'Everybody is at fault' as contentious Hale eruv proposal is withdrawn


Plans for an eruv in Hale, Greater Manchester, have been withdrawn following widespread opposition.

A representative of the Hale Eruv Project Trust said on Wednesday that the decision had been taken "in the interests of communal unity".

The JC reported last week that Trafford Council had received nearly 1,000 objections and barely 100 messages of support for the plans during a consultation process.

"Everybody was at fault," observed Ben Sallon, vice-president of Hale and District Hebrew Congregation. "The trust has not gone about communicating the benefits of the project well enough to the community and the little impact it would have had on the locality. They have not managed to get that message across at all.

"If the full spectrum of religiosity in the community had worked together, we would unquestionably have won over the wider community. The unrest it caused in the Jewish community and the locality was based in confusion."

The unrest it caused in the locality was based on confusion

Mr Sallon was "very upset, because the shul council and executive were in full support of the eruv. Just by having the eruv, we can get a better spread of people."

The religious boundary would have helped in "sustaining and growing the Hale community in the long term", he added, citing the impact of the soon-to-be expanded eruv in north Manchester.

"People may well choose to live there rather than Hale because of the eruv."

A previous Hale eruv proposal was also withdrawn after local opposition. But despite the latest setback, Mr Sallon said the plan was "not dead - it's parked".

Jonny Wineberg, chair of Manchester Jewish Representative Council, said gaining support for an eruv required building community relations, "not just with leaders but with local people.

"Planning guidance also makes this clear. It is unfortunate that the breadth of community engagement needed to successfully move the eruv project in Hale forward was not achieved."

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