Waltham Forest Council refuses permision to allow fracking in borough

Council rejects financial incentives from PM

Council rejects financial incentives from PM

First published in News
Last updated
East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter, covering Chingford, Highams Park and Woodford. Call me on 07795 476 625

Waltham Forest Council has refused permission to allow the exploration of shale gas in the borough.

The controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as ‘fracking’, involves drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at high pressure to extract natural resources.

David Cameron recently announced plans to reward councils with financial incentives if they agree to the exploration of shale gas in the community.

Under the plans, local councils will be allowed to keep 100 per cent of the business rates shale operators pay, and could bring in an estimated £1.7 million a year from drilling in one site. 

Deputy leader and cabinet member for environment, Cllr Clyde Loakes, said:

"In Waltham Forest we have no intention of allowing fracking.

"Regardless of what financial benefits might be on offer, we will not compromise the safety and wellbeing of our current or future residents."

He also labelled central government's attempt to win over councils by offering financial incentives as a "crude manoeuvre".

He added: "This is a pretty crude manoeuvre by the coalition Government to pave the way for fracking wherever it is possible, and councils will be prepared to take advantage of the revenue that can be raised by opening themselves up to this practice - but not us."

Opinion is sharply divided on the safety of fracking, with the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering finding it to be safe if regulations were in place.

 

Comments (14)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:35am Thu 16 Jan 14

John S Cossham says...

Forward thining Councillors. Well done.
Forward thining Councillors. Well done. John S Cossham
  • Score: 7

10:58am Thu 16 Jan 14

Techno3 says...

"We will not compromise the safety and wellbeing of our current or future residents."

That would be the council whose record on dealing with asbestos is so poor and which ignores the well-being and wishes of its residents whenever there is the chance of making a fast buck by packing ever more homes into a smaller and smaller amount of available space without proper provision for infrastructure and services .
"We will not compromise the safety and wellbeing of our current or future residents." That would be the council whose record on dealing with asbestos is so poor and which ignores the well-being and wishes of its residents whenever there is the chance of making a fast buck by packing ever more homes into a smaller and smaller amount of available space without proper provision for infrastructure and services . Techno3
  • Score: 7

12:12pm Thu 16 Jan 14

barbus44 says...

Political posturing by Mr Loakes regardless of the rights or wrongs of "fracking"
Political posturing by Mr Loakes regardless of the rights or wrongs of "fracking" barbus44
  • Score: 4

12:21pm Thu 16 Jan 14

stickmanny says...

This is good news. Some credit where it's due please, then get your moan in.
This is good news. Some credit where it's due please, then get your moan in. stickmanny
  • Score: 0

12:48pm Thu 16 Jan 14

chingford lad says...

What a shame, seems to me some people at the town hall deserve a good Fracking.
What a shame, seems to me some people at the town hall deserve a good Fracking. chingford lad
  • Score: 5

12:52pm Thu 16 Jan 14

John J C Moss says...

I know Clyde has delusions of grandeur, but what gives him the right to make unilateral decisions on behalf of the whole of the Borough without referring this to elected Councillors?
I know Clyde has delusions of grandeur, but what gives him the right to make unilateral decisions on behalf of the whole of the Borough without referring this to elected Councillors? John J C Moss
  • Score: 6

12:54pm Thu 16 Jan 14

stickmanny says...

You sound jealous
You sound jealous stickmanny
  • Score: -5

2:38pm Thu 16 Jan 14

GiordanoBruno says...

"Waltham Forest Council has refused permission to allow the exploration of shale gas in the borough."

Has anybody actually asked?
"Waltham Forest Council has refused permission to allow the exploration of shale gas in the borough." Has anybody actually asked? GiordanoBruno
  • Score: 10

2:53pm Thu 16 Jan 14

RichardCarrickreagh says...

I know of no one who has actually taken the trouble to find out what is involved in the whole lifecycle of shale gas extraction to remain in support of it, unless that is they have some sort of vested interest in it. I urge anyone who still thinks it is a good idea to take a look at this www.frackinginferman
agh.info, a very informative film made by some young people in Fermanagh.

Here are a few myths about fracking:-

Myth 1 ‘They’ve been fracking for years, all over Britain.’ No. One British well (in Lancashire) has been fracked using this controversial kind of fracking. DECC confirms this. The difference is one of scale – fracking of old used low pressures and small volumes of water and additives. It’s like comparing a corner shop to a hypermarket.

Myth 2 ‘Fracked gas will mean lower energy prices.’ No, not in Britain. We are part of a European free market. Economists, bankers, Offgen and even Cuadrilla agree that shale gas will not bring low gas prices.

Myth 3 ‘David Cameron: fracking will create 74 000 UK jobs.’ DECC advisors AMEC cut that prediction by a third. In any case, 90% of fracking jobs are specialised. Workers will come largely from abroad, peaking at drilling time.

Myth 4 ‘UK regulations are strong and effective.’ Untrue. Our regulations were never strong, and are being slackened. Environment Agency (EA) staff are being cut by 10%. The industry self-monitors. The EA relies mainly on a reassuring Friday afternoon fax from Cuadrilla.

Myth 6 ‘It all happens so deep down that nothing can migrate’. Gas and fluid frequently leak up the outside of wells. Natural faults can act as conduits. Our Balcombe oil is so shallow that even a man-made fracture could reach the aquifer, according to a study by the University of Durham.

Truth "Taxpayers to Pay for Fracking Pollution if Companies go Bust". The environment minister, Dan Rogerson, has rejected proposal to amend regulations to make companies sign a bond to pay for potential pollution incidents. So we are now in a situation in the UK where a company that wants to set up a landfill site has to post an upfront liability guarantee before they can start operating, but a fracking company does not have to. Which company can do the most damage?

Source: No Fracking in Balcombe Society (No FiBs)
I know of no one who has actually taken the trouble to find out what is involved in the whole lifecycle of shale gas extraction to remain in support of it, unless that is they have some sort of vested interest in it. I urge anyone who still thinks it is a good idea to take a look at this www.frackinginferman agh.info, a very informative film made by some young people in Fermanagh. Here are a few myths about fracking:- Myth 1 ‘They’ve been fracking for years, all over Britain.’ No. One British well (in Lancashire) has been fracked using this controversial kind of fracking. DECC confirms this. The difference is one of scale – fracking of old used low pressures and small volumes of water and additives. It’s like comparing a corner shop to a hypermarket. Myth 2 ‘Fracked gas will mean lower energy prices.’ No, not in Britain. We are part of a European free market. Economists, bankers, Offgen and even Cuadrilla agree that shale gas will not bring low gas prices. Myth 3 ‘David Cameron: fracking will create 74 000 UK jobs.’ DECC advisors AMEC cut that prediction by a third. In any case, 90% of fracking jobs are specialised. Workers will come largely from abroad, peaking at drilling time. Myth 4 ‘UK regulations are strong and effective.’ Untrue. Our regulations were never strong, and are being slackened. Environment Agency (EA) staff are being cut by 10%. The industry self-monitors. The EA relies mainly on a reassuring Friday afternoon fax from Cuadrilla. Myth 6 ‘It all happens so deep down that nothing can migrate’. Gas and fluid frequently leak up the outside of wells. Natural faults can act as conduits. Our Balcombe oil is so shallow that even a man-made fracture could reach the aquifer, according to a study by the University of Durham. Truth "Taxpayers to Pay for Fracking Pollution if Companies go Bust". The environment minister, Dan Rogerson, has rejected proposal to amend regulations to make companies sign a bond to pay for potential pollution incidents. So we are now in a situation in the UK where a company that wants to set up a landfill site has to post an upfront liability guarantee before they can start operating, but a fracking company does not have to. Which company can do the most damage? Source: No Fracking in Balcombe Society (No FiBs) RichardCarrickreagh
  • Score: -3

2:56pm Thu 16 Jan 14

NDevoto says...

Was there really any serious prospect of fracking plants appearing in any London boroughs, let alone any where in the South East?
Was there really any serious prospect of fracking plants appearing in any London boroughs, let alone any where in the South East? NDevoto
  • Score: 9

6:42pm Thu 16 Jan 14

fabster says...

Because our borough has plenty of land under the Council's ownership where fracking is feasible? Spare me the Clyde Loakes PR nonsense please.
Because our borough has plenty of land under the Council's ownership where fracking is feasible? Spare me the Clyde Loakes PR nonsense please. fabster
  • Score: 6

8:17pm Thu 16 Jan 14

SadButMadLad says...

Rebuttals.

Myth #1. Fracking has been carried out in the UK in Kent, not Lancashire, and has been for many years. Fracking has been done at Wytch Farm which produces oil. Fracking of old does use small volumes compared to the higher volumes with shale gas. However its more like one supermarket rather than dozens and dozens of small shops all over the place. Fracking means that rather than have tons of wells, there are only a few.

Myth #2. Shale gas WILL produce lower energy prices. So long as the cost of keeping non-spinning wind turbines doesn't keep going up. It's the subsidies to pay for the expensive renewables that is keeping energy prices high in the UK. The cost of gas at wholesale prices will come down when shale gas is extracted in the UK. Pure economics. And we can have a different price in the UK for our gas compared to the EU. Just look at the difference in prices between Japan and the US for gas.

Myth #3. Employment will be increased due to shale gas. Yes, the direct numbers might be small, but even foreign workers spend money locally for stuff like food and accommodation. The anti frackers like to use the US as an example of how it all goes wrong. But it's also an example of how it goes so well. The unemployment rates in states and counties in the US where fracking is being carried out have some of the lowest in the US. The economies of the same are also doing better than average.

Myth #4. Our regulations are good. No regulation can be 100%. Even with the very good food regulations horse meat got into the system. But the regs meant that the problem could be found quickly and isolated. The US is starting to look at our method of implementing regulations to replace theirs. As for our EA; it's overstaffed and wasteful and inefficient. The job losses in it have nothing to do with fracking as fracking isn't being carried out. As for self-regulation, unless you want a state employee watching every action carried out by an oil worker, and a state employee watching every action carried out by a food worker, and a state employee watching every action carried out by a medical worker, and ... you get the point, then self regulation works because the costs of being found to be the cause of a problem is not worth the hassle of cutting corners.

Myth #5. There is no myth 5 as RichardCarrickreagh can't count.

Myth #6. Shale is deep. Very deep. And its stayed under the ground for millions of years so it won't come up very easily. All the high pressure water only gets it to come up the drill pipe. Fracking does not allow the gas to get through tens of thousands of feet of solid impermeable rock. The fractures are only tens of feet long. The are no natural faults, that's why fracking has to be carried out.

Oh, and most of the water in the UK is from reservoirs not aquifers. Oh, and the amount of water used in fracking pales into insignificance when compared to other industries. Brewing for one uses more in a month than all the hypothetical fracking wells could use in a whole year. One well uses in it's whole lifetime the amount of water used by a large town in 24 hours.
Rebuttals. Myth #1. Fracking has been carried out in the UK in Kent, not Lancashire, and has been for many years. Fracking has been done at Wytch Farm which produces oil. Fracking of old does use small volumes compared to the higher volumes with shale gas. However its more like one supermarket rather than dozens and dozens of small shops all over the place. Fracking means that rather than have tons of wells, there are only a few. Myth #2. Shale gas WILL produce lower energy prices. So long as the cost of keeping non-spinning wind turbines doesn't keep going up. It's the subsidies to pay for the expensive renewables that is keeping energy prices high in the UK. The cost of gas at wholesale prices will come down when shale gas is extracted in the UK. Pure economics. And we can have a different price in the UK for our gas compared to the EU. Just look at the difference in prices between Japan and the US for gas. Myth #3. Employment will be increased due to shale gas. Yes, the direct numbers might be small, but even foreign workers spend money locally for stuff like food and accommodation. The anti frackers like to use the US as an example of how it all goes wrong. But it's also an example of how it goes so well. The unemployment rates in states and counties in the US where fracking is being carried out have some of the lowest in the US. The economies of the same are also doing better than average. Myth #4. Our regulations are good. No regulation can be 100%. Even with the very good food regulations horse meat got into the system. But the regs meant that the problem could be found quickly and isolated. The US is starting to look at our method of implementing regulations to replace theirs. As for our EA; it's overstaffed and wasteful and inefficient. The job losses in it have nothing to do with fracking as fracking isn't being carried out. As for self-regulation, unless you want a state employee watching every action carried out by an oil worker, and a state employee watching every action carried out by a food worker, and a state employee watching every action carried out by a medical worker, and ... you get the point, then self regulation works because the costs of being found to be the cause of a problem is not worth the hassle of cutting corners. Myth #5. There is no myth 5 as RichardCarrickreagh can't count. Myth #6. Shale is deep. Very deep. And its stayed under the ground for millions of years so it won't come up very easily. All the high pressure water only gets it to come up the drill pipe. Fracking does not allow the gas to get through tens of thousands of feet of solid impermeable rock. The fractures are only tens of feet long. The are no natural faults, that's why fracking has to be carried out. Oh, and most of the water in the UK is from reservoirs not aquifers. Oh, and the amount of water used in fracking pales into insignificance when compared to other industries. Brewing for one uses more in a month than all the hypothetical fracking wells could use in a whole year. One well uses in it's whole lifetime the amount of water used by a large town in 24 hours. SadButMadLad
  • Score: 3

10:42pm Thu 16 Jan 14

TTMAN says...

Excellent post saddo
Excellent post saddo TTMAN
  • Score: -4

6:51am Fri 17 Jan 14

pan says...

Arguing about the myths and facts of fracking is all very well but both sides seem to have relied heavily on "opinion"

To state that we will see the financial benefits of fracking and then add a "so long as....." means we will not see the benefits in my opinion.

If fracking was going to be a national interest with the benefits directly reducing energy bills then people may well consider issues in a different manner. The Pros must outweigh the cons and there are pro's and cons to this subject.

At the end of the day you can not declare that self regulation is fail-safe. It is completely crazy to expect a large industry to self regulate at the end of the day they are a business and will act in the interest of the business. All this Capitalism with a conscience outlook is contradictory in terms and a sales spin to be quickly ignored at the turn of a profit.

If the British government controlled the explorations and returns in a manner that gave us the consumer a real benefit then maybe pro's would outweigh the cons but contracting out the exploitation our final energy reserves that in essence is the end of it all is short sighted.

We must start looking as a nation towards the very real prospects that oil and gas supplies are becoming limited and as such increasing in value and will continue to do so. Reliance of these energy sources has to reduce, we will have to start looking away from these type of fuels for the future.

I do not believe this will benefit the British people, the money will find its way elsewhere. We have systematically allowed the control of our energy companies to be taken out of our hands and no longer even own our own water supplies.

Big business does what big business wants and all the politicians can do is plead on our behalf with some carefully worded rhetoric to make it look like they have some say.

I see no benefit to continuing to operate new industries in this manner.
Arguing about the myths and facts of fracking is all very well but both sides seem to have relied heavily on "opinion" To state that we will see the financial benefits of fracking and then add a "so long as....." means we will not see the benefits in my opinion. If fracking was going to be a national interest with the benefits directly reducing energy bills then people may well consider issues in a different manner. The Pros must outweigh the cons and there are pro's and cons to this subject. At the end of the day you can not declare that self regulation is fail-safe. It is completely crazy to expect a large industry to self regulate at the end of the day they are a business and will act in the interest of the business. All this Capitalism with a conscience outlook is contradictory in terms and a sales spin to be quickly ignored at the turn of a profit. If the British government controlled the explorations and returns in a manner that gave us the consumer a real benefit then maybe pro's would outweigh the cons but contracting out the exploitation our final energy reserves that in essence is the end of it all is short sighted. We must start looking as a nation towards the very real prospects that oil and gas supplies are becoming limited and as such increasing in value and will continue to do so. Reliance of these energy sources has to reduce, we will have to start looking away from these type of fuels for the future. I do not believe this will benefit the British people, the money will find its way elsewhere. We have systematically allowed the control of our energy companies to be taken out of our hands and no longer even own our own water supplies. Big business does what big business wants and all the politicians can do is plead on our behalf with some carefully worded rhetoric to make it look like they have some say. I see no benefit to continuing to operate new industries in this manner. pan
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree