Bury Council votes against fast-tracking Fracking
An emergency motion brought by Bury Council leader Councillor Rishi Shori, against the Government’s plans to fast-track planning for fracking, has been passed unanimously tonight (12 September). (1)
Introducing the motion, which called on the Government to withdraw its proposals to make drilling for shale gas ‘permitted development’ and to move fracking decisions from local councils to central government (2), Councillor Shori said:
“The proposed changes are massive. Removing the power from local councils is an outrage.”
He added that Government plans to move fracking decisions from local council control and “to shift that responsibility to London and a faceless Secretary of State is an outrageous affront to democracy”.
Councillors from all parties spoke in the debate to support the motion, highlighting the air quality and climate change impacts of fracking aswell as the implications for local decision-making and accountability. Conservative Councillor Daly spoke in support of local democracy and fracking decisions remaining with councils, while Liberal Democrat Councillor Pickford said “there is no place whatsoever for fracking in our future energy supply”.
The motion came on the day MPs debated fracking in Westminster for the first time in three years. Speaking about the Government’s proposals to change planning rules to speed up decisions and bypass local democracy, Bury North MP James Frith asked government Minister Claire Perry MP:
“We’ve rejected the Government’s plans for fracking already, will you take seriously the voice of the people on this issue?” (3)
Manchester Friends of the Earth campaigner Ali Abbas said:
“Councillors and MPs from all parties are speaking out against the Government’s plans to fast-track fracking. It’s fantastic that Bury Council has passed this motion unanimously to send a message to Government that local councils and communities must decide on fracking.
“Instead of forcing fracking on communities, the Government should be investing in clean renewable energies, which unlike fracking have huge public support and are powering us now and into the future. Just last week the world’s largest wind farm opened off the North West coast which will power over half a million homes and provide hundreds of jobs.” (4)
- https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/726916/Consultation_document_-_shale_gas_permitted_development.pdf and https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/727044/NSIP_Consultation_Document_Final.pdf