Councillors’ solidarity bid against fracking plan

TRAFFORD councillors have condemned the decision to award an exploratory fracking licence in the borough – and is calling on the council to ‘uphold’ its opposition to controversial gas exploration.

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Trafford Labour Party said it is deeply concerned that the Government’s Oil and Gas Authority has awarded a Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence (PEDL) to the company Ineos covering much of the south of Trafford.

The licence is the first step towards fracking taking place in Trafford and opens up the possibility of a planning application for fracking to begin in areas such as Altrincham, Bowdon, Broadheath, Hale and Timperley.

Broadheath councillor Denise Western, the majority of whose ward falls within the licence area, said: “The Labour group is extremely concerned by the decision to award this licence. I have already been contacted by a number of residents really worried about what this will mean for the area.

“They are concerned about the safety of the process, the decision to award the licence in what is a highly populated area, and the potential impact on house prices.

“Everything I have read tells me that the technology is unproven and I absolutely cannot support fracking taking place in Trafford until we know for certain that the process is safe.”

Trafford Labour is planning to propose a motion that Trafford Council writes to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, and to the Oil and Gas Authority directly, outlining the councillors’ concerns and asking that the decision to award the licence be reconsidered.

Cllr Catherine Hynes, deputy leader of the Labour Group, said: “The Labour Group will be raising this issue with a motion at the next council meeting, and will expect all councillors to uphold the council’s previous position in opposition to fracking until it is proven safe.”

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