Cllr Anna Semylen is right to highlight the environmental damage and climate change impact of ‘fracking’ to extract shale gas. Contamination of drinking water aquifers and possible earth tremors are risks we should avoid by investing instead in insulation and renewable energy.
However as chair of scrutiny for economic and city development she should also be questioning her party’s economic strategy, which appears to focus on job creation through out-of-town retail development (Monks Cross) and inward investment from the finance sector (eg Hiscox) rather than green technology, and growing our own small businesses and social enterprises to meet community needs.
York has the potential to build on traditional sectors of rail, chocolate, tourism, together with newer industries such as science and the knowledge economy, IT, sustainable construction etc. However new sprawling suburban housing estates, more roads to serve out-of-town developments and increasing dependence on the private car will not attract or promote such development or build resilience to climate change. The new Local Plan consultation gives residents the chance to decide just how we want to seek to create a sustainable prosperous future for York.
Cllr. Andy D’Agorne