Liberal Democrats in key GM Spatial Framework summit

Following the publication of their open letter to GM Mayor Andy Burnham, Stockport Council Liberal Democrat leaders were invited to a high level summit meeting on Monday for a discussion of their red lines with respect to the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF), the now much-overdue 17 year plan for housing.

Moved forward from Tuesday, the meeting included Mayor Burnham, Cllr Wilson, the Labour Leader of Stockport Council, and Mayor Dennett, Salford City Council’s leader and the main architect of the current version of GMSF.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of the Lib Dems at Stockport Town Hall, said: “We were invited to a meeting having made clear our concerns about GMSF – the use of outdated and inflated housing need figures and too much development on Green Belt, and with absolutely no guarantee of any public transport or other improvements needed to make the proposals practicable.

“This was a very cordial meeting and we acknowledged that the current version of GMSF was better than previous drafts, and the further changes now being suggested are a marked improvement over what was described only a week ago as ‘as good as it can be’. We believe this is because Lib Dems, community groups and local residents have held out and kept the pressure up rather than just accepting the initial proposals.

“We do remain disappointed, however, that at this late stage there is apparently no willingness on Labour’s part to go further.”

Deputy Leader, Cllr Lisa Smart, added: “Some limited concessions have clearly been made in some tightly defined areas but we aren’t prepared to throw the rest of the borough under a bus for those. For all its improvements, we believe the public want us to continue to resist this inadequate plan and to continue to fight for the best deal for our borough.”

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