What a sad day for Morecambe recently when Lancaster City Council passed the Morecambe Area Action Plan.
Yet again the city has sold its poor relation down the river.
I’m at a loss to see what part of this ‘plan’ warrants the use of the noun ‘action’, it is a visionless, ambitionless lump of candy floss – big and fluffy but absolutely no substance.
Our council officers consider regeneration to be relaying some pavements, correcting their past mistakes on car parks and other planning errors (by their own admission), putting new signs up (to what, no-one seems sure) and other trifling bits that should all be done as a matter of course, it’s what we pay out taxes for.
Instead they package it up and trumpet it as ‘regeneration’ like they are doing us a favour. They say they hope that investors will notice and be excited enough to pour money into the town, when the fact is this is a vacuous 20 year plan. I doubt if even the residents of Morecambe will notice the changes.
Any other town with a £123 million link to the country’s main motorway artery being built would be out there selling the place and hustling like mad for the development millions that are still available.
Our lot sanction the demolition of more key hotels in favour of more retirement flats and continue to turn a seaside resort with massive potential into a social housing suburb of Lancaster.
Blackpool councillors even cite Morecambe as a warning of what might happen to them if they are not careful.
Whilst senior council officers sit there drawing their huge salaries waiting for their generous index-linked pensions to kick in, a very high percentage of Morecambe residents are listed by the county council as ‘low income’, ‘elderly’ and ‘young people starting out’, This ‘plan’ holds nothing for them.
We have councillors in seats who have been there since the 1960s and 70s, people who have presided over the decline of the resort for decades, and are still there, fiddling like Nero while Rome burns. That large parts of Morecambe should be designated as deprived is an absolute travesty.
Compare the plans for Morecambe to the dynamic ongoing plans for Lancaster and you will clearly see where their priorities lie – south of the river.