Labour say NO

Maryland Lane IMG_3776Earlier today I met with a senior Council Officer in Maryland Lane, Moreton to look at the problems being caused by some huge trees with roots lifting the walkway outside sheltered housing.

The Council Officer has said that he will have to fell two of the five trees and drastically reduce the height of the other three.   The felling of the trees and the treatment of the stumps will kill the root growth and only then can the whole footway be dug out and re-laid in order to give an acceptable finish.

The problem is the footway will cost around £25,000 to do, so tonight at the Wallasey Constituency Committee for circa £9,000 to be made available from unspent funds from last years budget to be able to help fund the work.    Despite my pleas Labour Councillors from New Brighton, Seacombe, Liscard and Leasowe all voted against so they could look to fund their own pet schemes across the constituency!

No Surprise from Merseysides Chief Fire Officer!

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Today, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service has published its agenda for its meeting next week on Tuesday 30th June.

As I predicted at the start of the consultation, the Chief Fire Officer has completely ignored the massive local opposition and has ‘Strongly Recommended’ that the Fire Authority accept his recommendation and proceed with the proposal to build a fire station on Green Belt land in Saughall Massie.  You can read his report to the Authority HERE

If you have concerns about this and you are available I would urge you to attend the Fire Authority meeting on Tuesday 30th, commencing at 1pm at their headquarters, Bridle Road, Bootle, Merseyside L30 4YD  commencing at 1pm.

Your three local councillors – Steve Williams, Bruce Berry and myself – will attend, as will representatives of the Saughall Massie Village Area Conservation Society.

MEANWHILE….    As another step to try to stop this attack on our green belt myself and my colleague Cllr Bruce Berry have called on all 66 Wirral councillors to give their backing to the protection of the Borough’s Green Belt as decision day looms for a fire station in Saughall Massie.

We have submitted a ‘Notice of Motion’  (Appended below) calling on Wirral Council to reject the proposal by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS) to build on the council-owned site.

Wirral’s Green Belt is one of the reasons why so many people choose to live here and there has traditionally been all-Party support for protecting it.  It’s disappointing that the Town Hall has enabled this particular proposal to reach this stage – especially after it was considered to be unsuitable for land in nearby Greasby.

I’m hoping all councillors will back residents in Saughall Massie and call on the Fire Service to work with us to find a ‘brownfield’ site elsewhere in the Borough.

Notice of Motion – Council Monday 6th July

NO TO THE PROPOSAL FOR FIRE STATION ON GREEN BELT LAND IN SAUGHALL MASSIE

Proposed by Councillor Chris Blakeley

Seconded by Councillor Bruce Berry

Council acknowledges the overwhelming public opposition to the proposal by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service for a fire station on green belt land in Saughall Massie, as demonstrated by:

  • The 200 people who attended a public meeting arranged by MFRS, and a further 270 who were unable to gain admission to the venue.
  • The opposition of the Saughall Massie Village Area Conservation Society and the Wirral Society
  • The 970 people who have, so far, signed a petition against the proposal

Council impresses upon Cabinet:

(1) To maintain protection of Wirral’s Green Belt, as set by agreed policies and stop inappropriate development

(2) Not to gift, sell, lease the land concerned in Saughall Massie, because of the value it has for the community.

(3) To ask officers to continue to work co-operatively with Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service in identifying and facilitating a more suitable brown field site for operational purposes and to maintain the amenity of the local people.

Say NO to the Fire Station!

Say NO To Fire Station

I am writing this post to keep residents up to date with the proposal made by Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MFRS) to build a new fire station on greenbelt land on Saughall Massie Road, adjacent to Woodpecker Close. It’s been great to have so much support from residents for our campaign.

The 12 week ‘consultation’ process carried out by MFRS has now finished. This included the meeting at St Mary’s Church Centre, when more than 200 people were locked out.

The Chief Fire Officer will now submit his recommendation to a meeting of those councillors who sit on the Fire Authority. These councillors are from across Merseyside but do not include any from our community.

The meeting will take place on Tuesday 30 June, and, while this meeting is open to the public, it is being held in Bootle. We asked for the meeting to be held in Wirral, but again, this was refused.

While I recognise the difficulties, I would encourage as many residents as possible to attend the Fire Authority meeting on Tuesday 30th June.   The meeting will be held at Merseyside Fire and Rescue Headquarters, Bridle Road, Bootle, Merseyside L30 4YD  commencing at 1pm.

Your three local councillors – Steve Williams, Bruce Berry and myself – will attend, as will representatives of the Saughall Massie Village Area Conservation Society.

Timber………..

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Yesterday I was contacted by residents who live in Town Meadow Lane who all had concerns about the size of the tree close to their homes and the potential damage that could be caused by the roots to the drains and foundations.

I contacted the Council and they agreed immediately telling me that the tree is already on their list to be felled and they hope to do this in the next month or so, local residents are delighted with such a speedy outcome.      Now if only all the issues people raise could be solved as simply…….

Saughall Bridge Post Office

News that another local Post Office in Moreton maybe modernised has been welcomed by Local Conservatives in the town. The Saughall Bridge branch at 388 Hoylake Road is the latest in a programme that will see 8,000 modernised, thanks to Government investment, and the largest modernisation programme in the history of the network.

For many years, Conservatives in Moreton and Saughall Massie opposed the Post Office closure programme of the previous Labour Government. For many residents, the local post office is one of the hubs of their community and I’m delighted that the Post Office are consulting with the Postmaster and the public on modernising this branch

In their letter to me, the Post Office advised that the if this goes ahead (and I personally hope it does) then the Post Office is likely to close for seven days during August/September while the refurbishment takes place.   The new-look branch would be open longer every day of the week.

If you would like to contact Royal Mail about this, send an email or call 03457 22 33 44.

Foxfield School Site – The Future

This week Wirral Council’s Cabinet will consider a report that recommends that the empty Foxfield School in Douglas Drive be demolished, that consultation be undertaken with the DfE about disposal of playing fields and once complete the land be sold.

Its clear that any purchaser will buy the site for a housing development and that in itself, will be subject to a planning application at some time in the future.    You can read the Cabinet report (Item 4) by clicking HERE

What do you think?

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service – Consultation? Sadly Not!!

The ‘So Called’ 12 week consultation into the closure of West Kirby and Upton Fire Stations with a new station being proposed on Green Belt land in Saughall Massie is now closed.

I say ‘so called’ simply because it was clear by his words, and actions that the Chief Fire Officer (CFO) had no intention of listening to local people’s objections and in fact point blank refused to hold a second meeting in Saughall Massie after over 200 people were locked out of the first meeting because in his words, “he did not believe he would hear anything different.”  Well, because of his intransigence we will never know will we……….

What’s next.   The CFO will take a report to the Fire Authority in June.    My prediction is that while he will state that there is a level of opposition, he will recommend that the proposal to build on the Green Belt moves forward to the planning application stage.

It’s clear from election literature that the Labour Party in Wirral support this proposal and as the Fire Authority has 16 Labour Members out of the 18, therefore its no wonder that local people believe this is a ‘Done Deal.’ However you can be assured that me and my colleagues, Cllr Steve Williams and Cllr Bruce Berry will support local residents in opposing this proposal.

Its my intention to attend the Fire Authority meeting that will consider this matter, which is a meeting held in public and if given an opportunity to do so I will represent the views of all those opposed to this unwarranted attack on our Green Belt.