Emma Thompson at fracking protestEthical News News & Features
Oscar-winning actor and writer Emma Thompson joined dozens of Lancashire women on a peaceful walk and silent protest at the controversial Cuadrilla fracking site on Preston New Road.
The Nanny McPhee star was in Preston on Wednesday (21 March) to show solidarity with local women who have been opposing Cuadrilla’s plan to frack in the area for years.
Lancashire county council voted against the controversial drilling technique in 2015 but was subsequently overruled by the government.
A delicate time for fracking
The protest march, led by women in white clothes, started from Maple Farm at 10.30 and arrived at the Preston New Road site at 11.00, where a 15-minute silent protest took place followed by singing, dancing and speeches from Emma Thompson and Tina Rothery of the anti-fracking Nanas.
The demonstration took place at a delicate time for the fracking industry. Seven years after its first attempt to frack in Lancashire, Cuadrilla said it’s gearing up to start fracking in 2018. However, the shale industry has also been facing a series of setback right across the country.
In Yorkshire, Third Energy were forced to put their fracking development on hold as they await the outcome of a government probe into their finances. Seven fracking companies have seen their plans rejected by local council since the start of the year, while the government has revised down its forecasts for the industry’s development in the near future.
‘It’s so inspiring to be here with these brave and determined women who have been opposing fracking for years. They speak for a community whose voice was first ignored then shouted down by the Westminster government.
‘And what’s happening across the country shows these women were right. Seven years from the first frack, all we have are a pile of broken promises and some holes in the ground. Council after council have been rejecting fracking, and projects have been delayed. The future of this industry is so uncertain ministers have all but stopped talking about it. Fracking is a dud – it’s time to move on.
‘Ministers should stop wasting time and energy imposing fracking and its imaginary benefits on local communities and focus instead on the real jobs and investment clean energy sources like offshore wind can create.’
Actor and writer