Last week, at a special meeting of Stockport Council, the 26 strong Liberal Democrat Group, led a charge to vote down the latest Greater Manchester Spatial Framework proposals in a nail-biting 26 to 35 votes.
The vote at this second meeting followed the request for an adjournment made by the Conservatives and Labour Groups at an earlier meeting to enable the two parties to seek a compromise that would enable the Tories to vote with Labour, but even after talks the Conservatives found the latest modified proposals still unpalatable.
The proposals supported by Greater Manchester Labour Mayor and the ten leaders of the Greater Manchester Councils have been opposed by Liberal Democrats across the city region, and the Oldham group has also been at the forefront of local efforts to prevent the Labour-backed plan from destroying large parts of our Borough’s Green Belt for housing development.
The Leader of the Opposition and the Liberal Democrat Group, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, said on hearing the latest news: “I congratulate my Stockport Liberal Democrat colleagues in defeating the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework. This certainly represents a significant blow to the Labour-backed Green Belt homes plan.”
Councillor Sykes hopes that this set-back will represent a wake-up call to Oldham’s Labour Administration: “It is clear that wherever you go in Oldham and Saddleworth the public is against this plan – they do not want to see any part of their green spaces built upon.”
“This is the wrong plan at the wrong time and the proposals are now in tatters,“ he added. “I hope that Labour in Oldham will now take time to think again and deliver everyone a real Christmas present by revising their own plans.”