The Conservative-led Government is showing how out of touch it is with the concerns of our communities. Conservative Communities Minister, Eric Pickles, overturned the recommendations of his Planning Inspector to allow residential development to take place on green open space at Burgess Farm. In doing this, he overrode my views as the local MP, the views of Salford councillors and the residents of Walkden, all of whom fought this development at the Planning Inquiry. I believe this decision will have a negative impact on the lives of people in Walkden.
This week, the Conservative-led Government has announced that it intends to continue overriding the views of local people and council planning authorities. The Government says it will take the power to override council planning decisions in order to speed up the planning process. This completely changes the idea that people should have their say on what they feel are the best developments for their local area.
The Government has also failed to support the Bill which I put forward to improve life for carers and people with disabilities. My Bill would have ensured that local councils have to assess if their social care services are sufficient to help disabled people and carers stay in work or return to work. It would also ensure that NHS bodies, schools, colleges and universities have policies in place to identify carers and ensure that they get the help and support they need to continue caring.
My Bill had support from a cross-party group of MPs, 27 national charities, the National Union of Students and from the business group, Employers for Carers. The Bill also had the support of thousands of individual carers. The Conservative-led Government has chosen to oppose this Bill, which would have greatly improved the quality of life for carers. It would also have made economic sense to help carers and disabled people continue in work. Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are favouring the plans of developers over the views of local people. They are also failing to help and support carers and disabled people. I will continue to fight to change their misguided policies.