BLACKROD Town Council has become the latest council across Bolton to declare it will oppose any plans for fracking.

Councillors voted in favour of objecting to any proposals for the controversial technique to be used in the village, saying Blackrod would be a "frack free" area.

Fracking is the process of drilling into the ground and injecting rocks with liquid at high pressures to create cracks, which helps to release shale gas.

During a meeting of the council on Monday, councillors stated they were objecting "at present", to ensure that they would not be prejudiced if or when any proposals come before the town council or Bolton Council's planning committee.

The prospect of fracking across Bolton has emerged after the government gave the go-ahead for exploratory work in a large portion of land covering Horwich, Blackrod, Rivington and Belmont, with a licence set to be offered to drilling firm Osprey.

But campaigners are also fearful that ministers could be able to bypass local councils to allow fracking to take place, despite opposition across the borough.

Previously Bolton Council leader Cllr Cliff Morris said that the council would oppose any attempts for fracking to be carried out across the borough, and councillors at Horwich Town Council also voiced their strong opposition.

Councillors in Blackrod vowed to write a letter to Bolton West MP Chris Green expressing their views, and raise concerns about the possibility of the technique causing tremors, and the possible contamination of the water supply.

Cllr Ann Cunliffe, ward councillor for Horwich and Blackrod, who also sits on Bolton Council's planning committee, said: "I am an open minded person and I have looked at the pros and cons, but I can't understand why anyone would want fracking in their area."

Mr Green, who recently attended a meeting organised by the protest group Bolton Against Fracking, has remained fairly tight lipped about his views on fracking.

The recently elected MP told the meeting that fracking had a "place in the general energy mix", but said that he was "sceptical" about the possibility of the extraction technique being used in Bolton.