Sefton residents facing bill of £77,000 due to Southport MP’s objection to Sainsbury’s Meols Cop store

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Southport MP John Pugh has cost Sefton Council taxpayers more than £77,000 in fees so far as a result of his objection to the planned new Sainsbury’s supermarket built on Meols Cop Retail Park.

Sainsbury’s wants to create 400 jobs at the proposed supermarket, as well as a new petrol station that should bring more competition to Southport’s notoriously high fuel prices.

 

As a result of emails seen by Southport Labour that were sent to Ministers by Liberal Democrat John Pugh in the last coalition Government, the planning application for the supermarket is now subject to an ongoing inquiry by the Government’s Planning Inspectorate. This is despite planning permission for the supermarket being previously granted by democratically elected Sefton Council.

 

An information request by a Southport Labour Party member shows that Sefton Council is facing legal and consultancy fees of £63,000 for work carried out so far to prepare for the inquiry, plus an estimated £14,000 in legal and consultancy fees for the three remaining days of the  inquiry that are still to be held.

 

At least seven members of staff from Sefton Council have also had to work on preparing for the inquiry rather than their normal tasks working for the people of Sefton.

Southport Labour Party chair Ray Roberts said: “The objection by John Pugh to the Sainsbury’s supermarket at Kew has already cost Sefton council taxpayers at least £77,000 and this bill looks like it’s going to increase.

“But there might be an additional cost in lost jobs and potentially cheaper petrol prices due to more competition, if the inquiry means Sainsbury’s cannot build the new supermarket. The last thing hard pressed Sefton needs right now is to incur huge costs because of an MP who refuses to accept the democratic decision of the council”

 

 

 

Southport Labour gives full support to the Junior Doctors in their defence of the NHS

IMG_20160112_101429_web.jpgSouthport Labour activists were out showing their support to the NHS junior doctors at Southport Hospital today in a show of solidarity as the BMA dispute with the government continues.

“The Conservative government is trying to force through a contract that undermines the pay and conditions of the junior doctors and threatens patient care” according to Ged Wright speaking on behalf of Southport Labour Party.  “The junior doctors have been left with no alternative but to strike to protect our NHS. They are fighting for our NHS and deserve our support.”  Ged said, “We discussed the industrial action at a packed all members meeting last Friday which gave our unanimous support to them.  We also agreed to support their picket line on Tuesday 12 January outside Southport Hospital.”

Lawrence Duffy, Chair of the Dukes Branch of Southport Labour Party, said, “Our NHS is under threat. Our nation’s health workers are fighting back to defend our health and the future of the NHS.  I’ll be going to their picket line to show my support.  Remember these are the doctors that care for you and your family when you need them most.  Now is the time to show your support for them.”