THE leader of the council which will run Ellesmere Port from next spring aims to breathe new life into one of the town’s most run-down areas.
Tory councillor Mike Jones, who is to head the new Cheshire West and Chester authority, wants a “structured regeneration project” that will link 7,000 new homes being built in the waterfront area with the town centre.
Financed with a major cash contribution from that scheme’s developers, he believes this would help overcome the decay of the bottom end of town around Westminster going back more than three decades to when it was left isolated by the building of the M53 motorway.
Cllr Jones, presently a Chester city member, revealed his vision for the Port as he gave a briefing at Castle Park in Frodsham last Friday on work going on in the shadow authority preparing for April 1 next year when the new council comes into being covering this borough, Chester and Vale Royal.
He said: “Regeneration in Ellesmere Port has tended to be done on a somewhat bitty and ad hoc basis.
“I want to see a structured regeneration of the area. We have this major housing development planned in the waterfront area, so we could make this work for the whole area.
“I would like to see its developers contributing a significant sum towards the infrastructure requirements of the area.”
Cllr Jones said the area between the waterfront and town centre had been left cut off and isolated by the motorway and should be brought back to life as a matter of urgency.
Cllr Jones has recently been involved in a bad-tempered exchange of views in the Pioneer’s letters column in which he accused Labour councillors of “failing” the area during their long years in charge.
A number of them have hit back, one accusing him of “naivety and ignorance” of the area.