THE CWAC council leaders’ over-enthusiastic welcome for fracking in Cheshire West cannot go unchallenged. It really is time to pause and take a serious look at the issue. It seems that in their dash for gas the potential benefits are being overhyped.

The Government’s chief scientific advisor has already questioned that fracking is unlikely to reduce energy prices in the same way as it appears to have done in the US. Only one shale gas well has been fracked in the UK, in Lancashire in 2011. The process was associated with earth tremors and led to an 18 month ban.

The wider issue is of course that shale gas cannot come at the expense of climate change commitments. Recent industry reports an increase of shale gas use will not cause a decline in greenhouse gases.

The commitment and investment in renewables, energy efficient homes and businesses must be at the forefront of our thinking. Whatever the view is on fracking, a strong regulatory environment has to be in place and so far the Government has not met these concerns.

David Robinson CWAC Labour environment spokesman