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Lancashire County Councillors reject fracking plans

Fracking work at the Little Plumpton site Credit: Peter Byrne / PA Wire

County councillors have rejected plans to frack for shale gas in Lancashire, according to reports.

Energy firm Cuadrilla wanted to undertake exploratory drilling and fracking at a site in Little Plumpton, between Preston and Blackpool.

Planning officials recommended approval of the operation subject to a number of conditions but the council's development control committee have rejected the advice and voted against it by 10 to four.

Members of the public stood up and applauded the decision as the motion was passed.

The Government has said it is going "all out for shale", and claims it the controversial procedure would create jobs and growth, as well as reducing energy prices and cutting the country's reliance on gas imports.

However opponents insist that the process, which pumps water underground to release gas trapped in shale rock, causes earthquakes, can pollute water supplies, and could lead to inappropriate development in the countryside.

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Government plans to sell off Green Investment Bank

The government is set to announce plans to sell off the Green Investment Bank to private owners.

The Edinburgh-based bank has invested £2 billion of taxpayers' money in 50 green infrastructure projects and funds since its launch in 2012.

The decision to privatise the project has been branded "reckless" by critics.

The Green Investment Bank has invested £2bn in green infrastructure projects Credit: PA

Business Secretary Sajid Javid will announce the plans at the bank's annual review event in London.

In a speech, he is expected to say that the move would "free" the bank from limitations on borrowing.

But Green Party MP Caroline Lucas called the plans "rash and irresponsible".

At precisely the time when we should be leading the world in the fight against climate change our Government appears to be in retreat.

The Government should keep at least a majority stake in the Green Investment Bank to ensure investor confidence is upheld and the commitment to low-carbon lending remains.

– Caroline Lucas MP

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