Bolsover MP Dennis Skinner calls on Theresa May to ask Ineos to stop fracking tests on Oxcroft Estate

Bolsover MP Dennis Skinner.
Bolsover MP Dennis Skinner.

Bolsover MP Dennis Skinner has called on Theresa May to ask fracking company Ineos to halt work on the Oxcroft Estate while an investigation into water quality in the area is carried out.

Residents on the Oxcroft Estate have recently been left with discoloured water in their homes and had to buy in bottled water.

Claims were made by residents that it had been caused by seismic surveys being carried out in the area by Ineos.

But Severn Trent Water said last week it believed the discolouration had been caused by a burst water pipe and the company told Bolsover District Council that there was no evidence to suggest that damage was caused to pipes or that the surveys played a part in the discolouration.

And a spokesman for Ineos said the work it had been carrying out was over three kilometres away from the reported leak and insisted it was not linked to its activities.

At today’s Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Skinner asked Theresa May: “Is the Prime Minister aware that Ineos, the fracking company, have been accused in the Bolsover area, on the Oxcroft Estate, of creating a massive deterioration in the water supply run by Severn Trent. Will she as Prime Minister investigate this matter and call upon Ineos to halt the process while the investigation takes place?”

In response, the Prime Minister said: “I say to the honourable gentleman he’s raised an issue, which I am sure will be properly looked into, but underlying this is the question of insuring that we are able to get a secure and safe supply of energy into the future and that’s why the fracking is continuing, that’s why we are supportive of the shale gas exploration. There are opportunities there for the United Kingdom but I am sure he has raised a particular issue which I am sure will be looked into appropriately.”

A spokesperson for INEOS Shale said: “INEOS takes its responsibility for all its works very seriously and takes into account all relevant environment and infrastructure before working on site. Underground imaging surveys have played a long-time role in understanding the UK’s geology, particularly in the era of coal.

“In this case, our survey was carried more than 3 kilometres from the leak reported at Bolsover. There is zero evidence that links the Severn Trent water leak to our work.

“Severn Trent is currently investigating the reported water supply issues in the area. In the meantime, we are disappointed that Mr Skinner chose to make his comments in Parliament before receiving our response to his letter. As a former miner, he knows better than most what is underground and the work we are doing in Bolsover. Our invitation to him stands, to meet with our geologists to discuss our activity and its proximity three kilometres from the Severn

Trent leak.”

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