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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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91% OF SALFORD UNIVERSAL CREDIT CLAIMANTS IN ARREARS WITH CITY WEST

Star date: 18th January 2018

HUGE INCREASE IN SALFORD RENT ARREARS DUE TO UNIVERSAL CREDIT

91.3% of City West tenants claiming Universal Credit are currently in arrears with their rent payments, compared to 42.3% of tenants in arrears who are not claiming Universal Credit.

Relating the figures to yesterday's full meeting of Salford Council, City Mayor Paul Dennett added that there was "a clear correlation between the introduction of Universal Credit and increased use of collection orders.

Full details here...

NEW CLADDING FOR SALFORD TOWER BLOCKS IN MARCH SAYS DEPUTY MAYOR

Star date: 17th January 2018

PENDLETON BLOCKS WILL HAVE NEW CLADDING IN MARCH

At today's full meeting of Salford City Council, Deputy Mayor, John Merry, said he was "fairly confident" that new cladding will be put on the nine Pendleton tower blocks, beginning in March. He added that residents' safety had been put "top of the list...I don't think anyone can complain".

John Merry disclosed that documentation relating to cladding on blocks owned by Salix and City West had been sent to councillors, although nothing has been published for the public. He added that a report into how the dangerous cladding was put onto the blocks in the first place will soon be available.

Full details here...

SALFORD HOMELESSNESS CONFERENCE EXCLUDES HOMELESS AT OVER £325 PER TICKET

Star date: 16th January 2018

SALFORD UNIVERSITY CONFERENCE PROMISES 'UNIQUE INSIGHT INTO CAUSES OF HOMELESSNESS' – WITH NO HOMELESS PEOPLE PRESENT

A University of Salford conference which promises to "provide unique insights into the underlying causes and potential solutions to the homelessness crisis" is charging £325+VAT per ticket, thus excluding not only the homeless but also grass roots housing organisations.

One of the speakers is Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, while a panel will ask 'How can we most effectively improve services to vulnerable homeless households and individuals?'...without any 'vulnerable homeless' people there to share their views.

Full details here...

‘NO COMPASSION’ AS MANCHESTER HOMELESS SQUAT EVICTED

Star date: 16th January 2018

BETFRED SQUAT EVICTED AS 17 HOMELESS PEOPLE BACK ON STREETS

Yesterday's early morning eviction of a squat above the BefFred shop opposite Manchester Town Hall has been roundly condemned by housing campaigners, as 17 homeless people were put back on the streets.

Greater Manchester Housing Action stated "shame on whoever it was that made the decision to evict"; while Angela Barratt, of Salford Manchester Street Support, who was volunteering at the squat's night shelter as the eviction happened, told the Salford Star that "There was just no compassion..."

Full details here...

PEEL HOLDINGS SALFORD BUILDING SQUATTED BY HOMELESS

Star date: 15th January 2018

PEEL OFFICES IN ECCLES SQUATTED

As the Manchester squat above BetFred in the city centre was evicted this morning, homeless people in Salford have occupied an office building owned by Peel Holdings near Eccles.

Peel recently received a cheap public money loan of over £8million for its Lightbox apartments in MediaCityUK, where flats cost up to £400,000... "This was our only option" says John who has been homeless for almost five years.

Full details here...

 



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