Councillors to debate housing and fracking at Council meeting

​Date:11/02/2016

PR ref: 6173

Wakefield councillors are to hold two major debates to discuss fracking and the future of housing in the district.

Residents are being encouraged to either attend the Full Council meeting on Wednesday 17, at 2pm, at County Hall, or watch the discussions on the council's website and hear the views of their local representative.

Councillors will debate a motion which will call for the Government to withdraw exploratory fracking licences from the district, to resist 'fast-track' applications and for local people to have a say on fracking applications.

Hydraulic fracking is a controversial technique used to extract gas and oil from 'shale' rock by injecting water at high pressure.

Cllr Peter Box CBE, leader of Wakefield Council, said: "I have stated before that, personally, I am against fracking and I know that I share the view of many other people in the district.

"However, I want all elected members to have the opportunity to express their views on fracking. 

"The purpose of the motion is for councillors to discuss and debate the Council's formal position on this matter."

Members of the council's planning committee will not take part in the debate, so that they cannot be accused of pre-judging any applications submitted to the authority.

A report to councillors, which provides updates on fracking and licensing, will be considered, and is being recommended for approval.

Councillors will also debate their response to the Government's new draft Housing and Planning Bill.

They will discuss issues that could affect the district, around the availability of affordable homes, shared ownership and rented accommodation.

Councillors will debate a motion, asking them to agree to analyse and report on the extension of right-to-buy and the 'starter homes' requirement on the local availability of affordable homes.

The meeting will also be streamed live on the day at www.wakefield.gov.uk/livestream