Calderdale now a frack free zone
Friday, 5 December 2014
Calderdale Council has passed a motion proposed opposing fracking, and has now declared itself a frack free zone. The original text of Cllr James Baker's motion was the model text suggested by Friends of the Earth. Labour had also proposed an anti-fracking motion. Cllr Baked has told the HebWeb that the Lib Dems worked with Labour to agree an amalgamated text prior to the meeting - a Labour Councillor 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.
Cllr Baker said to the HebWeb, "I'm glad that political parties on the Council were able to work together to agree a strong motion declaring Calderdale to be a 'frack free' zone. We need to work now on creating sustainable energy projects within the borough to meet the energy demands of a modern environmentally friendly economy."
Fracking in Calderdale
Wednesday, 26 November 2014
Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats have sent the HebWeb motions for the Calderdale Council full council meeting on Wednesday 3rd December calling for no fracking in our area.
Calderdale Labour Group say they are are calling for the council to make a clear statement of opposition to the principle of fracking.
Cllr Dan Sutherland, who has tabled the motion, says, "We have major concerns about safety and the environmental threat from fracking. We also believe that it is irresponsible of the government to encourage and promote massive investment in fracking when the clear message from climate scientists is that we need to reduce carbon emissions to protect our long term future.
"Whilst we must consider any specific application on its merits, we think the time is right to set out our general position. We also want to ask officers to work now on developing the Councils policies and understanding, so that we have the right framework in place to respond to any future proposals that may arise".
Calderdale Liberal Democrats are also proposing a motion to Calderdale Council on the 3 December to oppose fracking and shale gas exploration.
Councillor Janet Battye Liberal Democrat group leader said, "This is something that we know many people in Calderdale are concerned about, and rightly so. Energy from fracking is diverting people away from the need to tackle climate change. We should be doing more to develop clean, green sustainable energy rather than trying to extract more fossil fuels through fracking."
The text of the motion reads
- This Council notes that it has a responsibility to tackle climate change and protect the environment and the well being of local communities.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.
Councillor James Baker who is proposing the motion said, "We have consulted with Friends of the Earth to find a suitable motion to oppose fracking here in Calderdale. We need to do all we can to protect our landscape, and ensure we don't burn even more fossil fuels. The only people will who will profit from fracking will be big companies, and will be at the expense of our environment. I hope people who want to try and stop fracking are able to come along next Wednesday evening to lobby Councillors on the way into the Town Hall."
There is a planned cross-party protest against fracking outside Halifax Town Hall at 5.15pm on Wednesday 3rd December.