Fracking goes under the hammer in Lancaster

Photo Neil Cross Faye Penny, Tom Williamson, Ben Hall, Charlie Kondras, James Attwood and Zannie Drayman helping to put together the "Anti-fracking art auction" at the cafe. Please get a pic with artists and staff at The Whale Tail
Photo Neil Cross Faye Penny, Tom Williamson, Ben Hall, Charlie Kondras, James Attwood and Zannie Drayman helping to put together the "Anti-fracking art auction" at the cafe. Please get a pic with artists and staff at The Whale Tail

An art auction which aims to raise cash to fight fracking is being launched in Lancaster.

The Lancaster Fights Fracking group is launching the auction of work by city artists at The Whaletail Cafe in Penny Street on October 2.

Faye Penny, from the group, said: “We’re very concerned about the effects of fracking on the local and global environment, and feel that the first site in Lancashire which is almost ready to begin the process of fracking could well be the first of many throughout the county and country.

“There is a license to frack as close to Lancaster as Hala and Bowerham, and we don’t feel that any benefits are outweighed by the potential detrimental impacts of fracking.”

The free to enter launch night on October 2, which starts at 7pm, will feature live music, nibbles, and a bar, with an opportunity to view and bid on the exhibits.

Faye said: “So far activists have slowed down the construction of the well at Preston New Road, with the effect being that share prices in the shale gas industry are plummeting.

“Lancaster Fights Fracking aim to stand up for the people who said no, and for the planet that would say no if it could!”

Money raised from the event will be used “to support activists on the front line”.

Fracking has proved highly controversial in Lancashire.

Lancashire County Council voted against allowing fracking company Cuadrilla to test drill at two sites on the Fylde, but central government overruled the decision.

Since then, the site has seen daily protests, as well as high profile visits from the leaders of the Green Party, and shadow chancellor John McDonnell.

There have also been several arrests made, with county and city councillors from Lancaster facing charges in court.

Faye added: “We are holding the art auction because we want to raise awareness of fracking and it’s potential dangers to the health of Lancaster and it’s inhabitants.

“We are also hoping to raise money which will be used to support activists on the front line who have been doing an incredible job of protesting fracking and making it harder for Cuadrilla to go ahead with their plans to frack Lancashire.”