BOLTON TUC has slammed the council for investing workers’ pensions into controversial fracking schemes.

It is now calling on council leaders to pull out and invest in projects that encourage renewable energy production instead.

Spokesman, Mr Tom Hanley, said: “We are dismayed to learn that Bolton Council has continued to invest large amounts from local authority pension funds into fracking firms.”

Bolton, in conjunction with other Greater Manchester councils, invests almost £1 billion in controversial fracking companies.

Data released this week reveals that the Greater Manchester Pension Fund’s £ 989,047,680 investment is bigger than any other UK authority’s and almost twice the amount of any other UK fund.

The information has been released by campaign groups, Platform and Friends of the Earth.

Across the UK council pensions invest over £9 billion of their workers’ pensions into fracking companies. In Greater Manchester this represents almost six per-cent of total pensions.

Mr Hanley said: “Bolton TUC has opposed fracking for many years, and has offered financial and moral support to anti-fracking campaigns in the region.

“We have supported members arrested on protests (and noted the cynical way charges have been dropped shortly before court hearings were due).”

Mr Hanley said Bolton TUC has called upon the council leadership to implement a programme of divestment of funds which are currently invested in fracking .

He added: “We further call upon the Labour Council to develop proposals to divest from all fossil fuel extraction, and produce a portfolio which encourages renewable energy production.”

River Rain, of Bolton Against Fracking, said: “It’s a sad state of affairs and further proof that the Governement simply ignore and do not take into account public opinion.”