The SNP have let down communities in Dumbarton, Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond after they failed to back a local referendum on fracking, Jackie Baillie MSP has said.
The SNP Government has published its policy on fracking, which fails to give local communities the final say. Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, Labour MSP Jackie Baillie called on the SNP to give local communities a veto on fracking through a referendum.
However the SNP only promised a public consultation on fracking, which doesn’t go nearly far enough.
The statement from SNP Energy Minister Fergus Ewing also failed to meet another key element of Scottish Labour’s triple lock system by leaving Scottish communities with fewer protections than Labour forced on the Tories.
Scottish Labour would introduce a triple-lock system to halt any onshore fracking taking place in Scotland until environmental and health safeguards are in place. This involves:
– A local referendum before final planning approval is given;
– Halting any fracking in Scotland until the lessons of fracking in the rest of the UK are learned;
– A comprehensive review of the baseline conditions before any planning application is granted;
Scottish Labour has repeatedly called on the UK Government to suspend the current licensing round for Scotland until the power over licensing is devolved to the Scottish Parliament through the Smith Agreement.
“I am pleased that the Scottish Government has finally agreed to Scottish Labour’s demand to use the planning process to halt fracking for the time being. But this doesn’t go nearly far enough. Under the SNP’s plans, fracking could take place in Scotland in a matter of months without the tough controls Labour forced the Tories to accept in England.
“It’s disappointing that after lots of noise from the SNP over the last few days they have let down communities across Scotland. The SNP Government had the chance today to confirm that no fracking will take place without the consent of the local communities affected, but failed to do this.
“From the very start of this debate I have been against fracking and pushed for tougher controls. Scottish Labour would give people in Dumbarton, Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond the chance to say no to fracking through a referendum. We can’t let the SNP Government in Edinburgh impose fracking on our community against the wishes of the people who live here.
“It’s essential that SNP Ministers confirm that no fracking will take place in Scotland until we learn the lessons of what happens elsewhere in the UK. Scotland has been a guinea pig before on the poll tax. It can’t happen again on fracking