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Cllr Maria Bennett Seeks to Strengthen Seftons' Stance on Fracking
With Fracking companies camped out on the border of Sefton, FRAG Councillors have sought to strengthen Sefton Councils' resolve in shutting the door to this industry and sending a clear message to national leaders. A previous motion put forward by Sefton Labour Party was not as strong as it could have been and reflected the then position of the National Labour Party in supporting Fracking in the right circumstances? However a change of leadership and the election of Jeremy Corbyn saw a commitment to a complete ban on fracking in Labour's 2017 Manifesto.
Cllr Bennett's fracking motion will be presented to the Full Council Thursday 25th January 6:30pm Bootle Town Hall (see upcoming meetings).
Maria Bennett and other members the Sefton Independent group will be asking the full Council to support "Commiting to not allow any fracking activities, including survey work, on Council owned or controlled land and property".and committing to the "need to demonstrate beyond any doubt that any adverse affects can be eliminated".
Maria said "its important that our Council is taking all the active steps it can to prevent Fracking getting a foothold in our borough, as well as being outspoken in its opposition to the onshore shale gas industry". She also said that "demonstrating that adverse affects can be eliminated, is an important choice of words. Many planning applications seek to mitigate any harm caused by their development. Too often their proposed mitigation measures fail to address the full harm of development. Be it that they weren't rigorous enough in the first place or that they are not implemented properly. What I am asking for is that the Industry demonstrate that they can develop without any harm that would require mitigation. This I feel raises the bar a little higher". Finally she concluded that,"although stronger than previous motions on fracking I was disappointed at what I was told I had to remove by Sefton Legal Officers, in order for my motion to be allowed to go forward to a vote. I will be taking further advice on this matter and I'm quite prepared to revisit this issue if I discover a stronger position was possible. Other parts of the UK such as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have banned fracking. Its only England that has had this practice unwantedly heaped upon us. It is more than a little hypocritical that the Conservative Government uses votes from the DUP, an Northern Irish Party to to achieve support for a practice banned in Northern Ireland".