Don’t forget us, council tells Powerhouse MP
HYNDBURN council will urge the Northern Powerhouse minister to support major infrastructure developments that will have a ‘positive impact on residents’.
Councillors have supported a motion calling for the expansion of the M66 and A56 to help reduce congestion and the expansion of the Metrolink into Hyndburn and Rossendale.
Great Harwood councillor Noordad Aziz has accused Jake Berry, who is MP for the neighbouring Rossendale and Darwen constituency, of ‘forgetting about us’ and claims ‘we are getting left behind’.
Proposing the motion at Hyndburn’s full council meeting, he called on the Northern Powerhouse minister to show ‘blatant support’ for the infrastructure improvements along with direct rail links from East Lancashire to Manchester Airport, the re-establishment of the Skipton to Colne Rail Link, and extending the M65 into Yorkshire.
Speaking at the meeting, Coun Aziz said: “The benefits of the above infrastructure investment schemes to the whole of the region would be considerable.
“East Lancashire communities are among the most deprived in the UK and improved transport links would provide improved infrastructure for business.
“Jake Berry is the Northern Powerhouse Minister.
“He’s been in places like Sunderland and Whitehaven but whatabout right here on his own doorstep?
“Why are we getting left behind?
“We need to work as a collective and shout for the infrastructure and development because I think we can make a change. It is about shouting loudly.”
Coun Aziz said he had written to Mr Berry four times but had yet to receive a response.
Conservative group leader Councillor Tony Dobson said they would support the motion but said Mr Berry is ‘very much aware’ of the issues.
He told the meeting: “We were at an event with Jake Berry last week and had a conversation about his new role in government and all the different projects that we’ve spoken about.
“He is very much aware of it.
“But I think as all councils will know the projects that we are looking to push are not ‘here today’ kind of projects.
“They need a lot of planning and organisation. But the Conservative group will be supporting the motion.”
Great Harwood councillor Noordad Aziz led the call for local infrastructure improvements