By Tom Duffy

Thursday’s Sefton Council meeting at Bootle Town Hall saw the controversial Local Plan coming up for discussion.

Despite the presence of a large group of environmental campaigners present, and three excellent petitions being presented, Sefton’s ruling Labour councillors ignored the public and voted through their Local Plan which puts acres of high grade agricultural land and Green Belt under concrete.

However, in turn, those Labour councillors due to seek re-election in May were presented with a message saying ‘Sacked in May’ by the campaigners.

Among opposition councillors speaking against the Local Plan was Formby Independent (FRAGOFF) councillor Maria Bennett who sensationally snatched Ravenmeols Ward from Labour in May 2014.  To widespread support from the public she told Labour: “You should be representing what your community wants, and this is what you have all forgotten.”

Lib Dem councillors voiced their concerns, with Ainsdale’s Cllr Haydn Preece complaining about the treatment of the Ainsdale High School site, where he said there had been no consultation before the bulldozers rolled in and demolished the former sports hall.

Norwood’s Cllr Marianne Walsh warned that her area faced some of the biggest developments and raised concerns that infrastructure issues have not been properly looked at.

The Lib Dem councillors, two Independents and the small Tory Group all voted against the proposal, but the Labour block ensured that the Local Plan was passed by 38 to 20.

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