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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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HUGE COST OF SHUTTING SALFORD DISABLED CHILDREN’S HOME QUESTIONED BY UNISON

Star date: 24th November 2017

SUGGESTED COST OF £250,000 EACH TO MOVE CHILDREN FROM THE GRANGE

Salford City UNISON has written to the Salford Mayor and councillors about the huge cost of moving children from The Grange to placements outside the borough, which it suggests could be as high as £250,000 per child.

Salford Mayor, Paul Dennett, made the decision to shut the city's only home for disabled children but UNISON reckons it would cost more to close the facility than to keep it open. Meanwhile, solicitors representing one of the young people at the Grange are awaiting a judge's decision for a judicial review into the closure.

Full details here...

SALFORD POLIO SUFFERER WAS TRAPPED UPSTAIRS FOR THREE MONTHS AS HOUSING ASSOCIATION WON’T FIT LIFT

Star date: 23rd November 2017  

DISABLED SALIX HOMES TENANT TOLD TO FIND NEW PROPERTY

Salix Homes tenant, Thomas West, has a worsening polio condition that meant the stairlift at his house in Weaste needed alterations but then kept breaking down, leaving him trapped upstairs for three months at one point.

Thomas has been advised by Salford Council that he needs a vertical lift fitted but Salix Homes state it is against their policy and have asked him to consider moving to 'more suitable accommodation'... "I don't want to move" he says, suspecting financial concerns are being put before his needs.

Full details here...

COURT THROWS OUT SALFORD SCHOOL FINE FOR MUM WHO KEPT SERIOUSLY ILL SON AT HOME

Star date: 22nd November 2017

HIS BROTHER HAD ALREADY DIED OF SAME ILLNESS BUT 'HEARTLESS' SCHOOL FINED MUM FOR UNAUTHORISED ABSENCES

"He wasn't going out enjoying himself; he was actually at home trying to breathe..."

A judge at Manchester and Salford Magistrates' Court has thrown out a fine given by Buile Hill Visual Arts College to mum, Nicola Newns, for 'unauthorised absences' of her son, Jacob, despite him suffering from the same serious illness that tragically took the life of his younger brother, Ben, a few years ago.

Court papers showed that the school complained it took them two hours once to contact Nicola – when she was actually in an ambulance with Jacob on the way to A&E; and then couldn't contact her for four days...when she was sat by his bed in intensive care "Praying he gets better".

Full details here...

GREATER MANCHESTER PRE-BUDGET RALLY HEARS CALLS TO BRING DOWN TORY GOVERNMENT

Star date: 21st November 2017

'ARROGANT AND CRUEL' TORY GOVERNMENT GOT TO GO SAY JULIE HESMONDHALGH, TRADE UNIONISTS AND LABOUR COUNCILLORS

Tonight, a Pre-Budget rally on the steps of GMex in Manchester heard constant calls for the 'arrogant and cruel' Tory Government to be brought down.

Speakers at the Manchester People's Assembly rally included trade unionists, Labour Party councillors, the Canon of Manchester Cathedral, plus a message from Julie Hesmondhalgh condemning the Tories' "Unspeakable acts of injustice...against the most vulnerable in our society".

Full details here...

SALFORD SALIX HOMES DISABLED RESIDENT SUICIDE ATTEMPT AS CRIES FOR HELP IGNORED

Star date: 21st November 2017

'HORRIFIED' PARENTS TELL OF SALIX 'TURNING BACK' ON DISABLED SON 

"We can't understand how anyone can let a company do this to a vulnerable person forcing him to try and take his own life..."

The parents of a disabled man living in a Salix Homes flat off Blackfriars Road have written to the Salford City Mayor, Salford MP and local councillors after their son tried to commit suicide in a motorway car park.

The email states that Salix refused to help deal with anti-social behaviour and disability access issues, and "refused to accept that he is even disabled" despite him receiving full PIP... "The fact that his urgent cries for help have been ignored and his landlords have turned their back on him and instructed solicitors rather than provide the help that he urgently needs is horrifying".

Full details and email here...

 



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