A ROW has erupted over a campaign opposing the issuing of the first fracking exploration licence for Leeds.
The Government has awarded energy companies licences to explore land for fracking suitability in 27 areas of the country, including land in Allerton Bywater and Kippax in the Kippax and Methley ward.
Elmet and Rothwell Labour Party has launched a petition calling on the Government to withhold the licences.
Coun James Lewis (Labour/ Kippax and Methley), said: “There are far too many concerns about the environmental impact and the health impact. The exploration licences issued by the Government should be withheld until these concerns are addressed.”
Conservative MP Alec Shelbrooke has accused Labour councillors of “scaremongering” over the issue.
Mr Shelbrooke said: “No site in my constituency has been earmarked for fracking, licences have been granted for exploratory purposes only to assess where shale seams might exist.
“At a time when the frontrunner in the Labour leadership is calling for the reopening of former coal mines such as Allerton Bywater, I’m sure my constituents would like to know what alternatives exist to ensure our energy security and lower energy costs for hardworking families.”
Mr Shelbrooke added: “Any future application for shale gas extraction would be determined by Leeds City Council and local councillors should use the powers granted to them to air their concerns instead of scaremongering for short-term political opportunities.”