Over 18 months ago, Lancashire County Council listened to its community and rejected two fracking planning applications by Cuadrilla for sites in Fylde. Since then, the Tory Government Secretary of State has overturned the decision, in what Greenpeace UK stated was an "unprecedented move...[that] makes a mockery out of local democracy..." (see previous Salford Star article – click here)
Now, with Cuadrilla preparing the site, despite daily protests and a huge police presence, the Lancashire community is taking the Government to court, with two separate judicial reviews appealing the decision to fly in the face of local democracy.
This morning, campaigners from Frack Free Greater Manchester and Preston New Road Action Group were outside Manchester Civil Justice Centre, to support the legal action being taken by Preston New Road Action Group and Gayzer Frackman.
The campaigners had a symbolic 'red line' with them to symbolise the red line on the environment that must not be crossed by fracking.
"We have consistently, through legal process, fought to have the voice of local residents heard" said Claire Stephenson from Preston New Road Action Group "The voice of our community was loud and strong, and our council said no to fracking.
"Local democracy was overturned by the Secretary of State" she added "Sajid Javid has not visited or engaged with the communities that would be affected to understand the real impacts of his decision. We seek to have the decision declared unjust and quashed.
"Dismantling local democracy was the only way this industry and central government could force fracking down the throats of unwilling local residents" she explained "There is no social licence to frack Lancashire."
Judy Paskell, from Frack Free Greater Manchester, added: "We in Frack Free Greater Manchester stand shoulder to shoulder with the communities who are fighting to keep fracking - a filthy industry that pollutes water, makes people ill and worsens climate change - out of Lancashire and out of the UK.
"We have already persuaded companies in the Greater Manchester area to stop supplying the fracking site near Blackpool" she said "If the court overturns the Government's disgraceful decision to allow fracking at this site, that will be a landmark victory. We can win!"
The case is expected to continue until Friday...
Photos courtesy of Manchester Friends of the Earth