Politically Correct by Stephen Clarke

Stephen Clarke, Fleetwood Conservatives.
Stephen Clarke, Fleetwood Conservatives.
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Bright future if port takes its opportunities

When I think about Fleetwood and its future I’m often reminded of the phrase, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

When you look at some of the changes occurring, the planned changes, and the changes being campaigned for, each one in isolation may not look significant.

But when added together they form a great opportunity for Fleetwood to have a bright future.

Consultation is currently taking place on a relief road for the congested A585 that will free up Mains Lane, reducing journey times from the North Fylde Coast to the M55. This will be great news for residents and businesses alike.

A frequent complaint by those wishing to invest at the old ICI site was that getting from the M55 to the site took longer than travelling from Manchester Airport to the Kirkham junction.

This held back investment, cutting off job opportunities.

We now have, thanks to our neighbouring MP Paul Maynard’s hard work, both a £50m relief road and an enterprise zone on the former ICI site.

Opportunities also exist in the more traditional industry of fishing. The Government’s support of the Fleetwood Fish Park was a vote of confidence.

Having the fish park post Brexit really is a great opportunity as we take back full control of our fishing waters, we need to be like a coiled spring to seize that moment.

One final opportunity people are campaigning for is the re-instatement of the Isle of Man passenger ferry.

If we can win the argument for the re-introduction of the ferry, I believe it is one further step to opening up the whole of the port to larger ships again.

So, better roads links, favourable investment terms at ICI with an enterprise zone, support for our traditional fishing industry, and the opportunity to bring back a passenger ferry all add up to a greater sum than the individual parts in isolation.

We lobbied for travel card

Only recently I picked up off my door mat a leaflet written by members of the local Labour Party.

I know some politicians believe their job as a councillor is to claim the credit of others, but this blatant attempt at spin was gobsmacking.

To claim that it was the ‘hard’ work of Labour councillors that saw the u-turn in the NoW travel card ban on the tram stretched spin to the extreme.

As a Fleetwood resident who travels around the Fylde coast regularly I have kept my eye on the development of the campaign to re-instate the NoW card on the tram and at no stage did I see those in the leaflet man any barricades.

I didn’t see them voting against their party whip when the ban was introduced.

Nor did I see them at the rally held in April 2014 and organised by our neighbouring Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard.

Nor did I see them speaking up at the public meeting with the Transport Secretary in February 2015.

I also did not see them add any contribution to the debate in Parliament held by Paul Maynard.

Nor did I hear of them lobby the Transport Minister, as Paul Maynard did, which secured additional money for the county council.

In fact the only time I’ve seen them connected with the NoW card tram ban has been when others secured the u-turn that they now say they achieved.

My point has always been that if Labour had wanted NoW Card users to us the tram, then they shouldn’t have made the decision to ban them in the first place.

So if you pick up a leaflet from Labour claiming one thing, believe the opposite as they’re just clinging on to other people’s coat tails.

Stand up for better roads

As the secretary of Fleetwood Conservative Club I spend a lot of time driving around the area and I am constantly shocked at just how bad the roads are in Fleetwood.

They are atrocious, badly maintained, pot-holed, and faded markings.

I just don’t think it’s on, after all we do pay our council tax too and Labour-led Lancashire County Council does have a massive budget and the responsibility to maintain roads, so just what are they doing?

I know many people from around the county probably just think that Fleetwood doesn’t matter, as we are just at the end of a big cul-de-sac, but we do matter and it is about time we had people standing up to the bosses at County Hall in Preston.

Our local councillors here in Fleetwood just seem to be “yes” people and never stand up for us.

You may ask how I’ve come to this conclusion, well, just look at the roads. If our councillors had anything about them, we’d have much better roads.