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Upton anti-fracking protest ahead of camp eviction

Protesters on Long Lane supported by passing motorists

Tooting motorists showed their support for anti-fracking protesters on Long Lane this morning (Saturday, November 28), less than a week ahead of the planned eviction of the Dutton’s Lane camp on Friday (December 4).

Residents, members of Frack-Free Upton and protesters who have lived on the camp for more than a year gathered opposite the shops, on the junction of Long Lane, Caughall Road and Heath Road, to raise awareness about an imminent test drill before the on-site protest camp is evicted from Friday, December 4.

Jo Henwood The anti-fracking protest on Long Lane Upon (November 28)
The anti-fracking protest on Long Lane Upon

Displaying a large banner reading Not For Shale and carrying placards, the protesters were pleased at the response and support they were getting from passing cars.

Upton Cllr Matt Bryan said: “We have got support from around the country. There are some new faces here and people from the area who have come together to show their support for the people on the camp.

Asked what plans they had ahead of the eviction, he said: “ Vivienne Westwood is due back at the camp next Saturday and we will get support from people offering tea and cakes to others planning to put up a tunnel.”

Leader of the council Samantha Dixon was at the protest to show support for her fellow councillor although she was keen to express that she was there as a private individual and concerned local resident. Parish councillor Brenda Southward, who said the principal reason she stood for council again was because of the fracking issue, was in attendance holding a placard.

Jo Henwood The anti-fracking protest on Long Lane Upon (November 28): Members of Frack Free Upton Phil Coombe Brenda Southward and Lorraine Mellor
Members of Frack Free Upton Phil Coombe Brenda Southward and Lorraine Mellor

Ian Kitching, of Frack Free Lancashire, was positive about the effect the action would have. He said: We knocked it on the head there [in Lancashire] and we hope to do even more damage here.”

Phil Whyte, who has lived at the Duttons Lane camp for 18 months said he had no plans to move next month: “The locals have been fab - they are beautiful people.

“I will still be there long after Friday. I am sticking with it until they stop it.”

Jo Henwood The anti-fracking protest on Long Lane Upon (November 28): Residents and members of Frack Free Upton Jim Cameron, Barbara Cunningham, Jacqui Bulmer, Graham Bulmer and Tonia Darlington
Members of Frack Free Upton Jim Cameron, Barbara Cunningham, Jacqui Bulmer, Graham Bulmer and Tonia Darlington

Mum Tonia Darlington spoke of her concerns for the future of Upton. She said: “This is a highly populated residential area with eight schools and the zoo. We are very concerned about the polluting effects of fracking industries. It’s a dirty industry. They claim it is more green but we don’t see it that way. We are worried about the health of our children, the property prices, the traffic incidents. We are not equipped for heavy trucks around here, the road system won’t be able to cope with that.

“We are also concerned about global warming. We need to be looking towards renewables - David Cameron has gone back on his word."

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