‘Smack in the face for peo­ple of West Lancs’

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page -

WEST Lan­cashire MP Rosie Cooper has hit out at the Con­ser­va­tive Party and event or­gan­is­ers who chose not to recog­nise West Lan­cashire as part of Lan­cashire Day cel­e­bra­tions in Par­lia­ment.

The event ti­tled “Taste Lan­cashire” and spon­sored by key Govern­ment Whip and Pen­dle MP An­drew Stephen­son had no busi­ness rep­re­sen­ta­tion from West Lan­cashire.

Ms Cooper hit out, say­ing that the Tories con­tin­ued to ig­nore ar­eas like West Lan­cashire when pro­mot­ing Lan­cashire and the North­ern Pow­er­house.

West Lan­cashire MP Rosie Cooper said: “This is ex­tremely dis­ap­point­ing and an­other smack in the face for the peo­ple of West Lan­cashire who are suf­fer­ing from Tory cuts to ba­sic pub­lic ser­vices, and we’re not even deemed wor­thy of an in­vite to a Lan­cashire Day event held in par­lia­ment.

“With the name of the event ‘Taste Lan­cashire’, I could have put Mr Stephen­son in touch with many bud­ding and suc­cess­ful West Lan­cashire busi­nesses who I am sure would have loved the op­por­tu­nity to take part; only re­cently I met with Soupreme Foods.

“The Con­ser­va­tive North­ern Pow­er­house con­cept once again com­pletely by­passes West Lan­cashire, as ini­tially did the Lan­cashire En­ter­prise Part­ner­ship (LEP) and its arc of pros­per­ity.

“It’s taken a lot of work to im­prove the re­la­tion­ship with the LEP but it seems like West Lan­cashire has a lot of work to do to be con­sid­ered and in­cluded as an in­te­gral part of Lan­cashire by the cur­rent regime.

“We had a re­ally in­clu­sive event some years ago when MPs were in­cluded and asked to nom­i­nate busi­nesses from their con­stituency but sadly not this time.”

When chal­lenged by Ms Cooper, Mr Stephen­son pointed to his own is­sues in East Lan­cashire and said that he was strug­gling to en­gage with Lan­cashire County Coun­cil and the LEP. Mr Stephen­son also said that the or­gan­is­ers had con­tacted named busi­nesses but they were not in the West Lan­cashire con­stituency, and one was based in Greater Manch­ester. M s Cooper said: “Un­for­tu­nately, it seems the or­gan­is­ers don’t have a clear grasp of county, bor­ough or con­stituency bound­aries. “A walk through Shev­ing­ton vil­lage, across the M6 and around Gathurst Golf Course to get to West Lan­cashire is more than just “lit­er­ally a few steps” from West Lan­cashire. “Rather than try and make ex­cuses, I would much pre­fer if the or­gan­is­ers re­searched a lit­tle more and found a wider range of busi­nesses from across the county and in­cluded gen­uine West Lan­cashire busi­nesses.

“They could have done this via the MPs.

“I reg­u­larly nom­i­nate for Pub of the Year, Hot­ter Shoes were short­listed for a CSR award in par­lia­ment which I nom­i­nated them for, there are three short­listed from West Lan­cashire for the Film the House Awards this year, and I’ve even had a West Lan­cashire brewer in the House of Com­mons bar with their draught ale.

“So the anger is twofold at this clear omis­sion of West Lan­cashire, but is in­dica­tive of the wider is­sues we have in be­ing in­cluded in any­thing, be it a sim­ple Lan­cashire Day cel­e­bra­tion right up to road and in­fra­struc­ture investment and it would be re­miss of me not to make this point very loud and clear to those at the highest lev­els in the county.

“I have urged Mr Stephen­son to think fur­ther afield and in­clude all four cor­ners of Lan­cashire in fu­ture en­deav­ours to pro­mote our county.”

West Lan­cashire MP Rosie Cooper

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