John Knight's May 2018 Talking Politics Column for Macclesfield Express

24 May 2019

In this month’s Cheshire East Council elections, Green candidates in Macclesfield and Poynton received 4580 votes, for which we thank you.  That’s 4580 votes for lower speed limits in our towns and villages, to reduce the level of emissions and the harm caused by accidents.  4580 votes for safer cycling, so we don’t have to feel we’re taking our lives in our hands when we leave the car at home and use the bicycle instead.  4580 votes for improved recycling facilities, so that flat-dwellers have the opportunity to recycle their rubbish, rather than putting it all down the chute to go to landfill.  4580 votes for the council to work with landlords to allow tenants to benefit from renewable energy.

Although no Greens were elected here this time, the Green Party is now firmly established as the main challenger in Macclesfield Central, Poynton West & Adlington and Sutton & Rainow, as well as a number of other wards elsewhere in Cheshire East.  We congratulate all those successfully elected to Cheshire East, as well as town and parish councils, while giving them notice that we will be scrutinising their performance, holding them to account for the manner in which they represent residents.

Some Labour councillors have stated that they will fight to save our Green Belt from inappropriate development (although, regrettably, some Labour candidates gave their support to major road-building through swathes of Poynton and Adlington greenbelt).  We urge our new council to call a halt to building on green spaces, while proper consideration is given to how many new shops and houses we really need and where they should be.  We call for the proposed development of the so-called “South Macclesfield Development Area” - northern Danes Moss, a haven for wildlife, including willow-warblers, chiffchaffs, song thrushes and wildflowers - to be scrapped.

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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