Liz Truss announced today a consultation on how local consent for fracking would be measured.
The issue has been raised by people and councils in shale gas areas after the government lifted the moratorium on fracking in England and said operations must have local consent.
Responding to a question from Conservative Mark Menzies, MP for Fylde, the prime minister said:
“I can assure him that we will consult on a robust system of local consent, give clear advice on seismic limits and safety before any fracking takes place
“And the consultation will consider all the relevant people, the regional mayors, the local authorities and parishes, as well as the concerns of those directly affected.”
Liz Truss said the business secretary, Jacob Rees-Mogg, would be announcing more details in an opposition debate on fracking this afternoon.
Mr Rees-Mogg is facing legal action over lifting the moratorium on fracking. He had previously said that it would be up to fracking companies to secure local consent.
But Mr Menzies, whose constituency includes Cuadrilla’s fracking site at Preston New Road, in Lancashire, told the House of Commons that shale gas operators must not be involved in assessing local views:
“Can the prime minister assure me that local consent will be measured independently and transparently and under no circumstances will fracking companies be directly engaged in assessing local consent and if people in Fylde say no that that view will be respected and acted upon by this government.”
Conservative Party managers have ruled that Labour’s motion calling for a full ban on fracking is a motion of no confidence in the government and ordered their MPs to vote against. This will put anti-fracking Conservative MPs in a difficult position. If they vote for the Labour motion, they face losing the whip. If they vote against, they will be targeted by the opposition parties at an election.
Photos from Parliament TV