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Wirral politicians in high-speed clash
WIRRAL Council leader Phil Davies has called on the government to apply the brakes to the escalating cost of HS2 - the proposed high speed rail link from north to south.
He said: "All Merseyside districts have expressed support, but my main concern is the project’s budget which is already approaching £50bn."
Leading Liberal Democrat councillor Stuart Kelly criticised Cllr Davies on the issue, claiming he had failed to make clear his stance on the proposed venture.
Cllr Kelly said: "All week the national Labour Party, in the shape of Ed Balls MP, has been giving everyone the impression that, should Labour return to power, they would scrap the high speed rail investment.
"Yesterday eight council leaders from major local authorities in the North and North West of England, including Liverpool and Manchester, wrote to the Labour Leader Ed Milliband to tell him to stop playing political games with HS2.
"However we still have no idea where Wirral’s Labour leadership stands.
"Back in July I urged Wirral council to support HS2. The motion was referred to Cllr Davies to reply – he failed to reply by October’s council meeting and still remains silent.
"It's time Cllr Davies climbed down off the fence and stood with the other major councils of the north in telling the Labour party to stop playing political football with the region’s prosperity."
Cllr Davies said: "We are in favour of HS2 – it is a really good idea to improve links between the north and London and the south east.
"Instead of criticising me Cllr Kelly should get his ministers get a grip on the project and get the budget under control.
"The cost is spiralling rapidly upwards almost on a daily basis."
He added: "All Merseyside districts are supportive of the scheme and I am personally."
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