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Lib Dems want council to oppose changes to fracking regulations

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THE Liberal Democrat group on Warrington Borough Council is asking for support to oppose Government changes to the planning rules on shale gas extraction – commonly known as fracking.
A motion proposed by Cllr Brian Axcell (pictured) who is an energy engineer and seconded by Cllr Ryan Bate, the parliamentary candidate for Warrington South, is going to tonight’s council meeting.
Cllr Axcell said: “The Government wants to remove the need to submit planning applications for exploratory drilling prior to fracking. This will reduce local democratic scrutiny. It also wants to include fracking projects in the National Significant Infrastructure Projects regime which takes decision making on shale gas production away from local councils and hands it to central government.
“Wherever fracking has been proposed it has been opposed by the public and local authorities. There are real fears about noise, traffic, air pollution, the impact on the countryside, earth tremors and the effects on climate change.”
Cllr Bate added: “These proposals completely contradict the principles of localism and set a dangerous precedent. Cardiff Business School has estimated that to replace half of the UK’s projected gas usage for 2021 to 2035 would require drilling and fracking one well every day for 15 years.
“Recent research by the University of Nottingham has found that the UK’s shale gas reserves may deliver only a fraction of the gas promised by fracking companies and government ministers.
“Liberal Democrats oppose fracking and do not believe it is the way forward because of the adverse impact on greenhouse gases and the environment.”

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