John Knight's October 2018 Talking Politics column for Macclesfield Express.

24 October 2018

A “Tax on Recycling” - that’s what Cheshire East Council’s decision to charge for new and replacement bins amounts to.  If silver recycling bins get damaged or goes missing, cash-strapped households will be tempted to send all their rubbish to landfill in the black bin, rather than pay for a replacement.  Recycling should always be the easier, cheaper option; this charge threatens to make recycling a luxury. 

This month saw the opening of the so-called “A6 Relief Road” between High Lane, Poynton and Manchester Airport.  Touted as a means of easing traffic on local roads, in truth this has been designed to increase both road and air traffic and incidentally, to move local people’s jobs away to Airport City.  Transport professionals have known since 1925 that building bypassess simply generates more traffic, as people are encouraged to make car journeys that they wouldn’t have otherwise.  However,  Cheshire East - along with their counterparts in Stockport and Manchester - thought they knew better. 

All along, campaigners have pointed out that Disley, further up the A6, would suffer unacceptably toxic levels of pollution, resulting from the increased traffic created by this road.  Now it is open, there are already calls for a Disley bypass.  Unfortunately, geography says otherwise - Disley lies in a narrow valley, already fully occupied by the River Goyt, a canal, two main roads and three railway lines.  Is this bypass supposed to be built on stilts?  Or even more ridiculously expensive, by tunnelling for miles through the hard gritstone underneath Lyme Park? 

At the same time, another bypass is planned to bring even more traffic from the A555 through Adlington into Macclesfield. 

Transport needs a complete rethink.  Building more roads over green land and generating more and more traffic does nothing for the economy, while degrading the environment for people and wildlife.

Regional News

National News


Greens challenge Energy Secretary after shock revelation from frackers Cuadrilla

Green Party of England and Wales co-leader Jonathan Bartley has today (21 June) sent a letter (below) to Greg Clarke MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to highlight the Party’s far-reaching concerns for the safety of the local community in the vicinity of Cuadrilla’s exploratory fracking site at Preston New Road in Lancashire.

The letter follows a meeting between Bartley and two directors from Cuadrilla, where he put questions from the community to them. Bartley is concerned both by the lack of information about emergency plans provided to the residents and by significant questions over whether or not there is even an evacuation plan in the event of a well blow out or other accident.

Bartley said:

“We’re calling on the Secretary not to make a decision over whether to grant a licence to frack until the matter has been investigated thoroughly and safety concerns are addressed. The fact that local residents don’t even know if there’s even a proper plan in place for emergencies - let alone evacuation - is deeply concerning.

“It would be completely unacceptable and be playing fast and loose with people’s safety to ignore these issues. The Secretary of State clearly shouldn’t make a decision on whether Cuadrilla should be allowed to frack until these serious questions are answered and the concerns of local people are addressed.”

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