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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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ARIANA GRANDE TO DO BENEFIT CONCERT IN MANCHESTER FOR BOMB VICTIMS

Star date: 26th May 2017

"WE WON'T LET HATE WIN" SAYS ARIANA

Ariana Grande has just issued a statement on Twitter saying that she will "be returning to the incredibly brave city of Manchester to spend time with my fans and to have a benefit concert in honor of and to raise money for the victims and their families".

The singer, whose fans were caught in Monday night's bomb blast at Manchester Arena, adds that "We will not quit or operate in fear...We won't let this divide us...We won't let hate win..."

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Star date: 26th May 2017

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"If you were...there on the night or you witnessed the horror that unfolded, practical help and emotional support is also available to you" says Greater Manchester Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Beverley Hughes.

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WORLD OBSERVES MINUTES SILENCE FOR MANCHESTER BOMB VICTIMS

Star date: 25th May 2017

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SALFORD RED DEVILS GIVE FREE MATCH ENTRY FOR BOMB RELIEF DONATIONS

Star date: 25th May 2017

SALFORD RED DEVILS DONATE ALL GATE MONEY TO MANCHESTER BOMB VICTIMS

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Full details here...

FIREFIGHTERS SAY THEY WERE HELD BACK FROM ATTENDING MANCHESTER ARENA BOMB SCENE

Star date: 24th May 2017

A Salford Star Exclusive

'NEVER BEEN SO ASHAMED TO BE A FIREFIGHTER...'

"This is kids dying and us doing nothing"... "Never been so ashamed to be a firefighter"... "The public must think what the hell do we actually do apart from free smoke alarms if we don't even respond to this"... "Sat one mile from the incident watching it on telly..."

As the public, police and paramedics rushed to help victims, firefighters say they were held back by senior managers from attending the scene of the Manchester Arena bomb on Monday night.

An official investigation is underway which it is hoped will provide answers "whether it was operational decision or an error was made", the Fire Brigades Union told the Salford Star. Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham added: "I am aware of concerns from firefighters about the speed of the response to the terror attack…I am taking these concerns seriously."

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