A Labour-led motion against fracking has been carried at the County Council by Labour, Lib Dem and Green councillors. The Tories abstained. In a 22 to nil vote the council supported a motion moved by Councillor Barry Kirby (Labour):
"This Council notes that the Government have recently proposed a change to their ‘fracking’ policy to include a personal payment to households within the area of proposed ‘fracking’ sites.
This Council believes that this is fundamentally wrong, as it could lead to critical environmental decisions being taken away from communities as a whole.
This Council reaffirms that the protection of Gloucestershire’s environment is a key priority for this authority. This Council notes its disappointment in the Government for abolishing the Department for Energy and Climate Change.
This Council also notes its disappointment that that previous recommendations made by Environment and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee have not been supported by the administration. Therefore this Council requests that the Cabinet Member for Fire, Planning and Infrastructure establishes a cross party advisory group to consider those aspects of the Local Minerals Plan that relate to ‘Fracking’. This would allow members to represent the concerns of local communities".
Speaking after the debate, Steve Lydon, Labour councillor for Dursley, said: "I was proud to support this motion because it was about taking a stand against fracking in the county. It has no place and would endanger not only the countryside but the health of residents".
Cllr Lydon added “I was disappointed that every Conservative followed their leader and abstained on it. It was a scandal that they would not put residents first. The Conservatives have failed to stand up for local people and put their party first.”