Posted by: westlancashirerecord | March 7, 2017

Cllr O’Toole Facing A Big Challenge By Cllr Mills

Long serving but seen by many locals as one of the Aughton councillors who defied campaigners against the Local Plan and its effects on Parrs Lane, LCC Cllr O’Toole will face a big challenge by Halsall Borough Cllr Maureen Mills for his seat when elections are held in May.

Cllr Mills has been chosen by local residents to be the Labour candidate who challenges sitting O’Toole in the forthcoming Lancashire County Council elections. Cllr Mills hopes to secure the new West Lancashire West seat, which covers the area of Halsall, Aughton, Downholland, Haskayne, Shirdley Hill, Great Altcar and Scarisbrick.

Maureen has been actively involved in the local community for many years, having served as a Halsall Parish Councillor  for six years, including four years as the Chair. She has been involved in a number of projects including the production of the Halsall Parish Plan and then worked on the Traffic Group borne out of this plan. During her time on the Parish Pouncil, priorities included raising funds for renovation of the Memorial Hall and St Aidans Hall in Shirdley Hill, renovation of the War Memorial, older children’s play equipment provision, securing a new bus shelter near St Cuthbert’s Church and the introduction of Speed Indicator Devices (SpIDs) to help tackle speed and traffic issues in the area.

Maureen has since stepped off Halsall Parish Council and on to West Lancashire Borough Council, where she is heavily involved, sitting on the Planning and Licensing Committees. Since being elected, Maureen has strengthened the relationship between Halsall Parish Council and Borough Councillor, and will seek to do the same with all Parish Councils across the division, listening to the local issues and delivering regular updates and communicating with residents.

In recent years, Maureen’s involvement with the Halsall Against Fracking group  has been a priority, to protect the agricultural heritage of the whole area within the new West Lancashire West Division and against the many harmful effects fracking could bring to our communities. Maureen said of her candidacy “I will again be running a very transparent campaign with a clear mandate from local people; to represent them all, something that many believe the incumbent councillor has not done during his term in office. Residents across the area are rightly concerned by the threat of fracking with Cuadrilla active in PEDL 165 and Aurora in PEDL 164 threatening to apply for planning permission within this newly defined division.

“There is understandable concern about increased development in the greenbelt, flooding of homes, businesses and farmland, the threat to flood pumps and decimation of local transport services leading to rural and elderly isolation. We need a representative for the people across the whole division, and not just those living in in one particular area and I would be that Councillor who represents the views of every resident on every road in the division.

“Lancashire County Council holds responsibility for many of the issues local residents are concerned about, and because of desperately significant funding cuts by the Conservative Government, I would throw myself into the role of County Councillor for this area and bring influence at County level in order to truly represent the division and achieve the most impact”.

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