Labour is in the dock over their Green Belt building plan, as we saw only too well in their by-election losses of last Thursday, but when they won control of Maghull Town Council in May 2011 they knew this juggernaut was hurtling towards them, yet they did nothing.
If the Council had remained Lib Dem run the clear plan was to launch another campaign to save the local Green Belt around the Town just as had been successfully done in 1998. But Labour did nothing; they did not even make a submission to Sefton Council in the summer of 2011 in defence of the Green Belt when all the other parish councils in the Borough did.
Why did the Town Council offer no leadership? Where was the Town Council when in 2011 the community was saying just what it did in 1998 – No Green Belt building?
What Labour doesn’t seem to be able to grasp is that they are running the Council that represents the people of Maghull and it is not just another committee of Sefton Central Labour Party. It is their responsibility to stand up for the Town against all-comers. Just because Labour also happens to run Sefton Council does not mean that they have to agree with what Bootle Town Hall does or indeed tells them to do! Just because Peter Dowd, the Labour Leader of Sefton, also sits on Maghull Town Council does not mean they can’t challenge him; surely they should be challenging him if his policies do not fit with what Maghull folk want to see happening.
When I was Leader of Sefton Council I wanted and indeed saw strong independently minded Parish and Town Councils robustly promoting and defending their communities. I did not ask for nor did I want them to sit back and say ‘OK Big Brother Sefton we will stay quiet or do your bidding’.
When Peter Dowd and indeed his two fellow Bootle Labour Sefton Cabinet member colleagues attend a Maghull Town Council meeting their only interest is the people and town of Maghull. Why else would they have stood to be elected to Maghull Town Council in 2011 but to put Maghull first?
Sadly, Maghull has been let down by Labour because they have not stood up for the Town against Sefton Council and this sit back and watch stance has led to Sefton thinking Maghull is not bothered. On that basis it is no surprise that Sefton Council has proposed the biggest Green Belt housing development for Maghull!