Barbara is meeting GMP commander and PCC Tony Lloyd to raise issues about the way that the protest at Barton Moss is being policed.
Barbara has raised issues with GMP and with Tony Lloyd both about the nature of the policing operation and the scale and cost of the police deployment. GMP have confirmed to Barbara that the cost of the policing the protest can run to more than £40,000 per day.
Given that the police operation is expected to continue until March 2014, this could mean taxpayers picking up a bill for up to £4 million to police the protest at the shale gas exploration site.
Barbara Keeley said:
"I find the scale and cost of this operation shocking. From the start this policing operation looked to be complete overkill, with up to 150 officers and many Tactical Aid Units deployed to cover what is actually quite a small protest."
"The costs of policing the protest at Balcombe ran to £4 million. With policing costs at Barton Moss reaching £40,000 on individual days, we could be losing a similar amount from our policing budget in Greater Manchester. I am asking Greater Manchester Police how they can justify this and what impact it will have on other policing operations in the area."
"I am opposed to exploration for shale gas at this site at Barton Moss, which is already having a negative impact on the lives of local people. Now we learn that local people will also have to pick up a £4 million bill for policing costs and this is unacceptable."
Photograph courtesy of Dawne Sheldrick-Keating/SalfordOnline.com