THE council leader has confirmed a decision has not been made to turn the town into an 'anti-fracking borough' after being urged to do so by Warrington North's MP.

Following the decision of Lancashire County Council (LCC) to refuse two planning applications at sites where energy firm Cuadrilla wanted to extract shale gas, Helen Jones wants Warrington to implement a tough stance on the process.

But her plea has been dealt a blow by council leader Terry O'Neill, although he insists residents' fears are of paramount importance.

"We understand the anxieties and concerns that some of our residents may have about fracking and confirm that we are not aware of any current plans for fracking activities to take place in Warrington," he said.

"A decision has not been made to designate Warrington as a no fracking borough.

"This and other considerations regarding fracking will rightly form a part of our Mineral Local Plan.

"This plan will be subject to extensive public consultation and formal statutory procedures including a public inquiry.

"Any fracking applications would be subject to a formal and extensive planning application processes.”

Cllr Kevin Bennett (TUSC – Fairfield and Howley) has backed the views of Mrs Jones and has sent a motion to all council members, asking for one to second it so that it can be debated at the next full council meeting.

The motion said: "LCC has refused to grant planning permission for fracking at two sites in Lancashire, on various grounds, some of which would apply to any conceivable application for fracking in this borough.

"Therefore, the council agrees to publish a statement on the council website declaring Warrington a frack-free zone where fracking is not welcome."