This week, Labour councillor’s will make a commitment to not allow fracking on council owned or controlled land and property in Rotherham. Labour’s Councillor Dominic Beck and Councillor Katherine Wilson will move a motion about fracking at the Council Meeting of Rotherham Council on Wednesday 18 October 2017.

Cllr Dominic Beck & Cllr Katherine Wilson

Councillor Beck and Councillor Wilson represent areas where exploratory work for fracking is intended. Councillor Dominic Beck has said:

The Labour Party commited to banning fracking in the recent 2017 General Election. Myself and Councillor Wilson represent areas that are impacted by proposals around fracking and we have both met with local residents and attended community meetings in Harthill and Woodsetts to hear their concerns. This motion represents those concerns and demonstrates our efforts locally to do what we can to protect our communities from fracking.”

In Rotherham, fracking has never been carried out but companies are investigating the possibility of fracking in the borough. Oil and gas firm INEOS Shale have made a planning applicationthat sought permission for an exploratory well on an area of privately-owned land in the south of the borough. This followed a previous notification from INEOS that it intended to carry out a 3D seismic survey across part of the borough as well.

The motion that will be presented at this week’s Council Meeting states the following:

That this Council notes:-

  • With concern that the government has made fracking a central plank of the UK’s energy policy.
  • That a number of exploratory licences have been granted across the North of England, including covering a large part of the Rotherham borough.
  • That in areas where exploratory drilling is under consideration, local residents have expressed concern.
  • That the Labour Party manifesto at the 2017 General Election included a clear commitment to ban fracking.
  • That UKIP’s 2015 election manifesto declared it’s “time to get ‘fracking’” and that “UKIP supports the development of shale gas…” UKIP’s 2017 manifesto stated that “UKIP will invest in shale gas exploration.”
  • That all planning applications relating to fracking must be considered on their merits in planning terms, within the rules set out by the government.

That this Council, therefore:-

a) Regrets the decision of the then Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey, to lift the national ban on fracking in 2012.

b) Commits to not allow any fracking activities, including survey work, on Council owned or controlled land and property.

Proposer:-  Councillor Beck          Seconder:-  Councillor Wilson

The Labour Party in the recent 2017 General Election made a key commitment to ban fracking. The motion that will be presented at this week’s Council Meeting is an important reflection of these concerns.

You can read the agenda for the Council Meeting of Rotherham Council, to be held on Wednesday 18 October 2017, here.

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