The Bickerstaffe Record
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Being Labour, Breaking News

Challenging the Tory cabinet on their LDF hypocrisy

01.31.11 | Comment?

Here’s a press release I wrote.  It speaks for itself. 

I’ve also copied in the letter that went out from our councillor John Davis to Burscough residents about this.   There’s also a slightly different one to Ormskirk residents, focused on the local inequities there. 

(For Bickerstaffe residents, note that there’s no reference in the release to Scarth Hill issues, but I’ll cover those separately).

Press release – Labour councillor challenge to Cabinet decision on Local Development Framework strategic development options

Labour councillors have made a formal challenge to the Conservative cabinet’s decision to go out to formal consultation on only two of the three original ‘strategic development’ options presented to it last week as part of the Local Development Framework (LDF) process.

The case will be heard at 7.30pm on Thursday 3rd February in the Council offices at 52 Derby Street, Ormskirk, as part of the Council’s ‘Executive Overview & Scrutiny meeting’.  Press and public are welcome to attend this meeting and hear the debate.

The Conservative Cabinet decided AGAINST including in its consultation plans a third option:  an area to the South of Ormskirk near Edge Hill University.  This decision was taken in spite of expert officer views that such an option is “sustainable”, and the option has simply been described as a “non-starter” by one Cabinet member.

In deciding to seek this formal review of the Cabinet’s decision, Labour councillors are responding not least to concerns from local residents about the apparent inequity of excluding one area of greenbelt from the consultation at the expense of another.

 Leader of the Labour group, Paul Cotterill, said:

 “After listening to concerns, a group of Labour councillors decided to seek a formal review of this Cabinet decision, because it believes that decision is fundamentally flawed, driven by short term electoral considerations rather than by what is good for the people of West Lancashire.  Major factors set out in the cabinet document have not been given sufficient consideration. The Conservative decision reflects, sadly, its tendency to say one thing about the greenbelt in public, but another in private.

Labour councillors are seeking to ensure that the consultation process is carried out fairly rigorously, and with due transparency; they look forward to setting out their case in detail on Thursday.”

The review comes on the same night as the West Lancashire Pensioners’ Forum also seeks a formal review of the way the council has dealt with its petition on concessionary travel entitlements.  As with the Local Development Framework decision, this challenge comes because residents feel that the council has not been open or transparent in its dealings with the public.

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