Frack Free Isle campaigners wearing gags staged a protest outside the MP's officeÂ against government plans to reduce the voice of local communities in decisions about exploratory drilling for shale gas.
MembersÂ of Frack Free Isle met Andrew Percy to ask for his support in opposing proposed changes to the planning laws which would allow applications for test drilling to be treated as '˜permitted development'.Â Â This would enable drilling companies to bypass the Planning Committee of elected councillors and prevent proper consideration of applications by elected representatives.
FrackÂ Free Isle member Andrew McLeod, (pictured third left) said:Â 'We are encouraged that our MP, while he still has reservations about opposing the fracking process per se, wants to uphold the proper democratic process of having important decisions like this taken locally by elected councillors. There is clearly a momentum building up among Conservative MPs against these unwelcome proposals."
In a letter to the group Andrew Percy said: 'I can confirm that I am sympathetic to the arguments in your letter. I too have concerns regarding fracking, particularly the impact above ground, as you mention in your letter.
'Should this issue come to a vote in the House of Commons, it is very likely that I will vote against it.'