NL Council leader wants answers on fracking contract

North Lanarkshire Council leader  Jim Logue
North Lanarkshire Council leader Jim Logue

North Lanarkshire Council leader Jim Logue has hit out at the Scottish Government after a fracking licence which affects communities in North Lanarkshire was extended for a further year.

Ministers have decided to renew an onshore petroleum exploration and development licence, known as PEDL 162, covering 400 square kilometres to the south and west of Falkirk.

The licence, which was previously granted and renewed by the UK government, is 80 per cent owned by Ineos.

Powers over oil and gas licensing were devolved to Holyrood and came into force in February. This meant that Scottish ministers had to determine what to do about PEDL 162.

Councillor Logue said: “It’s quite clear that the SNP say one thing and mean another when it comes to fracking.

“They previously announced to great fanfare that they had “banned” fracking when, in reality, all they had done was extend a moratorium.

“Now we find out that they have renewed a fracking license that expired last month for a further year that affects areas of North Lanarkshire.

“The question must be asked: if fracking has been banned by the SNP, then why extend these licences for a further year?

“I will be writing to the new Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change Rosanna Cunningham to seek answers on this and to urge her to review this decision which will have an adverse impact on communities in North Lanarkshire.”