Riding rough-shod over public’s concerns about fracking

Like so many people across Sussex, I have serious concerns about fracking and its impact on life here, the people and the wonderful environment we enjoy in Sussex. Fracking threatens so much.

The Balcombe fracking protests were poorly handled. Sussex Police involving my MP, Caroline Lucas (Brighton Pavilion) and four other protestors, in ill-considered, unprofessional legal cases, which failed to convict, leaves me concerned at the conduct of authorities in the whole spectrum of activities fracking involves. Can they really be trusted?

A Freedom of Information request showed the policing cost alone for Balcombe were £3,985,000 yet Sussex Police were unable to resource evicting a highly-damaging and dangerous public rave at Devil’s Dyke last Bank Holiday. Why?

Now, in the Queen’s Speech this Government – presumably with Lib-Dem support – announced plans for new legislation to facilitate even more fracking of our beloved Sussex. This appears to mean planning law changes, which will not even require permission of land-owners for fracking to happen in future.

This is appalling. Government is supposed to reflect the will of the people it represents. Fracking is massively opposed in Sussex, yet this Government rides rough-shod over the wishes of Sussex folk into more confrontation, more Balcombes and more public funds down the drain – just like Thatcher’s council tax riots of 1990s. Is this the kind of society we really want for Sussex?

Through your pages I should like to ask the various MPs for Brighton and East and West Sussex what their position is on supporting fracking and the planning law changes proposed? Tell us please so we know whether you support this Government.

With proud tradition of independence and all that followed from 1215 and the Battle of Lewes, where does Norman Baker stand as a leading Government minister? Mr Baker, are you in Parliament to represent the people of Lewes or to further ministerial ambitions?

Keith W D Jago

Brighton