The expected local plan inter-party blame game has finally started
Can you recall the above “cartoon/pic” from Labour Cllr Neil Furey who accused Wally Westley of having no plan? What follows is the Tory view about “Labour shambles over new Local Plan”. To be taken with a large pinch of salt, remembering the last local plan, the Tory plan, that led to legal action about Parrs Lane.
Wally Westley writes “The Labour Cabinet have finally bowed to pressure from both the Public and many Labour councillors and decided to scrap their universally unpopular Preferred Options for a new Local Plan.
“At a Cabinet Meeting on Tuesday, Labour ignored the recommendations of the Borough Planner and agreed the following motion:
“That the Local Delivery Scheme be amended to allow time for the reconsideration of the proposed Local Plan timescale and for the preparation of and consultation on a new Local Plan Preferred Options”
“Cllr John Hodson, Cabinet Member for Planning, was absent from the Meeting and it was later learnt that he had either resigned or was sacked following bitter arguments within the Labour Group over their new Local Plan.
“Labour are hopelessly divided on their more controversial policies and as usual have wasted a huge amount of public money. In addition to the £300k wasted on their scrapped Preferred Options, they have fallen out over the Council lending £20m of tax payer’s money to a new development company they have set up for the building of new council housing across the Borough.
Westley, Conservative Leader, continuing his leadership of his party into oblivion
said “It was back in March 2018 that West Lancs Conservatives first alerted the Public to Labour’s crazy ideas for a new 30 year Local Plan with 16,000 houses and the loss of 1,600 acres of prime agricultural land in our precious greenbelt. We knew the hugely negative impact that this would have right across the Borough in terms of pressure on public services and increased traffic on our already inadequate road network. Labour’s plans were ill-conceived, unjustified and bitterly opposed. The public outrage was tangible and demonstrated by the overwhelmingly negative responses submitted as part of the recent Public Consultation.
“While the Conservatives welcome Labour’s apparent change of heart, we remain concerned that their decision does not go far enough and will continue the present uncertainty that is blighting properties and having a hugely negative impact on our local communities. As the official opposition, we have exercised our right to refer the decision to the Council’s Executive Overview and Scrutiny Committee Meeting on the 26th March. At this Public Meeting, we will argue that it is time for Labour to abandon their ridiculous policy for a 30 year New Local Plan and give a commitment to continue with the existing Local Plan 2012/27 subject to the planned 5 yearly review”.