Fire Station on green belt in Saughall Massie – UPDATE

Following refusal of the planning application for a new fire station in Saughall Massie in December last year, the Chief Fire Officer, Dan Stephens is taking a report to the Fire Authority next Thursday 26th January recommending that the Authority give him permission to submit an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate as well as submitting a further planning application to Wirral Council.   You can read his report by clicking HERE 

It appears that the Chief Fire Officer is prepared to keep squandering public money in order to force this unwanted fire station on a community, who have made it abundantly clear that they don’t want it.   We will of course oppose any further attempts to build at this location.

The Fire Authority meeting starts at 1pm and is being held in the the Liverpool Suite at Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters, Bridle Road, Bootle L30 4YD.   The meeting is is open to the public, so if you want to attend you are very welcome to do so.

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.

Council Leader says NO

A couple of weeks ago I asked the Leader of the Council to treat the people of Saughall Massie as fairly as he treated the people of Greasby with regard to the proposal to build a fire station on Green Belt land in Saughall Massie. We all know that when the people of Greasby objected to a fire station being built in their community the Leader of the Council instructed Council Officers to withdraw the land.

So I don’t believe it’s unreasonable for him to do the same for the 3,000 plus people of Saughall Massie who have already objected to the application in their community.    However in his email response to me he has said he won’t withdraw the land and wants the planning process to run its course.

Strangely I would have thought it incumbent on any Council leader, of any political persuasion to act in a consistent manner and treat all residents of the Borough with fairness and equality.   Sadly in Wirral under this Labour administration this is not the case.   I wonder why?    

Fire Station on Green Belt in Saughall Massie

IMG_2559It seems that Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service have, as yet, not been able to submit a planning application for their proposed new fire station on Green Belt land in Saughall Massie because they have to determine if there are any Great Crested Newts in the nearby pond!   However once they have carried out that survey they do intend to submit an application.   More information can be found in the email below:

—–Original Message—–
From: Schofield, Colin
Sent: 27 April 2016
Subject: RE: Fire Station – Saughall Massie

As the proposed development site is within 200m of an established pond, we are required by law to carry out an ecological survey to establish, amongst other things, if any protected species (e.g. Great Crested Newts) are present & if they are, come up with an appropriate mitigation strategy to ensure they are not harmed during any works. Surveys can only be carried out at times when such species are active (i.e. not during the winter months) & consequently we were unable to proceed with the survey until the temperature improved sufficiently to allow this to take place. The survey is currently underway & we should have the results within the next few weeks. The survey findings, together with any mitigation strategy, need to be submitted as part of the planning application to Wirral Borough Council.

I hope this explains why no planning application has yet been submitted. I anticipate that the planning application will be made in the next few months although I cannot be more precise at present.

Regards
Colin

Colin Schofield
Regional Project Director
Merseyside F&RS HQ
Bridle Road
Bootle
Merseyside
L30 4YD
tel 0151 296 4203

Mayor Agrees to Calls for Girtrell Court Debate

Starts

Following concerns raised by campaigners fighting to save Girtrell Court, the Mayor of Wirral, Cllr. Les Rowlands, has agreed to calls for an extraordinary meeting of all 66 councillors.

The demand for the meeting followed concerns that public statements from members of Wirral’s Cabinet were confused and, at times, contradictory.

Cllr. Chris Blakeley said: “In the last 14 days, we have been told, ‘yeah, but no, but maybe’ by the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health over the future of Girtrell Court.

“At the same time, the Leader of the Council pledged to be open and transparent only to then delegate the decision to the Cabinet Member and Director, out of public view and with no reference to the rest of his Cabinet.

“This whole sorry saga has proved to be traumatic to the staff and families; it has appalled the trade unions and ward councillors in Saughall Massie. I believe the Cabinet Member should now make it clear what, if anything, she has decided and on what evidence. Neither I, nor the families, believe the repeated claims about ‘extending choice’ – it is, in truth, about closing services.”

Councillor Blakeley has now emailed the Head of Law to seek confirmation of the date of the meeting and to ensure that notice is given to petitioners, families, staff and unions.

Ends

Approved

At Wirral’s Cabinet this evening I was delighted to move a recommendation for approval on a report from the Councils Head of Law to support the Overton Community bid to the community fund for £12,500, in order to ensure that the purchase of the land could be completed by the 30th September.    I also took the opportunity to put on record my thanks to Officers who had responded to my requests for action on this matter.   That OK with you  TC of Upton?