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FRACKING IMPLICATIONS FOR SALFORD AS LANCS GROUP LOSES LEGAL CHALLENGE
 

Star date: 13th April 2017

LOCAL DEMOCRACY IN PLANNING PROCESS TRASHED

Yesterday's decision in the Manchester Civil Justice Centre against a community challenge to Secretary of State, Sajid Javid, that will allow fracking to go ahead in Lancashire has huge implications for other areas, including Salford, states Preston New Road Action Group, which is currently fighting Cuadrilla's attempts to frack in Fylde.

The Group adds that the Court decision and Government attitude make a mockery of allowing local people more say, the so-called foundation of Greater Manchester devolution...

Full details here...


Andy Burnham at Manchester Anti-fracking rally Frack Free Lancashire GM Mayor Environment Hustings
click image to enlarge

"If a planning process can be controlled by external corporate interests and the government policy of the moment, it...begs the question whether local democracy now plays any valid part in the planning process."


Anti fracking campaigners yesterday lost an appeal against the decision by the Secretary of State, Sajid Javid, to overturn Lancashire County Council's democratic refusal of Cuadrilla's application to frack four wells at a site near Blackpool.

The group had sought to have Sajid Javid's determination declared unlawful, with five points of law having been breached. However, Justice Dove ruled in favour of the Secretary of State – and Preston New Road Action Group states the decision will have massive implications for other areas, including Salford, the site of fractious anti-fracking protests at Barton Moss a few years ago.

"The ramifications of allowing an unwanted industry to proceed, against the express wishes of the democratically-elected local planning committee and local community's wishes, are immense" explains Pat Davies, Chair of Preston New Road Action Group

"For residents to have no say in shaping the community they live in, is also against the overarching commitment outlined as a key aim within the Government's own National Planning Policy Framework" she adds

"This contradictory approach smacks of muddled thinking at best, or autocracy at worst" she says "If a planning process can be controlled by external corporate interests and the government policy of the moment, it is neither fit for purpose and begs the question whether local democracy now plays any valid part in the planning process."

The group points to the irony of Greater Manchester devolution, where the Government and politicians argue that it will put more decisions in the hands of local people...but, if this issue is anything to go by, not anything that really matters.

Indeed, Greater Mayor candidate and favourite, Andy Burnham, espoused his anti-fracking views at a huge rally in Manchester last November, also attended by Bianca Jagger...

"These fantastic campaigners from Lancashire - how can it be right that their voice can be taken away by a Government that's too close to the vested interests of big business and has rigged the law in their favour?" he asked "...That's what George Osborne and the Tories have done, taking their public for granted, taking the say off local people, and we want to stand up against it. I will stand up against it if I am elected Mayor of Greater Manchester..."

And then he added "The law as it stands doesn't give me the power to ban it..."*

After yesterday's decision, Claire Stephenson from Preston New Road Action Group concluded... "Justice and democracy have not been observed in Lancashire. We are truly dismayed at this decision.

"We will now take time to reflect on the ruling and liaise with our legal counsel to advise us further" she added "We said no and we will continue to say no. This is not the end..."


*For a full report on Andy Burnham's speech see previous Salford Star article – click here


On Friday 28th April there's going to be a What about the environment? mayoral hustings being jointly hosted by Frack Free Greater Manchester, Campaign Against Climate Change, Friends of the Earth, Global Justice Manchester and the GM Environment Forum.

It will run from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at Friends Meeting House in Manchester and to book free tickets click here. People can also submit questions to candidates in advance or on the night.


Main photo by Steven Speed

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MANCHESTER LOOSE SPACE HOMELESS EVICTION ATTEMPT ON FILM

Star date: 26th April 2017

NINE MINUTE FILM GIVES STORIES BEHIND LOOSE SPACE

"There's a lot of thought, a lot of time and a lot of passion gets put into these spaces ...we're trying to make democracy fair..."

Yesterday, passers-by gawped at a rooftop protest and an attempted eviction of Loose Space homeless campaigners on the roof of the old Cornerhouse art building on Oxford Road in Manchester.

Now a nine minute video has been released with footage of the eviction attempt together with people giving the reasons behind the occupation and why Loose Space and similar squats are everyone's issue.

Full details here...

TORY GOVERNMENT MOVE FROM DLA TO PIP LEAVING SALFORD DISABLED STRUGGLING TO MEET BASIC LIVING COSTS

Star date: 25th April 2017

CHARITY WARNS OF HARDSHIP FOR DLA CLAIMANTS FAILING PIP ASSESSMENTS

Poverty charity Turn2us is warning about how the move from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is leaving many people with a disability struggling to pay for basic living costs.

The impact of the Tory Government policy has been that many people who had been receiving DLA have not passed the PIP assessment, with consequent loss of benefits... "Not receiving PIP after previously receiving DLA can have sudden and devastating consequences at a time when people are least resilient" says Alison Taylor, Director of Turn2us.

Full details here...

SALFORD LEADS THE WAY TO GET HOMELESS PEOPLE A VOTE

Star date: 25th April 2017

UNIQUE SALFORD REGISTRATION SCHEME WILL GIVE HOMELESS PEOPLE A VOTE

With the General Election looming, Salford Unemployed and Community Resource Centre has created a unique way to help hundreds of homeless people exercise their democratic right and become registered to vote.

After discussions with both Parliament and Salford City Council, anyone who is homeless will be able to use the Resource Centre's address to register to vote, and it is hoped that similar initiatives will spread throughout the country giving hundreds of thousands of people a vote, which could even swing the election.

Full details here...

GREATER MANCHESTER MAYOR CANDIDATES SUPPORT FIGHT TO SAVE SALFORD DISABLED CHILDREN’S HOME

Star date: 24th April 2017

SAVE THE GRANGE CAMPAIGN GETS SUPPORT FROM MAYOR HOPEFULS

Greater Manchester Mayor candidates who spoke to Save The Grange campaigners at a hustings event organised by the National Autistic Society have lent their support to the fight to keep open Salford's only residential home for disabled children.

Salford's Labour Council wants to shut The Grange but Lynda Barton, who spoke with the Labour Party Mayor hopeful Andy Burnham, told the Salford Star; "Andy said that to move children out of the borough is unacceptable...". Meanwhile, Salford City UNISON also continues to campaign to keep The Grange open.

Full details here...

SALFORD RED DEVILS IN WEIGHTIST NOT RACIST STORM AS TEAM PROGRESS IN CHALLENGE CUP

Star date: 23rd April 2017

SALFORD RED DEVILS 29 TORONTO WOLFPACK 22

Salford Red Devils progressed in the Challenge Cup with a hard fought 29-22 victory over League 1 side Toronto Wolfpack. But the game was overshadowed by Justin Carney being sent off for alleged racism.

After the game, Salford coach Ian Watson didn't want to comment on the incident but Salford Star reporter, Simon Williams, was told by Carney that he was misheard...His remark could be construed as weightist but not racist...

Full details and match report here...

 



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