We’re a joke admits Labour chief Coun Rankin
Preston Council stands condemned as a national laughing stock.
The startling accusation comes from someone who should know - the leader of the council, Peter Rankin.
The Labour chief admitted he was embarrassed to be a member of Preston Council after two years of political defections, corruption allegations and threats to expose homosexual members of the council.
He was speaking during a six-and-a-half-hour meeting of the council which itself descended into farce when a screaming match started between political opponents Coun Mick Moulding and Deputy Mayor Rose Kinsella.
Not much official business was decided during the meeting, which was punctuated by councillors hurling insults across the chamber.
As the oaths reached a peak, Coun Rankin asked for the police to be called because Coun Moulding was “in danger of hurting somebody.”
Coun Rankin went on: “Being a member of this authority has been, quite frankly, an embarrassment.
“This council is a laughing stock far and wide.”
Single lane for village bypass
Controversial plans for a bypass at one of Lancashire’s worst bottlenecks are to be scaled down by highway chiefs.
Transport bosses have revealed the proposed Broughton bypass will be a single rather than dual carriageway.
But environmental experts admit the latest scheme for the £7.9m road is not designed to cope with the expected explosion in traffic levels.
The proposed bypass would be sandwiched between the village of Broughton, to the north of Preston, and the M6.
Although the scheme would remove traffic from the heavily-congested A6 which runs through Broughton, it has provoked bitter splits in the village.
Opponents fear the environmental damage of a bypass roaring past the parish church and a primary school.
The bypass would also be funded by developers who are threatening to build hundreds of new homes on estates at the nearby former Whittingham Hospital and Goosnargh, as well as Broughton.
A new blueprint for the project will be unveiled at a meeting of Lancashire County Council’s highways and transportation general sub-committee.
The road would follow the same route as that envisaged for the dual carriageway although a new roundabout would be built at its northern junction with the A6.
The existing A6 would be closed to all vehicles apart from buses and bicycles, blocking through traffic from the village.
Roundabouts proposed for the junctions with Whittingham Lane and D’Urton Lane/Eastway have been reduced in size.
Fencing and landscaping will be introduced as a screen to the effects of the bypass on Broughton CE Primary School and the parish church.
A £1m improvement scheme to the existing M55/A6 roundabout at Broughton is also planned.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week we looked at 1998
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