Prime Minister David Cameron set to visit East Lancashire

1:00pm Thursday 15th May 2014

By Jon Robinson

THE Prime Minister, David Cameron, has accepted an invitation to tour the Ribble Valley and ‘broader Lancashire constituencies’.

Nigel Evans, MP for Ribble Valley, asked the PM to visit his constituency during the weekly Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday.

The move comes as a boost to Mr Evans who is seeking reselection to contest the region for the Conservatives in next year’s general election.

It also comes after the Conservative whip was restored to Mr Evans following his acquittal of all rape and sexual assault charges at Preston Crown Court last month.

No further details on the visit or when it will happen have been released.

Mr Evans told the House of Commons: “Ribble Valley Council has recently approved its core strategy.

“Will he reassure local councillors that this will give them extra powers to protect these areas within the Ribble Valley that are not already earmarked for development?

“Will he come and visit the Ribble Valley and see for himself why the Ribble Valley is consistently voted one of the best places to live in the UK and why local people want to keep it that way.”

Mr Cameron replied: “I look forward to visiting my honourable friend’s constituency and broader constituencies in Lancashire as well.

“I think that assurance I can give him is this; when local councils put in place their local plan they will have far greater ability to determine how much housing, what sort of housing and where it goes.

“That is what we are trying to put in place and the faster local councils can put in their local plan the more power and responsibility they will have.” However, the visit hasn’t been welcomed among some housing campaigners in the Ribble Valley with some saying that the ‘damage has already been done’.

Sarah Parry, of the Barrow Action Group, said: “I think a lot of people won’t be too bothered that he’s coming because the government has let us down.

“The damage has already been done and I don’t think he will have enough time to visit all the areas that are going to be affected by large housing developments.”

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