Care home company boss calls for councillor to resign

Chris McGoff

The boss of a Cheshire-based care home company is calling for the resignation of a Warrington councillor after what he claims were “inaccurate, inappropriate and misleading” comments about a planning application submitted by his business for new care facilities in Lymm.

Liberal Democrat councillor for Lymm North and Thelwall, Ian Marks, is alleged to have made the comments about the proposed application for a multi-million pound state-of-the-art ‘new generation’ care facility on the site of the Macdonald Hotel on Whitbarrow Road, Lymm.

Chris McGoff, director of the McGoff Group which is behind the planned development, has claimed Cllr Marks accused the company of “gross overdevelopment” and of being a “greedy developer completely ignoring the community in which the site is located”.

Mr McGoff said: “I entirely object to the comments made by Cllr Marks, and the statements made about me, the business and this planning application.

“In addition to taking legal action, we have made a formal complaint to Warrington Council through the official complaints procedure and are seeking his immediate resignation.”

He added: “Only as recently as July Mr Marks was quoted in the Warrington Guardian highlighting the lack of social care in the area and calling for ‘better joined up thinking’ to avoid more ‘years of misery where the sick, vulnerable and elderly are repeatedly let down’.”

The application for the Macdonald Hotel site on Whitbarrow Road includes a request to build a new 66-bed care centre, children’s day nursery and elderly care apartments.

Mr McGoff said: “Some people, including Cllr Marks, may not be aware that the site already has extant planning permission for a significant hotel expansion.

“Our proposed building is circa 40% smaller in terms of floor space and circa 20% smaller in terms of built footprint, with more green space and, as such, has a much lower impact on the local environment while significantly increasing social care provision within the local community – how can it be gross overdevelopment?”

He said: “On the one hand, Cllr Marks claims to be fighting for better care, yet on the other he is objecting to a private developer willing to make a massive financial investment into providing the better care that he claims is required.”

Mr McGoff said the councillor’s remarks could turn opinion against his business, and his proposal.

He added: “The  comments made by Cllr Marks are completely inappropriate in this day and age and he must resign now or be removed from his post.”

Cllr Marks said: “It is the role of a local councillor to reflect the views of the people they represent.

“The vast majority of local residents are opposed to the scale of this development and support my views.

“Clearly, I had no wish to offend anyone and I apologise for any offence my comments have caused.”

He insisted: “I have absolutely no intention of resigning after nearly 40 years as a Lymm councillor.”