Readers, the results from local by-elections that featured Green candidates on 19 May and 26 May were as follows:
Merton LBC, St Helier: Labour 1436 (71.0%, +11.5%), Con 282 (13.9%, -1.0%), UKIP 191 (9.4%, -10.2%), Liberal Democrat 59 (2.9%, -3.1%), Green 55 (2.7%).
East Staffordshire DC, Stapenhill: Lab 536 (44.3%, +12.5%), UKIP 348 (28.8%, -2.5%), Con 208 (17.2%, -7.0%), Independent 75 (6.2%), Green 24 (2.0%, -10.4%), Lib Dem 18 (1.5%).
North Yorkshire CC, Northallerton: Con 654 (48.3%, -4.1%), UKIP 278 (20.5%, -10.6%), Lab 233 (17.2%, +0.7%), Yorkshire First 131 (9.7%), Green 58 (4.3%).
It was quite appropriate that our best result in local by-elections this month would be in North Yorkshire, since North Yorkshire County Council recently voted to approve hydraulic fracking in the neighbouring district of Ryedale despite opposition from 99.2% of all residents who were consulted about the planned fracking operation and objections from residents and councillors of Ryedale District Council itself. The majority of Britons oppose fracking wherever they are for many reasons, which notably include: pollution of land, damage to their homes, contamination of water supplies from shale gas by-products, and the very loud and disturbing noise of fracking drills. In any case, as Portugal and South Australia have proved, it is possible to generate vital energy entirely from renewable resources especially as energy demand is declining not just due to conservation of energy but also due to newer technology which uses less energy in its life-cycle.
We must continue to oppose fracking operations wherever they might take place, and at the same time show that there are many cleaner alternatives to increasing energy production which unlike this so-called 'boom' will be useful in the longer-term.