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Regeneration (Liverpool)

Volume 502: debated on Tuesday 8 December 2009

Her Majesty’s Government recognise the importance of regeneration in north Liverpool. There has been significant investment in the area, including £34 million of housing market renewal funding, £40 million to support business and create jobs, £18.4 million of European regional development funding, and £8.6 million through the future jobs fund, creating 1,320 jobs. I am also pleased that the £5.5 billion Liverpool Waters plan is moving forward, as is the £150 million Project Jennifer redevelopment of Great Homer street. We will continue to support the regeneration of north Liverpool.

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for that answer, although I barely recognise the picture that he paints. May I invite him to visit my constituency to see for himself the result of 10 years of malign neglect under Liberal Democrat council control? While he is there, will he advise us on how Everton and Liverpool football clubs could be used to lever in the kind of regeneration funding that is still desperately needed, notwithstanding the roll of honour that he has just related?

I assure my hon. Friend that the investments that I have described either are or have been taking place or are anticipated in the future. I shall welcome the opportunity, if it arises, to go to his constituency; I always welcome an opportunity to inspect the malign neglect of Liberal Democrat councils.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Kilfoyle) has just made clear, the regeneration of north Liverpool is intricately linked to the regeneration of Kirkby. Will my right hon. Friend welcome the efforts that are being made by Knowsley council, Tesco, the Government office for the north-west, the Northwest Regional Development Agency and the Minister for the North West, my hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, East and Saddleworth (Mr. Woolas), to put together a modified application for the regeneration of Kirkby, which I hope will be presented to my right hon. Friend in due course?

I pay tribute to the efforts that my right hon. Friend has consistently made to support his constituency and regeneration. My decision on that planning application was taken on the basis of planning guidance, planning law and the conclusions of the inspector’s report. However, I am very pleased that, following discussions with me, the Regional Minister and others are engaging with the council and others to see what is the best way forward for the regeneration of Kirkby.