Parliamentary question on regeneration sparks row over 'forgotten' parts of Blackpool

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Blackpool Council has come under fire in Parliament after Blackpool South MP Scott Benton claimed the authority had neglected parts of his constituency.

Mr Benton asked a question in relation to regeneration in the town at Prime Minister’s Question Time.

Referring to the Bond Street and Revoe areas of his constituency, he described them as having been “long forgotten by the Labour led council”.

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Now a feasability study has been carried out in both areas which it is hoped will help attract up to £30m to invest in regeneration schemes.

Waterloo Road is one of the areas in need of regenerationWaterloo Road is one of the areas in need of regeneration
Waterloo Road is one of the areas in need of regeneration

Speaking after PMQs, Mr Benton told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “Bond Street/Waterloo Road and Revoe have been in significant decline for decades and both areas are sadly blighted by a number of empty shops, derelict buildings and social problems.”

He added there had been “no real attempt to attract investment to the area” and said “the Labour-led council for years showed little interest in the area too.”

Mr Benton said: “I made it clear to the council that these areas should be a priority for a Levelling Up Bid and although they weren’t included within those bids, the council have over the last 12 months worked with government agencies to attract money for a feasibility study on regenerating these areas.

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“If this is successful we hope to secure a £30m government package and I’m speaking to ministers in Westminster about this on a weekly basis to try to attract the money. ”

MP Scott BentonMP Scott Benton
MP Scott Benton

Council leader Coun Lynn Williams said the Labour-run authority had been lobbying the government for money for more than 10 years.

Improvements include the Foxhall housing development in Revoe which is due to be completed, a selective licensing scheme to improve private rented housing and tackle anti-social behaviour, and improvements to schools.

Coun Williams said “This is not a picture of neglect and more recently we have been working tirelessly with Homes England and the Department for Levelling Up to produce an even more significant intervention to deliver real change in the area that we hope will attract significant funding and be a long term partnership with Homes England.

“It has taken many years of hard work to reach this position and the levelling up secretary himself has commented to me personally that the council has an excellent plan and that is why he and government wants to support our strategy for the town.”