Earlier in the year I blogged here about the Conservative Government’s controversial plan to allow fracking in the Bury area, including Whitefield. I note that our Prestwich-based Conservative candidate in the upcoming Unsworth ward local election has not said anything about this, and presumably he supports his party in their decision to allow fracking in Whitefield and perhaps even under Unsworth. Unsworth and Bury Liberal Democrats are firmly against fracking anywhere in Bury and you can still sign our petition here.
With regard to building on Green Belt land in Unsworth (in particular Hollins), all three of the main political parties vying for your vote in Unsworth have had a say. I blogged the Lib Dem position here in early March, well before the election period kicked off. To repeat, Unsworth and Bury Liberal Democrats are firmly against any building on Green Belt land and we intend to fight any proposals that are submitted for construction on such land. You can help us by signing the Lib Dem Hands off our Green Belt petition here.
Labour’s candidate, David Jones, has delivered a leaflet which states that “The Tories have identified a huge part of Hollins Village for redevelopment” and print the same map as seen on this blog post. That map, was provided by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, which is made up of the ten councils across Greater Manchester. It is, in fact, the Combined Authority that has ‘called for’ development sites across the entire Greater Manchester area (including Bury) and it is worth pointing out that only one of these authorities is Lib Dem controlled (Stockport).
Stockport will be voting against any such building on Green Belt land.
Unfortunately, Stockport only has one vote. The Combined Authority is under Labour control and, of course, the Mayor of Greater Manchester is Labour’s Tony Lloyd.
This means that any decision to build on Green Belt land anywhere in Bury is a decision that will be made by the Labour party’s leaders across Greater Manchester. That decision to build in Bury will be made by Bolton’s leader, Manchester City’s leader, Oldham’s leader, Rochdale’s leader, Salford’s leader, Tameside’s leader and Wigan’s leader, who are all Labour.
No matter what David Jones tells you or writes in his leaflets, it is Labour who will be making the decision to build on Green Belt in Bury (and Unsworth) and no-one else.
The real truth is, if you want to ensure we save our Green Belt and say no to building on our green spaces, vote Liberal Democrat. As your Lib Dem candidate, I will vote against any such plan to build on Green Belt in Hollins, Unsworth, Whitefield or anywhere in Bury. The Lib Dem Group on Bury Council agree on this completely. Should our group take control of Bury Council, we would use our vote on the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to say no to building on Green Belt anywhere in Bury, just as Lib Dem-run Stockport will be doing.
I ask you to use your vote on May 5th to save Unsworth and Bury’s Green Belt by voting Steve Middleton, your Liberal Democrat candidate.