Posted by: westlancashirerecord | September 26, 2016

The Westley Wasted Business Opportunity?

The West Lancashire party of business development, always thought to be Conservatives, is actually Labour. Who’d have thought it, you might ask. But it’s true, if the latest news that WLBC is claiming “One of the Council’s top priorities is to be ambitious for the local economy by developing commercial and residential property. This would help support new and growing businesses, retain and grow jobs, increase the number of residents in the area and generate income to the Council through Council Tax and Business Rates” comes to fruition.

Having read about the Ormskirk entry into the “Great British High Street Competition” and that “The Ormskirk Town Centre Management Group is made up of West Lancashire Borough Council, representatives from town centre retailers, Ormskirk Community Partnership, Edge Hill University and Edge Hill Students’ Union” perhaps that’s the partnership Ormskirk needs?

Or perhaps not, if a public comment on the excellent QLocal website is to be believed “Councillor Ian Moran, Leader of the Borough Council and portfolio holder for Economic Regeneration, I have nothing against ex postmen but it takes a large leap of faith to think the experience of a postman is perhaps the best qualification to meet the needs of Economic regeneration of Ormskirk. When I read this article I was hoping it was 1st of April…but then again!”

OK then. Perhaps the experience of a “graduate senior bank manager” is the best qualification to meet the needs of economic regeneration of Ormskirk and that doesn’t need a large leap of faith? ormskirk_market_day-01_-_geograph_org_uk_-_878563

Well think again and think back to December 2014, a BBC Radio 4 interview of people about Skelmersdale. Westley as so called Council Leader was interviewed and embarrassingly for him and the “party of business” had to admit he was in blissful ignorance and out of touch with the facts. One such fact is that Skelmersdale has the highest persistent shop vacancy rate in Great Britain. How disgraceful is it that such a fact, that ¾ of retail shops are empty/closed for over 3 years, and that because of it 90% of all retail spend is done outside of the town, the worst in the whole of Great Britain and Westley wasn’t even aware of it? This man is a total embarrassment to the borough and his party”. skemcon
Remember, the Interviewee David Westley is the Leader of West Lancashire Council “Westley. I hadn’t quite realised the figures were as high as that but I do acknowledge there is a problem in Skelmersdale. Probably down to over capacity and has been for many years”.

“Question; You say that you weren’t aware that the persistent vacancy rates were so high. That might surprise some people that the council isn’t across this problem. Westley; The problem with Skelmersdale is down to the way it was built in the 60s, there is no night time economy and that is something this council has been looking to address. We are on our sort of third plan in ten years and we’ve had to change that due to the downturn in the economy. The council can approve planning applications but it’s up to commercial developers to take that forward”.

Well that’s a real Westleyism, it’s up to “commercial developers” because it isn’t. Who delivered the leisure business opportunity of a lifetime to Serco and gave away all the golf course landfill development income? That was Westleconomics at its finest! Not!

Perhaps the postman moranpost will deliver what the useless banker couldn’t?

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