The Bickerstaffe Record

Being Labour, Cotterill on the Council, Planning applications

It’s confirmed: £125,000 going to waste under West Lancs Tories

06.18.10 | Comment?

Further to this post the Tories’ shocking disregard for anything to do with taking responsibility for anything at all has been confirmed with the appearance of the most recent (July – Oct 2010) Key Decision Forward Plan.

This is where the administration is supposed to set out what its main decisions will be over the next four month period.  This time around, what’s in it is less important than what’s left out.

This is because the whole idea of a demand responsive transport scheme for Skelmersdale, which first went to cabinet in June 2008, and on which a decision has been deferred now eight times, has simply disappeared.

Council officers have now confirmed to me that the rejection of the Department for Transport bid was confirmed to the council two months ago on 16 April.  This is hardly surprising because the bid, submitted in Summer 2009 went without an accompanying business plan, even though grant funding had been given by the Local Strategic Partnership for that very purpose!

As far as I’m aware, there is still no business plan.  The county council has now withdrawn its offer of two free buses to get the service up and running, and by leaving the whole matter out of the Key Decision forward Plan, it is clear that the Tory administration has simply given up on the whole thing, and is hoping no one will notice it quietly slip away.

If only it were that simple….

The problem is that by simply dropping the whole thing, the administration is giving up on £125,000 in commuted sum funding, agreed a part of the Excel business park a decade ago (and now, through inflation, worth a good deal less than it was.  This is money that could be spent on any number of good schemes, but which is simply being ignored by the Tory council.

The whole matter is simply shameful.

Of course, the reaction from the Tories, as and when the press quizz them on this, is that they’d not forgotten about it at all, and that they have the matter in hand. 

They’ve had years to get the matter in hand. Why believe a word they say?

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