To see the pain of the faces of Labour campaigners and councillors when Maria Bennett took a seat on Sefton Council in Formby last May was a delight. You see, in my opinion, Labour had bet on yet another ‘yes’ person being elected under their banner to do the bidding of Bootle Labour Party. But it was not to be as Formby rose up to defend its Green Belt and high grade agricultural land from Labour’s attacks on it and independent Maria stormed to victory.
Now I have got that little rant off my chest this is why I am posting this particular blog piece. As the latest consultation period has come to an end on the notorious Sefton Local Plan Maria’s hard hitting and well informed FRAGOFF group has produced a very interesting fact and it is this (I quote directly from FRAGOFF’s submission to Sefton Council on the ‘additional sites’ consultation):-
‘We would like to point out that since the Draft Local Plan was submitted for consultation the 2012-based Subnational Population Projections have been released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). These figures suggest that the 2010 data used to inform that Draft Local Plan has significantly over estimated the increase in population in Sefton over the designated time span. We would therefore now expect sites to be withdrawn from development and suggest that we should not be considering any additional sites until a new evaluation is made based on the most up to date figures.’
This really is one of those told you so moments as both FRAGOFF and the Lib Dems questioned in detail the robustness of the projected population growth figures when the draft was being put together and we were effectively ignored.
It will be interesting to see what happens next because you can bet that Labour will soon be claiming black is white and that they never supported the figures that they backed when they voted for the Draft Local Plan!