Gathered round a broken gate on one of the secluded pathways that link New Church Farm estate’s 600 houses are plumber Barry Nolan and housing benefits officer Neil Furey.
Both have lived on this estate for years. Both are also members of the committed, if notoriously messy, Labour group at West Lancashire borough council. Furey is young, a father of two, a socialist, and a churchgoer. He was elected to council in 2008.
Nolan is older, a father of three married daughters, and a still-optimistic veteran of years of Labour and council politics. He’s been a party member for decades and a councillor for two terms, but appears to be at peace.
Anyway – the New Church Farm estate. Built in 1961, New Church Farm was among Skelmersdale new town’s earliest, and most desirable – a roomy spread of 600 brick houses set a short, countrified walk from the then-pleasant banks of the River Tawd. Continue reading