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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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HOW IMAGE LED SALFORD TOWER BLOCK CLADDING CATASTROPHE

Star date: 26th June 2017

IMAGE OBSESSION AND CLADDING UNVEILED

Recently, Salford City Council has been obsessed by the image of the city, desperately trying to move away from the 'Dirty Old Town', to something like Milton Keynes on the Irwell.

Has this obsession with image and wrapping tower blocks in unsafe materials led, in line with other cities, to the current cladding catastrophe? Here the Salford Star documents what's been going on behind the fancy facades...

Full details here...

SALIX HOMES TO STRIP CLADDING FROM SALFORD TOWER BLOCKS

Star date: 25th June 2017

SALIX HOMES CLADDING TO BE REMOVED AFTER TESTS

After Salford Council announced it was removing cladding from nine Pendleton Together tower blocks, this afternoon Salix Homes has informed residents that it is removing cladding from Canon Hussey Court on the Islington Estate.

In a letter to residents, Salix states that "the cladding sample provided for Canon Hussey Court has been identified as a higher risk component". Work to remove "affected cladding" will begin this week. The Salford Star understands that cladding is also to be removed from other blocks.

Full details here...

SALFORD PALS HONOURED IN NEW PLAY FOR GM FRINGE

Star date: 25th June 2017

GREATER MANCHESTER FRINGE COMES TO SALFORD

From Heaven To Hell
Saturday 1st- Monday 3rd July
Salford Arts Theatre £8

The excellent Greater Manchester Fringe arrives at the Salford Arts Theatre this year via a new play honouring the sacrifice made by local heroes at the Battle of the Somme, written by Danny Clifford and directed by Sue Jenkins.

Full details here...

NO TIMETABLE FOR THE REMOVAL OF CLADDING ON NINE SALFORD TOWER BLOCKS

Star date: 25th June 2017

IT COULD BE MONTHS BEFORE CLADDING REMOVED IN SALFORD

"There will be no waiting around in Salford whilst there are any questions about the safety of our residents..."

On Friday, Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett announced that cladding on nine Pendleton Together tower blocks was to be removed... "We take the safety of our residents very seriously and are taking immediate steps" he declared.

Yesterday, residents were told by Pendleton Together that the cladding will not be removed until replacement material is ready to go up – which could take months. And new fire safety advice has been issued, to leave not stay in the event of a fire.

Full details here... Update: 12noon: Cladding is now being removed 'immediately'

SALFORD RESIDENTS BEING KEPT IN DARK OVER TOWER BLOCK DANGER

Star date: 24th June 2017

POTENTIALLY TOXIC CLADDING IN OVER A DOZEN SALFORD TOWER BLOCKS

At yesterday's press conference, Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, said that removing cladding on the nine Pendleton tower blocks was the "right and moral thing to do". Yet Salford City Council knows every component in all cladding in the city which planning officers have passed, and has not disclosed this information.

The Salford Star has investigated, as far as it can, the cladding and materials used in tower block refurbishment and the results are frightening...Materials used on Magnolia Court, Sycamore Court and Mulberry Court should avoid "Exposed heat, flames and/or sparks"; Arthur Millwood Court and Canon Hussey Court are fitted with panels from the same manufacturer as Grenfell Tower, and there's more.

Full details here...

 



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