Delyn MP David Hanson has this week voted to stop fracking happening in Flintshire, as Welsh Labour has today announced that licencing powers relating to the extraction and exploitation of onshore shale gas will be devolved following a Labour victory in May.
Mr Hanson voted in the Commons this week to overturn government amendments to the Infrastructure Bill which would have made it easier for companies to frack in Flintshire, and has welcomed the announcement that Planning Minister Carl Sargeant will put an immediate moratorium on fracking in Wales and if Labour is in power after the election in May it will devolve full power over fracking decisions to Wales.
These decisions means that no fracking will take place in Flintshire for the foreseeable future, and if Labour are in power it will be up to local people to decide if they want it.
David Hanson MP said:
“Fracking is a huge issue for local people in Flintshire and I share their concerns about the potential effects it may have on our community. That’s why I’ve voted for much strong controls to stop the government’s plans for unsafe and untested fracking, and why I back Welsh Labour’s plans to stop any fracking at all for the foreseeable future.
Our communities now have a clear choice – a frack free Wales with Labour or the government’s plans to give subsidies for companies to drill under Flintshire communities.”
Shadow Welsh Secretary, Owen Smith said:
“A Labour government elected in May will devolve licensing powers around fracking to Wales. It is right that decisions like these are taken close to the communities that might be affected. Labour is taking decisive action to give Wales, and communities right across the UK the powers they need to develop the right safeguards and policies for the future.”
Welsh Labour’s planning Minister Carl Sargeant said:
“Although we apply a precautionary principle in relation to fracking, to my mind there are still uncertainties about the technology and processes associated with it. I will now be strengthening that position and stopping any local planning authority approving any planning application for fracking. As a first step, I will be writing to all local planning authorities requiring them to inform me of any application to frack, and therefore imposing a moratorium on fracking in Wales.
“The announcement from the UK Labour Party that they will devolve licensing powers after the May election is very welcome, and gives us more control on an issue of vital and strategic importance to Wales.