APPEAL BY ISLAND GAS LTD, PORTSIDE ELLESMERE PORT
David Plunkett M.Sc.
Submitted in support of Frack Free Ellesmere Port and Upton
Table of Contents
1. INTRODUCTION 4
2. LOCAL CONTEXT 5
3. CWAC LOCAL PLAN 6
4. ELLESMERE PORT DEVELOPMENT BOARD (EPDB) 7
5. CHESHIRE SCIENCE CORRIDOR ENTERPRISE ZONE 7
6. THE NORTHERN POWERHOUSE 8
7. UK INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY 8
8. NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE COMMISSION 8
9. THE UK CLEAN GROWTH STRATEGY 9
10. EU SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 9
11. UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT GOALS & INTERNATIONAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE 10
12. COMMON THEMES IN THESE VISIONS AND MISSIONS 11
13. SUSTAINABLE OR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT? 13
14. CWAC PLANNING COMMITTEE – JANUARY 2018 13
15. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 14
16. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 15
17. CWAC NOTICE OF MOTION 16
18. CONCLUSION 17
APPENDIX 1 – Minutes of Meeting of Full Council 18
APPENDIX 2 – Extract from Employment Density Guide 2015 20
David Plunkett M.Sc.
I have a Masters degree in Management from Manchester Polytechnic, now Manchester Metropolitan University.
My early experience was as a computer programmer and systems analyst in England in a number of commercial organisations, and then in Alberta Canada for the provincial telephone company.
I started teaching IT in 1980 at North Worcestershire College, and then moved to Macclesfield College as team leader in 1983. In 1986 I joined Cheshire County Council as an ICT Development Officer to introduce ICT systems into all seven Cheshire colleges for staff, students, and College Management Information Systems. My roles involved system set-up and implementation by working with both lecturers and management at all levels.
In 1992 I became Research and Statistics Manager for Cheshire County Council Education Services, involved in performance statistics, forecasting, and profiling information for policy and management decisions.
I retired in 2007.
The evidence in this proof of evidence is true to the best of my knowledge and belief. I confirm that the opinions expressed are my true and professional opinions and that I am aware of my duty to assist the Inquiry by providing my honest and professional view.
1.1 This evidence shows how Ellesmere Port is part of a range of plans, partnerships, and policies, all designed to achieve future sustainable economic growth for the town. Those plans are listed in a hierarchy from local to international.
Section 3 Cheshire West and Chester Local Plan
Section 4 Ellesmere Port Development Board
Section 5 Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprise Zone
Section 6 The Northern Powerhouse
Section 7 The UK Industrial Strategy
Section 8 The National Infrastructure Commission
Section 9 The UK Clean Growth Strategy
Section 10 EU Sustainable Development
Section 11 UN Sustainable Development Goals and the IPCC Reports
1.2 Each shows a consistent set of factors to achieve the intended benefits for our town, Ellesmere Port, and our region. It shows how Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) consistently supports that. It explains that the Planning Committee decision in January 2018, based on STRAT 1 which CWAC call their “golden thread”, is entirely consistent with all initiatives and aspirations from the Local Plan through to the United Nations Development Goals, which all recognise that sustainability will be achieved for communities by developments that support clean energy.
2. LOCAL CONTEXT
2.1 Ellesmere Port, like every town, city and region, has major long-term aspirations to build sustainable growth and enterprise for the residents and community. This is a highly competitive process, locally, regionally, and even internationally. It is the basis of economic sustainability for the future. Considerable effort is expended by business and governments to define their sites and partnerships, and to present themselves as the perfect choice, and in turn attract further development.
2.2 In their Statement of Case IGas identify this need for successful development. Paragraph 7.6 recognises that the purpose of STRAT 1 is to provide a “…. framework of locally specific sustainability principles which provide the basis upon which other policies within this Plan will shape development in the borough over the plan period.” [CD4.1]
2.3 The current government policy is to support a variety of energy sources to develop the country’s energy mix, as we move to a clean and renewable future in line with Climate Change obligations. Some may well seem contradictory to the public at large. The government has made clear its support for onshore shale gas exploration. But as with all developments, it is the duty of the Planning Authority to consider the specific impact on the proposed location. In refusing the application, CWAC were mindful that the particular economic and social conditions in Ellesmere Port place it at a disadvantage in the competition to attract the industries of the future on which a sustainable economy will depend. (These conditions are described in more detail in the evidence presented to the Inquiry by Dr Patrick Saunders and Dr Anna Szolucha).
2.4 By its location, Ellesmere Port is naturally part of a number of plans and partnerships, from the very local to national, to European, and international. These are examined in sections 3 to 11 below.
Visions and Missions
2.5 While the wording may differ, the ideals proposed by every one of these plans, boards, partnerships and development projects are consistent. Many of the same stakeholders will be involved, and plans may overlap. They all propose exciting, attractive projects and hi-tech developments to benefit residents and the community, attract employment, and improve and sustain growth and opportunities for the future. There are common visions or missions from each.
3. CWAC LOCAL PLAN
3.1 The CWAC Local Plan is the most significant locally. It is particularly frank and clear in recognising that Ellesmere Port is one of the lesser developed areas within a fairly affluent council, and therefore is in greater need of development within CWAC.
”Ellesmere Port is the second largest settlement with over 60,000 residents and the most industrialised part of the borough and was a major centre for manufacturing. The town has suffered a sharp decline in employment and there has been a 50 percent reduction in manufacturing employment leaving a legacy of derelict brownfield sites and some contamination issues. The industrial legacy and the presence of the M53 motorway cutting through the town has led to image and perception problems.”
[CD 5.1 para 1.15]
3.2 The CWAC Energy and Carbon Reduction Plan 2016 – 2020 is emphatic on the need for sustainability. This policy is seen as the key to the CWAC “low co2uncil” initiative, and the plan mentions “sustainability” 28 times and “renewables” 18 times, identifying six priorities which:
“will be targeted over the course of the Strategy and will allow the Council to deliver best practice in terms of promoting sustainability and implementing carbon reduction measures.
4. ELLESMERE PORT DEVELOPMENT BOARD (EPDB)
4.1 As part of the CWAC Local Plan, the EPDB identified the following “place proposition” for the town which reflects their aspirations and highlights the distinctiveness of Ellesmere Port:
“Ellesmere Port is a place of work and positive activity at the heart of commerce, advanced industry and business in Cheshire. It is a progressive, changing, forward looking and busy place where products, projects and ideas are conceived, developed and delivered.
Growth and energy are at the heart of Ellesmere Port with new housing developments, new retail investments, thousands of new students arriving in the new town centre West Cheshire College campus and significant investment occurring in its employment base through international companies ranging from GM Vauxhall, to Essar Energy and EA Technology.”
5. CHESHIRE SCIENCE CORRIDOR ENTERPRISE ZONE
5.1 The Cheshire Science Corridor covers Ellesmere Port, and runs from Hooton on the Wirral to Alderley Edge in Macclesfield.
“The Cheshire Science Corridor has been awarded Enterprise Zone status. This is an exciting opportunity that has the potential to attract in the order of 20,000 jobs and 500 businesses to Cheshire and Warrington through a significantly enhanced profile; attractive business incentives and the ability to retain and reinvest new business rate revenue.”
“The Enterprise Zone brings together a portfolio of sites and premises which maximise the benefits arising from the assets of the Cheshire Science Corridor and wider subregion across all aspects of science and innovation, by facilitating significant opportunities for collaborations and synergies between businesses, institutions and research establishments.”
6. THE NORTHERN POWERHOUSE
6.1 The Northern Powerhouse is the national government programme for the region and our north-west towns and cities Liverpool, Cheshire and Manchester form a key part:
“We will ensure the North is an excellent place to start and grow a business. And we will ensure the Northern Powerhouse is recognised worldwide for the trade and investment opportunities it offers”
7. UK INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY
7.1 The five foundations of the Industrial Strategy are listed as ideas, people, infrastructure, business environment, and places. This also includes:
“Taking on Grand Challenges – the society-changing opportunities and industries of the future, where we can build on our emerging and established strengths to become a world leader.”
“The aim of the Industrial Strategy is to boost productivity by backing businesses to create good jobs and increase the earning power of people throughout the UK with investment in skills, industries and infrastructure.”
“Clean growth: maximising the advantages for UK industry from the global shift to clean growth”
8. NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE COMMISSION
8.1 In his speech on 10 October 2018 to the Utility Congress , at the BCEC, Birmingham, Sir John Armitt the Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, recognised the need for hydrogen from renewables to replace gas, when he said
“We’ve set a clear target for at least 50 per cent of our electricity to come from sources including wind and solar by 2030…..”
“And we’ve looked for alternatives to natural gas, with recommendations to trial hydrogen at community scale by 2021, and for the Government to further examine the evidence base for future installation and use of heat pumps.”
9. THE UK CLEAN GROWTH STRATEGY
9.1 At the heart of the Industrial Strategy is the UK Clean Growth Strategy . This was launched in 2018 by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and is defined as “An ambitious blueprint for Britain’s low carbon future.”
“Clean growth means growing our national income while cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Achieving clean growth, while ensuring an affordable energy supply for businesses and consumers, is at the heart of the UK’s Industrial Strategy. It will increase our productivity, create good jobs, boost earning power for people right across the country, and help protect the climate and environment upon which we and future generations depend”
9.2 Additionally, in October 2018, the Green GB Week coincided with the IPCC review of the Paris Climate Change agreements.
“Launching on 15 October 2018, Green Great Britain Week will showcase the benefits clean growth will bring to all parts of society, from new jobs to cleaner air, and highlight the 10th anniversary of the Climate Change Act.”
10. EU SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
10.1 For the EU, sustainable development is also key, and a long-term goal. The Sustainable Development Strategy of the European Union (EU SDS) as revised in 2006, is a framework for a long-term vision of sustainability in which
economic growth, social cohesion and environmental protection go hand in hand and are mutually supporting.
“In recent years, the EU has demonstrated its clear commitment to sustainable development and has successfully mainstreamed this sustainability dimension into many policy fields. The EU’s climate change and energy policies are evidence of the impact that sustainable development strategy has had on the political agenda. The EU has started to integrate the sustainability dimension in many other policy fields.”
10.2 In November 2018 the EU Commission and EU parliament adopted the “Clean Energy for All Europeans” package, which stated:
“New rules on renewables, energy efficiency and the governance of the Energy Union have been signed off by the European Parliament today – an important step in enabling the European Union and its Member States to embrace the clean energy transition, follow up on the already adopted 2030 climate legislation and meet the Paris Agreement commitments.”
11. UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT GOALS & INTERNATIONAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE
11.1 The UN has published seventeen Sustainable Development Goals.
11.2 Development Goal 7 covers Affordable and Clean Energy , and recognises the role of clean fuel:
“Countries can accelerate the transition to an affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy system by investing in renewable energy resources, prioritizing energy efficient practices, and adopting clean energy technologies and infrastructure.
Businesses can maintain and protect ecosystems to be able to use and further develop hydropower sources of electricity and bioenergy, and commit to sourcing 100% of operational electricity needs from renewable sources.”
11.3 Development Goal 9 covers Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
“The growth of new industries means improvement in the standard of living for many of us. Also, if industries pursue sustainability, this approach will have a positive effect on the environment. Climate change affects all us”
11.4 Both these Goals clearly recognise that progress is only made by sustainable clean energy and employment.
11.5 The 2015 Paris Agreement central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
11.6 In October 2018, the updated warning by the IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “Summary for Policymakers” was more forthright:
“Human activities are estimated to have caused approximately 1.0°C of global warming above pre-industrial levels, with a likely range of 0.8°C to 1.2°C. Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate (high confidence)”
“Future climate-related risks depend on the rate, peak and duration of warming. In the aggregate, they are larger if global warming exceeds 1.5°C before returning to that level by 2100 than if global warming gradually stabilizes at 1.5°C, especially if the peak temperature is high (e.g., about 2°C) (high confidence). Some impacts may be long-lasting or irreversible, such as the loss of some ecosystems (high confidence)”
[EP10 paras A1 and A3.2]
12. COMMON THEMES IN THESE VISIONS AND MISSIONS
12.1 All of these vision statements and mission statements have the same themes of growth, local confidence, and sustainability. Their positive statements in all of these plans and partnerships show confidence in Ellesmere Port, in Cheshire, and in the area crossed by the M53 and M56.
12.2 In particular, they all focus on cutting greenhouse emissions, generating high tech jobs that lead the drive into a low carbon future.
12.3 Employment and housing are the common key to these developments. The designation of the land at Portside has recently been changed to “Mixed Industrial/ Residential Development”, and houses have been built nearby. Any extractive industry is not suitable for nearby housing.
12.4 Furthermore the IGas site will not produce the number of jobs in the 2015 Employment Density Guide (Appendix 2). These aspirations for Ellesmere Port will never succeed if the M53 and M56 which links the area becomes associated with drilling boreholes and fracking.
12.5 Companies and organisations looking at where they may start their new developments, are wooed and pursued by the development organisations and boards above.
12.6 Success breeds success. Attracting continued growth and industry is critical, which is why governments, councils and partnerships spend so much time and effort on it. But, companies and organisations will not re-locate if Ellesmere Port is not an attractive location. Jobs will not be created, opportunities will be missed, and development, and more importantly sustainable future development, will go elsewhere. With unconventional gas extraction, the economic future of Ellesmere Port is in jeopardy. What matters is the sustainable future not the immediate short term.
12.7 Councils and Enterprise Zones will inevitably have a preference for clean hi tech industries that are sustainable. These encourage links with local universities and colleges for training, and offer significant local employment options for existing residents, not just the few who move into the area with a company.
12.8 On the other hand, large corporations and companies like IGas only have an interest in their own balance sheet. IGas fail to mention the economic benefits to Ellesmere Port, only to themselves. Their presentation is more one of getting past planning objectives, rather than being part of the community.
13. SUSTAINABLE OR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT?
13.1 It appears that in terms of sustainable, future focused economic development, councils, partnerships, governments, the EU and the UN all align in policies and direction to deliver sustainability. However, this development provides few jobs and imperils future development, and therefore does not align with the direction of travel of those policies.
13.2 To agree to the development would be at variance with the many policies relating to economic sustainability from the UN right down to the Council’s Local Plan. This development seems to be at odds with those policies.
14. CWAC PLANNING COMMITTEE – JANUARY 2018
14.1 Through planning processes, development controls and by legislation, our councils and elected members have the duty to represent the residents and the community in developing local areas, through their decisions, and with advice from Officers.
14.2 On 25 January 2018, the Case Officer recommendation for 17/03213/MIN was to approve the application, mostly based on paragraph 144 of the NPPF. The Planning Committee rejected this, on behalf of the residents of Ellesmere Port and Cheshire West:
“In the opinion of the Local Planning Authority the proposed development to appraise for shale gas in this location would be contrary to the provisions of Policy STRAT1 of the Cheshire West and Chester Local Plan (Part One) which states that, inter alia, “proposals that are in accordance with relevant policies in the Plan and support the following sustainable development principles will be approved without delay, unless material considerations indicate otherwise”. In this instance the proposal does not, “mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change, ensuring the development makes the best use of opportunities for renewable energy use and generation”.
[CD 2.25 p3]
14.3 In doing so the committee recognised that councils also speak for the future generations, as well as current residents and communities, with a complete responsibility for dangerous activities, pollution and risks to health.
14.4 Councils already work with the legacy issues associated with past industrial damage to our landscape and countryside, and the health risks that poses for generations.
15. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
15.1 Economic development is highly competitive with each area presenting or offering better packages and offers to attract companies. Good presentation and examples count in that offer and extractive industries are not generally part of that mix. Companies will be courted by other towns and areas with better options, and are prepared to move locally or internationally.
15.2 Ellesmere Port offers economic development features which can be found in the presentations and websites for the above plans, boards and zones. In differing ways, with different wording, but always with the same objectives in mind, these proposals all seek to build on the same key elements of employment, housing, regeneration, education and training, social development. In all of the best models, housing and employment are now designed to be separate, but with good public transport links. This will be particularly important after the UK is no longer part of the EU. The IGas exploratory drilling, with their purpose of unconventional hydrocarbon extraction, will make the area of Ellesmere Port, South Wirral and North Cheshire unattractive.
15.3 North Cheshire may even become notorious. Some of the current and proposed developments include those at Capenhurst (Uranium Tailings Waste Management and Dismantling Programme for nuclear submarine nuclear reactors), and Elton and Ince (waste incineration and waste recycling). A Parish Councillor for Ellesmere Port addressed the Planning Committee meeting on 25 January with the words “Ellesmere Port is sick of being used as a dumping ground”.
15.4 This site at Portside is the opposite of sustainable. As a well site for Unconventional Oil and Gas it has been sterilised for employment and job creation since 2011, and will continue to be so for the duration of this development. It will also be so into the future since it will be impossible to build on land with a well-site that has been developed, due to the risk of fugitive gas (methane and radon) entering buildings. In Canada there is a 5m exclusion zone between the well capping and any buildings, to allow for continuous sampling and to enable remediation.
15.5 The CWAC Planning Committee recognised that with this sort of low-tech development, many companies will not relocate here. Families will not want to live and bring up children in an area that is blighted by these outdated industries. Families will avoid the health risks. There will be even fewer employment opportunities.
16. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
16.1 Sustainable development is now seen as much more than economic development. In 1987, the Bruntland Commission published “Our Common Future” in an effort to link the issues of economic development and environmental stability, and gave the definition adopted by the UN of sustainable development as
“development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs”
This means that we should not compromise the Sherwood Aquifer, nor the adjacent RAMSAR site.
16.2 In 2015 with the IPCC predictions in mind, the UN now includes “tackling climate change and environmental protection”. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable
Development, adopted by the UN has 17 goals, with targets and measures that clearly show how development can only go forward with responsibility. On the UN Sustainable Development website, the goals are described as
“a call for action by all countries – poor, rich and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and addresses a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.”
This means that we should employ the “Precautionary Principle” and not proceed where there are questions over the impact on the environment, health and social cohesion.
16.3 Johann Dreo illustrates this diagrammatically as the social, environmental and economic effects that can produce sustainability if in balance. We need to ensure that the focus is not entirely on economics, but strikes a planning balance including social and environmental factors, for this is why we exist as humans.
17. CWAC NOTICE OF MOTION
17.1 On 18 October 2018 at the last Council Meeting, the following motion was passed with the support of the whole council. It was proposed by a Conservative Councillor and seconded by a Labour Councillor:
“Cheshire West and Chester Council notes that in May this year Ministers outlined a proposal in a Written Ministerial Statement to redefine non-hydraulic fracturing shale gas exploration as permitted development and to redefine large scale gas production sites as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects, thus removing any local authority control and community involvement in decision making.
Cheshire West and Chester Council is committed to the principles of localism and the involvement of communities in decisions that affect their environment, their health and safety and their well-being and resolves to respond to the Government’s consultation that fracking applications should be determined by local authorities in accordance with planning law and guidance and also to share this response with Cheshire Members of Parliament and relevant Government Ministers.”
This motion endorses the reality that local residents must have a say in their environment.
18.1 CWAC is quite clear that Ellesmere Port needs sustainable development. But this is not the same as economic development at any price.
18.2 At the Planning Committee in January 2018 and more recently at the Council meeting in October 2018 it is clear that CWAC has the utmost consideration for the health and wellbeing of the community and the residents.
18.3 This is not the development needed now or in the future in Ellesmere Port. It will provide fewer jobs, and the dangers it poses will make Ellesmere Port unattractive for further new employment, which is the widely recognised key to Economic Sustainability.
APPENDIX 1 – Minutes of Meeting of Full Council
COUNCIL 18 OCTOBER 2018 (6.30 pm – 10.00 pm)
PRESENT: Councillor Bob Rudd (Chairman) Councillors Gareth Anderson, David Armstrong, Val Armstrong, Martin Barker, Michael Baynham, Richard Beacham, Don Beckett, Robert Bisset, Alex Black, Tom Blackmore, Keith Board, Pamela Booher, Matt Bryan, Stephen Burns (Deputy Chairman), Angie Chidley, Brian Clarke, Angela Claydon, Jess Crook, Brian Crowe, Razia Daniels, Andrew Dawson, Martyn Delaney, Samantha Dixon, Paul Dolan, Paul Donovan, Mike Edwardson, Charles Fifield, Carol Gahan, Lynn Gibbon, Louise Gittins, Pamela Hall, Don Hammond, Mark Henesy, Myles Hogg, Jill Houlbrook, Eleanor Johnson, Nige Jones, Susan Kaur, Tony Lawrenson, John Leather, Alan McKie, Nicole Meardon, Jane Mercer, Pat Merrick, Eveleigh Moore Dutton, Sam Naylor, Marie Nelson, Ralph Oultram, Margaret Parker, Stuart Parker, Patricia Parkes, James Pearson, Ben Powell, Lynn Riley, Diane Roberts, Peter Rooney, Tony Sherlock, Karen Shore, Gaynor Sinar, Stephen Smith, Mark Stocks, Gill Watson, Helen Weltman, Chris Whitehurst, Andrew Williams, Mark Williams, Paul Williams and Norman Wright
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Hugo Deynem, Brian Jones, Mike Jones, Neil Sullivan and Harry Tonge
Officers in attendance: Andrew Lewis Chief Executive Delyth Curtis Deputy Chief Executive (People) Charlie Seward Deputy Chief Executive (Place) Mark Wynn Chief Operating Officer Vanessa Whiting Director of Governance and Monitoring Officer Penny Housley Governance Manager Lyn Brown Democracy and Elections Officer
38 DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS There were no declarations of interest made.
39 CHAIRMAN’S COMMUNICATIONS The Chairman:
• welcomed Andrew Lewis, the Council’s new Chief Executive, to his first Council meeting; • presented two major awards received by the Council from the Association of Public Service Excellence – Overall Council of the Year 2018 and the Best Innovation or Demand Management award; • encouraged Members to vote for Northwich in the “rising star” category of the Great British High Street Awards;
• mentioned that Chester Canal Conservation Area had been included in the shortlist for the “Nation’s Favourite Conservation Area” and the results would be announced soon; • noted that it was Baby Loss Awareness Week and various buildings across the borough, including Chester Town Hall and Brio buildings, had been illuminated in pink and blue to raise awareness of this.
40 PUBLIC QUESTION TIME/OPEN SESSION (INCLUDING PRESENTATION OF PETITIONS) There were six members of the public who wished to address Council during Public Question Time / Open Session.
Matthew Sutton, a member of the Fairtrade Steering Group, spoke in relation to agenda item 9, a Notice of Motion on Fairtrade Borough. Having been involved in fair trade for over 20 years, Mr Sutton highlighted all the voluntary groups working in fair trade across the borough and the ethics and motivation behind the large community of people supporting it. He had worked in over 70 schools and spoken to over 35,000 school children who he believed had an innate understanding of the whole idea of fairness. He also highlighted that fair trade was not just about charity but also business and economy.
Brian Cartwright, Chairman of CHAIN (Campaign Against Incinerators in Northwich), spoke in relation to agenda item 14, a Notice of Motion on Rudheath and Lostock – Health impacts from traffic. Mr Cartwright highlighted the unacceptable and undesirable situation of having three large waste processing plants operating at a site in Lostock and the consequent air and traffic pollution from the large number of HGVs traversing King Street. He questioned whether this situation was really manageable and also asked why a formal objection had not been raised by the Council within the allotted period to a recent planning application by Tata for a variation to its initial permit which would allow them to produce more energy from this plant.
Clive George, Delamere and Oakmere Parish Council, spoke in relation to agenda item 7, a Notice of Motion on School Transport Policy. He felt the clash between catchment areas and transport provision began when free schools and academies were created. The danger of schools overlapping in relation to catchment areas had not happened significantly and, in the few cases where there may be some overlaps, he suggested Councils consult with schools to come up with their own designated catchment area. He spoke about the straightforward experience of his own children and their friends moving up from Delamere Primary School to Tarporley High School within the catchment area and he urged the Council to find a solution to this issue.
Damon Horrill, spoke on agenda item 12, a Notice of Motion on Civil Society Strategy. He was involved with an organisation in Winsford which helped to stimulate community wide communication and deliberation on matters affecting Winsford residents. With over 10,000 members, they’ve hosted community meetings and experimented with facebook and webinars on the future of local democracy. With support from RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) they plan to deliver a web hub project with secure online voting around community driven ideas. He urged the Council to apply to
become one of the 8 trial authorities in relation to Innovation in Democracy trials and saw this as an opportunity for Winsford to be seen as a trailblazer town.
Adam Langan, spoke on agenda item 11, a Notice of Motion on Building a Statutory Youth Service. He worked for a young persons’ charity in the borough and had personally seen the detrimental effect that national cuts over a number of years had had on young people particularly on their mental health. He supported the Notice of Motion and felt that prioritising the implementation of a statutory youth service showed long term thinking and would provide positive early intervention and prevention benefits and help the most vulnerable in society.
Colin Watson, a Chartered Engineer representing Frack Free Upton, spoke on agenda item 6, a Notice of Motion on Local Involvement in Decision Making. He expressed his concern at the proposed exclusion of councils from local decision making relating to the unconventional oil and gas industry. Without this involvement, he felt developers could create large sites with highways access and run noisy operations over a number of months, all without any local engagement or control. He urged the Council to support the principles of the Localism Act 2011 and reject the proposal to remove decision making from councils in favour of the oil and gas industry.
The Chairman thanked all the public speakers for their contributions.
41 MINUTES DECIDED: That the Minutes of the Council meeting held on 19 July 2018 be approved as correct records and signed by the Chairman.
42 NOTICE OF MOTION – LOCAL INVOLVEMENT IN DECISION MAKING
Council considered a motion submitted by Councillor Jill Houlbrook and seconded by Councillor Matt Bryan. DECIDED: That Cheshire West and Chester Council notes that in May this year Ministers outlined a proposal in a Written Ministerial Statement to redefine non-hydraulic fracturing shale gas exploration as permitted development and to redefine large scale gas production sites as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects, thus removing any local authority control and community involvement in decision making.
Cheshire West and Cheshire Council is committed to the principals of localism and the involvement of communities in decisions that affect their environment, their health and safety and their well-being and resolves to respond to the Government’s consultation that unconventional gas and oil applications should be determined by local authorities in accordance with planning law and guidance and also to share this response with Cheshire Members of Parliament and relevant Government Ministers.
APPENDIX 2 – Extract from Employment Density Guide 2015
Density = 1 employee per “x” sqm
Cheshire Science Corridor: Prospectus http://cheshiresciencecorridorez.com/
Extract from The Northern Powerhouse: Strategy Document 2011 https://northernpowerhouse.gov.uk/about-us/
UK Industrial Strategy https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/the-uks-industrial-strategy
National Infrastructure Commission (NIC): speech made by John Armitt on 10 October 2018 https://www.nic.org.uk/
Extract from UK Clean Growth Strategy https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/clean-growth-strategy
Green GB Week 2018 https://greengb.campaign.gov.uk/
Extract from EU COM (2009) 400 on Sustainable Development. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eussd/
EU Press Release on Clean Energy for All Europeans dated 13 November 2018
United Nations Development Goal 7 https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/
United Nations Development Goal 9 https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/