WARRINGTON Borough Council is being urged to ban fracking – but it admits it needs to consider 'wider implications' surrounding the drilling process before it can make representations to Government.

Former Fairfield and Howley TUSC councillor Kevin Bennett called on the authority to ban it in Warrington and fight for public ownership of energy, as well as 'mass investment' in green technology.

Mr Bennett, who is now the town's TUSC spokesman, said fracking is 'destructive wherever it happens'.

He added: "Anti-fracking campaigners must call for a ban on it everywhere – not just, as some prominent activists are demanding, in places of scenic beauty."

UK shale rock will be fracked horizontally, which is expected to produce more gas, for the first time after communities secretary Sajid Javid, who visited Warrington last year, approved plans for fracking at Cuadrilla's Preston New Road site in Lancashire.

The decision has been met with anger among campaigners and Mr Bennett also hit out.

He said: "The Tory Government has once again come down on the side of big business and ignored the will of the people."

No fracking is currently taking place in Warrington but planning permission exists at three locations for 'activities related to the extraction of unconventional gas'.

Following widespread concerns the council set up a task group to look at fracking in 'greater depth' and a spokesman confirmed work is ongoing.

He added: "This is not a decision-making group but it will carry out a range of work to ensure the authority is more familiar with the issues.

"Until we have had a chance to fully consider the wider implications of fracking, we are not in a position to comment further or to make representations to Government.

"At the moment, there are no proposals for fracking in Warrington."