by jamesbaker on 4 December, 2014
Calderdale Council has passed a motion I proposed opposing fracking, and has now declared itself a frack free zone. The original text of the motion was the model text suggested by Friends of the Earth. Labour had also proposed an anti-fracking motion so we worked with them to agree an amalgamated text prior to the meeting , and one of their Councillors seconded the final motion. The amalgamated text was passed with support from the Liberal Democrat and Labour groups, with the only opposition coming from some Conservative members of the Council. The wording of the motion passed was as follows:
Shale Gas Exploration
(a) this Council notes that it has a responsibility to tackle climate change and protect the environment and the wellbeing of local communities;
(b) this Council acknowledges that exploration of unconventional fossil fuel undermines action on climate change and diverts resources away from investment in a safe and secure renewable energy future;
(c) this Council notes that there are possible significant adverse impacts from shale gas exploration and exploitation, including water contamination and air pollution, and supports a ‘Frack-Free’ declaration for this area; and
(d) this Council calls on her Majesty’s Government to impose a moratorium on shale gas exploration within the UK to prevent the adverse impact it will have on green house gas emissions and climate change.
(e) whilst this Council remains committed to hearing all planning applications in a fair manner and in full accordance with the law, proposals for shale gas extraction within Calderdale are likely to generate significant public concern. In the event of such an application we request that our officers take all possible steps to ensure that the environment of Calderdale and the amenity of its residents are protected.
Sadly this doesn’t mean we can guarantee that fracking won’t occur in Calderdale as ultimately it is a decision of the government. However this motion is a positive step on the right direction and it does ensure officers will do all they can within planning law to oppose fracking. Calderdale Council has sent a clear statement to the government that we don’t want fracking here in Calderdale in the Pennines.
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