Somerset West and Taunton District Council resolve to be Frack Free

Posted on 16th July, 2019


Posted today on Facebook by Frack Free EQS - Exmoor Quantocks & Sedgemour


"Breaking news: Somerset West & Taunton District Council resolve to be Frack Free.


We have just left the Full Council Meeting of the newly merged District Council who have just voted to oppose fracking in the region.


We would like to thank Cllr Caroline Ellis (proposer) and Cllr Dixie Darch (seconder) for the tireless effort they put into the proposed motion, the councillor's briefing paper and their heartfelt and sincere speeches at the meeting this evening.


The following motion was resolved by an overwhelming majority. It was encouraging to see the sea of hands raised in support (see photo). There was only one councillor opposed and two abstentions. These were, unsurprisingly, Conservatives.


Here is the motion:


This Council therefore resolves-

1. To declare Somerset West and Taunton a Frack Free zone.

2. To oppose unconventional onshore oil and gas exploration and development activities on any land that we own or have an interest in.

3. Not to invest in any companies which are involved in fracking, including other methods of unconventional onshore oil and gas production.

4. To call on Somerset County Council and Exmoor National Park Authority to pass similar motions and to put planning policies in place to implement a presumption against all applications for unconventional oil and gas exploration and production in Somerset, including fracking, following the example of the ten borough councils in Greater Manchester and the new draft London Plan .

5. To write to our district’s MPs to convey the Council’s concerns about and opposition to fracking, to urge them to lobby Government to ban unconventional onshore oil and gas development permanently and to request that they write back indicating whether they are supporting the Council in this matter.


We felt this was an accumulation of three years of campaigning and raising awareness that led to this result. Without the clear message sent from local communities via their Parish and Town Council’s Frack Free resolutions, this is unlikely to have happened.


Not here, not in Somerset, not anywhere. In the words of Cllr Caroline Ellis “South Western Energy can frack off.” Next ….Somerset County Council: Presumption against onshore oil and gas development in the Minerals Plan. Let's make it happen."



What can people do now? The more that developers, shareholders and public representatives hear comments against fracking the less likely it will happen, so:

  • Encourage your Town or Parish Council to pass a motion to either be 'Frack Free' or 'Let Communities Decide'  (See Bleadon declared 'frack-free')
  • Write to your parish and district councillors and MP either directly or via "They Work for You/Write to Them" which will track responses. (John Penrose MP has indicated that he will represent the community's decision). E.g. North Somerset Council
  • Personally visit and speak to your elected representatives, let them hear your views on this local 'fracking' issue.
  • Let FFNS know if you, or your neighbours, receive a request to survey your land for 'fracking'
  • Contact FFNS and/or FFEQS if you're interested in being involved in a local Committee/Action Group to tackle this issue and/or would like another public meeting on this issue to be held.
  • Write to local newspapers




Overview summary videos


Bleadon's Fracking Meeting (11 June 2019)


Previous United Nations - United Nations Recommends a Ban on Fracking - Effects of Fracking on Women and Girls


Previous West Somerset Fracking Free Proposal


Further information can be found on BOB's Fracking page 

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