Sir Kev and Fracking

Much ado about nothing

UPDATE: Kevin Barron generally voted against greater regulation of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract shale gas.

On 26 Jan 2015: Kevin Barron abstained on a vote on Infrastructure Bill — New Clause 1 — Environmental Permits for Hydraulic Fracturing Activities

On 26 Jan 2015: Kevin Barron was absent for a vote on Infrastructure Bill — New Clause 9 — Moratorium on Onshore Unconventional Petroleum — Review Impacts of Exploitation

On 11 Feb 2015: Kevin Barron voted against requiring a more extensive set of conditions be met prior to consent for hydraulic fracturing being given.

On 16 Dec 2015: Kevin Barron voted against greater restrictions on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract shale gas in National Parks, the Broads, areas of outstanding natural beauty, World Heritage sites, and near points where water is abstracted for domestic and food production purposes.


October 28, 2017

This is a more lighthearted post than normal, but with a serious message. You, the reader, can take away your views on whether he is with us or against us from the farce described below. It describes a visit to the Rt. Hon Kevin Barron’s surgery on 27th October by two representatives of Woodsetts Against Fracking (WAF), and their transcript is a Shakespearean tragedy which quickly turned into a comedy.

Upon our arrival Sir K suggested he had already spoken with a number of anti-frackers that evening and expressed some frustration at having to see us as well. He did however engage in some discussion. We said we simply wished to establish his stance on fracking as the evidence seems to be he is rather ambiguous on the issue. Sir K went on to describe everything he has been doing such as attending a recent parliamentary meeting in which issues such as policing and water contamination had been raised. We again asked him for his stance in principle. He asked if we had been at the initial fracking meeting in Woodsetts where he had stated his views.

Enter stage left – WAF Hero 1 – “Sir Kevin…your comments that evening were simply theatrical and worthless”.
Sir K – “that’s it…you can leave…I want you to leave now…if that’s what you think”.

We managed to calm Sir K down (he did become very agitated) and put it to him that we were just trying to clarify his stance. He again referred to the recent parliamentary meeting he had been to and made comment that: the Home Office had a specific fund to assist policing demonstrations; Cuadrilla were becoming sick and tired of the whole fracking business and were considering their position; Ineos have repeatedly proven themselves to be poor at communicating (well we know that!).

We again pressed Sir K on his position and he spoke of writing a paper with a WAF member a few weeks ago which clearly states he is anti-fracking.

Enter stage right – WAF Hero 2 – “That’s great…but why not demonstrate your views more…you could have come to the S. Yorks event with your colleague Paul Bloemfield”
WAF Hero 1 – “and can I remind you that you voted for fracking in 2013 and since then have abstained three times from voting to tighten regulations”.

Sir K said he hadn’t been invited to the former and could not remember the latter…

We suggested that Sir K should make his position more public and as our MP we were looking to him to represent 90% of Woodsetts residents properly. We suggested he could use his website or media presence to announce more clearly his views. We invited Sir K to a WAF meeting which he initially responded quite well to.  When we pressed him on how soon he could come however, he again became quite agitated and asked us to leave.

WAF Hero 1 “please let us know, say in fourteen days if you can come”
Sir K “I want you to leave now…please go…yes go”.

Exit stage left our WAF Heroes

WAF Hero 1 – “Did we just get thrown out”?

WAF Hero 2 – “Forsooth I think we did”.



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Parish Community Bonfire

What a stunning evening! Approximately 2000 people turned up to the Bonfire Night celebration on the Parish Recreation Ground on Friday 3rd November. With food and drink, children’s ride and a spectacular fireworks display this was the best Bonfire Night so far. Over £500 was collected for charity thanks to the overwhelming generosity of everyone who donated. A big Thank You to you all.

Thanks also to Cllr. Stuart Thornton for organising the arrangements for the evening and making sure everything ran smoothly and to the groundstaff who made sure the recreation  ground was clean, safe and secure. There were lots of very positive comments from residents after the bonfire and APC should be proud of this community event.

Well done to everyone concerned.



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Fracking-Episode 3




UPDATE Number 2. More interesting reading concerning INEOS and Woodsetts Against Fracking:


UPDATE: There will be drop in sessions at Woodsetts Parish Hall on 4th November 10:30 -14:30 and 6th November 1230 – 20:00. These are to inform people on progress against fracking in Woodsetts and to give advice on letters of objection to RMBC. Every objection will make a difference.

I’m also seeking confirmation that two local residents went to see Sir Kev at his surgery on Laughton Road to ask him if he objected to fracking. It is alleged he refused to answer the question and threw them out. Perhaps Labour Cllrs. Jonathan Ireland or Katherine Wilson-who are supposed to represent Anston and Woodsetts ward- can shed some light on this?  Cllr. Wilson is the New Best Friend of the Boy Blunder who proposed that RMBC should object to fracking in the borough which puts them at odds with Sir Kev’s views. He is pro EU and now allegedly pro fracking.

On Tuesday 24th October The Rotherham Town and Parish Council Network held a meeting in Todwick Parish Hall to which all local councillors were invited.

Attendees also included UK Onshore Oil & Gas (UKOOG), Department of Business,Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Health and Safety Executive and the Oil and Gas Authority. Taiba Yasseen and Zafar Saleem were there from RMBC Parish and Town Council Joint Working Group.

The document presented for discussion was  It is well worthwhile reading it. My information is that some questions were answered at the meeting  but many remained unanswered. I’m not going to publish pages and pages of the pro’s and cons of fracking, there are just too many of them. However as there is strong anti fracking feeling in our area I’ll link to two Channel 4 programmes:

An online petition has also been started asking Sir Kev to get off his bum and campaign against fracking. His efforts to date are considered to be simply playing on the periphery of the issue, to appear interested to his constituents, but without the focus required to achieve true impact.   …………….A recent survey within Sir Kevin Barron’s constituency showed 90% were against fracking’.

RMBC voted to ban fracking on land it owns and controls. (Council meeting on 18th October 2017) The ban will not affect the proposals in place for Harthill or Woodsetts, as the sites are not on public land, but are recognised as a gesture of support for campaigners and disapproval of fracking in general. Sheffield City Council banned fracking on public land last year.



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Couldn’t care less parish councillors.

Another black mark against the majority of APC councillors.

Wednesday’s Finance and Charity meeting (27th September) had to be cancelled because not enough councillors could be bothered to get of their bums and turn up. Councillor’s Tawn,Thornton,Manship and John Ireland made the effort to attend and three councillors sent apologies for absence. Where were the other councillors? Would the missing councillors be the same people who defeated a motion to reduce the quorum to three on the spurious grounds that ‘power will be concentrated in too few people’? If they knew anything at all about parish business they would know the Finance and Charity meetings are convened to discuss and agree payments for items listed on the agenda, not to discuss or agree spending money from capital or reserves accounts.

To those councillors who did not attend or send in their apologies-Shame On You.



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Brethren submit 3rd application to build on greenbelt.

A RELIGIOUS group hoping to build a church on green belt land have submitted plans for a third time.

Previous applications for a Plymouth Brethren Christian place of worship at Common Lane in North Anston were rejected in 2013 and 2015.

Rotherham Borough Council said the loss of the green belt could not be justified and planning board members raised road safety concerns. Now applicants Elsworth Acres have returned with another proposal – this time including a multi-million centre for Anston Rangers Junior Football Club.

A spokesman said: “The development proposed is submitted following a diligent search for a suitable site to serve the local community over many years. “This statement also supports the football club requirements, as they have outgrown their existing facilities with numbers of young people provided for continuing to increase. “The proposed development is a sensitive response to the site, constraints, locality and landscape. “Designs have been adjusted following detailed consultations with the public and local authority to deliver a sustainable, beneficial and safe development.”

Plans for the 18-acre site include a church and 211 parking spaces. Elsworth said the church had outgrown its previous premises in Sheffield and was now using another hall in Doncaster temporarily.

The football facilities, including six pitches, a clubhouse and a further 120 parking spaces, would be sited to the north of the site, next to Thornberry Animal Sanctuary.

One businesswoman, based at the nearby North Anston business centre, said: “My objection is purely on traffic and road safety. “An application with parking for over 300 vehicles, which will use the premises predominantly at weekends has got to adversely affect the road infrastructure and cause danger to residents and other road users.”

Previous versions of the plan included a Brethren school but the campus on Hellaby industrial estate has now been expanded instead.

Rangers said they approached Elsworth about the plan after seeing membership rise to 200 since the club’s formation in 2011.

Anston Parish Councillors objected to the application and at a site meeting in 2015 RMBC Councillors also objected to the plans to build on the greenbelt. Objections to the plans are nothing to do with the religious beliefs of the Brethren. The proposal to build on land fronted by a narrow road close to a crossroads is wrong for the reasons stated.

There is land available within 1/2 mile of Common Rd. which would be suitable for the Brethren’s plans. Perhaps the Brethren overlooked it?

Objections to the plans can be lodged online. Ref.No.RB2017/1192.  email


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Expensive Whitewash

The summaries of six investigations into the devastating failures of RMBC before,during and after the CSE scandal can be found here: Click the ‘Find out more’ button on each report.

£440,000 of our money has been wasted on these so called investigations which protects former employees of RMBC and brings further anguish and misery to the victims.

None of the ex councillors/employees mentioned below will suffer any consequences nor lose any part of their generous (local) taxpayer funded pensions.

Paul Lakin  Former Leader said in August 2014 ‘ he knew nothing of the sexual assault abuse that occurred over a period of more than 16 years, and said nobody at the council needed to resign’

Shaun Wright  Who was in charge of children’s services in Rotherham for five years during the period covered by the report, is now under investigation for perjury after giving evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee.

Iain St John was Mayor of Rotherham during the period in question and should have givent more time to challenging officials and the Police instead of riding around in a car playing Mayor. He always refused to confirm he was at the Council Seminar on Sexual Exploitation on 5th April 2005 but the evidence can be found here:

Roger Stone Former Leader chaired the meeting mentioned above. He resigned after the publication of the Jay report and he was also accused of being a ‘bully’ and ‘sexism’.

Judy Dalton was licensing supremo in Rotherham. Taxi drivers were lambasted by the Jay report for providing the means in many cases to ferry victims around Rotherham and further afield. She was also adviser to Children’s Services. The Casey report said the new draft taxi licensing policy that Coun. Dalton referred to when she resigned was to be welcomed but it still ‘falls short’ in a number of respects. Its implementation timetable is too long and not enough prominence is given to the need to protect the public. It said guidance suggested the council would only refuse licences if a driver had more than one conviction for indecency and inspectors found this ‘unacceptable.

Jo Burton was a member of a scrutiny committee who were tasked with oversight of child protection. She was vice chair of the committee for a couple of years and also served on the licensing board during the worst of the abuses. She was a senior adviser to Shaun Wright the disgraced Police Commissioner when he ran Children’s Services. She claimed she was ‘unaware’ of CSE then later said she ‘did not know the scale of the problem’.

Dominic Beck Resigned as a cabinet member, he also served on the licensing board. Beck was reappointed and has eight other roles within RMBC.

Joyce Thacker  Paid £130,00 pa as ‘Strategic Director of Children’s Services’ and was given £40,000 to bugger off after the Jay report.

Jacqui Collins Former Monitoring Officer and Labour stooge. Claimed no evidence of CSE ever crossed her desk nor came to her attention. Resigned to spend more time with her pension pot.

Gordon Watson Deputy Leader of RMBC claimed the report by Louise Casey was ‘not factual’ then admitted  he hadn’t read it (!)

Former council leaders Roger Stone and Paul Lakin both refused to give evidence to  Louise Casey.

South Yorks.Police could not and cannot solve the theft of 21 laptops containing vital and personal information  from Norfolk House in 2011 but manage to find evidence of ‘historic’ sex crimes.

Was £440,000 spent on a Cock up or a Conspiracy?

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Fracking Hell!

The barbarians have appeared on the horizon in the lovely village of Woodsetts in the shape of INEOS, the company who want to frack the hell out of South Yorkshire.


Gas drillers INEOS have followed up their appalling proposal for a test well in Harthill’s countryside with a second site for test drilling, just down the road from us in Woodsetts. This will only be the beginning as they look to embark on a 5 year rape of our countryside in both locations with a drilling rig the size of Big Ben.

Our local politicians have come running to our aid yet again with local Councillors doing what they always seem to so (f**k all frankly) and our MP Kevin Bas… I mean Barron still picking the splinters out of his arse from sitting on the fence.

The Harthill well has progressed to a full planning proposal whereas the Woodsetts site is still in the very preliminary stages.

The wells are not fracking as such, at least not yet. They are applying for a 5 year visit to drill a vertical shaft about 3000 metres into the earth to recover a core sample of the local geology. They will then use the well for a series of tests to further determine the viability of wholesale gas extraction via the controversial fracking technique.

What can locals expect from the 5 year stay?

  1. Lots of extra heavy traffic on the roads, up to 60 lorries per day at busy times.
  2. Noise from the 24 hour operation and diesel fumes from lorries and massive on site generators.
  3. The charming site of a 60m tall drilling rig, along with cranes.
  4. Possible long term ecological damage from an untested and experimental technique.

It’s quite hard to see an upside at the moment, we will be doing a series of articles on how to object to the planning application when it appears. In the meantime please tell your friends and urge your elected representatives to get behind local people for once and oppose this madness.

Both villages have active campaigns (links below) and I would encourage you all to give them every support you can.

Drill or Drop anti-fracking site

Woodsetts Anti Fracking Group

Harthill Against Fracking

The Bas… Sorry I mean INEOS

INEOS leaflet

INEOS on how they will run the site in Woodsetts

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