Four political parties in Bury have had their say on the potential for fracking to take place in the borough.

Large parts of Bury are being considered for fracking, a process by which gas is extracted from the ground, though a wide range of tests must be carried out before firm proposals can be tabled.

Bury Green Party co-ordinator Nicole Haydock said: "We are firmly opposed to fracking and this news is of deep concern.

"We have a petition calling for Bury Council to be declared a ‘fracking free’ authority and that will continue.

"Where fracking has been done in other countries, the impact on health and the environment has been devastating."

Bury Council's environment representative, Labour Cllr Tony Isherwood, said: "The dangers with offering such a pledge is that it is legally problematic.

"A developer could appeal a failed planning application for a fracking site claiming we pre-judged the application."

Referring to the Green Party's standpoint, he added: "It is easier to talk about these issues in opposition than from a position of authority.”

Bury Conservative leader, Cllr Iain Gartside, said fracking would not go ahead if public safety cannot be demonstrated and assurances could be given that it would not cause earthquakes or water contamination.

He added: "The Government have also made it clear that it is for local communities to decide themselves on whether to approve fracking applications.

"If any particular shale gas extraction plan does go ahead, in addition to helping to reduce energy prices, the local community will benefit financially."

Bury Liberal Democrats leader, Cllr Tim Pickstone, said: “We would not support fracking in Bury and we would not support the Conservative Government taking away planning decision-making from local people and local communities.

"It is important that we don't 'bury our head in the sand' on our future energy needs and energy security.

"Shale gas supplies are an important energy source that cannot be ignored but there needs to be a lot more work done to find safe ways to use this resource."

People can get involved in the consultation, which ends on September 30, by visiting