LETTER: Mill could lead way in canalside regeneration

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What on earth is Coun. Paul White up to by mixing his metaphors and calling me a “treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em green” sort of person, who is “stuck in the dark ages”?.

I am a keen “green” in the ecological sense (not inexperienced, gullible or envious), but I can hardly be accused of being mean!

He obviously has not read my letter in full, as he ignores the economic benefits of implementing the South Valley Masterplan in terms of housing and employment that would accrue. This would certainly not “condemn future generations to dereliction and deprivation”, as he claims.

He not only insults my intelligence and integrity but exposes his incompetence, lack of understanding and opportunities in relation to his brief as the portfolio holder for economic development.

For instance, his support for a “Curry Mile” and “Pop-Up” Shops to regenerate Nelson Town Centre is laughable. Hasn’t he noticed the number of restaurants and takeaways that already exist, some of which are closed? Pop Up-Shops are temporary and not permanent outlets. Can I point him in the direction of a Government Growth Fund?

The Conservative-led Government has accepted 81 of the 89 recommendations in Lord Heseltine’s report: “No Stone Unturned in the Pursuit of Growth”, which advocates targeting billions of pounds in boosting regional economic growth before the next General Election. The fund would cover three main areas – skills and infrastructure housing and transport projects. These would create employment and regeneration.

However, the Government has reduced the amount which Lord Heseltine was asking for from £12.25 billion per annum to a more modest figure in the lower billions.

So instead of making carping criticisms, may I suggest Coun. White uses his time and energy more constructively in campaigning to increase this pot of money and access some of this growth money for Pendle now?

We could then be able to implement the South Valley Masterplan, which would make the mill a central waterside feature for regeneration with affordable housing built nearby on the Walk Mill site rather than building new houses on green field sites on the edge of town.

DAVID PENNEY

Treasurer, Burnley Pendle and Rossendale Green Party