A BID for Worcestershire County Council to intervene over Government changes to fracking has been rejected.

Earlier this year we revealed how ministers want to shake-up the planning system by taking decisions over fracking away from local authorities.

The policy to have it signed off at Whitehall has angered many councillors, who say it shows the Government does not trust them to make decisions.

A motion was voted on at County Hall yesterday urging the authority to write to Environment Secretary Liz Truss to lobby against the change.

But it was rejected by 27 votes to 18 despite Labour, the Lib Dems, Greens, independents and UKIP trying to force it through.

The Conservative group insisted the council should not try and override national policy.

During the debate Labour Councillor Paul Denham, deputy chairman of the planning committee, said: "This motion is not about the advantages or disadvantages of fracking, it's about this Government removing the rights for councillors to decide over fracking applications.

"There is a fundamental principle at stake here."

He said there was great danger in the Government thinking it can "get away" with by-stepping the authority of elected representatives.

Lib Dem Councillor Fran Oborski, who also backed it, said: "The issue at stake here is are we, as councillors considered competent enough to make decisions.

"This is about making sure local government has the appropriate powers, it's a view the LGA (Local Government Association) appears to take, rather than 'everything should be centralised in the bottom right hand side of this country'."

Fellow Lib Dem Councillor Sue Askin called it a vote about "local democracy over dictatorship", but several Conservatives disagreed.

Tory Councillor Ken Pollock said: "If we pass this motion we are saying 'we think this local authority should override national policy', I don't think that's right."

Many of them noted there is no prospect of fracking in Worcestershire, including fellow Conservative Councillor Marc Bayliss, who said: "This is quite clearly a motion about (not liking) fracking.

"There is not a hope in hell about fracking happening in Worcestershire, you know there's not even the remotest possibility of it here."

He said the motion was "just about that bogey word, 'fracking', and getting coverage in the press".

Councillor Denham made one last plea for all sides to back it, saying "if you give way on one thing", local planning committees could lose other key powers, but it was defeated.

The county's geology means fracking in Worcestershire has never been on the cards.