This new unbridled and unrestrained Conservative Government is not slow in showing its true colours. Recent announcements about fast tracking Fracking are simply horrendous. Coupled with the Conservative hatred and campaign against wind energy it shows clearly that they have no clue about clean energy.
And to blame the planning system and local government is simply outrageous. An application that generates the level of interest that a fracking licence does simply cannot be processed in 13 weeks. It is not delaying things to respond to legitimate concerns.
Our group leader has challenged our two Conservative MPs to speak out against their Government on this issue of such importance to Bath and NE Somerset.
B&NES Liberal Democrats
For immediate release: Wednesday, 19 August 2015
No Fracking in B&NES – Lib Dems
Liberal Democrats in B&NES have renewed their calls against fracking following recent government announcements that not only are new licences for fracking to be offered – including potentially around Bath – but that applications could be fast-tracked by the Secretary of State for Communities.
Councillor Dine Romero has written to the local MPs for Bath and North East Somerset calling on them to stand up for local communities and oppose fracking. In the open letter, which is attached, Councillor Romero reiterates local opposition to fracking both on principle and in relation to the threat to the hot springs.
Councillor Cherry Beath (Liberal Democrat, Combe Down) is the Liberal Democrat shadow for Homes and Planning. Cherry commented:
“Fracking in the vicinity of Bath is absolutely unthinkable and our local MPs must join with Councillors and residents in opposing this threat. Any damage to the hot springs could be catastrophic for the fabric of the city and the local economy.”
Contact: 01225 477419
Note: please find attached the letter from Councillor Romero to Ben Howlett MP and Jacob Rees Mogg MP.
Bath and North East Somerset Liberal Democrats Councillor Dine Romero Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group Bath and North East Somerset Liberal Democrats By email
19 August 2015
Ben Howlett MP Jacob Rees Mogg MP
Dear Ben and Jacob,
I am horrified by reports this week that your Government is planning to fast-track fracking planning applications and that licences could be offered in the future for sites around Bath.
Whilst we do not have any licences or applications at present it seems to me to be fundamentally flawed for central Government to be interfering in local affairs so dramatically. Any fracking application will generate a substantial amount of public interest and the volume of work involved makes it very difficult to process such an application within 13 weeks.
I am sure you are aware that local Councillors from all political parties have previously spoken out against fracking in our area due to concerns about the threat to the unique Bath hot springs, the environment generally and the hydrological environment across the area.
I urge you to speak out against your Government’s interference into local planning matters and to ensure that hard-won additional protections for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage Sites are not eroded.
It is indeed a pity that whilst your Government is persecuting benign forms of renewable energy, such as land based wind power, it seems to be working hard to bring in fracking as quickly as possible.
Councillor Dine Romero
cc. B&NES Councillors and the Bath Chronicle