Skip to content

Council votes to oppose fracking in the area

Making a clear anti-fracking stand, Vale of White Horse District Council has voted to resist any exploration of fracking in the district.

Whilst there is no direct threat that fracking will take place in the district as no viable deposits of shale gas have been identified in or around Vale of White Horse ​at this point in time, the council agreed to make clear its concerns about environmental damage and safety, and the need for local consent for any exploration of fracking in the area.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the process of drilling into the earth and injecting liquid and materials at high pressure to shatter rock formations and extract natural gas or oil from below the surface of the rock.

Councillors unanimously supported a cross-party motion to oppose this controversial practice in the area after the Government said it would allow fracking in areas with local consent. With the evidence available, the council believes that fracking is an unacceptable alternative energy source for the Vale of White Horse.

Instead, the focus should be on boosting the production and infrastructure for renewable energy and distribution for the future so everyone can afford green, sustainable energy. The council welcomes the Government’s intention to tackle energy insecurity and supports all efforts to introduce new environmentally friendly power generation including wind, solar and other green energy solutions to combat the climate emergency. 

Councillor Nathan Boyd, who proposed the motion said: “The practice of fracking can cause unpredictable and negative impacts on the environment, from earth movement risks to potentially harming rivers, protected streams and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”

Councillor Andy Cooke who seconded the motion, said: “It’s clear that the whole council is convinced that fracking is an unacceptable way of generating energy for the future and undermines the environment.  The fact that fracking (right next door to villages, fields, and streams) is covered by far weaker regulation than exists for conventional oil and gas drilling rings huge alarm-bells. Our Council leader will now write to the Government to make the council’s position on fracking clear and to ask for confirmation that no fracking sites will be allowed without district council approval.”