WHAT a fantastic decision it is that Westhoughton Town Council has voted against fracking for shale gas or coal bed methane in the town.

Cllr Karen Lawrinson is championing the need to protect Westhoughton citizens from earth tremors, unpleasant odour emissions, drilling under homes, business premises and community buildings and destruction of land and nature in Westhoughton. Also water pollution, roads and land damage by heavy trucks, ill health to workers from chemical exposure, and public health risk to citizens from polluted water and variant chemical and gas exposure in the air.

It is important that the environmental changes that will occur because of fracking and the risks to health that are evident are made known to the public. Fracking has been occurring in other countries so there is plenty of evidence that has been the basis of the anti-fracking movement in the UK. There has been the challenge of campaigners who point out the public health risks of fracking.

This reveals though that both the industry and the promoters do not have good evidence to the contrary to show that fracking is safe to public health.

Fracking is a major industrial activity and major industrial activities carry major consequences. That there is evidence from other countries that public health and environmental damage has been of some significance, then in this country it is right that elected representatives can act to protect their constituents. Susan Haworth Tonge Moor