Tory leadership candidates’ backing for fracking is big concern for county says councillor

Tory leadership candidates’ backing for fracking is big concern for county says councillor

by Henry James (August 2022)

SKELMERSDALE County Councillor Julie Gibson, the Labour group shadow cabinet member for economic development has raised concerns the two candidates for the Conservative leadership contest have committed to back fracking as part of their leadership bids in the recent televised debates.

This has raised concerns the controversial process of fracking may yet return to the people of Lancashire.

Cllr Gibson said: “I was amazed that both candidates signalled their unequivocal support for fracking and immediately realised that this could mean the return of fracking to Lancashire.

“When fracking was last on the agenda, it was the North West, and particularly Lancashire, that was targeted for this, with sites being identified all over the county, I do not remember many being targeted in the south of the country.”

Cllr Gibson added: “In my own area of West Lancashire, Great Altcar was identified as a potential fracking site and it was only down to the campaigning of local residents and politicians that we managed to highlight the potential dangers to the area that fracking would bring.

“I was pleased that, as a county, Lancashire County Council was steadfast in its opposition to fracking with a motion to Full Council in July 2018 which stressed the importance of local councils to decide in all matters related to fracking and not to have this imposed on communities.”

Cllr Gibson said: “There is a global energy crisis, but fracking is not the answer. We saw the problems with earthquakes that fracking caused in Lancashire – both candidates dismissed these.

“What we need is an energy policy that focuses on renewables and promoting the benefits of green energy.

“Fracking is not a long-term answer to the problems we now face, and I am sure the people of West Lancashire and the whole of the County will be making sure that whoever wins the leadership contest is told loud and clear to keep their hands off ‘frack free Lancashire’ - fracking is not welcome here.”

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