Posted by: westlancashirerecord | December 13, 2018

Ridiculous Local Plan Arguments?

Readers of Champion Letters today  have been treated to a re-run of the “West Lancashire New Local Plan Explained by Labour”.  But this time it’s a lecture on “ridiculous arguments in relation to the preferred options for the New Local Plan”. Coming from Labour Councillor Gail Hodson  that’s hardly surprising?

“Let’s just get a few things straight”, she writes, as though we who read the original paper didn’t get rather more than a few things straight.

Remarkably, or perhaps not, the same old mantra is trotted out that “only 1.7% of our Green Belt will be released for development needs which would have had to be released anyway as we have the highest percentage of Green Belt of any borough in the country”… and “After 2050 we will still have retained 88.7% of our Green Belt”. But by the same time period we will have lost another 1.7% of some of the finest food producing agricultural land in the country, an issue not addressed by Cllr Hodson.

Cllr Hodson is trying to convince us about garden villages sensitively designed to incorporate the countryside. I for one can’t wait to see if this concept differs greatly from existing villages like mine, Aughton, with its existing housing, its existing farm land, its existing biodiversity and wildlife. Enabling development of neighbourhoods and communities that support healthier living and lifestyles? Creating environments in which older and vulnerable people can remain independent for longer?

Being in both categories I can assure Cllr Hodson vulnerability is not something anybody at borough level will ever solve. Try looking at county and country funded services, and all the issues of vulnerability stare us all in the face. Cllr Hodson mentions how a 30 year plan sends a message to central government. Well, just look back 30 years, and see what we all see. Services are not just declining they are disappearing or have already disappeared. Bad policies by bad governments of all persuasions have created what we have today.

Cllr Hodson ends by writing “What would the opposition do? I’ll tell you, no alternative plan, so more piecemeal developments not fit for purpose, just more of the same old same old”. She may be right, but to return to her opening paragraph about ridiculous arguments, they’ve been going on through the mists of time. We who sat in the WLBC Council Chamber in 2013 and heard the ridiculous Tory plans opposed by Labour are simply watching a re-run. Five years on, we’ve had more homes built. We’ve not only not had any improved infrastructure we’ve watched what we had deteriorate. That’s the same old same old truth.


  1. Pull the other one Gail, it’s got bells on.

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