AN INDEFINITE moratorium on fracking in Ryedale has been supported by district councillors.

Ryedale District Council’s (RDC) Conservative group put forward a motion at the authority’s meeting last week calling for it to be prohibited until at least 2023.

However, an amendment for the moratorium to be indefinite was backed by councillors.

Councillor William Oxley,who proposed the motion, said it was time to send out a clear message on the council’s view on fracking and extend the 2015 five-year moratorium on the controversial shale gas extraction method.

“This council has a lot to do over the next four years and it is time we deal with this issue and put it to bed,” he added.

“It is time to get on with other thing and send out a clear message to the people of Ryedale about our position n the issue.”

Cllr Paul Andrews said that while he supported the motion, he would like to put on record thanks to all those who had fought against fracking.

“Although it appears that there is no fracking application in the pipeline we must not be complacent,” he added.

“I would like to add to the motion thanks to all the councillors, members of the public and all those who have engaged in lawful action against fracking.”

Cllr Lindsay Burr said councillors should remember that the Government will wanted to press ahead with fracking.

“Ryedale District Council needs to show what it is about and say to the county council and the Government that we don;t want fracking in this area,” she added.

“The fight has been going on since 2015 to preserve out tourism and economic viability and not it is time for all the council to get behind this motion to ensure it succeeds.”

Cllr Steve Mason said: “I would like to change the working of the motion from ‘the life of the council’ to indefinite and I would also like to see the leader of the council write to the Government stating this position.

Speaking after the meeting Cllr Keane Duncan, leader of RDC, said: “Last Thursday’s meeting was a triumph of cross-party working. Our historic motion calling for a moratorium succeeded, with Liberal Democrat, Liberal and Independent amendments supported.

“The moratorium is now indefinite but with the opportunity to be reviewed at any time as the picture changes. The call from RDC may make no difference. But the Conservative councillors have made clear their view. . Our position remains at odds with the national party - for now.”