June 3, 2014

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Fracking is a highly controversial method for extracting gas from shale.

Recent news reports have suggested that fracking could start between Lydiate and Formby and that the government has no plans to intervene. 

My Labour colleagues and I are all concerned about the unproven nature of fracking, which is why we are against this technique until environmental and safety concerns have been addressed. 

But it seems that the government is taking a huge risk with the safety of people in Lydiate, Maghull and Formby by allowing it to go ahead. 

Like many people I am very worried about the potential safety risks not least as I live locally with my family.

The news that fracking is to be allowed right here in Sefton Central, comes after the latest extraordinary call from a Conservative peer and energy adviser, to push ahead with fracking in the North of England. 

The peer, Lord Howell, who is also the father in law of Tory chancellor, George Osborne and a former government energy adviser, said that fracking should not take place in southern Tory voting areas, only in Labour areas in the North. His comments were published in The Times on May 14. 

To hear such callous disregard for safety is bad enough but when it comes from someone so close to the heart of government is nothing short of a scandal.

The Lib Dem energy minister, Ed Davey, has not objected to these comments either and we know the Lib Dems want to see fracking right here in Sefton Central. 

We need a proper, scientific analysis of the risks of fracking and we need local people to have their say before test drilling even starts. 

The government is denying people in Lydiate and in Formby this essential assurance. The government really do not know what they are doing when it comes to fracking and these comments show a complete lack of competence and a total disregard for people in our area. 

I shall continue to fight for my constituents and urge people to take a close look at what the government is planning to do in and around Sefton about fracking.

My Labour colleagues and I have objected to the proposed windfarm just over the border in West Lancashire. 

One political party locally has given the impression that there are also plans for a windfarm in Sefton. To be clear, there are no proposals for a windfarm in Sefton only in West Lancashire. 

Rest assured if developers come forward with plans for a windfarm on the Sefton side of the river Alt, I shall be raising very strong objections of a very similar nature to those I made to West Lancashire District Council.

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