Posted by: westlancashirerecord | June 9, 2017

Halsall Spurious Complaint Up-Date

The complainant was local Halsall resident and Tory Leader David Westley. As we all know, Halsall Parish Council (HPC) has an anti-fracking policy, and the HPC as Trustee granted permission as in past years for Halsall Against Fracking (HAF) to use a small part of the playing field away from the car park to raise awareness in the village. HAF is a community group, borne out of a residents’ survey, and its members were simply raising awareness of the looming threat by Aurora to apply for planning permission (they advise this will be this year) for further exploration in PEDL 164.

HAF were not “campaigning” for any party, but as a community group committed to raising fracking awareness. As agreed the gazebo  was to be kept away from the polling station on the playing field with the car park between it and the Hall. It was approximately 50m from the polling station itself, alongside the younger children’s play equipment, actually further away than HAF had been on the two other occasions.

Apparently Westley complained  to the Returning Officer Kim Webber. Borough Solicitor Terry Broderick became involved, arrived at the scene and eventually said he would leave it to the Police to determine. The Police said they were happy with HAF’s explanation that they were not campaigning.

For the avoidance of doubt, nobody going to vote was approached and any visitors came to the gazebo exercising their democratic right to obtain information about this Aurora threat and fracking in general “after they had voted”.

This is yet another sorry episode for the leadership of the local Conservative Party. How will its members justify to taxpayers the presence of all the police resources, cars seen in the background of this pic   deployed to sort out a localised matter that threatened nobody with any crime? How many real crimes could the officers have spent time on? Perhaps the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner might be asked what it all cost us, we should be told!


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