The latest news is on the Rimrose Valley Friends Web site – see link above
Yes at face value Labour-led Sefton Council is upset over the plan by Highways England to build a new road right through the middle of Rimrose Valley Country Park but just hang on a minute how did we get to this point and what has Sefton Council actually done?
Firstly, the cart was put before the horse in that the new River Berth was constructed before the necessary improved freight transport access to it had been in any way determined. Sefton Council knew this as it was involved in planning process for the new dock.
That meant that the organisation that which we elect councillors to (Sefton Council) was well positioned to be able to see what was going to happen and to seek to influence the outcomes. So what has Sefton Council been doing to plan for and more importantly influence the freight transport access issues?
Yes we know that Labour Sefton Councillors want the new road but for it to be in a tunnel. They backed that solution, which as far as I know has never been fully investigated and was not a part of the consultation process recently conducted by Highways England. So a road tunnel was never going to be an outcome of that consultation now was it? Then of course when a tunnel was not selected as the preferred solution, which of course it was never going to be, the Labour Party shouted foul we only want a tunnel and just for good measure they added that it was rejected on cost grounds and that if it had been a highway issue ‘down south’ a tunnel would, despite the cost, have been the solution, or similar words to that effect.
So Labour have the perfect get out – they hide behind the sofa whilst the freight access project is worked up by Highways England, they call for/back a solution which was never seriously on Highways England agenda then they complain when that their preferred solution (the tunnel) is not selected!
What strikes me is that Bootle Labour have not been acting as community leaders here but more as community scapegoaters. As Labour has been running Sefton Council for some years now………. you get my drift.
And the real evidence, or lack of it, is in what Labour have done rather than what they have said. Where was their community-wide high-profile campaign to get Highways England to seriously consider a road tunnel solution?
So whatever Labour-led Sefton Council now says that it wants, which may well be what many folk want to hear, what they have done and indeed not done in the lead up to this situation is actually far more relevant.
My guess is that Labour-led Sefton council has let this situation arise because it suited its purpose. I would further suggest that it knew only too well what the likely outcome of the Highways England consultation process would be.
Sefton Council under Labour is part ofthe problem here not part of the solution to the problem!