Fracking survey shows some support from Lancaster

Fracking rigs like this one are a common site in America.
Fracking rigs like this one are a common site in America.

In the same week Lancaster City Council opposed fracking across the district a recent survey has shown most Lancastarians are happy to support the controversial method.

City councillors voted to oppose fracking with the majorty agreeing fracking had the potential to spoil the countryside.

We think the focus across the country should be upon developing clean, safe and sustainable sources of energy

Labour councillor Rob Devey

The motion, put forward by Labour councillors Rob Devey, Darren Clifford, Claire Cozler and Janet Hall, asked the city council to recognise the impacts on drilling for shale gas.

More than 30 councillors voted to support the motion which said fracking would adversely affect wildlife and habitat, as well as cause the potential for earthquakes.

Labour councillor Rob Devey said: “This decision sends a clear message to the government that we don’t want to see fracking in the Lancaster district.

“We think the focus across the country should be upon developing clean, safe and sustainable sources of energy.”

Read the full motion here

The council will ask the government to scrap proposals to remove responsibilty for determining fracking planning applications from local councils if they are not determined within a 16-week period.

However despite the opposition a recent survey revealed Lancaster residents had the highest levels of agreement, of 12 European regions surveyed, that shale gas would benefit local jobs and revenues.

The North West Energy Task Force which is supported by Cuadrilla and Centrica said the survey showed a majority (53 per cent) of Lancastrians believes that shale gas “brings new opportunities for me or my region”, the second highest of the regions polled after Poland.

The survey said Lancastrians were among the least likely to want a ban on shale gas developments. Over three quarters of those polled did not support an EU ban on shale developments. Opponents said the NWETF had ignored less favourable findings of the survey.

The EU polled 6,000 people in regions where fracking is planned. Supporters say fracking will provide energy, jobs and boost the economy, opponents say it is a threat to the environment, health and homes. Two bids to frack on the Fylde were rejected by Lancashire County Council this year but energy company Cuadrilla have appealed.