‘Disruptive objectors cut short Copley meeting

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A PUBLIC meeting had to be cut short after the “disruptive” behaviour of protestors from the Copley Valley Environment Protection Group, the chairwoman has said.

Now a row has broken about what took place at the meeting.

The Sowerby Bridge Community Forum were holding their latest meeting when a trio of members voiced their discontent at the controversial scheme.

Chairwoman Molly Bake had to call time on the meeting halfway through because she says a trio of objectors were being disruptive by shouting out.

Mrs Bake said although the group do not have the Copley development on their agenda, they are prepared to discuss the effect on Sowerby Bridge.

She said although some of the 23 members of the forum still have concerns about the £62.5m scheme, they felt there were more positives than negatives from the scheme.

Mrs Bake said they accepted the offer of employment, both of construction staff and subsequent employment opportunities were too great to ignore.

In a letter published in the Courier ahead of June’s planning meeting Mrs Bake and deputy chairman Norman Lane gave their support to the scheme.

“Of course there will be details that over time may need ironing out with the developers, but to oppose the scheme and turn away millions of pounds worth of investment in our area is simply madness,” it read.

Protestor Diane Wade attended last week’s meeting with her husband Steve and fellow protestor Steve Ainsworth from Pye Nest. She said the row started after a disagreement about the way the meeting was being run.

“A forum is an area of open discussion. “They don’t actually seem to understand that having a forum is meant to be an arena where people have discussion and are able to voice opinions,” said Mrs Wade.

“The forum isn’t functioning in the way it should be,” she said.

Mr Ainsworth said: “Sowerby Bridge deserves to have a proper community forum and my aim is to strengthen the current body to empower it to do its job properly and give it some real legitimacy.”