Bill Esterson MP: Tory-Lib Dem Government is tearing up laws to

Bill Esterson

 

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson said he was concerned that the Tory-Lib Dem Government was changing the country's historic laws to give fracking firms new rights at the expense of the rest of us.

As part of today's Queen's Speech, the Tory-Lib Dem Government tore up centuries old trespass laws which were designed to protect people's property. 

The new law announced in the Queen’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament will mean that companies will be free to drill under property without the owner’s permission, including right here in Lydiate and Formby.

Bill Esterson said it was a betrayal of the British public and dangerous for communities here in Sefton.

Bill said: "The Tories and Lib Dems are scrambling to scrap laws that protect personal property so they can look after their friends in the big money energy industry.

"So laws will now be scrapped as Cameron and Clegg shift the goalposts in favour of their big business buddies - and it is all at the expense of the rights of the people of this country.

"Current laws of trespass require land and home owners to give permission for shale gas and oil drilling under their land. With these law changes, fracking firms will have the right to drill regardless of the views of the land and property owner.

"The implications for this are huge, particularly here in Formby, Hightown, Crosby and Lydiate where energy firms have already expressed an interest.

"And all indications are that the communities affected by this will see very little benefit. We will not see our bills fall. So the only winners in this are the energy firms.

"The Queen's Speech is designed to set out the government's legislative agenda for the next 12 months. What these fracking law changes show is that the Tories and Lib Dems are in government for the wealthy few and not the rest of us."

Bill said we needed scientific evidence to show that fracking is safe.

Bill said: "We all know that fuel is a rare commodity and that it is growing rarer. We need alternative sources of energy. I'm not sure shale gas is the answer.

"But one thing is certain, we need strong scientific evidence to show that fracking is safe before any drilling is allowed. And even then it must be subject to the will of the local communities.

"At this present moment, there is no evidence to show that fracking is either safe or welcomed by the communities within my constituency.

"It is all well and good for George Osborne's father-in -law, Tory peer Lord Howell, to call for fracking to take place in the North West, including here in Sefton, but he is opposing plans to frack in his leafy southern communities.

"What his comments show, is a callous disregard for safety right at the heart of this Tory-Lib Dem government.

"That is why I continue to fight to safeguard my constituents and oppose fracking on the grounds of safety within our communities, especially when the this Tory-Lib Dem Government is going to let developers ignore the wishes of local people. 

"The Tories and their Lib Dem allies are showing a cavalier disregard for the views and the safety of my constituents and I will not stand idly by and let this happen."

 

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