In a letter to the Falkirk Herald Falkirk West Constituency Labour Party chair, Gray Allan, sought to place the Labour candidate for the by-election at the heart of the anti Fracking campaign locally.
In his letter the chairman of the Constituency Labour Party claimed Labour have a “principled position” on Fracking.
However, Mr Allan seems to be unaware of the comments made at the meeting of Falkirk Council held on 27 May by Councillor Dennis Goldie, Labour’s spokesperson for Economic Development within Falkirk Council and the man believed to be the real power within Labour politics locally.
While debating the new Falkirk Development Plan Councillor Goldie made a number of statements that were clearly pro-Fracking including, “Grangemouth could be the new Aberdeen in Scotland” and ”there is no question about one thing, despite all the arguments Fracking will bring prosperity to the Falkirk area, massive prosperity.”
Although the Labour Councillor distanced himself from the Planning process changed legislation means that major Planning applications such as this are likely to be determined by the Full Council, including Dennis Goldie, rather than the Planning Committee.
SNP candidate for the Denny / Banknock Ward by-election, Paul Garner, himself a prominent campaigner against Fracking said,
“Either Mr Allan is seeking to mislead the people of Denny and Banknock by presenting a false picture of the local Labour position on Fracking or he is blissfully unaware of the views of the movers and shakers within his own local party.”
“Is he seriously suggesting a first time by-election candidate will not only stand up to but also defeat Dennis Goldie in the internal battle over Fracking, I don’t think so.”
“For my part my position on Fracking is clear consistent and unequivocal, I have for some time now opposed to the concept and will defend my community from exploitation no matter what Mr Goldie says. The experiences in countries such as Australia and the USA tell me this process is not safe and the prosperity Mr Goldie refers to that Fracking will create will be siphoned off and enjoyed by big business at the expense of this community.”
Notes to Editor, the source of the quotations are from Falkirk Council’s recording of the meeting of the Full Council held on 27 May 2015 in Dennis Goldie’s speech on the Falkirk Development Plan, copies are available.