The government’s announcement to treat “non-fracking” drilling as “permitted development” flouts the will of the people.
According to the government’s own survey, support for fracking has fallen to 16% while support for renewable energy has risen to 77%. Public attitudes are very clear, but the government is ignoring us. In Parliament, the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee says “Shale gas development of any type should not be classed as a permitted development... local communities should be able to have a say in whether this type of development takes place”.
The Local Government Association states “We oppose any proposal for shale exploration to be allowed to bypass the locally democratic planning system...it should be up to local communities to decide whether or not to host fracking operations in their areas.” These recommendations have also been contemptuously ignored.
Our local democracy is what has made Britain superior to Putin’s Russia – that is, until now. The decision to permit drilling is the thin end of the wedge in a move to all-out industrialisation of the countryside against the express wishes of those who live here. It makes a mockery of Theresa May’s pledge on taking office, that “We will do everything we can to give you more control over your lives...When we pass new laws, we’ll listen not to the mighty but to you.”
I call on our MP Kevin Hollinrake to protest at this bullying from London.
Dr Peter Williams