Council loses the plot over new plan

Coun  Geoff Marsland
Coun Geoff Marsland
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A new blueprint for the future of the district has been approved - even though some Lancaster city councillors didn’t actually read it.

A meeting at Morecambe Town Hall descended into farce as councillors claimed the 400-page Local District Plan was “too complicated”.

But the council still voted to send the plan to the Secretary of State for examination.

The plan includes a new vision for Morecambe’s future, known as the Morecambe Area Action Plan (MAAP).

Independent councillor Geoff Marsland said the report was “the length of a novel” and he “didn’t understand it well enough”.

Coun Janice Hanson, deputy council leader, said: “If you’ve not read it then it’s your fault” at which Coun Marsland replied “I’m not alone.”

Coun Jon Barry of the Green party said: “We were given nine days to read it and I got to page 47.”

Coun Malcolm Thomas, Conservative, said: “People don’t realise that running a council is one of the most complex things you could ever have. Most of us are under qualified to comment.”

But when it came to a vote, councillors agreed by a majority to formally publish the document.

The plan sets planning policies for central Morecambe that welcome private investment in an attempt to draw more people into the town.

There will be one final opportunity for people to comment on the plan before it is examined by a planning inspector and then adopted by the council, scheduled for 2014.