Lib Dem mayoral candidate Dr Kay Barnard has released a statement in response to the news report in The Bristol Cable that the Mayor of Bristol and senior council officials allegedly hid the potential for fracking in Avonmouth, in order to not disrupt the controversial sale of the Bristol Port land.
Dr Kay Barnard's full statement reads:
"If these allegations prove to be true, they are another example of the Mayor’s liking for secrecy over transparency. As the council was the residual freeholder we could have asked for 100% assurance that as part of the sale of the land, fracking would not take place. I am calling on the mayor to disclose all the contractual details immediately.
“Fracking is not the solution to our city’s energy problems. Before the Mayor took office, the Lib Dems delivered a record of achievement in investing in renewable energy sources. We successfully cut 40% off the energy cost of street lights, we invested millions in solar panel installation, wind turbines and biomass boilers (including in schools) and we tested the use of hydrogen as an alternative power source. We also secured funding for what has become Bristol Energy - the council owned energy company.
“These latest allegations re-affirm my promise, if elected, to introduce a ‘transparency revolution’ at the council. I have already said that I will publish the line-by-line Green Capital financial accounts. I would never consider the ‘potential for embarrassment’ as a reason to withhold information from the public and I would also publish, without hesitation, the full Bristol Port sale report.”