Updated 24th November 2017 – see below
In January 2017 it was revealed that fracking company INEOS Shale sent a request in late 2016 to Nottinghamshire County Council to carry out seismic testing on County Council owned land. However in a FOI request, Friends of the Earth found out that County Council officers decided to delay a decision on it due to the issue being politically sensitive – thanks to the huge anti-fracking rally that was held at Sherwood Forest at the beginning of January. (We are making a difference! – thank you to those that attended).
After months of delay, partly due to the County Council elections, the decision was ready to be made by the Policy Committee on Wednesday 18th October 2017. Two weeks before this, the Nottinghamshire Labour Party group came out with a statement against the proposal. And then, just 8 days before the decision, the County Council released a statement saying this item had been pulled from the agenda and that the process was being changed to determine each seismic survey site on a site-by-site basis.
Frack Free Notts believes this is unacceptable and would like to see NO seismic surveys on ANY County Council owned land. What is now unclear is the process for decision making on these sites. We believe members of the public should be able to have access to view each proposal in sufficient time and be given a clear timetable of when decisions will be taken on each site. (Each site can be found below) We need a clear and transparent process for decision making.
On 23rd November 2017, the Labour Party group and Ashfield Independents put forward a motion, which stated:
“Nottinghamshire County Council commits to not permitting seismic testing on any land owned or managed by Nottinghamshire County Council preserving the public use and the environmental benefits of such areas”
Disappointingly the motion was rejected due to the Conservatives and Mansfield Independents voting together. So now the situation remains as it was in October – seismic surveys on County Council land will come to and be decided by the Policy Committee, on a case-by-case basis. But as explained above, having 5 working days is not long enough.
What can you do?
- If you have a Conservative or Mansfield Independent County Councillor, please write to them expressing your disappointment and frustration that they voted against the motion – see link below
- Keep checking the Meetings page of the County Council website to see if an agendas of Policy Committee meetings are published. If an agenda contains a decision on seismic surveys on a specific site, you need to write to the Policy Committee councillors and ask them to reject it. Frack Free Notts will also be checking the agendas and will update social media and this website if a proposal is to come forward to be decided upon
Please let Frack Free Notts know if you get any response from your County Councillor.