Kirklees councillors support motion on fracking to continue proud record on climate change

Kirklees Council Fracking lobby 15 Jan

We are delighted that councillors voted to support the motion on fracking at the Town Hall last night.

This gives the council an opportunity to develop a fracking policy and sends a signal to fracking companies that they are not welcome in this authority.

It is a significant ‘reply’ to the government days after David Cameron announced that he would double business rates income for councils from fracking operations.

The Kirklees Green Party’s anti-fracking motion called on the council to develop a policy on shale gas and coal bed methane and called for increased funding to develop the green economy in Kirklees in order to create jobs and stabilise energy bills.

A very similar motion, submitted by Green Party councillors was passed by Sheffield Council earlier this year.

This motion was originally submitted in December but time ran out before the vote could take place. You can read a copy of the motion alongside other information about our lobbying on https://kirkleescampaignagainstclimatechange.wordpress.com/2014/01/12/delegation-of-kirklees-residents-to-speak-to-councillors-against-fracking/

The motion was carried with 41 votes for and 21 votes against. The motion was supported by at least some councillors from four different parties or groupings. The majority Labour group was given a free vote.

A deputation of Kirklees residents attended the meeting on Wednesday 15th January to speak in support of the Green Party’s motion against fracking. The residents outlined the main reasons for opposing fracking, particularly the risks of ground water contamination and the increasing use of fossil fuels driving climate change.  They explained the ways in which the government’s gas strategy is flawed: it will be unlikely to reduce bills, reduce our carbon footprint or increase our energy security.

A lobby of councillors took place outside the Town Hall. A specially written Friends of the Earth letter to Kirklees Councillors on dangers of fracking was handed out to councillors as they arrived.

You can watch a webcast of the council meeting on http://www.kirklees.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/124274
You can watch the deputation and response from 6 mins 30 secs to 15 mins.
You can watch the debate and vote on the motion from 3hours 35 mins to the end of the webcast (4 hours 19 mins).

We would like to thank all residents who attended lobbies at the Town Hall and spoke to councillors.

We would also like to thank Friends of the Earth, Sheffield Campaign Against Climate Change and Sheffield Green Party for their advice and support throughout the process.

Perhaps most of all, we would most like to thank Kirklees Green Party councillors for tabling the motion and for all councillors who voted for it.

Once again, Kirklees councillors have shown leadership on climate change and environmental responsibility. Alongside other councils they have set an example for local government nationally. We commend them on this vote.

We look forward to seeing how Kirklees council’s policy on fracking and coal bed methane develops and plan to maintain communication with the council on this important matter.

Notes/ references

Lord Stern’s comments on fracking

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/baseless-economics-lord-stern-on-david-camerons-claims-that-a-uk-fracking-boom-can-bring-down-price-of-gas-8796758.html

Lord Browne admits that fracking will not reduce prices

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/nov/29/browne-fracking-not-reduce-uk-gas-prices-shale-energy-bills

Water industry warns that fracking may not be feasible in many parts of the UK.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/nov/27/water-shortages-fracking-impractical-uk

David Mackay statement on fracking and carbon emissions

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/potential-greenhouse-gas-emissions-associated-with-shale-gas-production-and-use

Committee on Climate Change ‘Next Steps on Energy Market Reform’ http://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/next-steps-on-electricity-market-reform-23-may-2013/

Independent coverage of ‘Next Steps on Energy Market Reform’ http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/switch-to-lowcarbon-future-would-save-households-1600-8628138.html

Kirklees Council wins ‘gold’ Environment Agency award.

http://www.examiner.co.uk/news/west-yorkshire-news/its-world-kirklees-council-wins-4948246

 

 

 

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