Rosie Cooper MP

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Rosie Cooper MP speaks in Parliament about challenges facing new towns

Last week West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper spoke in Parliament about the challenges designated New Towns face.

The debate took place in Westminster Hall on 12 July and was raised by fellow MP, Lucy Allan.

MP Rosie spoke about the town centre, transport facilities, educational establishments, and housing and infrastructure in Skelmersdale.

She also mentioned some of the problems trying to get government action on the Burscough Curves – despite Government Ministers’ promises during the General Election.

MP Rosie looked at decisions by Borough and County Councils, private commercial companies, and national governments which have failed to capitalise on the town’s potential.

During the debate, the West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said:

“We have a shopping centre that pretends to be the town centre, but it is just a building. When the local council attempted to build a genuine town centre and a modern high street, the owners of the Concourse took out High Court injunctions and made appeals to block it.

“Although Skelmersdale became a designated New Town in 1961 and a bright new future was projected, its tracks were pulled up and its train line was shut two years later. It is a town failed by a lack of foresight and that is desperately fighting to get a railway station

“The Secretary of State for Transport visited during the general election campaign and told my constituents that bringing back the Burscough Curves would be a quick win. I am still waiting for that announcement.”

Speaking after the debate, Rosie Cooper MP did acknowledge the good news that Skelmersdale has received over the last 18 months:

“We have had positive updates on the town centre, movement on the railway, some progress on bus routes, and a multi-million pound business investment.

“I’m realistic about progress but what we need is action beginning now with work on a new town centre, not words describing another vision.”

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