The consultation process for the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework cost the Greater Manchester Combined Authority £91,856, revealed by a Freedom of Information request.
Over 25,000 people responded to the GMSF, which is a plan to build affordable homes in Greater Manchester, but many disagree with building homes on greenbelt land.
The cost of advertising was £44,076, and staff costs were £31,440. £4,480 was also spent on a press agency and £11,860 spent on an interactive consultation map and refreshments.
Jane Brophy, Lib Dem candidate to become the Mayor of Greater Manchester, who will scrap the GMSF if she becomes Mayor, said: “The consultation over the biggest planning issue since the Second World War has been an unmitigated disaster. Now we find out that it has been a costly disaster. The £90,000, spent mostly on outside PR consultants, is just the tip of the ice-berg. The figures we have do not include individual Council’s spending. When you factor in individual council’s spend – this figure could be in the hundreds of thousands.”
When asked for a response, Sean Anstee, the Trafford Council Leader said: “It’s important the people of Greater Manchester are able to share their views on where new homes and jobs are located in future – I think it is positive that so many people have responded to the consultation and the Combined Authority now needs to respond to the points raised during the consultation before the next version is issued.”
Sean Anstee, Leader of Trafford Council and the Conservative candidate to become the Mayor of Greater Manchester, also said in an exclusive interview with Xplode, “To not be bold enough to do it (GMSF), is letting down the generation of young people that are coming into Greater Manchester at the moment and it’s not acceptable to say I think we need new homes, I think we need a plan but I’m not going to do it, because I want votes. That is unpalatable to me.” He also revealed that unless the plan is backed then Greater Manchester will “become like London” which has a massive housing crisis. The interview can be found here,