On Wednesday night a full meeting of Bury Council passed a motion to prohibit fracking on all its land, and committed to going fossil free by 2025, as campaigners cheered the news on the Town Hall steps.
"Fracking is a zero sum game, you either accept the risk or you don't" said Council Leader Rishi Shori "and this council doesn't accept the risk."
Labour's Sedgley Councillor, Alan Quinn, spoke of the double standards of the Government's energy policy, saying they took public consultation on wind farms seriously, yet threatened to take decisions on fracking out of local people's hands... "It's one rule for them and another for us" he explained "The future is not fracking; the future is green
And Councillor Sandra Walmsley slated the so-called `community benefits', seen as bribes to accept fracking... "I'd rather have a frack free future, a clean environment for my family and community, than accept any fracking bung offered on the side."
Meanwhile, Councillor Nick Parnell outlined the dangers of unconventional oil and gas extraction: "If a wind turbine goes wrong it can be repaired. If fracking goes wrong it contaminates land and water for future generations."
What a contrast to Salford City Council, which was on the front line of protest when fracking company IGas came to Barton Moss in 2013/14. Not one single councillor went down to the drilling site to see the protests for themselves.
Indeed, a `Memorandum of Understanding' obtained under the Freedom of Information Act showed the high level of collusion between Salford Council, IGas, Greater Manchester Police, Peel Holdings and other organisations during the anti-fracking protests - sharing intelligence and communications, while having daily briefings (see here).
Now, campaigners' attention is turning back to Salford Council, particularly with new Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, having the Environment brief at Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).
Dennett has declared himself to be anti-fracking (although he was nowhere to be seen at Barton Moss), and now Frack Free Greater Manchester and other groups are waiting to see him put his words into action...
"Bolton and now Bury Council have both taken steps to protect their local communities from fracking" says Jenny Ross from Frack Free GM "After the violently policed Barton Moss protests and their refusal to debate fracking - even after a 3,000 strong petition was handed in asking them to oppose it - the spotlight is now on Salford Council to follow suit.
"New parts of the city are now vulnerable to fracking licenses in Walkden, Swinton, Pendlebury, Roe Green and Clifton" she adds "It's time they recognised it is renewables not fracking that will bring jobs and prosperity to this city and stopped backing fracking ."
Meanwhile campaigners were relishing the decision from Bury Council. Labour Party member, Karen Leach, who played a leading part in developing and initiating the motion, said: "I'm so proud Bury Council approved this motion tonight. It is a victory for democracy, a victory for local communities in Bury and, more importantly, a victory for the safeguarding of the future of our natural environment."
And Pete Fillery from Ramsbottom Against Fracking added: "Hopefully this won't just effect Bury, we'll be held up as an example for many more local authorities to bring about measures to help protect local communities."