• Mary Breakell

Newsbrief 92 Ellel By Election

CLOUD Newsbrief No 92 : 2nd May 2022

Ellel Ward By-election 19th May : Lancaster City Council

DO SHARE THIS IF YOU HAVE FRIENDS IN ELLEL WARD

As CLOUD members in Ellel ward are probably already aware, there is going to be a by-election in the ward on Thursday 19th May. This is due to the failure of one of the 2 existing Ellel councillors to attend any Council meetings for over 6 months. Council rules state that this dereliction of duty leads to the councillor in question being removed from the Council and a by-election held to choose his successor.

As with the last by-election (University ward in 2021), the CLOUD Management Committee has asked all 4 candidates standing in the Ellel by-election for a statement of their views on the key issue for CLOUD - proposed developments in south Lancaster including Bailrigg Garden Village . This is the question we put to the candidates, together with their responses (set out by Party in alphabetical order).


What are your views of the financial and environmental risks associated with the development plans for South Lancaster and the 9185 houses linked to the £140m Housing Infrastructure Fund agreement signed by Lancaster City Council in autumn 2021?


Conservative Party candidate : Janet Walton

Having listened to the City Council’s Zoom on this subject it sounded like Disney version of Utopia

I will be surprised if it comes close to reality

They ( council) need feet held to the fire re max numbers, height and density.

Getting a clear answer on any of this was avoided

As for possibility of 9000+ houses, unthinkable

That would cover whole area between hospital and Galgate with housing.


Green Party candidate : Sally Maddocks

Like many Ellel residents I am very concerned about the BGV.


It will be environmentally disastrous. I am horrified at the scale of the proposal on ancient woodlands , wildlife, birds, wild flowers and all the insect life that keep this planet alive .


There is no evidence of housing need on such a massive scale in this area. Who is going to buy the houses to populate a new town ?


The new bypass concerns me because I believe it will increase surface water flooding in Galgate.


It is reckless because it is risky for council taxpayers who will have to meet the shortfall between government funding available and the actual cost of the infrastructure to support such a large development.


I find the proposal to meet the shortfall by a roof tax from developers to be speculative and I am uncomfortable with the idea as it will be difficult to quantify and control.


BGV is not backed by evidence of need and is fundamentally flawed in its conception because it is controlled and shaped by the funding available .


I think we can and must do better for the residents of Ellel and promise to oppose the BGV along each and every future stage of its development and instead push for a north park and ride as a solution to traffic through Galgate.


Labour Party candidate : Lisa Corkerry

“My greatest concern around the new housing provision in South Lancaster is its environmental impacts.

The figure of 9000 houses has been widely quoted, but this applies to the maximum the new infrastructure (shops, GP surgery, new schools, bus, and cycle routes) could support.

However, the South Lancaster plan brings opportunities like a Galgate bypass to improve air quality, better bus routes and cycling (with a long-term impact on reducing carbon) and proper flood protection. I will be pushing for houses to be built to the highest environmental standards.

I will work hard to ensure everyone’s concerns are addressed.


Lib Dem candidate : Robert Fildes


The proposal to build 9000+ houses in South Lancaster will have a dramatic impact on the City and its residents. There is little justification in terms of needed housing. Its negative consequences are all too clear: degraded local services such as schools and health, and increased traffic. Even the improvements from an upgraded motorway junction come at a serious cost: they are wholly incompatible with combatting climate change. And the residents of Lancaster face financial risk from the development. As a Liberal Democrat committed to community involvement and environmental protection, the development should be rethought and downscaled.



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We are sending this Newsbrief to all CLOUD members, whether resident in Ellel ward or not. If you’re not sure which ward you’re in, you can check on the Council website by inserting your address on the ward map:

https://www.lancaster.gov.uk/the-council-and-democracy/voting-and-elections/ward-maps.


We would encourage all CLOUD members in Ellel to vote on 19th May, but - as with previous local elections - we don’t want to try and tell you how you should vote. Nevertheless, we hope you find these candidate statements useful in reaching your decision. If you have friends or neighbours in Ellel ward who may not have seen this Newsbrief, please share it with them.


The background to CLOUD’s question to the Ellel candidates is the City Council debate in August 2021 which approved acceptance of the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) grant towards the cost of south Lancaster infrastructure development. CLOUD and 5 other individuals spoke against HIF at the start of the debate and here is a link to their addresses : https://committeeadmin.lancaster.gov.uk/documents/s80300/Speakers%20Pack%20Document%2025.08.21.pdf


In case you’ve seen media reports about local elections on 5th May and are wondering why nothing is happening in Lancaster (apart obviously from the Ellel by-election), the answer is that not all local authorities are due to hold council elections this year. For Lancaster the next full City Council elections will be in May 2023.


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