriend Firouzeh Razavi against shale fracking.

In a move that emulates John Lennon and Yoko Ono's bed protests in 1969 against the Vietnam War, Bez wants to draw attention to the dangers of "undemocratic" fracking.

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Lancashire County Council delay fracking decision

Councillors in Lancashire have delayed making a decision on whether the energy firm Cuadrilla can drill for shale gas at two areas in the county.

There was a large protest outside county hall in Preston by campaigners opposed to the drilling process known as fracking.

The council will now make a decision on the sites near Blackpool in two months' time.

Cuadrilla 'remain committed' to shale gas in Lancashire

Energy company Cuadrilla say they are "committed to the exploration of shale gas in Lancashire".

The company issued a statement after Lancashire County Council agreed to defer a decision on planning applications to drill for gas in the county.

We recognise the careful consideration that Lancashire County Council has given and its subsequent agreement to our request to defer the determination of our planning applications for shale gas exploration at Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood. The additional information we have provided on further mitigation measures will, we believe, fully address the noise and traffic concerns raised by the Planning Officer’s in their recommendation to refuse planning permission for both sites.

This additional information will be assessed by the Planning Officers and there will now be an opportunity for the public to properly review and comment on this.

We remain committed to the exploration of shale gas in Lancashire.

– Cuadrilla spokesperson

Greenpeace: council should put community interests before shale gas lobby's

The environmental group Greenpeace say Lancashire County Council should put the interest of communities ahead of the shale gas lobby.

"Allowing more time for Cuadrilla to tinker with their application is not going to change the fundamental fact that fracking is a massive gamble with low returns for the people of Lancashire.

"This deferral is just one more example of Cuadrilla’s aggressive lobbying of Lancashire county council to try and get its way despite overwhelming public opposition to fracking.

"The councillors should look again at the mounting evidence of fracking’s environmental, health and climate impacts, and put the well-being of their communities before the interests of the shale lobby."

– Greenpeace UK energy and climate campaigner Simon Clydesdale
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