Sefton’s Green Belt – A straight forward and powerful point of view

Last week I received an e-mail from a Maghull resident who, as you can read below, is utterly frustrated by the position that has been adopted over building on Sefton’s Green Belt by our local rulers. As a critique of the bizarre situation that our rulers are putting Sefton residents in it is well worth a read:-

There has been much said in print and e-mails written in connection with the Local Plan and often conflicting answers given, so I would be grateful of your honest answers to the situation as I see it.
The facts are as follows;
1) We all agree there has to be a Local Plan and this has never been up for debate or voted on. It is a statutory obligation.
2)At the draft meeting of the full council at Souhport, option 1, brownfield only, was defeated and option 2, to build on brownfield and greenbelt was passed only because all Labour councillors, who attended, voted for option 2, whilst every other councillor who attended voted against building on greenbelt and wanted option 1. I was there. Therefore to say Labour will defend our greenbelt it’s the Lib Dems who wish to build on it is totally untrue.
3)To arrive at the figure of 10,700 houses required, out of date figures were used and since then for example, the O.N.S. [Office for National Statistics] population projections not only confirm that Sefton has an aging and declining population but they predict a mere increase in population of 5,000 people in the 16 years from 2015to 2031.

The average household size has declined from 2.8 in 1981 to 2.3 in 2011, so if we assume a further reduction to 2.0 for the time of the plan, until the new figures are available we only need 2,500 houses to 2031. The council say we have enough brownfield sites for 5,350, leaving 2,850 brownfield sites available to cover other eventualities like backlog etc. More than double the requirement to cover the population increase. Despite this we still have councillors from Sefton East saying they support option2.

If I was a local Labour supporter, or for that matter the Labour M.P. I would be tearing my hair out in frustration as to why my councillors and colleagues are hell-bent on committing electoral suicide for no obvious reason. Just so we can have thousands of unneeded houses built on greenbelt land alongside normal empty houses causing house prices to plummet, because let me assure you that the people of east Sefton are disgusted with their councillors and are ready to make their feelings known at the ballot box, and the most vociferous of these are Labour supporters or should I say EX Labour supporters.

Please do not tell me the answer is to elect a Labour government because Ed Miliband wants to build even more houses 1 million between 2015and2020 and Councillor Dowd cannot wait to get the developers on track ( Crosby Herald October 2013 ).

As we are approaching the season of goodwill, may I respectfully suggest that our local Labour councillors sit back and think and put as their first new years resolution, “I must be more like that young Liverpool Councillor from Wavertree who actually thought it was a councillors job to represent the people of my ward”

There is enough stress in this world without having to fight the people you pay to fight for you.