Hundreds back Formby, Hightown and Ince Blundell Labour campaign

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson with Labour candidates Catie Page, Diane Roberts and Ben Bentley collecting names for the greenbelt petition in Formby Village.

Hundreds of people put their names to a petition at the weekend to oppose the Conservative-Liberal Democrat government's plans to relax building regulations which will see the destruction of the geenbelt around Formby, Hightown and Ince Blundell.

More than 300 people signed the petition which was launched by the Formby, Ince Blundell and Hightown Labour Action Teams.

Labour activists, greenbelt campaigners and Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson collected signatures in Formby Village.

Formby mum and Ravenmeols Ward Labour candidate Catie Page said she was delighted that people had travelled to the Labour demonstration to sign the petition.

Catie said: "We had queues of people who wanted to add their names to the petition because they oppose the Tory-Lib Dem destruction of our greenbelt here in Formby, Ince Blundell and Hightown.

"We are all united in our opposition to any Tory-Lib Dem plans which will lead to the destruction of our greenbelt."

Labour candidate for Manor Ward, Diane Roberts said people from Hightown and Ince Blundell travelled to sign up to the campaign.

Diane said: "It was very impressive just how many people went out of their way to add their names to our petition.

"The level of support we are getting for our Save the Greenbelt campaign sends a clear message to the Tories and their Lib Dem friends that the people of Sefton will not allow the greenbelt to be destroyed.

"Hightown, Ince Blundell and Formby simply does not have the infrastructure here to cope with any of the planned increase in housing. Our roads can barely cope as it is and we don't have the capacity to cope with the large scale increase in demand on our schools, GP surgeries and more.

"The Tories and Lib Dems have already betrayed people in Sefton with their broken promises. By allowing destruction of the greenbelt, they are betraying people here again."

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson said the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats were opening the door to developers to destroy Sefton and the countryside.

Bill said: "Despite what they are saying locally, the Tories and Liberal Democrats have given the greenlight for the destruction of our greenspaces. They can make a song and dance about it all they like locally, but it is their parties nationally who are doing this.

"It was all too clear in George Osborne's budget that they are relaxing regulations to allow big business speculators and developers to swoop in and take advantage of the new rules, regardless of the opinions of the local community.

"They are relaxing planning regulations which have been in place since 1945. The new rules mean that greenspaces around our villages will no longer be protected which could result in new developments cropping up on greenfield sites throughout Formby, Hightown, Ince Blundell and elswhere in Sefton.

"It was the Labour Party that created the greenbelt and Labour is the only party that will protect it.

"We and all of the people who signed our petition are against this wholesale destruction of our countryside which will in turn devastate our communities.

"I thank everyone who took the time to add their names to our campaign. By working together we will fight to ensure that local people in local communities are heard are heard before any development is considered on any greenspaces in Sefton.

"If the other parties want to consult the public, they need to listen. The hundreds who signed our petition sent a clear and decisive message - Hands off our Greenbelt."

You can still sign the petition. Log onto

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