West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper is calling on Conservative-controlled West Lancashire Borough Council to be plain with residents over the redevelopment of Skelmersdale town centre after discrepancies in recent council statements on the town centre redevelopment emerged.
In June, a Skelmersdale resident wrote to the Housing and Regeneration Directorate to ask for a progress update on the Skelmersdale town centre redevelopment plans. A day after the constituent received an officer’s reply, the Borough Council issued a statement to the press on the same issue.
Only upon a closer inspection by the constituent did the apparent discrepancy become clear. In the officer’s e-mail reply to the constituent there is an extra line which doesn’t seem to appear in the press statement by the Borough Council. This extra line in the officer’s email reads:
“There is no definite timescale at the moment as we have to ensure that there is enough occupier interest for a scheme to be viable and therefore able to go ahead.”
MP Rosie believes this is a rather important and glaring omission from the Borough Council and she has gone on to raise the issue directly with them.
MP Rosie said:
“Skelmersdale residents are far from convinced by the Borough Council’s failure to disclose in their public statements that there are still no definite timescales for the redevelopment of Skelmersdale town centre. This will only reinforce residents’ already low levels of confidence in the Borough Council to actually deliver this redevelopment.
“Eight years on from the promise of the Skelmersdale vision, all the Borough Council have done is ransomed Skelmersdale town centre for the offer of a few new houses. To get these houses Skelmersdale’s sport centre had to be demolished.
“At the very least, the Borough Council should be honest with the council taxpayers of Skelmersdale, especially if they are abjectly failing to deliver on their increasingly empty promises.”