On Saturday 13 May 2017, Frack Free Southport (FFS) held an event outside Barclays Bank on Lord Street in support of this year’s Global Divestment of Fossil Fuels campaign. All over the world, major institutions have been asked to dump their investments in fossil fuel companies, a major driver of climate change. Barclays Bank has been targeted by protesters throughout the UK, owing to its investments in the fracking company, Third Energy.
Barclays has now bowed to pressure and agreed to pull out of backing fracking.
FFS delivered a letter to the manager of Barclays Bank, and gave customers information on the issues of divestment and fracking, asking them to consider switching to another bank.
Their information stall entertained passers-by with humourous songs with serious messages about the many concerns surrounding fracking. These include the dangers of water and air pollution, the use of known carcinogens, earth tremors, radioactive waste transport and disposal, falling house prices, increased house insurance, and prevention of house sales. The latter is already happening close by on the Fylde.
FFS’s Global Fossil Fuel Divestment action was initiated by Colin Marshall. “Our group’s recent visits to the Cuadrilla fracking site at Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, made me want to alert the people of Southport to the dangers of fracking on their doorstep. The site is only 10 miles from Southport as the crow flies,” he said. “ The fracking process has already started even closer to us with Seismic Surveys in Formby last year, and our beach is a licenced area for fracking. I chose Barclays as they are so heavily involved in fracking and the fossil fuel industry.”
The FFS event was attended by Labour candidate, Liz Savage and Lib Dem candidate, Councillor Sue McGuire. Sue McGuire was actively involved in Ribble Estuary Against Fracking, the first anti-fracking group in England. There was also a visit from new Labour Metro Mayor Steve Rotherham.