Macclesfield Express - - YOUR VIEWS -

Tony Shane THE qual­ity of life for Mac­cles­field res­i­dents is sig­nif­i­cantly en­hanced by Ar­eas of Out­stand­ing Nat­u­ral Beauty (ANOBs), Sites of Spe­cial Sci­en­tific In­ter­est (SSSIs) and the Peak Dis­trict Na­tional Park.

In an as­ton­ish­ing be­trayal of Con­ser­va­tive sup­port­ers, as well as the 63 per cent of peo­ple who voted for other par­ties, the Gov­ern­ment has scrapped reg­u­la­tions re­gard­ing no-go ar­eas for frack­ing.

Not only will frack­ing now be per­mit­ted in SSSIs, im­per­illing our nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment and many en­dan­gered species, but if the ‘base pad’ it­self is lo­cated out­side an ANOB or a Na­tional Park, then drilling hor­i­zon­tally be­neath th­ese ar­eas would be per­mit­ted. This means that drill-heads could po­ten­tially pro­lif­er­ate close to res­i­den­tial ar­eas and in at­trac­tive ru­ral lo­ca­tions ad­ja­cent to sites still pro­tected. Pity about England’s Green and Pleas­ant Land.

No doubt lo­cal Tories will say it’ll prob­a­bly be some­body else’s en­vi­ron­ment that will be trashed. If so, not only is that cal­lous, but, should the frack­ers come knock­ing round here, any at­tempted plan­ning re­fusal can be ve­toed.

We may need se­cure gas sup­plies for some time yet, but if the Gov­ern­ment hadn’t in­ten­tion­ally de­mol­ished our emerg­ing high-tech green en­ergy sec­tor we would need a good deal less of it.

Be­ing a Lib-Dem in the af­ter­math of our elec­tion de­feat is a strange ex­pe­ri­ence. We hear con­tin­u­ally about former coun­cil­lors and former MPs be­ing in­un­dated with apolo­getic “wish you were here” mes­sages from peo­ple who didn’t vote for them, but re­gret it.

Mem­ber­ship con­tin­ues to grow and Mac­cles­field mem­bers among the record num­bers at­tend­ing our re­cent re­gional con­fer­ence heard speeches from party leader Tim Far­ron MP, John Pugh MP and three Lib Dem peers.

I had the priv­i­lege of propos­ing an over­whelm­ingly-car­ried mo­tion on re­gional de­vo­lu­tion. In a nut­shell this de­manded; i) more of it, ii) the same deal for all, not just city re­gions, iii) no im­po­si­tion of elected may­ors as a pre­con­di­tion for de­vo­lu­tion (un­less lo­cal peo­ple vote in favour one).

We praised Lib-Dem led Stock­port for their part in en­sur­ing that the Greater Manch­ester mayor does not have in­de­pen­dent ex­ec­u­tive pow­ers, but is fully ac­count­able to the coun­cils mak­ing up the city re­gion; a model we sup­port for any­where else that may end up with an elected mayor.

I WON­DER, could any­one tell me when St Al­ban’s old school on Ch­ester Road was pulled down?

Email me at ●● Joyce Bur­ton, from Mac­cles­field, cap­tured the au­tumn colours at Lyme Park. Email your images to us at mac­cles­field­ex­press@men­ or up­load them to Flickr at­cpics. We’ll print the best ones

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