Fracking policy PDF Print E-mail

At a packed meeting of North East Derbyshire Labour Party, members debated and backed the following policy:

This Constituency Labour Party opposes Fracking (i.e. a method used to extract natural gas from shale rock formations), in the areas we cover. We also disagree with the availability of 132 new oil and gas exploration licences covering 5000 square miles provided by the Government, which includes our areas. We oppose fracking for the following reasons; the majority of these being safety related,

· Groundwater quality – contamination with fracking chemicals and mobilisation of deep naturally occurring radioactive materials.

· Waste – contamination of hydraulic fracturing i.e. drill cuttings, waste drilling muds (oil & water), waste gases e.g. Carbon Dioxide and disposal of waste water is problematic.

· Water supplies – fracking requires considering amounts of water and could pose risk to local supplies if catchments were over-abstracted.

· Air emissions and health – possible methane and nitrogen oxides released into the atmosphere during recovery of shale gas.

· Habitats and biodiversity – loss of local habitats through; noise & vibration, air & water and truck movements all have an impact on wildlife.

· Geological integrity – possible earth quakes re Cuadrilla drilling near Blackpool were halted due to two earth tremors linked to their activities.

· Noise and disruption – will cause visual intrusion, loss of land and noise and vibration due to 24 hour workings.

· Former workings – old mines in the area could collapse. There were several open cast planning applications rejected e.g. Apperknowle and Calow.

We note that action is required before fracking planning applications are received, so that the case for rejecting such applications is clearly understood.


Also on this subject

Derbyshire offers to help ease humanitarian crisis PDF Print E-mail

Derbyshire offers to help ease humanitarian crisis

Refugees fleeing the deepening global humanitarian crisis could be given refuge in Derbyshire after council leaders extended an offer to UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

Derbyshire County Council's Labour Leader Councillor Anne Western says the county would again be willing to act as a reception centre for refugees as it did during the Kosovan crisis in 1999.

Councillor Western said:

"What is happening across the globe is absolutely tragic. Death and suffering on this scale should not be happening and it couldn't be clearer that more needs to be done to help.

"Derbyshire is a caring county and I've been contacted by people wanting to help. We opened a reception centre when the Kosovan people were in dire need in the late 1990s and we'd be willing to do the same now."

Councillor Western added:

"Every day more and more people are dying. We must act fast and I hope Mr Cameron will take us up on our offer. It isn't just about people in Syrian refugee camps but the thousands risking their lives on a daily basis as they find any way possible to travel across Europe.

"I'm sure we won't be alone in offering to do what we can to ease the suffering."

Kosovan refugees were housed at Stretton House, a former residential special school near Clay Cross, when they were flown out of the war-torn country in 1999.

Council officers are now assessing what accommodation could be readied at short notice to accommodate refugees if they were to come to Derbyshire.

Natascha Engel MP report to the CLP AGM 1 November 2014 PDF Print E-mail

Highlights from the year.

November 2013 – January 2014.

Bedroom Tax Debate: I took part in the debate looking back after one full year of the Bedroom Tax, and asked people to get in touch with me with their cases.

Electoral Conduct Report: I launched the report on discrimination in electoral conduct in the speakers state rooms, which pressed for more to be done to keep racism and homophobia out of election campaigns.

UK Youth Parliament Session: the issue Debated was Votes at 16 and I spoke at the despatch box backing their call to lower the voting age

Young Peoples’ Question Time: I took part in event for Parliament Week debating issues affecting Young People, with a representative of each major party, to be broadcast online.

Justice for Blacklisted Workers: I attended an event in Parliament to show support for blacklisted workers, in association with UCATT.

February 2014 – April 2014.

Badger cull: this month, after huge pressure and hundreds of emails to my office, we could celebrate the Government finally announcing that it was abandoning plans to extend the cruel and ineffectual badger cull.

Coal Aston By-Election: I campaigned in Coal Aston with our local Labour candidate David Cheetham.

Workers’ Memorial Day: I publicised international Workers’ Memorial Day, a time to remember those who have died at work and to continue to fight for better protection for everybody in their jobs.

HS2 Petition: the HS2 rail project was debated in the House of Commons during this month and I spoke out and voted against it. I also submitted a petition from local HS2 action groups to Parliament.

May 2014 – July 2014.

Time to Cross: I launched a campaign locally to go with the national movement to give people more time to cross the road, this turned out to be very popular and I followed up the publicity of the campaign with an article and PQ.

GP Services: at Prime Minister’s Question Time I asked the Prime Minister directly about the serious problems our community faces through a lack of GP services. I also signed up to the British Medical Association’s Your GP Cares campaign. They are calling for long-term, sustainable investment in general practice to attract and expand the number of GPs and practice staff, as well as improve the premises GP services are provided from. This has been a long running campaign now, followed up with articles and PQs.

Parish Clerks Visit: I was pleased to welcome Derbyshire’s Parish Clerks to Parliament. They took a tour of the building and then met local MPs to talk about the work the clerks do.

Food Banks: I visited the New Hope Food Bank in Killamarsh, which was set up in 2012 to cope with the rising number of people living in food poverty. The visit informed another article and PQ.

Park Homes Event:  I attended a demonstration to show my support for a change in the law to stop Park Home owners taking 10% commission on all Park Home sales. This has been a very long term issue and has been followed up with articles and debates.

CRY: I attended the Cardiac Risk in the Young screening event at Gosforth Fields, where over 100 young people had their hearts tested. I am working with CRY to see what the best course of action is on this issue, in terms of screening in local schools.

August 2014 – October 2014

Leading Light Award: I launched the community champions/leading light award in September to highlight the unsung champions of our community. So far it was been a huge success.

Middle East Recall: Parliament sat in a special session to discuss the crisis in the Middle East, and to look at the possible involvement of British Forces in air strikes against 'Islamic State'. I voted in favour of limited involvement by UK armed forces.

Recall of MPs: Parliament debated the issue of recall, where voters could be given the right to recall their MP for a serious breach of trust. A lot of people had been in touch with me on this issue and I supported the amendment that would have given more power to voters.

Equitable Life: The Equitable Members Action Group (EMAG) held a conference in Eckington in August, and I was very pleased to have been able to attend as this issue is a major injustice.

Conference: I attended the Labour Party's annual conference in Manchester. Alongside meetings with charities and action groups I was able to visit a number of stands in the conference hall that many constituents had got in touch with me about. I spoke at a fringe meeting on the role of the EU in relation to workers rights.

Scotland: Like many people across the country I was very pleased to see Scotland vote to remain part of the United Kingdom.

NHS Petitions: I launched a petition on my website to call for an end to the Government’s creeping privatisation so that we keep our health service in public hands. So far there have been almost 200 signatures. I also publicised Clive Efford's Private Members Bill of the same effect, and will vote in favour of it on the 21 November.

Other items

In the past 12 months 300 school children have come to Parliament for Education tours and I have met many of these groups.

Derbyshire Labour is freezing school meal prices in order to fight the Government’s cost of living crisis. PDF Print E-mail

It means the Labour led Derbyshire County Council will keep primary school meals at £1.95 and secondary school meals at £2.30 despite rising costs.

The Labour leader of Derbyshire County Council, Cllr Anne Western, has promised to help protect families from the cost of living crisis despite the government cutting the council’s budget by £157m.

Commenting on the announcement, Anne Western said:

“David Cameron and Nick Clegg have caused a cost of living crisis with families on average £1600 worse off since the last General Election.

The hike in VAT, energy and food bills have left families struggling to pay for the basics.  Low wages and zero hours contracts also mean more and more people are getting into debt and using food banks.

It is shocking that whilst David Cameron has given tax cuts to millionaires, most people in poverty are also in work.

This is why we have frozen school meal prices.  We want to help Derbyshire families cope with the cost of living crisis.  By paying the living wage, funding breakfast clubs and supporting credit unions we are making the difference in Derbyshire.”

A fair deal for Derbyshire PDF Print E-mail

The Labour Party has today released a report which will offer a Fair Deal for Derbyshire if the party wins the General Election next May.  The report shows how a Labour Government will devolve power and resources from Whitehall to local councils and develop people-powered public services.

At the heart of this New English Deal are five pledges to local communities: provide people with the care they need to live independently, give every young person the opportunity to get a decent job, increase community safety and reduce crime, help excluded families to overcome challenges for good, and give every child a good start in life.

Cllr Anne Western, Labour Leader of Derbyshire County Council was one of seven members on Labour’s Local Government Innovation Taskforce which drew up the report. Commenting on its release she said:

“The Tory led government have forced a devastating £157m worth of cuts upon Derbyshire County Council.  This means public services such as road maintenance, care for older and disabled people, and support for children and families are all being lost.  That is on top of the privatisation of the NHS and cuts to the fire and police service.

Listening to people across Derbyshire I know they are fed up with the way things are but say no party is offering a real alternative, we are all the same.

Well this is a real alternative to just slashing public services or throwing money at a problem without fixing it. We are offering Derbyshire people a reason to vote other than anger. Power will be devolved back to Derbyshire people through longer-term funding settlements, access to more resources and the ability to tailor services to meet local need, rather than Whitehall telling us what to do.

Too many young people in Derbyshire are being left being without a job or education.  So we will promise to give every young person the chance to get a decent job and we’ll keep older and disabled people out of hospital by integrating health and social care.  This will prevent problems by caring for the whole person not just their individual conditions.”

Derbyshire is already leading the way with the county council, Derby city council and the eight district and borough councils forming a Joint Committee to share services and grow the local economy.  This puts us in strong position to bid for extra devolved resources and compete with the core cities such as Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and Sheffield.

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