Protest group draws a line under row with councillors

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The leader of a protest group in St Helens at the centre of an increasingly bitter dispute with councillors has sought to put the row behind him.

James Wright, chairman of the Rainford Action Group, says the group is “non-political” but has been involved in numerous spates with councillors since its formation, most notably with council leader Barrie Grunewald (who accused members of being ‘nimbys’) and former environment cabinet member Seve Gomez Aspron.

Mr Wright said: “We’d like to draw a line under recent events. Our focus is on addressing the current unworkable, unreasonable and unnecessary plans to expand our village by a third by building on seven protected sites in Rainford.

“We’re a group of ordinary working people who care about our community and have serious concerns about putting at least 1,140 extra houses in a rural village.

“We don’t oppose development in Rainford but want any development to be on a sensible scale, in the right locations, and planned in a way that benefits the whole community.

“As a non-political group, we’ve always sought an open and cooperative relationship with St Helens Council. We hope we can now begin to build that kind of relationship.

“A good start would be for Councillor John Fulham to agree to meet us at the earliest opportunity once the election period is over.”