Labour Action Teams make sure your views are heard in battle to

Bill Esterson and Colin Reader


 

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson said he and his Labour colleagues are continuing to ensure that residents' views are taken into account as part of Sefton's Core Strategy.

The Core Strategy consultation was launched in the summer and throughout the discussion period, the Labour Action Teams in Sefton urged residents to have their say.

The Labour teams organised and attended numerous public meetings throughout the borough.

Following the 12 week consultation period for the Core Strategy Options Paper, Sefton Council Planning Committee was presented with an interim report featuring initial results of the consultation findings. These included more than 2,400 individual representations, together with 13 petitions. 

Some of the petitioners also made their own comments so these were also logged as individual representations. Each person who submitted a representation made on average just under 10 separate points. While many people raised similar issues, Sefton Council officers confirmed this week that it will still take a number of weeks to respond in detail to all the comments received.

The detailed response will be the subject of a final report to Sefton Planning Committee at the start of 2012.

Sefton Council's Cabinet will then make a formal decision based on the evidence provided by the studies and by the formal consultation of a Preferred
Option. The Cabinet will also need to approve a number of the key studies in January 2012.

The schedule for the Core Strategy from then is:

· Preferred option consultation - October to December 2012.

· Core Strategy publication draft - Approval by Cabinet - mid 2013.

· Publication and pre-submission consultation - autumn 2013.

· Examination in public - The Core Strategy is required to go for a formal public examination. This will be carried out by a Government appointed inspector - early 2014.

· Adoption - The Core Strategy is required to be formally adopted by the full council – spring 2013.


Bill Esterson said his priority for the Core Strategy is to ensure that members of the public in East Sefton had their voices heard.

Bill said: "Throughout this whole process it has been the Labour Action Team's main aim to ensure that everyone had the chance to contribute and to flag up any community concerns they have.

"Through the various public meetings which we held, we have done that and we now await the result of that consultation.

"We have been working alongside the borough's residents to highlight concerns and issues regarding the Core Strategy to enable council officers to develop a sustainable plan which will enhance existing infrastructure and not deter from quality of life in our communities.

"People are clearly very concerned about this issue which has the potential to radically change our communities forever. 

"I can assure people in Sefton Central that the Labour Action Teams and I will continue to ensure that people in our communities are kept fully informed on this very important issue and that we will continue to ensure that residents have a voice on this and other important issues."

Bill said the Tory-Lib Dem government's changes to planning rules threatens greenbelt and greenspace in Sefton and throughout the country.

Bill said: "The government's draft National Planning Policy Framework is expected to be approved by early 2012. This document raised many concerns about how it would be interpreted and what implications it would have for development. 

"For instance, the Tory-Lib Dem change in emphasis on planning applications to a default 'yes' to development, including on greenbelt and greenspace, has raised many concerns not just from the Labour Party and our local communities, but also the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England and other environmental groups who see these changes as the government opening the door to developers to build where they like.

"The Labour Action Teams are fighting to protect our greenbelt and greenspaces here in Sefton and my Labour colleagues and I in Parliament."