Why so long for MP to get involved in road fiasco?

Under the headline “The ‘Power of the Press’ bears fruit” the editor of the Express has linked what he sees as increased activity on the troubled major roadworks to a front-page article featuring a rant from MP Gordon Birtwistle criticising Lancashire County Council.

House of Commons
House of Commons

Really? A check back to August reveals no fewer than nine Express editorials complaining bitterly about the marathon gridlock, all with apparently little result. Not much evidence of a “Powerful Press” there.

And if the Birtwistle front-page piece, accompanied by a smiling photo, had the claimed transformational effect, which I very much doubt, one has to ask the obvious question why it took our MP so long to become meaningfully involved in the debate.

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There is an incidental comic aspect to Coun. Birtwistle pouring scorn on the managerial impotence of Lancashire County Council or any other organisation. The management feat for which he will best be remembered is steering his small engineering company on to the rocks of financial disaster. Company House records show that when Stuart Engineering went belly-up with huge debts it had a share capital of 100 £1 units, 98 of which were owned by Coun. Birtwistle and two by his son. The blessings of limited liability legislation meant Coun. Birtwistle’s personal assets, including valuable pension rights accumulated as an employee of his company, were protected from the creditors.

To say I am not a Birtwistle fan would be the understatement of this or any other century.

I will give the lad one thing though. He certainly knows when to keep his head down.

My questioning of him, by courtesy of the Express letters’ page, on his silence on the Lord Rennard scandal and its implications for female voters, together with my criticism of what I see as his hypocritical stance on the travellers’ sites issue, have met with a resounding silence.

Readers will draw their own conclusions.

Harry Brooks

Barnfield Avenue, Burnley