Today I had an excellent meeting with Cllr. Ian Grant the Leader of West Lancashire Borough Council. Surprisingly, even though we are Borough neighbours, Ian and I had not had chance to have a long chat about issues of mutual importance before but this meeting proved to be very useful.
As I have posted before Sefton has a bigger boundary with Lancashire than it does with the other Merseyside Councils. We have transportation, health and economic interests that are common so we need to try to break down the artificial barriers created by local government reorganisation in 1974.
What pleased me about today’s informal chat was that Cllr. Grant came over as a practical and determined chap who is quite happy to work with partners for the common good. We discussed a number of things but settled on the railway links between Sefton and West Lancs as being the matter we would most like to take forward. Again, I have posted before about the daft situation where the Ormskirk to Preston railway line crosses the Southport to Wigan line but the curves connecting the two have been taken away. I have worked with OPSTA, West Lancs Council, Sefton, Merseytravel and Lancs County Council for longer than I care to remember to try to get the curves reinstated but 30 years on the problem still remains there for all to see.
What we want is really quite simple, trains from Ormskirk to Southport and Southport to Preston as well as the present Ormskirk to Preston service. To me the project is a ‘no brainer’ as the advantages to communities in Sefton and West Lancs would be significant. If we can try to move this project on and greater co-operation with West Lancs Council helps us get there then let’s do it.