Trafford Council’s Labour Executive has taken the decision to approve the rebranded GMSF, “Places for Everyone” plan, which will result in the release of huge amounts of Green Belt land to build houses and offices across Trafford and Greater Manchester. At the same meeting, the Executive also took the decision to approve a ‘Clean Air Plan’, which will see large amounts of small business owners having to pay a huge daily charge just to drive in Greater Manchester.
Conservatives asked for the two decisions to be subject to further scrutiny, but the Labour Chair of Scrutiny Committee, who decides on whether or not to agree to further scrutiny of the decisions, turned down the request to even consider it.
Responding to these decisions, Cllr. Nathan Evans, Leader of the Opposition at Trafford Council said “It’s appalling that Labour has denied proper scrutiny of these hugely important decisions. Places for Everyone is just a rehash of the failed Greater Manchester Spatial Framework and would result in the loss of hundreds of hectares of Green Belt loss of between Timperley and Hale, and at Carrington. Labour’s decision will see the destruction of carbon capturing wetland moss and decimate wildlife. It will also reduce resident’s access to green, open space and will reduce physical activity opportunities.
“Their other decision to hit small business with a daily charge would result in 90% of Trafford small businesses, such as our florists, bricklayers and carpet cleaners, having to pay a £10 daily charge just to go about their daily business in Greater Manchester, or to find around £30,000 for a new vehicle.
“Trafford Conservatives want to see sufficient housing available for Trafford residents and clean air for residents to breathe, but these plans are the wrong way to go ahead, especially after small businesses have been so badly affected during the pandemic.
“As Labour are continuing to make bad decisions at the council and are also the gatekeepers to stopping the decisions being reviewed, it’s time to create a better scrutiny system at the council which puts local residents views first rather than just follows the Council leadership.”