West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper is calling on West Lancashire Borough Council and St Modwen to give Skelmersdale residents a Christmas present -; news of the new town centre.
MP Rosie has supported a new town centre for Skelmersdale since in 2005 ‘Skemersdale Vision’ was launched.
Throughout the ups and downs of the project, Rosie has always campaigned for and supported the scheme, even opposing the Tesco Kirkby development, resisted the Council wanting to pause the contract and then the delays caused by the Judicial Reviews from the Concourse.
Residents can’t understand why, now the legal obstacles have been overcome, there are no announcements from the Council and St Modwen and feel that despite the Council giving St Modwen exclusive rights for fifteen years to develop the town centre in 2007, there is nothing to show for it.
Astonishingly, Skelmersdale is yet to see its first digger kickstarting the new development, which is due to bring fresh retail opportunities and a night time economy to the town, while St Modwen announce plans to start work in nearby areas including Kirkby but not in Skelmersdale.
Rosie Cooper MP has written to the West Lancashire Borough Council Chief Executive Kim Webber asking why the delay and when plans to begin the work will be announced.
Rosie is pleased that the Council has reaffirmed its commitment to delivering the town centre regeneration, but is disappointed that they have yet to give any timescale whatsoever.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said:
“It is imperative we get a move on especially as in recent weeks, Skelmersdale has seen the announcement of the Natwest branch closure, GE Oil & Gas potentially set to make up to 90 redundancies and solicitors Scott Rees moving 200 jobs to Newton-le-Willows.
“What I’m seeking is a date when the work on the new town centre will begin, that is the least that Skelmersdale residents deserve after ten years of waiting or an immediate full disclosure of what the problems are? Is it financial viability or commercial interests?
“The lack of a full explanation puts serious question marks over whether we will see the Council and St Modwen proceed with the town centre regeneration at all, which would be a disastrous scenario for Skelmersdale and West Lancashire.
“If St Modwen can’t deliver a scheme, after 10 years, it’s time for them to go!”