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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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SALFORD CITY COUNCIL SPENT ALMOST 10,000 ON MIPIM PROPERTY JAUNT

Star date: 21st June 2018

COUNCIL SPENT 5,750 ON MIPIM PR IN SOUTH OF FRANCE

Salford Council spent almost 10,000 on the jaunt to the MIPIM property orgy in Cannes. A newly published contract register shows that, as well as the 4,022 costs for the City Mayor and two officers to go to the South of France paid by unknown private sector companies, the Council also spent 5,750 on marketing and PR for MIPIM.

The contract register also shows the Council is spending 9,500 on a 'Salford Story' press consultant, 118,000 on its failed 'digital community hub', over 14,000 on a 'leadership programme' and, er, 25,000 on milk and bread?

Full details here...

NATIONAL GRID WILL NOT RE-THINK DEMOLITION OF SALFORD DIRTY OLD TOWN GASWORKS

Star date: 20th June 2018

'WE RECOGNISE THE HISTORIC INTEREST'...BUT THEY'RE BEING DEMOLISHED!

Despite musical protests and petitions, the National Grid is adamant that the Salford gas holders, made famous in the Dirty Old Town anthem, will be demolished.

Campaigners are asking for the Grid to re-think a new use for the structures, like in many other towns and cities, but the company states that while "We recognise the historic interest in the Salford gasholder...the structure is being dismantled..."

Full details here...

SALFORD COUNCIL REFUSES TO REVEAL WHO PAID FOR CITY MAYOR TRIP TO SOUTH OF FRANCE

Star date: 19th June 2018

COUNCIL BLOCKS FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST ON 4,000 MIPIM TRIP

Salford City Council has refused to answer a Salford Star Freedom of Information request on which private company paid the 4,022 costs for City Mayor Paul Dennett and two staff to go to the South of France for the MIPIM property event.

The Council states that "the commercial interests of the Council outweigh that of the public interest in disclosure". The Salford Star is to appeal the decision.

Full details here...

DEVASTATING SURVEY OF NORTH WEST COUNCIL WORKERS SHOWS LOCAL SERVICES COLLAPSING

Star date: 18th June 2018

OVER 80% OF COUNCIL WORKERS HAVE NO CONFIDENCE IN SERVICES AND ALMOST 50% THINKING OF LEAVING THEIR JOBS

A survey of almost 1,500 local council workers in the North West reveals that 81% have no confidence in the future of local services, 49% are thinking of leaving their jobs, 54% believe their council no longer delivers quality services, and 45% think that their employer doesn't make the right decisions for the public.

The other results of the survey by UNISON to coincide with its local government conference make equally depressing reading, as the union states that "Vital local services in the North West are collapsing".

Full details here...

SALFORD TIME OUT FOR CARERS

Star date: 18th June 2018

TRIPS, CAKES, MASSAGE, ADVICE AND CHAT AS CARERS TAKE TIME OUT

"I was absolutely weary...I needed to get out of the house" Ernie

Caring for a loved one is indeed a labour of love but it can also be life consuming and draining. So a group called Time Out For Carers is making a difference, running weekly sessions where escapism is the order of the day.

There's free massages, trips out, advice on allowances, tea and coffee and cakes, but, most importantly, relaxed informal chats with carers who are all in the same position.

Full details here...

 



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