‘We won’t let fracking ruin our area’

Coun Keith Wakefield and Mary Harland with parish councillors Steve Murray and Mick Weaver.
Coun Keith Wakefield and Mary Harland with parish councillors Steve Murray and Mick Weaver.

Campaigners have vowed to fight against possible fracking across the area after new licenses were awarded by the government.

Licences to explore land in Allerton Bywater, Kippax, Castleford have been awarded to companies to look for oil and gas as the government looks to push forward with a shale industry.

But councillors and people living near potential sites have voiced fears over the potential effects fracking could have on them.

Kippax and Methley councillor James Lewis said: “These licenses being granted is quite concerning because it’s sort of the first step to allowing fracking to go ahead in our area.

“These licenses allow companies the exclusive right to look to see if fracking could be done at certain locations and cover huge areas.

“It is something that’s caused a lot of concern in the area because when they have done tests in Lancashire it has caused all sorts of problems with water supply and even earthquakes.”

A total of 27 exploration licenses have been handed out for sites across the country including one which covers Allerton Bywater and parts of Castleford.

Coun Lewis said: “Quite often fracking includes a heavy industrial presence in areas where there normally isn’t.

“A lot of our area is turning back into a pleasant landscape after years of having big industries and we don’t want to lose that.

“Should it get to the point where somebody wants to explore fracking in our area we will fight against it.

“We have done a huge amount of work to make it an attractive area to live following the demise of the mining industry and we just simply can’t support an industry that is not 100 per cent safe.”