Falkirk’s Labour administration was asked to clarify its position on fracking this week after two members spoke out in favour of the process.
Councillors Dennis and Gerry Goldie made their views known at a meeting of Falkirk Council’s executive committee on Tuesday as members discussed a report on local nature conservation.
Gerry Goldie questioned why Ineos was importing shale gas from the USA when it was right under their feet in Airth and his brother Dennis branded members of Falkirk SNP group “cowardly” for signing a document which could prevent them from voting for or against fracking in the future.
Addressing Labour council leader Craig Martin, Councillor David Alexander said: “You have had two members of your group who have made it quite clear they are pro fracking, while your party opposes fracking.
“I would like to know where the local administration leans on the issue of fracking.”
Councillor Martin responded he did not mind his members speaking their mind, but the Labour Party had made its opposition to the process quite clear, while the SNP government had yet to do so.
He said: “The SNP does not oppose fracking, they instead have a moratorium in force which means the leadership may take the decision in the future that fracking could happen in Scotland.”
Councillor Alexander said: “Governments must produce the evidence on this and that is the process that is going on just now.”
On August 19, 2013 all local SNP members signed the Concerned Communities of Falkirk community charter, created to protect the local environment, and this fact was not lost on Dennis Goldie.
He said: “If the 22 members of the SNP Group signed a document saying they are opposed to fracking then they will find themselves in a situation which is a cowardly situation to find themselves in – not being able to vote on fracking planning applications if they come in.”
He added that the SNP government was certain to eventually let fracking go ahead in the area and that people had to look “long and hard” at all the facts about fracking before they condemned the process.