Press Release from John Pugh MP
Southport’s Lib Dem MP John Pugh believes Sefton Council has failed Southport and crucially failed to respond to the concerns raised and expressed by the Local Authority Boundary Commission when they last looked at Southport’s position in Sefton.
The MP, who introduced a bill in this parliament to give local people power to request a review of council boundaries, believes that there is a clear need to re-visit the question of whether Southport’s future lies in Sefton.
“Sadly recent events, the closure of libraries, the disappearance of council offices and the lack of democratic debate on important planning matters underline all those problems identified by the Boundary Commission when they last did a review.
They put Sefton on notice but, if anything, things have sadly worsened since then.
Sefton used to be the “push me /pull you” borough with Southport and Bootle as the two centres with different priorities. Now Southport’s priorities are in danger of being totally ignored by a council firmly based in Bootle.
In tourism, in transport,in business its hard to see how Southport’s distinctive voice can be heard if we remain in Sefton.”
Eric Pickles the Secretary of State for Local Government throughout the coalition years has been adamantly opposed to any local government re-organisation. However, John Pugh believes whatever government we have post May will be more responsive to requests for boundary reviews. Devolving real powers to local communities is very much on the agenda following the Scottish referendum.
EDITORIAL NOTE – The 1997 Review urged upon Sefton “‘the encouragement of a culture within Sefton Council which recognises the distinctiveness and importance of Southport ”