We must play greater role in the region’s economy

Coun Peter Gibson
Coun Peter Gibson

The leader of Wyre Council has called for the county council to play a greater role in the north west economy.

Peter Gibson said the “massive potential” of the county had been overlooked by successive governments and urged other leaders in Greater Manchester and Merseyside to ensure they spoke up for the entire region

The councillor, a board member of the county’s Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), has written to Manchester Council leader Sir Richard Leese calling on him to throw the spotlight on Lancashire.

It follows comments by Sir Richard, who chairs the North West Regional Leader Board, calling on the region to “stand together” when bidding into European cash pots.

Coun Gibson said: “You say the North West has historically done well from European Union funding does not resound well with many Lancashire authorities.

“In Wyre, for example, we have had some funding but very little and certainly not had enough to unlock the massive potential of our area.

“It is a bone of contention for district authorities that small amounts can transform some areas whilst in larger metropolitan areas it would do no more than fund a feasibility study.

“Governments tend to be concentrate on inputs; however districts in Lancashire are better at delivering and prioritising outputs.”

He accused “successive Governments of whatever colour” and civil servants in Whitehall of overlooking Lancashire adding: “If our national Government does not know were Lancashire is then it needs a stretch of the imagination to believe that the EU does.”