Candidates share views on fracking

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Voters will be heading to the polls on Thursday (7 April) to elect a new councillor for the Pocklington Provincial ward.

A hot topic of debate in the Pocklington area at the moment is fracking. The Government recently offered energy firm Cuadrilla Resources, in partnership with GDF Suez E&P UK, licences to explore for shale gas for areas all over East Yorkshire, including land around Pocklington.

Independent candidate Andy Strangeway, from Full Sutton, Labour candidate Lucie Spadone, from Pocklington, UKIP candidate Neil Tate, from Bridlington, and Conservative candidate Paul West, from Pocklington, are the four people vying for to become a Pocklington Provincial ward councillor.

The vacancy has arisen following the death of long-serving councillor Stephen Lane.

The polling stations for Thursday’s by-election are at the following locations: Community Hall at Burnby Hall in Pocklington, Barmby Moor Village Hall, Newton-on-Derwent Methodist Church and Community Centre, Stamford Bridge Village Hall, Sutton-on-Derwent Village Hall, Wilberfoss Community Centre, Low Catton Village Hall,

The count will take place at East Riding Leisure Francis Scaife in Pocklington.

Paul West:

I realise that fracking is an emotive subject, and as someone who has grown up within the area I would hate to see it destroyed by any invasive industry.

I would commend Frack Free East Yorkshire for bringing the debate to the front of the agenda. As a current town councillor we have had several documents circulated regarding the subject, all prompted by the group’s emergence.

The East Riding Council are organising a conference regarding the subject, where I would hope to gain a greater understanding of fracking and its benefits/consequences. I will reserve my judgement until I have seen all the facts.

Lucie Spadone:

Although 95% of the time fracking is safe, in around 60% of cases fracked wells have leaked.

In the East Riding of Yorkshire this could be dangerous and poison our drinking water. Therefore I believe the safest thing to do is to not frack. We should invest money into renewable energy sources like solar and wind energy and focus on making products reliable on renewable energy rather than unsustainable energy sources. Fracking is a short term solution to a long term problem.

Neil Tate:

My view on fracking, which is a personal view, is that I am totally against any development of buildings, industrial or private and any extraction of sand gravel, limestone and any fossil fuels, against the wishes of the local community. I believe in localism and it seems strange to me that the government is pushing that agenda on the one hand and on the other, forcing communities to accept fracking in their backyard. If elected, it would be my job to push forward my ward electors concerns and that is why I am standing as a true representative of the people.

Andy Strangeway:

As a member of Frack Free Pocklington I am, and will always be anti-fracking. If fracking is permitted in our area house prices will plummet overnight and many local residents will be trapped in negative equity.

To drill through the aquifer will risk contamination to our water supply. No pipe can ever be made leak proof, no legislation can prevent leaks.

Regardless of what local party candidates may state, the Conservatives, UKIP and Labour are pro-fracking. If elected, all three will have to support the party whip. As an Independent I represent local residents not a party whip. http://andystrangewayindependent.com/fracking/