Lancashire County Council decided that they would not allow planning permission for fracking to take place on the Fylde Coast in June of 2015 disappointing fracking company Cuadrilla. This was a great example of dispersal of power from Westminster, perhaps showing how pressure groups (Frack Off/Friends of the Earth) could be successful by using local access points and utilising local power. This was a really good example of pluralism in the UK – pressure groups dispersing power.
However, this week, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Greg Clark has announced that the decision of whether this fracking can go ahead will actually now be taken by him. This is a good example of example the opposite – centralisation of power and concentration of power in the hands of a few, particularly those in London. This is elitism. It is particularly notable here as those in Westminster will probably find in favour of Cuadrilla and therefore directly overrule the wishes of the local population. This is the problem of being in a Burkean representative model, where others can make decisions in your best interests as well as being a great example of elitism – Conservatives serving the interests of big business is definitely in their interests, not the local people’s.