The Bickerstaffe Record

Being Labour, Cotterill on the Council

The Financial Times vs. West Lancs Tories

11.13.10 | Comment?

My Labour colleague Julie Gibson on the failure of the Tories to get a Local Enteprise Partnership approved by their own government, and the heavy cost West Lancashire residents may pay, as reported in the local press this week:

“It may be ignorance or arrogance that is preventing the Conservatives from open partnership with people, but quite clearly this will have serious consequences for the future economic regeneration of West Lancashire. We are very much at serious risk of being left behind.”

The West Lancashire Tories are dismissive:

“Cllr Gibson has her facts completely wrong.”

Well that’s not what today’s Financial Times  suggests:
“With 24 Leps – out of 62 applications – approved last month, pockets of the country including East Anglia and Lancashire have no representation and could therefore find it harder to apply for cash from the Regional Growth Fund.”

The Tories’ excuse is that they’ve really, really tried, honest:

“The Conservative borough council and the Conservative county council along with the local Chamber of Commerce are united in supporting a pan-Lancashire LEP.”

Yes, we know that.  We asked for an update in Full Council last month.

It’s just that our Tories have failed, while lots of other councils all over the country have succeeded, including on Merseyside and in Greater Manchester.

In Lancashire, though,  there were different bids cutting across each other,  includin the pan-Lancashire bid West Lancashire had supported. 

This is because the Tories who mismanage the County Council, along with other Tory Councils like West Lancashire favouring a pan-Lancashire bid, simply failed to do enough to persuade ‘dissenting’ Councils that such a bid would be in their interests; Councils in East Lancashire and on the Fylde thought that going alone was the best option, presumably because the County Council under a Tory administration can’t be trusted as a partner.

And as ever, our local Tories forget who’s going to suffer because of Tory incompetence. 

That’s the people of West Lancashire.

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