West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has rejected Lancashire proposals to merge West Lancashire with Preston.
As part of moves by Lancashire County Council Leader Cllr Geoff Driver to progress a local government reorganisation across Lancashire, it is proposed that West Lancashire join a Central Lancashire Unitary Authority to include Preston, alongside Chorley and South Ribble.
MP Rosie raised her deep concerns about any geographical arrangement which would include Preston, fearing its huge draw on any resources and West Lancashire again being left behind, as it currently is as part of Lancashire County.
Rosie Cooper MP has made her views very clear to Cllr Driver, and has also written to the Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick. She said:
“I agree that the current structure of local government here in Lancashire and West Lancashire is most certainly underperforming and failing my West Lancashire constituents, so I absolutely support the view that some reorganisation is necessary, but this can not and must not be at the expense of local decision making, local views and local services.
“Any local government reorganisation for West Lancashire which would lead to any joining or merging with Preston would not have my support or that of my West Lancashire constituents, indeed it has my outright objection.
“Leaders of West Lancashire, Chorley and South Ribble have written to the Secretary of State stating their intention to support work to develop a business case on this footprint, this is something I could consider more positively as I would the inclusion of Southport in a future plan.
“Whatever the outcome, I will continue to fight for West Lancashire constituents to be provided with a service they deserve as council taxpayers and that their issues and concerns are the top priority.”