ATTEMPTS to carry out fracking in Westhoughton will be opposed by its town council.

Westhoughton Town Council passed a motion opposing drilling into shale rock at a meeting last night.

Members also passed a motion urging the Lancashire Association of Local Councils (LALC) to ask central government to oppose the process.

The motion was put forward by Cllr Karen Lawrinson and Cllr Freda Henderson on behalf of the Labour group on Westhoughton Town Council

The motion stated: “This town council opposes changes to trespass laws in the Queen’s Speech which will allow companies involved in fracking to drill under homes without needing permission.

“We strongly believe we should be listening to the views of local people and the evidence in relation top health and safety and that out duty as a council is to protect the health and well-being of our residents and oppose fracking and coal bed extraction of methane gas in Westhoughton.”

Cllr Lawrinson added that her concern had been exacerbated by a site having been identified just over the border in Atherton.

She said: “The main concerns are the environmental damage which is irreplaceable.

“It has already been shown in Blackpool and other areas that earth tremors are caused by fracking.

“I do not think this is a risk we should be taking in our town and no amount of compensation can repair the damage that it causes.”

Members passed the motion, and the LALC will now be contacted with the proposal.

Fracking is the process of pumping water and chemicals in to shale rock deep underground to release methane gas, which can then be used as an energy source.

Cllr Lawrinson, Cllr Henderson and Cllr Kevan Jones will be attending the LALC’s annual general meeting on November 8 to represent the town council.