When is a community incentive not a community incentive?

www.politics.co.uk reported today that “The draft community incentives paper currently being prepared by the Department for Energy and Climate Change could hand the benefits of shale gas to county councils”.

This is hardly a surprise as this is the model which was suggested at the recent IoD meeting in Preston. It simplifies the process for the fracking companies as benefit trading could take place at a high level and cash strapped County Councils, struggling to balance budgets, are more likely to acquiesce than are the individual communities affected by fracking who are watching their own areas being industrialised and losing value.

This opens up the scenario that “community benefits” could end up being diverted to areas of Lancashire which are not suffering from fracking. This is plainly nonsense.

The whole idea of trying to bribe communities to accept the unacceptable looked badly flawed from the start, but its implementation looks as though it is going compound the foolishness by paying out taxpayers money whilst convincing nobody.

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