Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Day 10 in the Cuadrilla House...

Day 10 in the Cuadrilla House… and the good people are beginning to growl audibly. The residents who laboured over the years with planning objections, appeal statements and all the research that went into informing these things – the same residents who saw the Council rejection of planning, have that decision stolen by Westminster… have run out of options, been abandoned by the state and are taking matters into the only hands they can trust to protect their communities… their own.


So today marked a clear strengthening of mood and resolve by the Protectors on site. Yesterday’s decision at the roadside to act to halt breaches of planning, went a stage further today as at the end of it, Cuadrilla tried to overstay their allocated time (again). When told at 2:40pm that there were 3 more vehicles due, residents huddled to discuss how this threatened breach would be handled. Cuadrilla wanted to ram all the vehicles in and would still facilitate our slow-walks… but we knew this would mean running past the close down time (Traffic Management Plan) and we were pretty certain, they’d blame that on the slow-walks too.

Site staff and police had been told by Protectors yesterday that if they attempted to move the fencing again and risk emergency transport by closing the road (to turn the over-sized vehicles) – that we would each hold the fence panels in place and fulfill the role of the absent Planning Inspectors. Cuadrilla stopped the over-sized vehicles coming. Today after slow walking the 2:40pm vehicle, Protectors prepared to disallow any further vehicles. We headed to the gates to exit the slow-walk and were told – NO FURTHER VEHICLES would come today. This felt good for all of us who have turned up at the site and watched as the immoral, undemocratic, dangerous monstrosity begins to form – helplessness is inevitable – until you seize control of what you personally do in response to this attack.

Of course caution is advised but sometimes we forget…
John who runs a local business, Maple Farm has had brilliant signs made over the years and is an incredible force in this; for this roadside action, he made some big road signs and as he placed them this morning, asked if I’d keep an eye on them in case site staff tried to move them.

A few hours later I spotted a large chap from the site, walking off with a sign and although I could only see the back of it, I knew it was ours. I ran across the road and demanded our sign back – and promptly wrestled it from him. It was as I started to head back across the road that I realised it was bloody heavy lol! I dropped the back of it down and dragged noisily as metal skated on asphalt… then the funny bit happened: Cuadrilla complained that our signs were distracting motorists and were causing a danger on the highway!! They said an Inspector would be sent for from the Council to have them removed… oooooo we chuckled! We’ve been trying for 10 working days to get an Inspector here! 

The irony. We re-sited our signs and no-one tried again and no Inspector came.. again.

The day was full of power and the Protectors full of cake and mints that are frequently gifted by visitors and passing cars who want to show support. The tally of the day was in the end 6 x vehicles arrived and slow-walked – and at least 2 cancelled though with wide-loads not able to get through either, we know this to be higher.

Cuadrilla had sent word (to stir us?) that they were going to be ‘ramping up’ to 20-30 vehicles per day but there is not only no sign of this, it is actually impossible given the working hours for vehicle movements. We have a retired logistics chap in one of the residents’ groups and he was in the aeronautics industry – he has observed timings and process and calculates that even 14 vehicles arriving between 9:30am and 3pm – would be a challenge… so just another Cuadrilla pipe dream and a chance to ‘ramp’ tempers up too perhaps.

The rhythm of our days is a bit like improvised jazz… but we are finding our harmony amidst the cacophony. See you tomorrow x