Leeds City Council’s ‘no’ to Leeds fracking

Fracking rigs like this one are a common site in America.
Fracking rigs like this one are a common site in America.
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City councillors are calling on the government to withdraw fracking exploration licences in the Leeds area.

At a full meeting of Leeds City Council, councillors voted for current exploration licences for areas of south and east Leeds to be withdrawn until environment and health concerns had been addressed.

Coun Richard Lewis (Lab, Pudsey) said: “It’s no surprise that we have significant reservations about fracking near population centres. These concerns include the impact on water supplied, air pollution and seismic activity - all of which have to be understood before we should consider fracking.”

The council also voted to demand the government reverses changes that take powers away from local decision makers.

Coun Lewis added: “We should be looking for alternative approaches - including renewable energy - in order to meet our energy needs.

“We are trying to achieve this in Leeds, but central government also has a clear part to play in achieving this, rather than promoting fracking.”

Coun Karen Renshaw (Lab, Ardsley and Robin Hood) said fracking could pose possible risks to workers.

She said: “Statistics from the TUC show that fracking workers in the US are more than seven times more likely to die on the job than other types of workers. What we need are cleaner, safer businesses for our residents to work in - fracking simply does not provide this.”

Earlier this year, campaigners vowed to fight against possible fracking in Leeds after the government granted licences to explore land in Allerton Bywater, Kippax and Castleford.