Preston Vision Board Split Over Ribble Barrage?
David Borrow MP, A prominent member of the Preston City Vision Board, and former leader of Preston City Council has strongly criticised the council's handling of the Riverworks Project and said "The brakes need to be applied" to the Barrage and Housing elements of the plans - "and proper joint working put in place".
He makes very angry statements about the way Preston City Council has ignored the views of his South Ribble constituents:
The ex-Preston Council leader said the authority had shown "complete disregard" for the views of people in South Ribble, despite Penwortham river banks believed to be targets for a major housing development under the scheme.
He has written a very strongly worded letter to Preston City Council saying
I will not allow the views of my constituents to be ignored and South Ribble Council to be treated like a small parish council.
There are many councillors on Preston City Council too who are equally unhappy about the lack of consultation and democratic accountability that they are currently getting from Preston City Council and the Vision Board - as are a number of Parish Councils!
Some may find Mr Borrow's words surprising, as it was the Preston City Vision Board - of which he is a member - that came up with the Barrage idea in the first place.
Save The Ribble warmly applauds Mr Borrow's statements, if Mr Borrow has now realised that his loyalties must be to the voters of South Ribble, who are overwhelmingly opposed to the barrage and the accompanying housing scheme, rather than to his colleagues on the unelected Vision Board, that is only to be welcomed.
Yet Mr. Borrow needs to make sure he fully represents his residents' views rather than simply concentrating on urging Preston City Council to consult South Ribble Borough Council since it is clear that most South Ribble residents are opposed to the barrage and the Floodplain building developments and do not want them under any circumstances...
It is also the case that a number of other communities along the Ribble will be equally affected by a Ribble barrage:
Fylde residents and their MP Michael Jack have made their own concerns very clear, but Fylde, Sefton and West Lancashire residents MUST ALSO BE FULLY CONSULTED, along with South Ribble and Preston communities.
SAVE THE RIBBLE ASKS:
Why is Preston City Council also ignoring its OWN residents on the issue?
Does Mr. Borrow actually think a Ribble barrage would be a good idea - if it was undertaken through 'joint working' with South Ribble Borough Council?
Why is Preston MP Mark Hendrick silent on the matter...?
Why is Preston City Council insisting on wasting public money by keeping the barrage and floodplain housing ideas in the feasiblity study into Riverworks, when they are opposed by 74% of local people, when few - if any - councillors can be found to speak up for them, and when even members of the Vision Board itself are now dissenting on the issue?
I asked leading Vision Board member Jeremy Gorick "Have you anything to say about your mate Dave Borrow's remarks in yesterday's LEP?"
Mmmmm...unlike David Borrow I will raise the matter directly with him and give him the chance to explain his reasoning before commenting if at all in public. Suffice to say he gave no indication in Board meetings of any of the views expressed in his letter.
(Anyone detect a slight hint of annoyance in this terse reply???)