Delays hit trial of 12 anti-frack protesters

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Three Lancashire councillors are standing trial alleged to have been involved in an anti-fracking protest.

The trio are all charged with obstructing the highway during a “lock on” protest outside the Cuadrilla gas exploration site at Little Plumpton in July this year .

The 12 anti-fracking defendants outside court

The 12 anti-fracking defendants outside court

They are further accused of preventing Cuadrilla staff from going about their lawful work under the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act.

The three are Fylde Borough Councillor Julie Brickles, 52, of Harbour Lane, Warton; Kirkham Town councillor Miranda Cox, 48, of Ribby Road, Kirkham, and Lancashire County Councillor Gina Dowding. 55. of Aldciffe Road,Lancaster.

They are among 12 people who have pleaded not guilty to similar offences.

The start of the case –expected to last five days – before District Judge Jeff Brailsford at Blackpool Magistrates Court – was delayed yesterday for legal reasons.