A leaked letter, published by Friends of The Earth, first revealed the Government’s intention to overrule local councils and residents on fracking. The letter just adds to the impression that those in Westminster will stop at nothing to overrule local democracy.
Tony Bosworth, a Friends of the Earth campaigner, says, “Any move to take decision-making on fracking away from local councils and railroad it through would be another serious attack on democracy, and a sure sign that the Government has lost the argument”.
The letter also reveals how the Government plan to make sure all obstacles are removed to fracking operations in National Parks.
At its 2016 Spring Conference in Harrogate, the Green Party vowed to act on government plans to take decision-making on fracking planning applications away from local councils.
The Green Party is the only national political party to take a campaigning stance on fracking.
The leaked letter discusses proposals for a “government shale gas strategy”, aimed at achieving a “maturing shale gas production industry” within 10 years.
The Green Party is now considering campaign strategies after an emergency motion was passed at its Spring Conference. So far it has called on local and parish councils to write to the government to register objections.
Some rural parish councillors have already reacted to the Government by expressing their wishes to retain their duties to act as “custodians to protect their rural area for future generations” in response to fracking.
Philip Mitchell, of North Lancashire Green Party, proposed the conference motion.
He explained, “We are responding to this letter which shows the extent to which the government is willing to allow the unconventional oil and gas industry to take over our country”.
Mr Mitchell continued, “The motion was passed unanimously because these government proposals represent the exact opposite to the Green Party’s ideas. We are passionate about creating a healthier, happier society, without the risky and unpopular range of extreme energy technologies which are being rolled-out, such as coal-bed methane and underground coal gasification, as well as shale gas and shale oil extraction”.
“The government could help empower local people to maintain more healthy environments, and all local councils must act now to convince the government it is wrong to rush them towards nightmare scenarios.” The motion should now see a Green Party national response to fracking.
Local Green Parties will be working actively to highlight how the Government’s pursuit of high risk, extreme, energy policies will leave local communities with a legacy of health and environmental problems, a “fracking nightmare” for blighted towns, villages and tourist destinations all over the UK.
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