Local Democracy is Dead
PRESTON NEW ROAD ACTION GROUP
PRESS RELEASE 06th October 2016
Sajid Javid Overturns Lancashire County Council on Fracking Decisions
Preston New Road Action Group are devastated to learn that Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Local Government and Communities has upheld the appeals in favour of Cuadrilla, and overruled local democracy.
Westby Parish Council, Fylde Borough Council and Lancashire County Council planning committee all said no to these applications. For good reasons based on facts and knowledge, they rejected these sites as totally unsuitable.
Over 100,000 people objected to fracking here: unprecedented numbers of the community said no. Due democratic process has been followed but our local community will feel ignored and overruled by this decision. Effectively, an external corporate industry is controlling local democratic planning decisions.
Pat Davies, Chair of Preston New Road Action Group stated: “There is no social license to proceed with fracking in Lancashire.
“It is deplorable that an industry which has been rejected on every level seems to believe it is acceptable to inflict itself on an unwilling county.
“That is neither right, nor fair and not least, it is wholly undemocratic.
“The ramifications of overturning local planning decisions are huge and stretch way beyond the fracking argument. Ordinary people are appalled that we are governed by people who say one thing and do another. The callous disregard for local planning raises questions about whether local planning has any real purpose now. This government has changed and introduced laws to facilitate the shale gas industry at every opportunity and yet it still hasn’t gained acceptance from communities.
“Dismantling the democratic process to facilitate a dirty fossil fuel industry when only months ago the UK committed to climate change targets in Paris is another example of saying one thing and doing another.
“We repose trust in our government to do the right thing and listen to the people it governs: that is democracy in action. This is a sad day as it is clear to all that this government neither listens nor can it be trusted to do the right thing for local communities.
“Profit clearly comes before people. The precautionary principle enshrined in planning has not been applied here.
“This decision will be scrutinised by many, not just the people of Lancashire and this travesty of justice will not be accepted. This is not the end. We will challenge this.”