Fracking promoters face ban from leading parties in Scottish and Welsh governments

A ban on fracking in Scotland and Wales are among the key manifesto pledges that could be put into force following last week's elections.

The Scottish Parliament buidlings at Holyrood
The Scottish Parliament buidlings at Holyrood

SNP leader and first minister Nicola Sturgeon has pledged to form a minority administration north of the border after winning 63 of the seats on the Scottish parliament, falling just short of the 65 seats needed for a majority.

And in Wales, Labour leader and first minister Carwyn Jones has also said he is likely form a minority government after just falling short of a majority, with 29 seats on the assembly.

Key pledges in the SNP’s manifesto include a promise to not allow fracking or underground coal gasification in Scotland "unless it can be proved beyond any doubt that it will not harm our environment, communities or public health".

The manifesto also pledges that the party will bring forward a new Climate Change Bill that will "set an ambitious new target for Scotland to reduce emissions by more than 50 per cent by 2020".

The Planning Review which has already been instigated by the outgoing government is due to report in the summer. The manifesto says that a Planning Reform Bill will be introduced to implement its recommendations, including simplifying local development plans to "ensure they are effective for both local communities and developers".

In Wales, affordable housing will likely be a priority, with the Labour manifesto for the assembly elections pledging to deliver 20,000 new affordable homes in Wales over the next term.

It also promises to "take a lead in developing more renewable energy projects," through supporting new technologies like tidal lagoons and better planning. "Our robust and unequivocal opposition to fracking will continue," it says. 

But the manifesto contains little detail around the precise nature of the anticipated shake-up of local authorities in Wales, with the document stating only that the administration "will seek to create stronger, larger local authorities".

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