Car Parking Charges – Labour Vote to move to next stage

Sadly this evening at Wirral’s Business and Overview Scrutiny Committee, 9 Labour Councillors rejected my proposal to ask Cabinet to ditch their proposals to introduce parking charges in our Town, and other town centres and Country Parks. I have reproduced my proposal below.

1. Committee notes the numerous petitions of objection, totalling over 15,000 signatures to date.
2. Committee notes the level of public anger and opposition to these proposals.
3. Committee recognises the potential damage the introduction of car parking charges will do to the already struggling town centre shopping areas.
4. Committee also recognises that charging for parking in Country Parks, with an estimated drop in usage of 30% of users will have a detrimental effect on public health.

Therefore committee asks Cabinet to withdraw these proposals in their entirety, and, instead work with our local business and town centres to help regenerate our towns.
While we may have lost the vote this evening, Cabinet will make the final decision so it’s important people do two things to keep the pressure on the Council.

A).Sign our petition: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/…/say-no-to-car-parking-charge…

B) Make representation to the Council. Email Steve Atkins at: steveatkins@wirral.gov.uk and quote ref: SA/PS/2017

We can still stop this happening, so let’s do just that

You can print off a hard copy petition form by clicking HERE

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Moreton traders ask the town hall to think again

Starts

Shoppers in Moreton are being urged by the Town’s traders to help them to ditch Town Hall plans for ‘pay and display’.

The Town Hall claims parking charges would bring in £40,000 a year but this figure has now been questioned by one of the local Councillors as ‘fantasy figure scribbled on the back of a fag packet’.

An online petition organised by Pillar Box cards in Moreton (https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/say-no-to-car-parking-charges-in-moreton <https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/say-no-to-car-parking-charges-in-moreton&gt; ) states that car parking charges will have the same result that has been seen in other parts of the Borough, such as Liscard.

Sarah Heeks from Pillar Box Cards said: “Traders in Moreton work really hard to stay in business and we support our local community. This plan could push some of the stores into closing, how would that benefit the Council? Why isn’t the Council supporting us?”

Councillor Bruce Berry said: “Introducing charges in local retail centres, such as Moreton, may not be the cash cow the Town Hall expects. The figures assume that people will keep coming here, regardless of the cost. We know from Liscard, that this is not the case. Parking charges drive business away. When that happens, businesses close and so the Council then lose Business Rates. These are fantasy figures scribbled on the back of a fag packet.”

Ends

MORE parking charges

Wirral Labour, not content with increasing parking charges in existing locations by 50p per hour and introducing charges in New Brighton at Fort Perch Road, Victoria Parade and the promenade, now want to introduce parking charges at nine town centres across the Borough, including these locations in Moreton:
• Hoylake Road
• Oakenholt Road
• Pasture Road
• Chadwick Street
• Barnston Lane
• Upton Road
• Holt Avenue car park
• Garden Lane car park
• Pasture car park

You can read the full list that is to be considered by the Business Overview and Scrutiny Committee next week HERE 

I am astounded that that Wirral Labour want to introduce parking charges in our struggling shopping areas.  We have all seen the decline of Liscard because of parking charges, we don’t want to see that decline replicated across the borough.

Instead of wasting £247,000 on a monthly newspaper, and up to know over £850,000 on their pet Hoylake Golf Resort scheme, as well as finding £80,000 a year to employ yet another senior officer, they would be better investing in our towns and shopping areas to make them more viable and vibrant.

Here in Moreton we are working with Council Officers and local business to try to regenerate our town, to bring empty shops back into use and give a greater shopping experience.  Introducing car parking charges will destroy our town centre shopping areas by driving custom away to areas where car parking is free.

Around and about in Moreton and Saughall Massie

Yestbb-linear-parkerday I met up with my colleague, Cllr Bruce Berry to have a look at a couple of issues that have been brought to our attention.

First up it’s the footpaths around Linear Park which to be quite frank are in a terrible state with the surface breaking up, flooding etc, a real hazard if a young child falls.    We have asked the Council to deal with this before, but they have always said ‘There are no actionable defects’.

We have now asked one of the Managers for Highways to become involved and we hope he will view this area as needing some sort of resurfacing or repair.

 

bb-saughall-roadSecondly we have asked AGAIN for all the excess chippings to be swept from Saughall Road following the resurfacing late last year.

While we we walking the road we noted that in places the new surface is breaking up quite badly. It’s particularly bad near to the junction with Garden Hey Road and we have asked the Council to get the contractor back to remedy all the faults and sweep away the loose chippings.   It’s fair to say that the quality of workmanship at this location is less that satisfactory.

Woodland behind Paulsfield Drive

I discovered yesterday that a developer was showing an interest to build houses on a part of the woodland  (classed as Urban Green Space) that lies behind Paulsfield Drive.

Today I spoke with Wirrals Planning Department to see if any pre-application advice had been sought.   The answer was yes and I was sent a copy of the proposal which showed a proposal for 12 semi detached homes.  you can view that proposal HERE .   I was also sent a copy of the pre-planning advice response from the Planning Department which can be read HERE.

As you will read the planner’s advice is that development on this site is highly unlikely to be granted planning permission.     I will be keeping a watching eye on the planning website an if by chance an application is submitted I will ensure everyone who lives in the area is informed, as well as the wider community.

 

Live in New Brighton, Moreton, West Kirby, Heswall, Liscard, Bromborough, Bebington, Upton or Irby? – Will you be paying to park outside your house?

Last night I attended a Council Business Scrutiny workshop.   One of the items, and perhaps the most emotive was the proposals to increase the Council’s income by increasing car parking charges by 50p per hour at existing Council car parks and to introduce further car parking charges, on street and off street at nine locations across the Borough, as well imposing a £4.00 per day fixed charge at Wirrals Country Parks.

While I am waiting for further detail the hit list for the nine locations for introducing car parking charges is: New Brighton (including Fort Perch Rock), Moreton, West Kirby, Hoylake, Heswall, Liscard, Bromborough, Bebington, Upton and Irby.    The charges are likely to apply to many on street areas in our towns, so a an example in Moreton the two car parks, Holt Avenue and Garden Lane as well as on street charges on Hoylake Road, Upton Road, Pasture Road etc.    In West Kirby, along the promenade, The Crescent, Grange Road, Banks Road and side roads, In Hoylake on Market Street and the side roads etc; and so it goes on in other towns.

The Country Parks include, Wirral Country Park, Royden Park, Arrowe Park, Eastham Country Park etc and at £4.00 per day that is going to disadvantage thousands of people who simply want to visit for an hour or so, perhaps dog walkers etc.

I am aware that New Brighton resident, Darren May had the foresight to see this coming and last week started an online petition opposing the introduction of parking charges in New Brighton.   I would urge people to sign that petition ASAP and it can be accessed by clicking HERE.

I am sure other people will also be setting up petitions and you may want to sign them as well.

One thing is for certain we need to send a very strong message to this Labour-led Council if we are to stop this decimation of our Towns and Parks.

A Look Back at 2016

Locally in Moreton and Saughall Massie this year has been dominated by two major issues, the Labour Councils closure of Girtrell Court and the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service plans to close Upton and West Kirby Fire Stations and build a new one on green belt land in Saughall Massie.   And nationally we had the vote to leave the European Union in June (Brexit), and of course against every prediction, Donald Trump was elected to become President of the United States of America.

So back in January we discovered that to save £155,000 the Labour led Council wanted to close Girtrell Court.   This resulted in a fight that ran right up until a special Council meeting in November when the battle to save this much loved facility was lost.    You can read more on that year long fight by clicking HERE

The proposal to build a Fire Station on Green Belt land in Saughall Massie started on December 9th, 2014, that was the date that the Leader of the Council withdrew the land in Greasby and offered up the green belt in Saughall Massie.  You can read more about the battle that took place by clicking HERE.

The battle really heated up in July this year when they submitted their planning application.   Sadly Planning Officers recommended approval of the application, this despite almost 4,000 people objecting, however on Thursday December 15th Wirral’s Planning Committee members voted 7 to 6 to refuse the application.   You can read more on that HERE.  A great victory for people-power.    Now we need to wait to see if the fire service submits an appeal to the planning inspectorate

There were also many other issues during the year, I will report on one for each month below, but remember this is but a snapshot of a packed year and all the articles can be found at www.chrisblakeley.com

In January I asked the Leader of The Council whatever happened to the much vaunted International Trade Centre which was destined for Wirral Waters.    We discovered that the proposal had been moved to the business park in Bromborough, then on December 19th the Leader of the Council said it would not be going ahead at all.   Another pipe dream bites the dust.

In February it was reported that despite pleading poverty the Council spent £66,000 on new furniture.   More on that here

In March we read about Wirral Council asking for lifetime leisure passes to be handed back from those Council employees with 25 or more years’ service. Read more here

In April I joined up with colleagues and the Saughall Massie Village Area Conservation Society to do a ‘Spring Clean’ in the community   More on that here

In May the local elections took place and I was delighted to be re-elected to serve for a fifth term in Moreton and Saughall Massie.  More on that here

In June we urged the Council to fly the flag of St George for the European football Championships.  More on that here     Following this I moved that the flag of St George  be flown every day and the Council finally agreed in October this year.

In July we reported just how out of touch the Council was. You can read that here

In August we called on Wirral Council to have all Councillors DBS checked  more here

In September we reported on the tremendous employment figures across the UK.  Read more on that here

In October we reported on the next attack on our green belt at Diamond Farm in Saughall Massie   You can read more about that here

In November we report on the Council becoming the first in Merseyside to adopt the Motor Neurone disease Charter.  More here

In December as well as having the planning application for the fire station refused, we also set up a petition to help protect the amenity of the people who live in the sheltered accommodation at Woodpecker Close.   More on that here

So that’s just a small snippet of the year.    Here’s to a peaceful and prosperous 2017