We’ve heard the term “Brexit”, coined for the campaign for Britain to exit the EU.
Now there is FLEXIT - Fleetwood Becomes It’s Own Borough Again.
This new Facebook group, launched at 4pm on Saturday by Fleetwood man David Scrivener, had attracted over 3,800 supporters by Monday and has been growing since.
The 55-year-old Fleetwood father-of-three started the campaign because he felt the town’s views were not being taken into account by Wyre Council.
Fleetwood once had its own borough council, but in 1974 a huge reorganisation of local authorities and county boundaries saw Fleetwood become part of Wyre.
And many residents in the port have complained since then that the town has lost its say in many key areas - a microcosm of what some people think is happening in the EU.
Mr Scrivener, a process shift team worker at Springfield Fuels Ltd, said: “In an ideal world I would love to see Fleetwood get its own borough status again. Perhaps that is unlikely to happen in the current climate but there is a serious point.
“Fleetwood is the biggest town in Wyre and no doubt contributes more to Wyre’s coffers but our councillors get outvoted because they’re in the political minority. Fleetwood is a great town with a proud history but a lot of people feel frustrated that we get dumped on.
“So I set up the Facebook page. I only expected to get a couple of hundred people joining in, even though I know how a lot of Fleetwood people feel. To get nearly 4,000 in just a couple of days has been amazing.”
Mr Scrivener was inspired to set up the page by the strong objection of Fleetwood people to plans to build flats on the seafront.
He fears that if proposals to build the flats on the former Fleetwood Pier site get planning permission, it could encourage other developers to come forward with similar plans and block off the unspoilt sea front.
However, Coun Peter Gibson, speaking as leader of Wyre Conservative group, disagreed.
He said: “Millions have been invested in Fleetwood as a direct result of Wyre Council - at Rosssall Point, the Five For Fleetwood, The Mount, Copse Road and the Memorial Park. The town’s Labour councillors might like to put the message across of Fleetwood losing out, for political reasons so they will get re-elected. Regarding the flats on Fleetwood Pier, even if they were given the go ahead, there is not such thing as precedence in planning law – every case is dealt with purely on its own merit and it wouldn’t open any floodgates.
“All towns feel the same way – Fleetwood councillors vote on Garstang issues and vice versa.”
But support for Mr Scrivener came from Coun Terry Rogers, speaking as a Fleetwood Town Council member.
He said: “I agree with the sentiments and hope that Wyre Council gets the message,” And Coun Emma Anderton, a Fleetwood Labour councillor on Wyre and also a town councillor, said: “It is frustrating to be constantly out-voted, no matter how strong our argument.”