Earlier today, along with my colleagues Cllr Steve Williams and Cllr Simon Mountney I went along to the Valentines Day Community event which I organised with Wirral Partnership Homes (WPH).
The event was to celebrate the start of the long awaited demolition and redevelopment of the eyesore shops and maisonettes on Town Meadow Lane. I have been campaigning for this day for 12 years and it was a very proud moment for me to see that campaign, with the total support of the local community, come to fruition.
It was a great couple of hours with music by Seven Waves Radio, fish and chips supplied by Sid from the Town Meadow Supper Bar, Cakes supplied by Debbie the Hairdresser and soft drinks supplied by Bhullars General Store, there was a bouncey castle, face painting, ballons and much much more.
I was absolutely delighted to be asked to perform the official ceremony, and instead of turning the first sod, I ‘Cut the Cake’ with WPH Chief Exec Brian Simpson. The cake, baked and decorated by Debbie was designed to look like a replica of the development, really clever.
Well over 200 local residents, adults and children came along to celebrate the end of a long campaign. Wates the developer is on site to start work in earnest on Monday 20th Feb and the whole project to demolish the site, provide three new shops and 24 new dwellings is expected to take around 18 months to complete.
Huge thank you’s to Sid, Debbie, Mr Bhullar, Seven Waves Radio, officers and the Board of WPH and most of all to the community who have been with me every step of the way. Today is a testament to your perseverence, and together we have made this possible.
Readers of the blog and the wider community will be aware of my 12 year campaign to get the eyesore, that is the derelict shops and maisonettes on Town Meadow Lane redeveloped.
Today it was confirmed to me that Wirral Partnership Homes who I have been working with over the last 12 months on the proposal to demolish the flats and maisonettes and build three new shops and 24 new homes have signed contracts with Wates Construction who will be doing the work and it is expected that they will start on site on the 20th February. This really is a great start to 2012!
Before the work starts I want to invite all the local residents to a community celebration event on the 14th February (Valentines Day). The event will take place at the front of the shops starting at 11:30am and running until 1:30pm, there will be hot snacks, cakes and soft drinks and hopefully a real party atmosphere, so please come along and join with me celebratring this long-overdue development that will bring three new shops and 24 homes to the site, a massive £3 million pound investment in our town.
a bit of background: In the early 2000’s the Council always favoured Birkenhead for investment, ignoring Moreton, the only scheme they tried to hoodwink us was the one for troubled youngsters, that was roundy defeated by the people of Moreton. Then of course in 2005 the Council transferred the stock to Wirral Partnership Homes and of course their priority weas to bring the housing stock up to decent home standard and they had no money for building new homes. We continued to bid for funds from all the Housing agencies, sadly the Council continued to ignore Moreton and favour, Birkenhead and Tranmere, even now the latest £2.7 million given by the Government is being spent in Birkenhead. Without the investment of £3 million by WPH this eyesore would remain.
Yesterday between 1pm and 7pm I was outside the shops on Town Meadow Lane, when I attended the Wirral Partnership Homes (WPH) Open Day, where local residents could look at the plans for the redevelopment and regeneration of the derelict Shops and Maisonettes. As well as the architect being present there were also representatives of WPH who where taking on board peoples comments, mostly very positive, but with a few negative.
I was extremeley pleased with the amount of people who came along, all of whom were delighted that after so many years of neglect the site was going to be given a major redevelopment with all the existing properties being demolished and replaced with new shop units and 24 family dwellings, made up of: 3 x 2bed bungalows, 1 x 4 bed bungalow, 2 x 2 bed houses, 16 x 3 bed houses and 2 x 4 bed houses, all the properties will be for renatl and will be provided as social housing by WPH. You can see the proposals by clicking HERE
Next step is for WPH to submit a planning application, I am told that will happen next week, if approved WPH hope to start work on site later this year and will first demolish part of the site to build the new shop units, it is hoped that they will be ready for occupation sometime in spring/early summer, and once the existing traders have moved to their new premises the rest of the site can be demolished and work started on the houses with an anticipated completion date of the project se sometime Autumn/Winter 2013. It has been a long hard struggle to get this far, and there are still a couple of hurdles to overcome, but at last we have more than a glimpse of light at what has been a very dark tunnel
Readers of the blog and the wider Moreton community may be aware, and may recall the drugs raid that took place resulting in a closure order at 94 Curlew Way, Moreton. It has taken a lot of time, and a few emails encouraging Wirral Partnership Homes (WPH) to bring the house back into use. Well, finally I am delighted that WPH will be starting work on the house in early 2011 and hope to have it back in use with a family in residence by March 2011. Some things are worth waiting for, however I still think two and half years is far too long……..
Yesterday, along with Cabinet member colleague, Cllr Gill Gardiner I attended the launch of the ‘No Cold Calling’ initiative at Brookdale Close and Whitelands Meadow in Greasby. The scheme is designed for tenants, both in social housing and in private home ownership as a deterrent from high pressure sales, and basically makes an area a, ‘No Go Zone’ for cold callers.
The Brookdale Close initiative , is a new joint venture with Wirral Partnership Homes and is aimed at protecting their tenants from high pressure selling of products such as burglar alarm systems and mobility aids. Whilst Whitelands Meadow is a more traditional no cold calling zone aimed at owner occupiers.
As the Cabinet Member responsible for community safety I am delighted that initiatives such as this, which cost a relatively small amount can bring reassurance to local people.
Immediately after I finished at Licensing I went to Wirral Partnership Homes (WPH) Annual General Meeting, which was being held at the magnificent Floral Pavillion in New Brighton.
The meeting was extremely well attended with about 100 people present. The Chairman of WPH, Ged Pearson introduced the proceedings and talked of the year gone by and the challenges that the future year(s) will bring. He was followeed by presentations from the Chief Exec, Brian Simpson, and the accounts presented by the Director of Finance, Patrick McCarthy. After that it was over to a lively question and answer session.
Once all the formal proceedings were over we were entertained by St Pauls Operatic Society, who whilst being serious injected some humour into their performance. It was then time for a buffet, some networking before the long awaited results of the annual garden competition, which unfortunately I could not stay for. Well done to WPH for organising a really good and informative event. In my role as Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety, I look forward to working closely with WPH over the coming years.
Over a number of years we have been contacted many times by people who are concerned over traffic speeds in Town Meadow Lane and we have repeatedly asked Highways Engineers to do what they can to raise awareness with drivers. This is a busy feeder route, but drivers forget that it also quite a densely populated residential area. I am delighted to say that following a meeting yesterday the Council has agreed to look for an appropriate location to install a speed activated warning device on Town Meadow Lane.
The other regular complaint we get is about vehicles parking on the grass verge outside the flats close to the junction with Wastdale Drive. The Engineers have tried various methods of stopping this practice, however all to no avail, so finally they have agreed to install bollards at this location which will physically stop drivers overriding the verge. A couple of great results.
I also managed to get some cash from the Council to have bicycle racks installed close to the shops on Saughall Massie Road, and in Chadwick Street……………………………..