Mayor pressed to take stance on fracking

August 30 2013

Bristol’s Mayor has been urged to make his stance on fracking clear. George Ferguson is being pressed to publish his policy on the controversial gas extraction technique following concerns raised by residents, including people living in Bishopston.

Bristol’s Mayor has been urged to make his stance on fracking clear. George Ferguson is being pressed to publish his policy on the controversial gas extraction technique following concerns raised by residents, including people living in Bishopston.

It comes in the wake of high-profile anti-fracking protests in Balcombe, Sussex, at an oil test-drilling site and, much closer to home, a planning application to explore the potential of land near Keynsham on Bristol’s border, which is currently on hold.

In a letter to Mr Ferguson, ward councillor David Willingham (Lib Dem) said he had asked him about the issue at the start of the year. He wrote: “At that time I was advised by officers that ‘the Mayor has grave concerns about the fracking process and is developing a position on this matter’.

“We are now over six months on and because of the current public concern about fracking, I believe that you need to publish your position on fracking soon."

Dr Willingham said he felt it was important the issue was given close scrutiny to determine the potential impact on the spring at Hotwells. He added: “While the Hicks Gate proposal has currently been shelved and is outside our jurisdiction, it is clearly possible that the scheme could be resurrected, and conceivable that fracking proposals could be brought forward within Bristol’s boundaries.”

Meanwhile, fellow Bishopston councillor Daniella Radice (Green) recently spoke out against GE Oil and Gas’s sponsorship of the fireworks at this year's Harbour Festival because of the firm’s role in fracking.