By Community distributor

MP John Pugh has hit out at Sefton Council’s “supine dependence on consultants” who he claims are seriously compromising council decision making.

He cites as instances the advice Sefton has received on both housing and retail where he says the consultants that Sefton use have clear conflicts of interest.Sefton rely heavily for their projection of housing numbers on a firm called Nathaniel Litchfield whose biggest clients are house builders and on White Young Green for advice on shopping development whose biggest client is…a major supermarket.“This is like asking the wolf to design housing for the little pigs.”

“We are left with consultant reports that suggest huge massive out-of-town developments won’t harm Lord St much and with inflated plans for housing across the borough even though the population is predicted to fall.”

He adds: “Every consultant will claim that there are Chinese Walls between their people advising the council and their other people advising the builders and the big supermarkets – but the naivety of the council here is breathtaking.

“Consulting with the public appears to make no difference to what Sefton propose. External consultants they employ though get total acceptance.”

The MP has submitted a Freedom of Information request to find out how much Sefton has paid the consultants in the last three years.

“My worry is that the council has outsourced its thinking and with the ruling Labour group being heavily whipped, decision making lacks the usual checks, balances and internal critique you would hope for. The Chief Planning Officer has resigned and so far not been replaced”.

Submit News Contact us with your community, business or sport news. Phone 07581350321 or 07930717137