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Response to recent social media comments.

Tomo Thompson
By Tomo Thompson
17th January 2023

On the 16th of January 2023 it was brought to the attention of the charity that a social media post by the Rt. Hon. Robert Largan MP made comments about the political impartiality of CPRE Peak District and South Yorkshire regarding our involvement in campaigning against the A57 Link Roads project.

The subsequent on-line ‘interaction’ between Mr Largan and representatives of Glossopdale Branch Labour Party (GBLP) served only to broadcast these comments to a wider audience.

The charity has sought professional advice, including from The Charity Commission, and we have also written to Mr Largan and to GBLP.

Mr Largan posted a comment on his Facebook page at about 8am on 16 Jan 2023 which described CPRE Peak District and South Yorkshire (CPRE PDSY) (charity number 1094975) as a ‘professional lobbying organisation’, and went on to state that a current campaign of the charity (to seek a judicial review of the approval by the Secretary of State for Transport for the ‘A57 Link Roads’ project) ‘is being partly funded by Glossop Labour Party’. 
We wish to make it absolutely clear to both parties – and everyone that read their comments and or engaged in the on-line ‘discussion’ that in accordance with our constitutional documents this charity has never received funding from any political party. 

On 6 October 2021 (at which point in time the aforementioned ‘A57 Link Roads’ project was being campaigned against by us, the charity received an email from a person representing GBLP notifying us that that Party wished to donate £100 to our campaign and asking us to send our address to them for their cheque to be sent to.  
At lunchtime the next day (7 October 2021) the volunteer campaigner leading this campaign for us, emailed back (from a CPRE PDSY email account) to the GBLP representative and explained why we ‘must never engage in party political activity, must remain independent, and should not accept a donation from a political party’. It was made politely but firmly clear in the email that we refused the donation before it was sent. 
The same day the Labour representative emailed back and stated, ‘that should have been obvious. Sorry about that’. 
Labour did not send any monies to this charity for this or any other cause, nor did we receive any. 
However, it is the understanding of the charity that Labour did formally minute the decision to financially support our campaign (Mr Largan has uploaded this Minute to his Facebook feed).

Furthermore it is the understanding of the charity – from an email received from the Secretary of GBLP today (17 Jan 2023) that in March 2022 they amended their motion to remove the reference to donating £100 to CPRE as CPRE had refused the donation as it was from a Political Party and would breach Charity Commission rules.  

GBLP have stated that the Minutes of the Glossopdale Branch Labour Party are not publically made available’. It is of no interest to the charity how Mr Largan got hold of the original Minute, nor do we know if he had access to the subsequent (amended) Minute. Whilst the original Minute sits on the internet unchallenged and without update, it is causing reputational damage to the charity. It is of the utmost importance to the Board of Trustees of the charity that we clear our name.  

We cannot over-emphasise the damage (both regionally and nationally) to the charity that being in receipt of funds from a political party can and will have. These are hugely damaging accusations that currently still sit on Facebook and Twitter despite our requests to both political parties to set the record straight. 

We have written to Glossop Labour (their current Secretary) seeking a public facing statement confirming that we were offered – but categorically refused – their financial support.  
We now respectfully ask that Mr Largan urgently also makes a public facing statement to the effect that he now has more detail on the background (via our letter) and is satisfied that CPRE PDSY have not been engaged in ‘professional lobbying’ and that he now also understands that the charity categorically refused to accept funding from Glossop Labour Party in October 2021. 
We politely ask that both parties cease from posting insults and inaccuracies on social media that directly impact the reputation of the charity.
Our role in opposing the building of the A57 Link Roads is clearly articulated on our website, as is our vision for an alternative solution – ‘Low Carbon Travel for Longdendale and Glossopdale

Our current role (and fundraising appeal) in seeking a judicial review of two aspects of the decision (by the Secretary of State for Transport) to approve the A57 Link Roads is viewable here – 

We remain bound by our governing documents and to the rules and regulations of The Charity Commission. We categorically refute any allegation that our campaigning activities are funded by any political party.

If you have any questions on this matter please contact the charity at