PRIME Minister Boris Johnson made a flying visit to Warrington today to see first hand a new housing development underway at Stretton after announcing new radical planning reforms.
He met up with Warrington South MP Andy Carter who said: “I’m delighted the Prime Minister accepted my invitation to come to Warrington South today.
He got to see for himself the difference that the planning reform proposals could have on the area, building better, quicker and in the right places.
“We got to lay some bricks at the Kings Quarter Barratt Homes development in Stretton. It was a chance to meet with apprentices who are learning skills and helping to build homes for families in Warrington.
“Critically with today’s announcements, brownfield development will be prioritised, so we can make use of regeneration sites likes Fiddlers Ferry. Our current system makes it too difficult and slow to build on brownfield land which must change if we are to protect our precious green spaces.
“I was pleased that the Prime Minister agreed to come back to Warrington again to take a look at the opportunity Fiddlers Ferry presents, and the potential that it could unleash alongside schemes such as Northern Powerhouse Rail so that we can truly level up.”
During his visit, the Prime Minister repeated his claim that the NHS Test and Trace system was ‘world beating’ and also said said people needed the confidence to go back to workplaces in order to help the economic recovery.
He told reporters: “If you look at what we are doing, actually I think it certainly is – it certainly does fit that description of ‘world beating’.
“I think I’m right in saying that we are now testing more – per head of population – than virtually any other country in Europe, certainly, in America they are testing a huge number of people.”
He also said he was ‘very disappointed’ that masks bought for the NHS could not be used due to safety concerns.
Fifty million face masks bought by the Government as part of a £252 million contract will not be used because have ear loops rather than head loops, and there are concerns over whether these are adequate.
The Prime Minister added: “I’m very disappointed that any consignment of PPE should turn out not to be fit for purpose.”
He said there were legal proceedings under way so he would not be drawn on the specific example.
But he added: “We have achieved a colossal race against time to produce billions of items of PPE, sourcing them from abroad but now increasingly making them here in the UK as well, and stockpiling them now in case we have a second wave in the autumn and the winter.”
Meanwhile the Prime Minister also visited the Park Royal Hotel for a Q&A.
Mr Carter said:” We discussed how we can support the local Warrington economy, investing in better transport, protecting the green belt and regenerating our town centre and sites like Fiddlers Ferry.
“I’m keen to ensure the hospital in Warrington gets the cash injection it needs to improve local A&E services as well as better facilities for schools and more police on our streets”.