Following the recent placing of the Lord St conservation area on the at risk register MP John Pugh has criticised Sefton Council for having no coherent plan for the town centre and steamrollering through big out of town developments like the Sainsbury hypermarket at Meols Cop without assessing properly the impact on Lord St where.

The MP has done an audit of Lord St shops which shows the pressure Lord St is under.

“Lord Street used to be famous for its quality, independent stores but of the 167 shops less than half (73) are now retail and 17% (29) are vacant with 11 Charity Shops filling the gap. Sefton is complacently presiding over a real decline in Southport’s most valuable physical asset.

“There is no strategy or vision in place. It was all well and good to have a Halloween festival a couple of weeks back but the danger is that we end up with a ghost town.

“I get no feeling that senior council officers in their Bootle bases are losing any sleep over this problem though I encounter many members of the Southport public with good ideas for Lord St revival.”

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