Down Memory Lane

Fixing the Tory Mess April 24, 2018-Gareth Dowling. A message from Leader of the Council Cllr Ian Moran.

We read that “After 13 years of Tory mess under the leadership of ‘Our West Lancashire’ boss Cllr Adrian Owens and Cllr David Westley, a Labour administration with real ambition for West Lancashire has, since 2015, been getting on with the job of improving council services to support residents and businesses cross the borough.

“Under the Tories’ spineless rule, West Lancashire was heading for real decline. The biggest Tory disaster, which Labour is working hard to sort out, has been its utter failure to deliver on the long-promised town centre. After being granted thousands and thousands of pounds of regeneration cash in the early 2000s, the Tories ended up selling the people of Skelmersdale (and West Lancashire) down the river through weak leadership and incompetent contracting;

“Current Tory leader Cllr Westley has even admitted in the Council Chamber that he did not read the contract, but signed it anyway! It turned out that there was no break clause inserted, meaning the ’developer’ had 15 years to decide whether to build anything or not. Labour is picking up the pieces of a development which could and should have been delivered a decade ago, but which has been mired in legal complexity.

“Meanwhile, the council’s sports centres and swimming pools were neglected, with no planning for the future. The well-used Skelmersdale sports centre was simply closed and left to rot, then burn down, despite turning an operating profit. And they call themselves the party of business! Similarly, the Tawd Valley Country Park, once the Jewel in the Crown of the new town was left to decline by the Tories, and became associated with anti-social behaviour.

“On top of that, growing problems with flooding and road decay were greeted with a political shrug of the shoulders by a Tory administration too busy fighting each other and splitting into different factions and parties to bother with the concerns of West Lancashire residents.

“It’s been an uphill struggle, but progress is being made on the town centre, and on sports facilities across the borough, including Skelmersdale”.

In a nutshell, after five years ex-Tory management, we have permanent problems with Burscough flooding; we have the apparent scandal of the Serco incompetently contracted and illegally managed Beacon Park Golf Course landfill, royalty, and unaccounted for VAT saga, and we have the disgrace of tax paid by the public being used to fund £800 for legal advice to keep an absent, Labour, councillor in post while another, Tory, languishes in London.

Has the Tory mess really been fixed?

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