Time for Bill Esterson to condemn his councillors for voting to build on Sefton’s Green Belt?

Environmental campaigners across the Sefton Central Constituency and indeed even I as a political opponent of the incumbent Labour MP Bill Esterson have praised his brave move prior to Christmas in attacking the poor Local Plan that Labour-led Sefton Council has been forcing through.

That the plan is poor is a massive understatement, that it is an environmental disaster is nearer to the point. What with some of the 2% highest grade agricultural land in England going to be built upon in Sefton Central no wonder environmental campaigners, the Lib Dems and indeed our Labour MP have been up in arms.

So Bill was right to attack the plan as indeed was the Lib Dem MP for Southport – John Pugh. But, unlike the Lib Dems who have been wholly consistent in their approach to the Local Plan, Labour has been all over the place. Yes, Bill Esterson has been consistent in saying that Green Belt should be protected from development, but his Labour Sefton Council colleagues have not been. They started off by seemingly agreeing with him that the Green Belt should be protected only to U turn later in the process and vote for building on it. Bill must have felt very let down, as indeed we all were.

But now we face elections both local and national on 7th May and it seems to be an appropriate time for Bill to stand aside from his councillors who backed away from following his principled lead. For both the MP and his councillors to be campaigning together is at best incongruous and at worst ridiculous in my view. Time for Bill not only to show his anger at his Labour colleagues behind doors (which surely he must have done?) but to come out and do so in public.

Will Bill appear on the same leaflets as those Labour councillors who ignored his concerns? Well yes it seems he will as there is one doing the rounds in Sudell ward, Maghull right now. Don’t you think this is how politics gets a bad name? Bill you disappoint me.

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