Lancaster politician arrested after fracking site protest

Gina Dowding during the "lock on" at the fracking site
Gina Dowding during the "lock on" at the fracking site

A Lancaster county councillor has been arrested and charged following protests at the Preston New Road fracking site.

Green Party County Coun Gina Dowding, 54, of Aldcliffe Road, Lancaster has been charged with obstructing a public highway and “Section 241 Trades Union Act offences”.

Coun Dowding, who represents Lancaster Central on Lancashire County Council, spent 14 hours locked to the ground outside the Cuadrilla fracking site on the Fylde overnight on July 3.

She is one of three councillors and several other members of the public arrested during protests which have been ongoing for several months.

Lancashire County Council had refused permission for test drilling to be carried out at the site, but the decision was overturned by the government.

Nicholas Danby, 55, of Preston Road, Preston, Miranda Cox, 48, of Ribby Road, Preston, Nicholas Sheldrick, 35, of Clayton Crescent, Blackpool, Julie Brickles, 52, of Harbour Lane, Preston, Catherine Jackson, 49, of Mowbray Road, Fleetwood, Daniel Huxley-Blythe, 35, of Rutland Road, Lytham St Annes, Barbara Cookson, 66, of Lawrence Grove, Liverpool and Jeanette Porter, 31, of Shepherd Road, Lytham St Annes have also been charges with the same offences.

A 61 year old man from Ormskirk who was arrested was given a caution, while three other women were also reported for summons.

Coun Dowding will appear at Blackpool Magistrates Court on August 7.