A BID to warn off fracking could be launched in Worcester - amid concerns the city could be stripped of powers to resist the controversial tactic.

The Government is considering smoothing the process of securing fracking approval by taking it out of the hands of local planning authorities.

Under the shake-up, overseen by Environment Secretary Liz Truss, fracking wells would become "nationally significant infrastructure projects" signed off at ministerial level.

But the move has sparked concern the likes of Worcester City Council would hold no sway over trying to resist the digging projects.

Councillor Lynn Denham wants the managing director Sheena Ramsey to write to three different ministers to urge them to shelve the idea.

A motion is going to be voted on by all 35 councillors tomorrow evening, with a majority of hands needed to get the letter sent off.

It has been inspired by campaign group 38 Degrees, which wants town halls nationwide to do the same thing.

The bid has led to the city's most senior Tory calling it "nonsense".

Councillor Denham said: "It appears this Government is supporting fracking no matter what, but the popular opinion is very much against it.

"My main focus will be on local democracy and the ability of councillors to actually make difficult decisions, that is something which should not be lost.

"A number of residents have seen this 38 Degrees campaign and contacted me."

The motion calls councillors "democratically accountable" to the public, saying they "are the best people to make decisions on contentious issues".

It also warns about the crucial decisions being removed "from local authority control".

If voted through it will be sent to Ms Truss, Energy Secretary Amber Rudd and Local Government Secretary Greg Clark.

This afternoon Councillor Marc Bayliss, who is due to be voted in as the permanent leader tomorrow evening, called it "nonsense" by saying Worcestershire's environment is not suited to fracking anyway.

"Worcester and Worcestershire don't have the geology to enable fracking anyway," said.

"Please tell the people this is nonsense."

Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside.

Drilling is only at an exploratory phase in the UK, but reserves of shale gas have been identified across large swathes of the country.

More than 100 licences have been awarded by the Government to firms in the UK, allowing them to pursue a range of oil and gas 'exploration activities' mainly in Lancashire, Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and coastal areas so far.

At the moment planning authorities have 16 weeks to either endorse or reject each application and if they go over that timescale it is then fast-tracked to ministers.

Supporters of fracking point to the USA, where it has significantly boosted oil production and driven down gas prices, as well as guaranteeing gas security for America and Canada for about 100 years.

But it is opposed by environmentalists, with the risks including small earth tremors.