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Open letter from Balcombe residents to WSCC

On 10 Oct 2013 at 4:28am Balcombe Residents wrote:
We in Balcombe have had a pretty miserable summer due the unconventional exploratory drilling operation by Cuadrilla in our village.
We have fought to be heard by the government, West Sussex County Council, the Environment agency, DECC and the Health and Safety Executive. We went to every planning meeting, we objected to planning, thousands have signed our petitions; we’ve lobbied the Environment Agency ( 9000 signatures on the Mining Waste Permit and 890 enquiries- the permit was passed within 72hours of receiving the bulk of those questions and they were never answered) the HSE, our MPs and our councillors. A door to door survey in the village showed that 85% of this village did and does NOT want Cuadrilla here, the industrialisation of our area of outstanding natural beauty and the unacceptable risks to the purity of our water, our air and soil. We, and many committed people have done everything humanly possible within the bounds of law to stop this industry despoiling our rural community and we have got nowhere and we have not been heard.
We are proud to call ourselves Balcombe residents AND protestors and protectors of our land. The majority of the village supported the protest camp, and marched in our hundreds down there. What else could we do? There has been nothing democratic about this whole process, and in fact I'm sure you know the government are legislating to bypass all local planning.
And we need to protest because the West Sussex County Council has done nothing to help us and everything to facilitate Cuadrilla. Where is our apology from the council for allowing this to disrupt our village life for months in the first place, for allowing up to 120 trucks and tankers on our road weekly ? Where is our apology for allowing trucks in to the site past agreed deadlines? Where is our apology for providing incorrect information that an extension would be a full planning application and then it turns out to be a “minor amendment”? Where will the council officers be when the 13.7m flare which did not have planning permission, is lit? Where are the enforcement officers? We needed the council to enforce the constant breaches of planning by Cuadrilla, which were not being enforced. In what sort of organisation or structure of decision makers allows an oil company to potentially risk our water supply, the road safety of primary school children but takes action against allowing peaceful, lawful protest? In what sort of organisation does it take 5 weeks to release a report on excessive drilling noise, causing weeks of sleepless nights, and in the meantime forcing Balcombe residents to do their own monitoring o prove the breaches? What sort of organisation allowed drilling to go ahead knowing there was not enough time to complete the operations at the site or without the correct planning for horizontal drilling. ?The council needs to provide answers and as yet our questions, letters, emails, phone calls are not being answered.
So you see, Mr Hickish we really dont "have a say" at all . The Balcombe Parish Council in the national press and TV, apologized profusely as the application never saw the light of day. Re; your "stringent regulations" there appear to be very few, Cuadrilla have been sending a weekly "catch up" fax to the authorities, we believe the HSE didn't even visit this major industrial site for the entire time Cuadrilla were active. We residents in Balcombe, the FOE lawyers and our MEP forced Cuadrilla to delay drilling for four weeks to get Mining Waste and Radioactive Permits which they hadn't done previously in the North, even though they had applied for the licence 3 years before!. The Radioactive Permit was only issued 2 days after Cuadrilla left the site. More concerning, we have just had a gill stream go fluorescent green down its entire length, 75 yards from the well pad last Monday, it was reported early afternoon by numerous residents, and the EA only arrived at night to take samples, went to the wrong stream, so came back the following day at lunchtime...They haven't been back and they still have not found the source, they havent had the results back, though they think its harmless. If this is an example of their "emergency pollution incident plan" God help us all if there's a toxic spill!
With statements vehemently opposing hydraulic fracturing from the RSPB, The Woodland Trust, Sussex Wildlife Trust, the Angling Trust, The National Trust and one of our greatest landowners, Lord Cowdray, we hope very much residents will follow the positive leads of these organisations and protest against the government, this billion dollar industry and their massive PR machine white washing this filthy industry invading our country
Kind regards,
Juliette Harris,
Bernadette O’Grady, Georgia Law, Louisa Delpy, Tessa Land Smith, Debbie Stacey James, Duncan Smith, Beth Sanderson, Lori Johnson Seymour, Sarah Hirst, Anne Boxall, Jullian Fitzsimmons, Jackie Bedson, Di Pospisil, Shirley Bliss, Helen Savage, Sue Taylor
(Balcombe Residents)
On 10 Oct 2013 at 5:26am SHS wrote:
So the cold truth emerges. No democracy and the civil servants we pay from our taxes ignore us or fight against us since individuals do not have a voice unless they have special connections. Inequality and unfairness embedded and widely practised by government. Balcombe residents you have certainly highlighted how the law-abiding no-one-special residents are ignored and trampled on. I wonder exactly what the priorities are for WSCC and what sticks and carrots may be coming from central govt.
On 10 Oct 2013 at 8:51am diligent wrote:
A wonderful heartfelt letter; its sincerity and clarity are in sharp contrast to the cynical moves of government and their corporate friends.
On 10 Oct 2013 at 11:33am belladonna wrote:
Well said Balcombe residents. I wonder what mealy-mouthed excuses you will get from your councillors. I hope they are all voted out.
On 10 Oct 2013 at 11:35am Stan wrote:
Democracy? I don't think so.

Sad to say it the actions of our government have legitimised direct action.
On 10 Oct 2013 at 12:27pm Knoxon Cutts wrote:
I bet those mealy mouthed councillors will not say a word,belladonna.They'll keep their heads down and get the vote next time by people voting on party lines.Money talks loudest and we will never have a democracy until the power to create money is taken out of private hands.A few TV programmes and newspaper articles by experts will have the whole country clamouring for more fracking,you see. The banking industry has recently robbed us of trillions and the government has done nothing,do you think they will do anything to stop Sussex being turned into hazardous waste tip?
On 10 Oct 2013 at 1:30pm Taff wrote:
Seeing that this goverbnment has so far further screwed OUR Education processes and are going the same way with OUR Health Service I find it quite remarkable they can handle a profiled project to their favour with such stealth. Quite remarkable really.
Still they do need something for their followers to invest in whilst interest rates are so low. Not that I would suggest 'the old boys act' is in operation. Oh no.
On 10 Oct 2013 at 3:01pm diligent wrote:
isn't it possible that they have 'screwed' our education processes and Health service for a purpose? There are nice pickings to be had...
On 10 Oct 2013 at 7:30pm Alan wrote:
Group hug anti frackists! Now go spend some time with your kids and partners.
On 11 Oct 2013 at 3:46pm Frack Free wrote:
I'm wondering where else this excellent letter has been published. It would be good to send it to the Sussex Express if you haven't already.
On 12 Oct 2013 at 7:27am Deelite 2 wrote:
Bit of a shame it makes much of the stream incident though.... it looks like some idiot put food dye into it.
On 13 Oct 2013 at 12:18am Dick Tiepin wrote:
Apparently the green stuff is acccording to an engineer friends of mine used to track the flow of liquids in pipework.Bit like a barium enema!
On 13 Oct 2013 at 10:05am Typo wrote:
Barium enema? Ah happy memories...

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Its worth also noting that only about 150 of the more than 18,000 COVID-19 deaths in May in the USA were fully vaccinated people.... more
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