Update: Campaigners Meet With Mole Valley MP Sir Paul Beresford

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn the 9th of December two Leith Hill campaigners met with the local MP to express their concerns and ask for his assistance. The meeting was in Dorking. Here is a brief report:

Another campaigner and I have just met with Sir Paul Beresford…

We went through several points and raised the concerns of local residents to the plans for Leith Hill.

He spoke to us about his involvement in the campaign this far – he said has been working with the Leith Hill Action Group for many years.

He was well informed on the process although seemed a little out of the loop on the levels of support for the protection camp and the objection to the oil drilling.

He told us that the drilling itself was a lost cause but urged us very strongly to concentrate on the pipeline. He repeated this several times and suggested that this should be our main focus.

He seemed a little reluctant to be drawn on making a statement but was not entirely closed to the prospect and he was happy to stay in contact on it all.

We thank Sir Paul for the meeting.

Sir Paul’s record in Hansard (Parliamentary voting record, debate contributions, and statements) is here.

What is Happening At Leith Hill?

Bury Hill Wood at Leith Hill, Surrey is under serious threat from oil drilling.

Get informed on this site and the links below.

You can help stop it. Please join us.

Visit the Camp! Click here for directions.

Facebook Group for Leith Hill Protection Camp.
Local campaign group focussing on using the planning system Leith Hill Action Group.
Local community group A Voice For Leith Hill.
Website for the Surrey protection community surreyprotectors.com.
Like the Facebook Page SaveLeithHill.
Follow on Twitter @SaveLeithHill.

Leith Hill Protection Camp Update: “It was a really really good day at the camp today”.

camp-update-photo-save-leith-hill

Yesterday Colin posted an update on recent visitors to Leith Hill Protection Camp, and some insights into Camp life. Thanks for the update Colin.

If you’ve not visited Camp yet they’d be pleased to see you. That’s why they’re there.

Colin says:

It was a really really good day at the camp today.

It started with an upbeat camp meeting in the morning to tighten a few things up, and then everyone went about their various activities, with everyone very focused and applying themselves to the things they are good at. Add to that the usual constant stream of visits from the very best people one could ever wish to meet, and for the whole day it was just a total pleasure to be here.

As well as the people who now visit the camp regularly, there were several who visited for the first time. Although most of those people were already fairly well informed about the situation, by the time some of them left, they had learned of new reasons to be even more outraged by the situation then they were when they arrived! ….and importantly of course, they then left with a renewed commitment to do everything in their power to protect Leith Hill from unwanted invaders 😉

Also, at one point it was really good to stand back and watch one well informed, passionate and determined local person engaging with another local person in such a way as to inspire them to an increased level of engagement with the issue. It really showed up for me the potential of the Camp to be a hub where the growing resistance that is stirring awake in the local community can coalesce.

It is a great place for connections to be made and for idea’s to be formed and shared.

Thank you to John & Maryline for making the 4 hour round trip over from east Kent, to supply the camp with a new solar panel to help keep everything powered up as we head into to darkest part of the yearly cycle, and for sharing so freely the love you can see in this photo of them! Thank you too to everyone who has donated to the Bore Free South fund that they administer in order to support the camp with this kind of equipment.

Thank you also to Catherine, who just happened to be passing, but pulled in to see what was going on here. After being informed over a half hour cuppa, she took herself off…
…only to return a couple of hours later, bearing so many gifts that she couldn’t carry them all in one go! ..and strikingly, one of her gifts just happened to be the top item on the days ‘wish list’ that had been compiled at the morning meeting, without her having seen or heard about it!

Another day, and another Leith Hill protector is born.

What is Happening At Leith Hill?

Bury Hill Wood at Leith Hill, Surrey is under serious threat from oil drilling.

Get informed on this site and the links below.

You can help stop it. Please join us.

Visit the Camp! Click here for directions.

Facebook Group for Leith Hill Protection Camp.
Local campaign group focussing on using the planning system Leith Hill Action Group.
Local community group A Voice For Leith Hill.
Website for the Surrey protection community surreyprotectors.com.
Like the Facebook Page SaveLeithHill.
Follow on Twitter @SaveLeithHill.

The threat is bigger than Leith Hill – it’s the whole Weald area

Becoming More Educated & Informed about what is Planned at Leith Hill and in the wider weald area

There are many good sources of information, all out there and easily accessible via your finger tips – from the planning docs on the Councils website to national Extreme Energy campaign sites like ‘Frack Off’.

http://frack-off.org.uk/fracking-the-weald-the-growing-tight-oil-threat/

The websites of companies in the consortium of 5 who want to ‘drill the hill’ can also make for interesting reading…. as well as ‘investor chat forums’, more technical sites like the BGS. National & local planning policy documents may be relevant reading for some, whilst others may be more drawn more to researching the recent history of drilling in the States in similar geological formations such as the Bakken & Eagle Ford Shale Plays (brace yourself for that one though – it can read like a horror story at times!)
For background info on the particulars of the Leith Hill situation, and how it has developed over the last 7 years, the newsletter section of The Leith Hill Action Groups website is an excellent resource.
I am sure there is at least some truth in the old saying ‘knowledge is power’ ?!

Divesting from Oil

Perhaps only a few who read this will own shares in any of the consortium of 5 companies who want to ‘drill on the hill’, but many may be unwittingly supporting them indirectly via their energy supplier, and via the banking services they use.

Energy Suppliers:

All the ‘Big Six’ energy supply companies are heavily invested in fossil fuels.
More ethical and progressive suppliers are Ecotricity and Good Energy, and I believe to a lesser extent Ovo.
Ecotricity were also cheaper than all of the big six (or at least they were a few months ago), so to change to them can be a win / win option. Also, if you are really passionate about this campaign and making the change to support this cause, if you instruct Ecotricity when you register with them, they will make a donation to Frack Free Surrey (£40 for electricity only or £60 for gas & electric).
Good Energy are also essentially a renewables energy company.
If in the near future you are moved to end your association with one of the big six, and taking your custom to a healthier home, please be sure to tell them exactly why.

Banking

Some attention has been paid to who is funding these oil exploration companies, and it has not been a massive supprise to discover that our High Street Banks are playing a significant part in it.

The 3 main players in the proposal to drill the well on Leith Hill, along with their stakeholdings, are:
Europa Oil & Gas Plc (40%)
UKOG Plc (30%)
Egdon Resources (18.4%).

Lloyds Bank have investments in ALL three of them.
HSBC have invested in the biggest two, Europa & UKOG.
Barclays Bank have too.
RBS have invested in Europa.
(please be aware that these investments may be direct or indirect, for details see the diagram from which I have collated this info, in the link which I will post as a comment underneath this post)

Hence it would be great if all people who oppose the plans to drill can ensure that they are not unwittingly supporting such destructive activity via who they are using for their banking services, and switch to another bank where appropriate.
And if anyone should go so far as to endure the inconvenience of changing banks ( and we think folk should!), on the way out of the door of your old bank, I think it is really important that you tell them EXACTLY why you are leaving – ‘I object to your investment in Europa O&G Ltd, and hence your financial support to the drilling of an oil well on Leith Hill in the Surrey Hills AONB. I cannot be party to such an investment by association with you’ for instance.
It may also be good to refer them to the wider issue in play – that the fossil fuel related investments of our biggest 5 banking operations currently total approximately £66 Billion,
When signing up with a new provider, it may also be a good idea to tell them why they have won your custom.