Please see update from Wednesday at the end of this posting.
On the morning of Tuesday 22nd November Frack Free Ryedale and Friends of the Earth arrived at the Royal Court of Justice on the Strand, in central London, to argue their case before the high court. A delegation of local residents from Ryedale were on hand to give press interviews and pose for photographs, each holding a white Yorkshire rose to symbolise their county.
The smartly-dressed delegation also held a giant postcard saying ‘DON’T FRACK YORKSHIRE’ and ‘PROTECT OUR COUNTRYSIDE, PROTECT OUR CLIMATE, PROTECT OUR FUTURE’. Other people held signs saying PROTECT OUR CHILDREN, PROTECT OUR WILDLIFE and PROTECT OUR RURAL ECONOMY.
Reverend Jackie Cray and David Davis, the Ryedale residents who brought the Judicial Review, were in good spirits, particularly as the fighting fund to raise money to pay for the JR hit its target of £10,000 the previous evening.
EVENTS IN COURT
The Judicial Review has been brought on two grounds. Firstly, Friends of the Earth argue that the North Yorkshire County Council did not adequately take into account the climate change impact of the proposed fracking well at Kirby Misperton. They argue that while the impact of production at the site was considered by the Planning Committee, the impact of burning the produced gas at Knapton Generating Station – where the gas would be pumped to be burned in order to produce electricity – was not included. The second point relates to the failure to include a ‘restoration bond’ as one of the conditions of the application, which would be used if there were any environmental problems at the site. You can read the Press Release from Sunday here.
MEANWHILE, BACK IN KIRBY MISPERTON …
While the Judicial Review was beginning in London, local residents assembled at Kirby Misperton Village Hall for an Information Coffee Morning, to which all residents of the four villages near the well-site were invited.
They also dealt with press queries from local media and assembled for photos, as shown here.
The mood amongst those who attended was one of quiet determination, as they answered questions from local residents about fracking and served cups of tea – with the trademark Frack Free Ryedale cakes, of course!
THAT BARCLAYS POSTCARD
After the proceedings began, a delegation took the postcard to Barclays Bank Headquarters in Canary Wharf. As you probably know, Barclays bank are the major investor in Third Energy and there has been a national campaign to encourage the bank to divest from fracking and Third Energy. A few weeks ago there were nearly 100 protests around the country as people up and down the land demonstrated against Barclays and its toxic investment. To read a summary of these, please visit our Stop Barclays Fracking page.
At Barclays Headquarters they were greeted by security guards, who called for someone to come and deal with it. Finally, after an hour’s wait, the FFR delegation were finally able to hand the postcard to Mr Adam Blake, who is a Director in Barclays’ legal department. He said he would make sure it got to the right person within the organisation.
The message on the back of the postcard read “Dear Barclays, Please divest from fracking in Yorkshire and invest in green renewable energy instead. From the people of Ryedale.”
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
We are back in court on Wednesday, when the Judge, Mrs Justice Lang, will continue to hear evidence from both sides.
HOW CAN I HELP?
Although we have reached our target for the Judicial Review costs, there are still many other costs we need to cover for this and future campaigns to fight fracking in Yorkshire. So, if you haven’t yet donated, please go to our GoFundMe page to donate by debit or credit card, or visit our Donations page to find out how to donate by cheque, BACS or PayPal. Thanks for helping!
AND ON WEDNESDAY …
The discussion continued in the High Court on Wednesday, and again we refer you to the report on the day’s proceedings from Drill or Drop, in which it is reported that the Judge, Mrs Justice Lang, has reserved judgement and will now go away and consider her verdict. We will wait to hear what happens, and expect the decision in the next ten days or so.
MORE PRESS COVERAGE
There was more press coverage on Wednesday, with some from unusual sources, such as the Daily Express, Farmers Weekly and City AM. The Gazette and Herald also published an updated article on the second day’s proceedings here.
SUPPORT FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Thank you for all the amazing support we have had from across the UK and around the world. Please click on the link below for some heartfelt messages from supporters. We are part of a global fight to protect the climate, and we will continue our fight, whatever the verdict.