In his column in the Worksop Guardian (17th January), John Mann gives a cautious welcome to the news that there are to be more fracking exploration for gas sites in Bassetlaw.
As usual, Mr Mann is wrong on this issue.
While the drilling may bring a few more jobs into the area and the council will get its financial “inducement” for allowing the fracking to go ahead, fracking will not benefit the people of Bassetlaw or the wider population of the UK.
The local Liberal Democrats object to fracking on two grounds:
1) Fracking technology has not yet been shown to be safe and by pushing down this path, the Conservatives in Government are riding roughshod over the safety and wishes of local people. It has been associated with many environmental problems and has been linked to pollution in local water sources.
2) Further investment in fracking does not help make the UK become energy independent. We are blessed in this country with abundant natural energy resources that, if the investment now being put into fracking and other hydrocarbon sources was target at these resources, could be made more efficient and cheaper.
Fracking is at best a short term stop gap solution at the cost of local pollution and environmental damage. We accept that the district council has it hands tied by the planning rules and that even if it rejects any associated planning application, this is likely to be overturned by the Secretary of State for Communities (Eric Pickles), also the extra money from the inducement that Cameron has offered for allowing fracking in the district area will plug some holes in the council’s budget. However this should not stop local people organising to make clear their opposition to any fracking in Bassetlaw and the surrounding area.