HVDC Western Link Project

National Grid have today announced that the landfall site for the HVDC Western Link project will be in the Moreton Area somewhere close to Leasowe Lighthouse.   They were considering two options one in Meols and one in the Moreton Leasowe Area, and after many surveys they have chosen the Moreton site for the landfall.  Click HERE  for the information sheet

I understand that as yet the final route for the cable has not been finalised however Ngrid have a preferred corridor and they will be working within that corridor.    I will keep people informed as more information becomes available.

Merseytravel AGM – Part Two, Localism for Merseyrail

Prior to yesterdays Merseytravel AGM Members of Merseytravel attended a workshop which looked at status of Merseytravel and Merseyrail taking over the Infrasture of the track and train in a single local accountable body (Vertical integration)    This would ensure greater responsiveness to local circumstances, enable a longer term approach to asset maintenance, renewals and rolling stock replacement which can more effectively support the regeneration and econimoic development of the city region.    It would potentailly give better efficiencies – better integration, better communication and simpler decision making progress.   Overall it would be more appropriate railway standards with no loss of safety or performance.    

All of this I believe is in the Local Transport Plan, however in a massive ‘U Turn’ the Chairman of the Authority moved a motion from the floor at the AGM instructing the Director General and Chief Executive to stop all work on this issue immediately….   I was astounded that the Chairman and his group were going to support such measure and immediately moved an amendmnet calling for work to continue with on this, after all in the six years I have been on the authority vertical integration has always been on the agenda, sadly it was voted against and the directive was approved by Labour.

So is the £1.5 million already spent on it just going to be written off?      We hear the Unions are opposed to vertical integration, so thats it then.    The losers, the people of Merseyside.

Merseytravel AGM – Part One

Yesterday saw the Merseytravel Annual General Meeting take place at Hatton Garden.   One of the more contentious items on the agenda was a report from the Director of Resources, put together at the request of the Chairman of the Authority which would see an increase in Special Responsibility allowances for some Labour Members and the introduction of a new allowance  of almost £4,000 payable to the Deputy Chairman of the Womens Forum, and this at a time when 139 posts have been lost in the organisation and a further 102, some of whom are the lowest paid in the Authority will potentually be losing in excess of £2,000 per year from their wages!    The message to the workforce is clearly one of “I’m alright Jack”.

In an effort to stop these obscene and unwarranted increases both the Lib Dems and my group moved a series of amendments, all of which called for an independent remuneration panel to be commission to look at allowances and how they are paid, after all thats what happens in other Authorities, sadly all our attempts failed with Labour voting against our amendments and voting for an increase in allowances.   Labour the party of the people?   Seems not on Merseytravel, I am told it is the only Authority in the country where Elected Members determine directly what they should be paid?     Time for Change!

All The Fun of The Fair

I never nicked any coconuts gov - honest!

This afternoon along with my colleague Cllr Steve Williams I attended my first School Summer Fair of the season at Foxfield School in Douglas Drive.    The weather was overcast but very warm and the event was really well attended.   It had all the usual stalls, raffle, auction and a baerbecue for burgers and hot dogs.     One of the most popular attractions was throwing cold wet sponges at Andre Baird, the Headteacher, well done Andre! 

I was delighted that the Mersey Tunnels Police attended bringing along one of their Landrovers for the kids to get an idea of what the Tunnel Police do, (Merseytravel have a very special relationship with Foxfield).   Merseyside Fire and REscue Service als came along and you can imagine their Fire Appliance was a real draw for the youngsters, and the mums, dads and grandparents.      

Sadly I did not win anything in the raffle (well I have not had a call yet?) but I did bid successfully for a bottle of Champagne.   Set myself a top bid of £8, but got sucked into the bidding war and ended up paying £11, still great value.

Hopefully the event will have raised lots of money for the school and I would like to put on record my thanks to all those people who organised the event, all the local businesses that supported  it by donating raffle prizes as well as auction items, and of course everyone who attended making the day the success that it was.    Next Saturday its on to Christchurch School Summer Fair, follwed the following FRiday with Lingham Primary School………

Vodafone Clearly Don’t Like The Word NO!

Readers will be aware that back in February Wirral’s Planning Officers refused a planning application made by Vodafone for a telephone mast, cabinet and ancillary equipment in Holt Avenue close to its junction with Hoylake Road.     I have just heard that Vodafone have now submitted an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate who are based in Bristol, asking them to overturn the refusal notice issued by the Council.

I have already written to the Inspector asking that he uphold the Councils original refusal decision for the reasons they gave.   If anyone wishes to oppose this appeal they can do so by writing (in triplicate) to the Planning Inspectorate, 3/18A Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN, ensuring you quote ref: APP/W4325/A/11/2153398.   All representations must be submitted and with the Inspectorate by 13th July, 2011

Town Meadow Lane Shops and Maisonettes – Planning Application Submitted

Following the Wirral Partnership Homes Open Day on 2nd June a planning application for new shop units, 20 houses and 4 Bungalows has been submitted.   You can see the application by clicking HERE

I am delighted that finally, after 11 years of campaigning to get rid of this blot on the landscape, there is light at the end of a very dark tunnel.       The existing shopkeepers are delighted to be getting new premises and the provision of 24 new homes is much needed in Moreton.

Whilst I recognise that some people do have concerns I think this is a great scheme and one that should have local residents and our full support.      

If you wish to comment on the application you can do so by contacting the Council’s Planning Officer, Joanne Storey ensuring you quote application number:   11/00727, closing date for comments is 22nd July, 2011.    Alternatively you can write to her:  Technical Services Department, Cheshire Lines Building, Canning Street, Birkenhead, Wirral CH44 1ND, or via email:  joannestorey@wirral.gov.uk  or you can comment on line by going to: www.wirral.gov.uk

Keeping People Informed

Me at the Street Surgery

This morning along with my colleagues, Cllr Steve Williams and Cllr Simon Mountney I held a street surgery in Bermuda Road with local residents coming to chat about the proposal to build 6 semi detached houses on the derelict site at 91 Bermuda Road

In the hour and half we were there about 50 residents turned up to look at the plans and discuss the application.    I have to say the feedback was mostly positive, with only one person who seemed totally opposed to this application, for what reasons I don’t know, he never said, just mumbled on in an aggressive manner.

The main area of concern was not the building of the six homes it was about the demolition of the xisting buildings and fear about asbestos.     I will ask the Councils planning officers to make sure that if the application is approved then conditions are put in place to ensure the demolition process causes as little as possible disturbance to local residents.     More on this as information becomes available