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MP takes the chair in support of older people in Formby

SEFTON Central MP Bill Esterson was put through his paces both physically and politically as he met with older people in Formby. The MP joined in with chair-based exercises and answered the concerns of constituents on issues from housing to the police. The group meets every Friday morning at 10.30am at Formby Methodist Church for the exercise class run by Alison Moore. Mr Esterson said: "It is great to see that this exercise group is going from strength to strength. Because it's not just about the exercise, of course, it's about community and support and combatting loneliness, which we know can be a huge issue among older people. "I was pleased to get the chance to answer questions on housing, fracking and the police. These are clearly big concerns for people. "On fracking, Labour as a party are against, and I was glad to see fracking opposed yet again in a vote at the most recent Sefton Council meeting.

"With housing, it is vital that any major development puts the existing community first. That means houses being built which are affordable to buy and to rent and which go to local people first. It also means building good quality houses including council or housing association homes for the many who simply can’t afford their own home because of the high prices. And it means retirement properties for our older people who want to stay in Formby but for whatever reason can’t afford to. Developers want to build the biggest, most expensive houses they can get away with and large executive homes are not what most people in Formby want. In fact we have plenty already. Making sure that development works for our existing community means dealing with traffic, drainage and places at GP surgeries before building takes place. Sadly, the planning rules were changed in 2012 to favor developers not communities by the Lib-Dem/Conservative government. What matters now is that as developers put forward their detailed plans, those of us living here now are looked after and our interests are considered not just the interests of the developers and those who might be able to afford more expensive homes.”

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