Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Clegg's growth speech at the LSE and the case for investment in Sefton!

 Let me be clear although I do not think that Clegg' speech this morning is the last word on how to get the economy to grow it does contain some very important passages on infrastructure investment not only in road and rail but in IT and the 'green' industries. I also wholeheartedly welcome his dishing of the 'euro sceptic' nonsense which would significantly damage our prospects in the near and long term.
His clear and unequivocal support for the Switch Island project in Sefton explaining the direct economic investment makes you wonder how Labour could have spun out 13yrs without making a decision! Anyway here is the passage:
...........................You have to be ruthless, focusing on the investments that transform growth potential: transport, energy, digital communications. Roads and rail so manufacturers can transfer goods. Better broadband so small, high-tech companies can flourish. Renewable energy so low-carbon industry can too.
If you modernise this kind of infrastructure you stimulate activity in the shorter term and you build systems high growth industries can use for years to come. Transport schemes announced in the Spending Review, for example, will deliver major boosts to growth. Like the Switch Island link road in Merseyside, where £20m of Government investment will generate 35 times that in economic benefits...............


  1. Your 13 years comment is incorrect. In order to make a decision on funding DfT would normally require a major scheme business plan - which hadn't been developed 13 years ago.

  2. I genuinely find this unconvincing. 13 years in power and all we get is regular big publicity pushes declaring the relief rd has cleared yet another hurdle and after thirteen years it is not built. We even had a Lab councillor protesting that there were still hurdles for it to clear. It is almost as bad as the procurement process in the MOD.

  3. But your 13 years comment is still factually incorrect. Consultation was carried out in 2000 and at that point they were talking about implementation by 2006. So it is a fact that it was not "spun out for 13 years" by the government as you suggest.

  4. Firstly can I apologise to Ged for taking so long to reply to his comment. I simply do not accept the premise of the comment. Ever since John Selwyn Gummer cancelled the previous scheme folk have been campaigning to improved motorway access into our borough. The economic case is impressive-both for enterprises in the Port and for the tourist trade in Southport. The fact that the Labour Government didn't get around to announcing the scheme until 2000 is their fault and the fact that by 2010 it was still not built is their fault.
    In all seriousness if any government wanted our economy to have a strong manufacturing base rather that just relying on the financial services sector in the SE this is precisely the type of scheme that they should invest in. In many ways the decision not to make this a much higher priority is emblematic of a wider problem with the last government-namely that they thought that they could expand the public sector on the back of financial services alone in the belief that there was not going to be another crash-or as they used to say that there had been a paradigm shift and that boom and bust had been abolished. So to conclude I think they had ample opportunity in 13yrs to confirm the studies that already existed and to have built a link road and that even after they had expressed their intention to do so the time it took was unacceptably spun out as a result of the processes they put in place


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