Councillor’s appointment branded ‘deliberately provocative’

Coun Seve Gomez-Aspron
Coun Seve Gomez-Aspron
  • Newton councillors moves to new portfolio after leadership challenge
  • Rainford protestors say the change is ‘deliberately provocative’
  • Coun Gomez-Aspron has a stormy relationship with a number of protest group
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A campaign group has branded the appointment of a controversial councillor to a key ecnonomic job as “deliberately provocative”.

The Rainford Action Group says moving Coun Seve Gomez-Aspron to the growth portfolio shows the council is not listening to residents’ concerns.

Coun Gomez-Aspron has been involved a number of social media spats with protestors over plans to build homes in Rainford’s greenbelt and the Florida Farm development.

He has landed himself before the council’s standards committeee on two occasions.

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Coun Seeve Gomez-Aspron defends green bin carges

Council leader Barrie Grunewald

Council leader Barrie Grunewald

Coun Gomez-Aspron’s Facebook rant

Council leader brands Rainford protestors nimbys

James Wright, chair of Rainford Action Group, said: “This is an astonishing decision. Giving Councillor Seve Gomez-Aspron responsibility for the Local Plan shows St Helens Council has no intention of listening to the people on the key issue of green belt development.

“In fact, this looks like a deliberately provocative act on behalf of the council leader.

This is an astonishing decision. Giving Councillor Seve Gomez-Aspron responsibility for the Local Plan shows St Helens Council has no intention of listening to the people on the key issue of green belt development

James Wright, chair of Rainford Action Group

“Councillor Gomez-Aspron has spent the last few months goading and insulting green belt campaigners. He’s even got into rows with journalists on social media over the issue, such is his dislike of scrutiny. His behaviour is typical of a man twice sent to answer before the council’s standards committee.

“Together Grunewald and Gomez-Aspron make a double-act of disgrace at the top of St Helens Council, who will only further harm the council’s already plummeting reputation.

“We want a collaborative relationship with the council, based on respect, trust and an understanding we all want what’s best for St Helens. It would be impossible to have such a relationship with these two individuals as they have shown nothing but contempt for anyone who disagrees with them.”

Mr Wright added: “The council has so far shown a disregard for the genuine concerns many people have about their plans to develop green belt land in the borough. In Rainford, we believe their plans for our village are unreasonable, unworkable and unnecessary.”

St Helens Council wants to release seven green belt sites in Rainford for development. The land would be used to develop an industrial unit and at least 1,140 houses. That would expand Rainford by a third and put more than 2,200 extra cars on the roads of the rural village.

Rainford protestors called on Coun Grunewald to “apologise or step down” after he branded them “nimbys” during a Twitter exchange.