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Offline the leveller

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« on: February 17, 2014, 07:21:15 PM »
More on Peel ...Rise of the Mancunian stormtroopers!


Star date: 4th April 2013


"It is hardly surprising that there is a perception Peel has local governance – if not local authorities themselves – in its pocket"

Over just two months of last year, Salford City Council handed three different Peel Holdings companies almost £2million of public money. Yet those companies, ultimately controlled offshore, have no accountability.

Salford's experience of Peel is being mirrored in Liverpool, where the Peel `beast' is virtually running the region via its massive Liverpool and Wirral Waters projects. A new independent report from ExUrbe takes an in-depth look at Peel. And its critique and research is devastating…

Full details here…
Peel Holdings Web of Companies
click image to enlarge 

"Peel is heavily reliant upon other people's money to fund its enormous ambitions" ExUrbe

In its last statement of public spending over £500, Salford City Council reveals that in just two months (November and December 2012) Peel Holdings was handed almost £2million of public money for projects that are totally obscure to anyone who didn't actually write the cheques.

In November 2012, there were two lots of £560 rent paid to Peel Media Ltd from the Council's Chief Executive's budget. Also paid to Peel Media was just over £45,000 for `service tenancies'. We can guess that these payments are related to rents for The Landing and The Greenhouse at MediaCityUK.

Meanwhile, also in November, Peel Investments (North) Ltd was paid £111,321 in `misc grants' for `capital expenditure'. We know it's something to do with Port Salford but that's about it.

In November and December, a company called Peel Investments (Intermediate) Ltd was paid a total of £1,744,320 in `misc grants' for `capital expenditure' - but for what purpose we have absolutely no idea.

A look at the last accounts for Peel Investments (Intermediate) Ltd reveals nothing about its activities, except that its `principal activities' are "property investment and development and the operation of a golf driving range".

During the year 2012, Peel Investments (Intermediate) Ltd had a turnover of only £654,000 and made an operating loss of over £7million. How and why, we'll never know because its ultimate holding company is Tokenhouse, which is registered offshore in the Isle of Man and controlled by the 1997 Billown Settlement Trust (John Whittaker's private family trust) of which there is no publicly available information.

Yet Salford Council is happy to hand this unaccountable, offshore company £1,744,320. Where are the ethics in that? This example is just the tip of the huge financial, political and moral iceberg that is Peel Holdings.

We in Salford have suffered the Peel Holdings democracy deficit for years (see a zillion Salford Star articles since day one) via MediaCityUK, Port Salford, Burgess Farm, the Barton Renewable Energy Plant, attempted Green Belt destruction in Irlam and Worsley, peat extraction on Barton Moss, issues around the Manchester Ship Canal and Chapel Street, the infamous `Dance With The Devil' tinkering with local elections, and more.

Now Liverpool is getting overwhelmed by the `beast' that is Peel Holdings, related to its massive £10 billion Liverpool Waters and Wirral Waters schemes. An independent Merseyside think tank, ExUrbe, has produced an expose of over 200 pages which pulls no punches. The report concludes, amongst other things… "It is hardly surprising that there is a perception Peel has local governance – if not local authorities themselves – in its pocket"…

ExUrbe's researchers attempted to map Peel's companies but found "well in excess of 400 individually registered companies, potentially scores and even hundreds more"…

"The lines of governance at Peel – of responsibility and accountability - are nigh on impossible for the lay observer to trace" it adds "We attempted to map out the relationships between the Peel parent and subsidiary or satellite companies but gave up when we could physically fit no more information on the page. Only corporate, legal and financial experts could begin to make sense of the whole."

What the report did manage to decipher is that all Peel's companies, including Tokenhouse Investments (Guernsey) Limited and Peel Ports Holdings (Ci) Limited, which is based in the Cayman Islands, lead to Tokenhouse Limited, registered in the Isle of Man… "At the helm" states the report "sits a tax exile". John Whittaker.
While Peel has reported assets of £18billion, the report questions the conglomerate's financial stability…

"It is nigh on impossible to establish Peel's overall 'worth' or to make any meaningful sense of the way in which it operates financially" it states "That Peel holds valuable assets is a matter of public record. The conglomerate is essentially asset rich, cash poor, however, when it comes to having investment 'readies' to hand.

"For all the public – and by extension, their democratically elected representatives – are able to ascertain, Peel…could be an edifice built almost entirely upon 'virtual' finance."
Indeed, the report states that Peel has "evolved into little more than a brand name for a multi-billion pound investment vehicle concerned first and foremost with cobbling finance deals together piecemeal from a bewildering array of sources, some of them distinctly questionable."

25% of Peel is owned by the Saudi-based Olayan Group, while it has a joint venture deal in Liverpool with a Chinese company, Sam Wa Investments and its distinctly shady President Stella Shiu… "given her reported seniority and influence, there is remarkably little information on record", states the report.

Meanwhile, Peel has been adept at getting millions upon millions of pounds of public money for its schemes, not least in Salford, where MediaCityUK and Port Salford are excruciating examples. Indeed, the report draws on much of the Salford Star's research to illustrate Peel's public money reliance in Salford, while adding that "its projects on Merseyside and elsewhere have received hundreds of millions of pounds worth of EU and UK public subsidy, both in cash and in kind. Little objective analysis has been undertaken to establish the added public value of those historic investments".

"In short" it explains "Peel is heavily reliant upon other people's money to fund its enormous ambitions."

Peel also wields enormous influence amongst public bodies entrusted with funding. In 2010 the Salford Star - watched by John Whittaker, Hazel Blears, John Merry and the Peel Holdings board - actually faced up the then Government Business Secretary Peter Mandelson about the revolving door between the North West Development Agency and Peel Holdings that led to huge public grants for MediaCityUK (see here).

"I'm absolutely delighted that that partnership is working so well here", he responded. 

Now Liverpool is experiencing a `Groundhog Day' of the same process, with Peel's Robert Hough, formerly chairman of the North West Development Agency, now chair of the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership and sat on Liverpool Mayor, Joe Anderson's 'inner' Mayoral Development Corporation board "the effective decision making structure to develop the Liverpool agenda".

The report notes that "Peel has a presence in every organisation and on every board of note across the city", adding "The power and influence of the conglomerate across the North West generally - and in the Liverpool City Region in particular – has grown remarkably (and disproportionately) over the past few years. It now plays a quasi-political role in the sub-region, so entrenched has its role become in local governance. As a result, it arguably enjoys privileged access to funding streams…"

In another section the report concludes… "The conglomerate's activities have become semi-political, as the lines have blurred between public sector and private sector interests; indeed, public and private interests have been increasingly accepted as one and the same thing, which is patently not the case from a rational, objective viewpoint. What is good for Peel is not necessarily good for the Liverpool City Region populace – and vice versa.

"Given all this, there is little doubt that The Peel Group - a privately owned and privately run concern with an off-shore power base - enjoys unprecedented levels of power and influence across the sub-region generally and in Liverpool, the 'core city', in particular" it adds "This runs counter, surely, to any ideal model of democratic governance?"

And the report goes even further… "By using its vast wealth, actual or perceived, to wield power and influence – and by focusing upon key regeneration and infrastructure projects in often deprived areas - Peel is effectively (if not consciously) holding local and national government to ransom."

But do the schemes actually benefit anyone apart from Peel itself? The report uses MediaCityUK to cast doubt… "The MediaCityUK experience surely raises questions about the guiding principles of a private sector organisation that has been, in this instance at least, so willing to pursue a low-risk strategy by taking public money from several sources but so reluctant to return it to local residents - and prepared to deprive them of both opportunities and rights."

And in a devastating conclusion on Peel's `corporate mentality' the report lists the following traits…

 * An indifference to public opinion and a tokenistic approach to public consultation and due democratic process

* Contempt for local government

* A preparedness to enter into any potentially lucrative sector, regardless of experience

* A cavalier attitude to 'soft' (ie: non-commercial) concerns such as public and environmental health

* A similarly cavalier approach to local need and preference

* A readiness to exploit legal loopholes

* A dogged determination, in the face of opposition, to 'win'

* Corporate 'combativeness' – Peel is prepared to fight its corner in the highest courts

* A preparedness to abandon 'sinking ship' projects if and when these prove to be unprofitable

In the Preface to the ExUrbe report, the chair of its Trustees, Peter Kilfoyle writes of Peel…

"That dominance - with no real democratic accountability – makes it necessary to throw a light on the practices, finances and record of Peel. Only with a transparent account of the organisation is it possible to properly assess and judge the nature of the beast to which the Liverpool City Region is now harnessed."

Salford has been harnessed, and is still well harnessed, to the Peel beast, with our elected representatives in the same bed as their Mersey colleagues. It's all very cosy. Until someone scratches the surface. God knows what is going on under the duvet.

The Salford Star recommends that everyone should read this ExUrbe report –click here or go to its website and click on Publications, then the report Peel and the Liverpool City Region.

salford wrote
at 12:57:32 AM on Monday, February 17, 2014

Peel doesn't care about Salford. They deny its existence by constantly deferring to developments in the city as "Manchester". On top of all the dodgy goings on, how are they good for Salford?

Sharon Higgins wrote
at 8:21:55 AM on Friday, January 24, 2014


I have seen Walkden become like a ghost town. The Shopping Centre is deserted. At night gangs roam the streets and use the Gateway library as a place to drink and smoke skunk. The pond in the Centre was filled in. The Cherry trees outside the old library were chopped down whilst in full bloom. The surrounding mosses, Linnyshaw, Chat and now Barton (again) have been fought over since Royalists from Wigan came over. Peel Holdings and private investors have and are decimating the landscape and community with their corporate theme parks. They treat Salford people like medieval serfs. Nothing has changed in 500 years. Just that our Lords of the Manor got much richer and did not get killed off in the Crusades or by the Black Death. 

MadWelshScotsman wrote
at 11:39:26 AM on Monday, October 07, 2013


I don't have issue with Peel generally but it's not healthy to have an unelected group have so much power over the elected local government. I just feel that Peel are almost blackmailing the councils into having planning and financial leverage over any other business just because they have money to throw around. Certain ventures I agree with such as Port of Salford etc but not with the building of 1400 houses on Greenbelt or their interest in the fracking business. The Trafford Centre shouldn't really be compared with destroying other town centres because it's full of middle class shops with expensive clothes etc. I don't remember Eccles having that kind of shops.



Peter Bagnall wrote
at 6:39:41 AM on Monday, October 07, 2013


Mr Whittacker donated £1million to Royal Manchester Children's Hospital but is prepared to poison ours in Davyhulme with high oxides of nitrogen from heavy traffic and proposed Biomass Plant(BREP) 



don wrote
at 7:57:41 AM on Monday, May 06, 2013


maybe this is of use: Seems the company likes Tesco supermarket development.



don wrote
at 7:57:31 AM on Monday, May 06, 2013


Mr Pickles brought in to sort out planning application from Peel Holdings



terry wrote
at 2:17:57 PM on Monday, April 22, 2013


I work for peel in the port of Liverpool and it was no suprise to read the article in the salford star brilliant at last some one spoke up,the port has suffered an 80 percent reduction in its workforce marine section with the dredgers being sold off and the floating crane sold only to return with eastern europeans on board cheap foriegn labour so much for local jobs we also had a barge which peel recievied huge grants from gov and eu to take trucks off road running between liverpool and manchester

not a brain dead labour voter wrote
at 2:27:10 PM on Monday, April 08, 2013


Do the men in white coats know that Michael FALSE has escaped. care in the community is not working



Alice wrote
at 11:14:57 AM on Monday, April 08, 2013


The Trafford Centre is a soulless place, since it's opening Altrincham Town Centre has suffered terribly as has Stretford Arndale and Sale Town Centre. Free parking in a tacky environment has attracted shoppers away from once vibrant high streets where niche shops and small businesses are based. Such businesses could never afford TC rent. Please support your local shopkeeper :) 



Michael Felse wrote
at 8:25:07 AM on Monday, April 08, 2013


Just been to The Trafford Centre. Without such icon builds by Peel what a sorry place Salford, Trafford and Liverpool would be today. I urge Mayor Stewart to draw a line at the public's misguided aggro. Salford Council should present The Freedom of Salford to Mr Whittaker with our grateful thanks. The North West would be in real trouble without jobs and futuristic investments that uplift regional competitiveness. 



Winston Smith wrote
at 2:04:25 AM on Monday, April 08, 2013


'...the people are the problem'? Has Peel Group (Technology Division) invented some sort of RoboFelse? I'm really starting to wonder what they did with the real one... Just for the record, the problem with gas waste from the proposed incinerator is that it's toxic and will be breathed in by residents of Salford, adversely affecting their health. 'People' understand this sort of thing, greedy corporations and their puppet politidroids obviously don't



Fracked off wrote
at 2:02:59 AM on Monday, April 08, 2013


Mr Felse you say "Did not hear many objective to fracking for cheaper fuel in Salford", you need to get out a bit more mate. Fracking will not lead to cheaper gas as prices are controlled by an international wholesale market. The people of Salford DO NOT want fracking on their doorstep, the fracking company along with Peel and yourself need to frack-off back to where you come from, try Doncaster they are daft enougth, oh no sorry maybe not they kicked you out of that town didn't they.



Michael Felse wrote
at 3:37:59 PM on Sunday, April 07, 2013


DNP makes good reading, but if breaking up Peel was to mean loosing their unique experience and talents it will be a negative approach to solving problems. What is wrong with their incinerator having its gas waste by-products liquified to pump them into holes being created by the modern fracking gases process? Did not hear many objective to fracking for cheaper fuel in Salford so why should people be annoyed at having to pay a legitimate business making a profit for disposal of people's waste. We people cause the problem while Peel offer to provide real solutions.



DNPivaro wrote
at 12:16:34 PM on Sunday, April 07, 2013


This Peel thing is a real quandary it gives with one hand and takes away with another. That so much of the region's infrastructure should be in one corporations control is unhealthy we cannot surrender all our ports and some of our airports facilities to an unaccountable behemoth that Peel has become. They will always put profit and dividends over jobs and local prosperity. However we do need a viable port equal to the one we had both for the city, the region and the world. so that trade can flourish on natures own basic trade arteries -Water- Perhaps we need to lobby for Peel to be broken up and restore the waterways and dock land to an independent core business entity. That way we will not have satellite dishes occupying prime waterside land where a few months earlier tonnes of grain was being discharged for milling across the road. Prior to that of course hundreds of engineers were employed on the same site, building and repairing ocean goin vessels. But the Ship Canal must be restored to its true potential. For what is a city without a port? Birmingham ....I rest my case.



Winston Smith wrote
at 12:15:26 PM on Sunday, April 07, 2013


Mr Felse, you and the Mayor seem to be intent on making the people of this region totally beholden to this company in the same way we were beholden to the owners of satanic mills 150 years ago. Peel's ONLY motivation is profit and if they can make profit at the expense of our health, that's what they'll do. This is NOT progress. If the price of jobs is a poison air factory, we shouldn't pay it. It wasn't worth it in the 1800's and it isn't worth it now.



Michael Felse wrote
at 6:13:28 AM on Sunday, April 07, 2013


Winston is a pure genius in putting his case. Would nominate for Poet Laureate job but think a clouded judgement would not secure him Government votes. It is with real admiration that I do thank the Breathe Clean Air Group, but the would be Poet's wording of "Battle" by them is overbearing. It is Peel that is having to face a battle for business like any other would be investor that faces a community blinkered by Salford outdated industry and restrictive red- tape rules. Salford either moves up or it is forced down by other UK Councils competing for investment. Salford Mayor must modernise us as revolutionists in building homes, jobs and prosperity to rebuild a future for all. 



White wrote
at 3:16:02 AM on Sunday, April 07, 2013


Everyone really should stop attacking Mr Felse. Has no-one recognised the deep irony in all his comments. At least that's what I think it is.



Winston Smith wrote
at 3:15:49 AM on Sunday, April 07, 2013


Wahhhaaait just a minute!!! Michael Felse, is that really you or someone pretending to be you just copying and pasting from the Peel Sales Manual for sarcastic effect??? Peel's 'innovative planners' who 'carefully observe our modern needs'? Are you taking the piss?!? What next? You going to start referring to them as 'Our Benevolent and Honorable Leaders"??? Should we thank them for "protecting their unworthy subjects" and "providing bountiful harvests"? Do you have a tear in your eye EVERY time you look at your mural of Chairman Whittaker???



Winston Smith wrote
at 3:15:21 AM on Sunday, April 07, 2013


Yes indeed, Mr Felse, let's think praiseworthy. Therefore give credit and thanks to the Breathe Clean Air Group for their valiant (and, incidentally, pro-democratic) battle against Peel and their insidious plans for a poison air factory on the banks of the ship canal. It's a good job someone values our health because you (the political class) have abandoned us.



Mr Uramong wrote
at 11:37:24 AM on Saturday, April 06, 2013


Michael Felse it is not investment by Peel when they are using public money, money that is supposed to be used to fund services for the people of Salford.



Michael Felse wrote
at 11:37:12 AM on Saturday, April 06, 2013


People must stop attacking Peel. Learn from history that changes are good. In 1884 the Manchester Ship Canal opened to enhance the future of Salford. And recently as 1974 the Borough Town Eccles had only just became a part of the District of Salford. Who would not want change. Peel is helping to build a vibrant future for people at the extent of meeting our modern need, carefully being observed by their innovative planners. Let's think praiseworthy.



Winston Smith wrote
at 11:36:46 AM on Saturday, April 06, 2013


Michael Felse, when we get a big Peel Incinerator turning Salford toxic with waste from all over Europe, you and your new best friend the Mayor can take full credit for wanting to sell the place so cheap.



Insider wrote
at 2:10:57 AM on Saturday, April 06, 2013


Its common knowledge amongst council officers that Peel and Salford Reds have had loads of money given them which is hidden in the accounts or given services which are just not paid for. The Tories are an ineffective opposition and never question or probe this labour council properly thats why and how its covered up.



Michael Felse wrote
at 2:10:53 AM on Saturday, April 06, 2013


I am lost for words at the attack on Peel. They are one of the few willing to invest in Salford. Salford would be a lost and sorry place without Peel. We need to welcome investment in our City and I praise Mayor Stewart for having the courage for embracing Salford investment by the coverages and caring Peel Group.



geri brown wrote
at 10:54:43 AM on Friday, April 05, 2013


Peel are taking over this country it's about time someone did something to stop these up-their-own-backside BULLIES!!!!!! They even want to build houses on green belt land in Worsley, we don't want or need Peel in our area's they have made enough damage as it is.



Steve Allington wrote
at 10:54:27 AM on Friday, April 05, 2013


Michael Felse must have his head so far up his own arse that he can watch tv through his nostrils. Congratulate Peel? In which other business transaction would you give an endless pot of money to a compasny showing less than £1M in T/O and over £7M in losses? Only in the hair brained world of Salford Council. Rather like the Mafia, Peel cannot deliver an honest open set of accounts because they don't exist. They are a corrupt corporation skimming money off the Tax Man and audited by an even more corrupt set of grey suits. If the BBC disappeared back down the M1 to their beloved London it wouldn't be a day too soon.



not abrain dead labour voter wrote
at 10:53:44 AM on Friday, April 05, 2013


while good people stand by and do nothing, evil will prevail. people of Salford get off your back sides and vote this labour scum out. didn't take the labour apologist long to come on did it.given a ward yet mr false.



Edward Leeford wrote
at 6:12:04 AM on Friday, April 05, 2013


How many jobs have been created for Salford's Shafted Citizens ? We are forced to fund Peel , yet derive no benefit from this waste of OUR money by this disgracefully inept , secretive , arrogant , and thoroughly loathesome clowncil .



Neelienod wrote
at 3:59:26 AM on Friday, April 05, 2013


Have long worried about the all pervasive Peel Holdings. No mention of Trafford but they are here too. How come they can monopolise activity in the region?



Coral Conran wrote
at 3:59:19 AM on Friday, April 05, 2013


This council never fail to surprise and ultimately disappoint. Their generosity with other people's money for things that do not benefit the majority of council tax paying residents is legendary, the "pink"debacle, the disasterous Salford Crescent ultimate in traffic jams and pollution, the Leigh guided busway etc. Whilst these daft schemes proliferate people are having their wages cut and losing their jobs. A move to Trafford definitely on the cards for us.



UoS wrote
at 3:58:43 AM on Friday, April 05, 2013


How is it 'public money lining the pockets of big business'? A network of offshore companies to minimise tax liability strikes me as unethical, but Peel are simply one of many companies taking advantage of a permissive system of tax law. Their business model seems to me to attempt to attract tenants for their buildings (BBC, Universities etc) before they build them. Essentially, PFI, but without Treasury guarantees. I don't see how that is dodgy - it was the norm all throughout the 90s and 2000s. Put yourself in the position of the Council. You have no reasonable expectation of attracting commercial investors. Your industry is all but dead. A large company come along and offer enormous sums of investment, in return for some subsidy. It is Hobson's choice. What choice would you have the Councillors make? Turn it all down on principle and leave their City without any investors whatever? The incinerator I am less sure about, however the Quays has come along in leaps and bounds. Hopefully it will continue to. So what if a tax exile has grand ambitions for reviving the waterways as a commercial port? It is considerably more ambition than central government in London have for the North West, which for years has been next to none-existent. Frankly, who else are you going to cut a deal with?



kenmckelvey wrote
at 12:04:42 AM on Friday, April 05, 2013


The people of Salford have known for years that Peel Holdings is an iffy Company.So in those hard times what is Salford doing throwing millions of £s at them and other iffy venture Capitalists. No money for the Citizens of Salfords needs. Even Basic things have all been cut while the Council throw millions of Taxpayers money about like Drunken Sailors.



mary ferrer wrote
at 12:03:11 AM on Friday, April 05, 2013


Stephne, you do one hell of a good job. Keep up the good work.Public money lining the pockets of big business.



Michael Felse wrote
at 12:02:08 AM on Friday, April 05, 2013


Salford must congratulate Peel Holdings for staying committed to creating new jobs by keeping investment in Salford. We have Peel to thank for the BBC, for Media City and for the relocation of Salford City College. Without Peel Investment the future of our Salford would be a very different story. Apart from the Incinerator (that is just wrong) Peel should be awarded the freedom of the city as a public honor. 



not a brain dead labour voter wrote
at 12:01:10 AM on Friday, April 05, 2013


michael false can't come on yet,he in the middle of a love in, with his new labour friends. 



Pondering Pete wrote
at 1:04:44 PM on Thursday, April 04, 2013


Really this report states what most people already suspected, Peel are a bunch of leeches and Salford council are thick enough to give them whatever amount of money they want. But the big question is, will the mayor finally put a stop to all this now it is exposed? Don't hold your breath folks, they are all in it together. The second question is how long will it take Salford Labour crony Micheal Felse to come on here and defend this disgrace? 

On Sun, Feb 16, 2014 at 12:04 PM, Kate <[email protected]> wrote:

The world belongs to those 'leading beyond authority' behind closed doors.
 ExUrbe (pdf below) has exposed some information on corrupt Peel dealings. 
Most MPs do not have a clue, but others do and are rewarded greatly in the Corporatisation of Britain and the rest of the world!

More on Peel Holdings:

The Peel Group has a complex business structure comprising 320 registered companies and subsidiaries in the UK. Its ultimate parent company is the Isle of Man-based Tokenhouse Ltd.

73% of Peel is owned by the Billown Trust, controlled by chairman John Whittaker. The remainder of Peel is owned by Olayan Group. Saudi conglomerate, Olayan Group: is also the bottler and distributor of Coca-Cola in Saudi Arabia. Among the Group's international partners are AlphaGraphics, BP Solar, Credit Suisse, Carrefour, HSBC, JP Morgan, Chase Manhattan, Coca-Cola, Bechtel, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Kimberly-Clark, Sama Airlines, Colgate-Palmolive, CS First Boston, Toshiba, Xerox, Burger King, Kraft Foods, Baxter International, Occidental Petroleum, Cardinal Health, Scania AB and many more...

claims the Peel Group has received millions in EU and UK public grants. Mr Kilfoyle is also concerned about the influence the group has over local planning and points out one of its directors, Robert Hough, was chair of the North West Regional Development Agency and now chairs the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership....

The Trafford Centre, Manchester, developed by The Peel Group and is currently owned by Intu Properties following a £1.65 billion sale in 2011[8] - the largest single property acquisition in British history.[9] The centre was rebranded as the 'intu Trafford Centre' in 2013 following the renaming of parent Capital Shopping Centres Group plc as intu Properties plc. with over 10,122 car spaces and 350 coach spaces is situated off the M60 (Junctions 9 and 10).

All vehicles entering the centre have number plate details recorded via automatic number plate recognition. ]  (Smart tech.)The ANPR tracks cars which have been used for serious offences ? details of any car with such a number plate can then be passed to Stretford Police Station.[1]

Wrecking Salford.

Peel Group moved into the energy sector in 2008 with the opening of Scout Moor Wind Farm on the West Pennine Moors in Greater Manchester nearby Edenfield and Rochdale.[17] Peel announced their intention to expand in the scheme in 2011,[18] with the possibility of selling shares to local people to make an investment and appease opposition...

 In 1993 the Ship Canal Company was acquired by Peel Holdings;[78] as of 2011 it is owned and operated by Peel Ports, which also owns the Port of Liverpool.[79] The company announced a £50 billion Atlantic Gateway plan in 2011 to develop the Port of Liverpool and the Manchester Ship Canal.
Peel Ports predict that the number of containers transported along the canal could increase from the 8000 carried in 2010 to 100,000 by 2030

Many thanks to Dave E for this.

Star date: 15th February 2014   


"They were just hitting everybody. It was chaos…horrendous…" Diane

A woman who, we understand, was having a fit, was handcuffed and dragged through a field by Greater Manchester Police Tactical Aid Unit officers at Barton Moss this afternoon. She lay on the floor for 45 minutes before an ambulance arrived.

After another unbelievable day that saw four arrests, Peel Holdings:  declare people were trespassing on their Barton Moss Road and police sealing off the public footpath, solicitor Simon Pook is to bring in the United Nations… "Greater Manchester Police appear to have discarded the European Convention of Human Rights into the gutter" he said.

Full details here…

After the District Judge had declared Barton Moss Road a public footpath (see here), and the successful blockade of the iGas delivery lorries on Thursday (see here), today came the brutal backlash from Greater Manchester Police and its Tactical Aid Unit (TAU).

This morning, a convoy of lorries delivering to the iGas exploratory drilling site arrived as notices were posted on cars and handed out to the public declaring…

To Whom It May Concern

Please note that Barton Moss Road the A57 to Tunnel Farm is owned by Manchester Ship Canal Developments Limited and beyond that point by Peel Investments North Ltd and there is no right to occupy Barton Moss Road without the consent of the owners.

The only public right over Barton Moss Road is a footpath for pedestrians any persons occupying or possessing Barton Moss Road are doing so as trespassers without the consent of the owners and should cease such occupation.

The notice had no headed notepaper or signature, but appeared to be a manoeuvre in the face of the GMP's court defeat last Thursday, to arrest anyone not complying with the notice for `aggravated trespass'. Greater Manchester Police constantly warned people of this throughout the day.

Peel Holdings, or the Peel Group, not only own Barton Moss Road but all the fields surrounding it, including the iGas drilling site, and Barton Airport where the police are based during operations, drawing rent off all of them. It now appears that the company - stuffed with vested interests - is preparing to evict anti-fracking campaigners.

As the lorry convoy approached the entrance to the iGas site this morning, accompanied by huge numbers of police, all hell broke loose with Tactical Aid Unit officers literally running riot according to eye witnesses…

"While there was a protector on the roof of one of the wagons, a police officer said one of the guys had called him `a dickhead', so they read him his rights and the police went into the field to arrest him, pushed him to the floor and handcuffed him" says photographer Jason Smalley "Two other protectors were trying to protect him so they got chased and pushed to the floor.

"I was shooting a video of it, and I got pushed really hard onto the floor" he adds "They said they thought I was going to assault the officer… The police were being really aggressive, there was a woman fitting in the field while they were handcuffing her…"

Another eye witness, Diane Steels says… "Vanda is a mother of four, they tried to strangle her and they were just hitting everybody. It was chaos… horrendous once the Tactical Aid Unit had come in. I was scared. Everyone was scared. We were just running because they were chasing everyone

"…Earlier, they pushed us and bullied us down the road" she adds "They have damaged my knee, they were just kicking us in the back of the legs so we couldn't physically walk any faster, and then it kicked off in the field because someone swore and it escalated from there."

Jason's photos show a police officer with his hands around Vanda's neck, then handcuffing her and then, with another officer, dragging her through the field. The end of his video clearly shows that she is having a fit (see the video on YouTube - click here)

While this was happening, police officers had sealed off Barton Moss Road from the public, declaring it a `crime scene'. As well as the public and the Salford Star reporter, Lindsay, an impartial legal observer, was also prevented from having access…

"I got a call from the Camp to come because of aggressive policing by Greater Manchester Police Tactical Aid Unit" said Lindsay "I've been prevented from doing my job as an impartial legal observer. I'm not part of this protest, I just make statements of arrest in case the arrestees need a witness statement to assist them with any future court cases or action. They have refused my entry onto a public footpath."

By the time the public footpath was open and people made their way to the iGas site entrance, Vanda was still lying on the floor with no ambulance in sight and even one of the protectors, who was a trained nurse, was refused access to tend her… "I'm disgusted" she said.

"We called an ambulance and there wasn't one available" a Police Liaison Officer told the Salford Star "We are not willing to move her and can't go into the circumstances of that. We are waiting for the ambulance to come and they will take control of the situation."

After 45 minutes an ambulance arrived and took her to Salford Royal Hospital, where, we understand, she was `de-arrested'.

On the scene was the Camp's lead solicitor, Simon Pook of Robert Lizar Solicitors, who is also a legal observer.

"What I have witnessed today at Barton Moss has confirmed my greatest fear… A fear that Greater Manchester Police appear to have discarded the European Convention of Human Rights into the gutter, and replaced it with political policing, re-enforced with overt aggression" he said

"My experience there today caused me to be concerned for my own safety, based on my observations and interactions of Greater Manchester Police" he added "I am firmly of the view that what took place today appears to be political policing in favour of a corporate agenda. I call on GMP and the Police and Crime Commissioner to tell the public `Why?'"

Speaking of the police closing off Barton Moss Road to reporters and legal observers he added that he intends to contact the United Nations about the policing of Barton Moss.

"The United Nations Special Rapporteur of peaceful protest has made strong representation to the UK Government in regards to not allowing legal observers to come through and observe the police in an individual capacity" he explained "The UK government said they would consider that report, which was produced in July 2013. From what I've seen today that doesn't seem to be the case.

"I'm happy to update the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations in regards to a full report on Barton Moss and the GMP conduct and that's something that I intend to do…"

Main photo by Jason Smalley

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