William Eichler 26 April 2017

Minister rejects police pleas for help tackling anti-fracking protests

Minister rejects police pleas for help tackling anti-fracking protests image

The Government has rejected a plea from the police for extra funds to help pay for policing anti-fracking protests in Lancashire.

Lancashire residents have continued to try and block a fracking site after the high court ruled the controversial method for extracting gas could go ahead at the Preston New Road site.

The county council originally refused to give the energy company Cuadrilla permission to frack at the site, but they were overruled by communities secretary Sajid Javid.

The Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw warned the policing minister, Brandon Lewis, that it will cost upwards of £450,000 per month to police the protests ‘round the clock’.

However, his request for financial support from the Government was rejected by the minister who explained ‘there is no central Government funding stream available to meet the policing costs incurred as a result of fracking.’

He added that the commissioner could apply for special grant funding, but said this was ‘only available when the additional costs incurred are greater than 1% of the PCC’s budget.’

Mr Grunshaw said this means Lancashire Constabulary will have to pay at least £2.6m to police the protests before they can have the chance to apply for additional help.

‘Our officer resources are being stretched to the limits and the government has said that there will be no additional financial help until our costs reach £2.6m spend. Even then, we will only be able to claim anything over that initial cost,’ said Mr Grunshaw.

‘That’s £2.6m that could have been spent investigating child exploitation, serious crimes and domestic abuse, but instead is focused on policing protests.

Other crimes will continue to be investigated of course – but any additional resources that may have helped them be solved sooner, may not be there.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Principal Energy Engineer

Surrey County Council
£45,734 - £51,725 per annum
Do you have experience in working with delivering carbon reduction measures into a range of building projects? Surrey
Recuriter: Surrey County Council

Wellbeing and Independence Practitioner - Safeguarding

Essex County Council
£27203 - £31370 per annum
Please note, this role is a Fixed Term Contract until the end of March 2022. With us, you can achieve more - for yourself as well as those you work England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive

Essex County Fire & Rescue Service
c. £150,000
Are you ready for an exciting and rewarding opportunity Essex
Recuriter: Essex County Fire & Rescue Service

Housing Development Manager

City of York Council
£36,476 to £41,830 per annum
Do you want to play a key part in the delivery of “the UK’s most ambitious council-led housing programme in a generation”? York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Resettlement Support Workers

City of York Council
£21,989 to £24,447 per annum
We are looking to recruit two individuals to provide high quality support to those living in the resettlement hostel for young people aged 16-25 York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue