Wyre ‘losing out’ on help

Councillors, including Don MacNaughton are concerned that schemes like the Poulton to Fleetwood rail line appear to have been ignored in favour of east Lancashire schemes.
Councillors, including Don MacNaughton are concerned that schemes like the Poulton to Fleetwood rail line appear to have been ignored in favour of east Lancashire schemes.
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Disadvantaged Wyre towns are losing out on much needed funding to areas of east Lancashire, community leaders claimed today.

The new Labour and Lib Dem coalition leadership at Lancashire County Council has signed an agreement to concentrate resources on improving towns in the east of the county.

But there is no mention of Wyre towns such as Fleetwood and Thornton in the agreement, which was signed as part of the deal for the two groups to work together following May’s county election.

And as part of that agreement, the precise details of which have not yet been revealed, the county council has pledged to discuss re-opening the Skipton to Colne railway, leaving campaigners here disappointed there has been “no mention” of the Poulton to Fleetwood line.

The move has led Wyre Couns Don MacNaughton, Julie Newsham and Ron Greenhough to submit a notice of motion against the agreement at the last full council meeting.

Coun MacNaughton said: “I got a copy of this agreement and when I looked through it I thought, ‘What about Fleetwood and Thornton?’

“They are areas which are in dire need of money being pumped into them and we decided we would table this notice of motion.”

He added: “Colne already has a railway and is connected to Preston while the population of Fleetwood is a third more than Colne.”

Coun Julie Newsham added: “We need to get our county councillors in Fleetwood to get some more funding and we just don’t want to be by-passed.

“I would absolutely want to see money brought forward for the railway and the building of a dual carriageway which we’ve needed for a number of years.”

Lancashire County Council’s Labour group reached an agreement with the Liberal Democrats when no party gained the 43 seats necessary to take control of the council following the elections on May 2.

A spokesman for the county council said leader Jennifer Mein would write to Wyre leader Peter Gibson about the matter in due course.

Speaking when the agreement was announced, county councillor Bill Winlow, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said: “I am very pleased with this agreement.

“It is very good for the people of Lancashire and will provide a green, fair and strong economy for our county.

“We are looking to protect front-line services at a time of major budget reductions.”

“We will work hard to reduce duplication in service provision and to share services with other districts and counties.”

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