Prestwich Labour put record straight over Lib Dem lies over A56
Prestwich residents to have their say about Bury New Road improvements
The local paper has seemed determined recently to run with a story that gives the impression that it is all cut and dried regarding the £500,000 funding made available by Bury Council for improvement to the A56 running through Prestwich.
Likewise, Prestwich’s last two remaining Liberal Democrat councillors have been spinning a similar misleading tale – I can just predict the cover of their next pre-election leaflet now.
The original front page story two weeks ago was based on an internal presentation that was mysteriously leaked to the press. This was an early working draft – and the Guide has picked out the two lane option from one slide out of the 16 slides that the Group considered…and this slide did nothing more than recap the options developed back in 2010 when the Tories ran the Council!
The Guide, along with Lib Dem councillors, is trying to jump the gun. So let me state again, clearly, that Prestwich residents and businesses will be fully consulted.
Work is now being done on the detail by council officers and some of the Prestwich Regeneration Group members. I say some of the Group because Councillor Tim Pickstone does not bother to attend this group, and Councillor Donal O’Hanlon’s attendance is poor – in fact he arrived so late to the last meeting that he missed the entire presentation and discussion about the road.
None of the suggestions they both raised in last week’s article have ever been brought by them to this group. It’s easy to go to the press, much harder to put the work in, as other members of the group have done for over 12 months to work on a vision for Prestwich.
Do you remember that the Lib Dems ran the Council with the Tories during the time that the original Love Prestwich report was written? This is the same party that has let this report gather dust for years. An ex Lib Dem councillor was paid an allowance to sit on Transport for Greater Manchester (who are likely to match the £500,000 funding). Did they ever, back then, make a case to bring £1m into Prestwich for road improvements? No prizes for guessing the answer!
Consultation will take place in June and July, and there will be a chance for everyone to have their say. Prestwich Labour has no plans to discuss any options or detail until that time, because we want the public to have the full facts first.
It is regretful that the quote the Guide asked me for last week was not printed in full as I was led to believe it would be. This would have made clear Bury Council’s commitment to full consultation on options for Bury New Road improvements. We want to take into account the needs of local businesses, residents and commuters, and make the most of this opportunity to make a difference.
This funding is really good news for Prestwich, and for Bury as a whole. No actions to implement this report were ever taken by the previous Tory/Lib Dem administration. These improvements are happening because the Labour Group saw they were needed, even at a time of huge Government cuts to council services. I want this investment to be about Prestwich, by Prestwich and for Prestwich.
Councillor Jane Black
St Mary’s Ward
Prestwich Regeneration Group