Fire Station in Saughall Massie – The fight goes on

Following Wirral’s planning committee refusing the application for a fire station on Saughall Massie Road, the Fire Authority met yesterday to decide what to do next.   Along with my colleague Cllr Bruce Berry and Les Spencer, Chair of the Saughall Massie Village Conservation Area I attended the meeting.

One of the Labour members on the Authority called local residents ‘Snobs’ for opposing the first application and suggested that Saughall Massie residents are only interested in their house values and the Chair of the Authority said the way Wirral Council behaved was despicable, and he suggested that all those Councillors who spoke against this application and voted against should hang their heads in shame.   After they had finished insulting residents, Councillors and the Council, the Authority resolved to submit an amended planning application in the next few weeks, as well as considering an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, and consider requesting that the Council pays the costs.

Clearly we need to continue to oppose this attack on our green belt and the amenity of local residents, particularly those who are elderly and infirm who live in the nearby sheltered housing in Woodpecker Close and on Saughall Massie Road and to that end we have set up an online petition which can be accessed HERE   You can also help by clicking HERE and printing off a hard copy petition, collect as many signatures as you can and return it to me, Bruce or Steve at our home addresses. Alternatively you may want to return petitions to me, Steve and Bruce between 11am and 11:30am on Sunday 19th February when we will be outside the Willows Pub on Saughall Massie Road.

As soon as the planning application is submitted we will let people know.  In the meantime please sign the petition and ask your friends to do so to.  Sadly we have to fight this all over again.

 

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

Millhouse Pub Site, Millhouse Lane

I have heard that the site has now been sold by Galliford Try to the Symphony Housing Group

Symphony Housing Group describe themselves as the largest registered social landlord based solely in the North West. With over 41,000 properties, we operate across 30 local authorities and we are committed to supporting the regeneration and sustainability of the North West.

I have sent Bronwen Rapley, Group Chief Executive an email asking what plans Symphony has for this site. I have reproduced that email below.   As soon as i get a response I will of course ensure local residents and the wider community are informed.

Email Starts

Dear Ms Rapley

I understand that the Symphony Housing Group has purchased from Galliford Try, the former Millhouse pub site, Millhouse Lane, Moreton CH46 6HJ

As you will be aware a planning application, APP/14/00706 for the Demolition of The Millhouse public house and erection of 38 residential apartments for older people (over 55s) and other associated development including hard and soft landscaping, boundary treatment, car parking, and alterations to access from Millhouse Lane.( amended proposals, reducing number of units, increasing car parking and alterations to elevations) was refused unanimously by Wirral’s Planning Committee on the 22nd October, 2014, however the application was subsequently allowed at appeal.

Since the appeal was allowed by the planning inspectorate in 2015 the site has been left to deteriorate and has become an eyesore to local residents, a real blot on the landscape, and indeed, until it was tidied and fenced off was a magnet for fly tipping and anti-social behaviour.

As one of the three Ward Councillors for the area, along with local residents we are keen to see this site redeveloped and brought back into use as soon as possible.

I would very much appreciate it if you could tell me if it is Symphony’s intention to build in line with the current approved planning permission, or do you have other plans for this site?

I look forward to your response

Regards

Chris Blakeley

Councillor for Moreton West and Saughall Massie Ward

74, Grampian Way, Moreton CH46 0PZ

Tel: 0151 606 9193

Mob: 07803 614418

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.

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.

Say NO to Parking Charges – IMPORTANT UPDATE

So today we reveal that the Labour Council is to publish a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) in the Wirral Globe tomorrow which sets out the proposed parking charges for the Country Parks and Fort Perch Rock as well as on road charges in New Brighton.    You can read that TRO by clicking HERE

Now having already started the procurement for Pay and Display Machines, along with this TRO before the matter goes to the Business Overview and Scrutiny Committee  for investigation, how are we to believe that this is not already a done deal.

It is now so important that you sign the petition opposing these charges in order that we can send the strongest message we can to this out of touch, uncaring, callous Labour Council.    Please sign the petition by clicking HERE

Pensioners Lunch Clubs

Starts 

Wirral Council has announced that grants for pensioner lunch clubs in the Borough are to be scrapped from April. 

The move, which has taken place without full consultation, will affect around 200 pensioners, leaving many of them alone at home.  

The Council has said the £72,000 saved will then be reinvested in tackling pensioner isolation. 

Among the lunch clubs affected are Moreton, Leasowe, New Brighton Community Centre and Vale Park.  The clubs, which take place throughout the week are held in local community centres and often run by volunteers. 

The Council’s grants help towards the cost of transport for the pensioners and the costs of the meals. 

Councillor Bruce Berry (Conservative, Moreton West & Saughall Massie) said: “This decision has been sneaked out without virtually any consultation among the groups affected and there is now less than six weeks to find alternative funds or face closure. 

“Not one of the community groups affected by this policy has been asked to serve on the panel that reviewed the spending and the Council has failed to communicate with all the clubs affected.” 

“The effect of this policy will have the opposite result to the one the Town Hall claims – instead of freeing up £72,000 to spend on pensioners, the existing 200 or more isolated, vulnerable and often lonely individuals will be left sitting in their own homes. That’s not tackling isolation – it’s creating it.”

Ends

You can read what the Wirral Globe says HERE

Notes:

In the latest review of Wirral Council’s ‘2020 Pledges’, the Town Has has stated ‘Ensuring the most vulnerable among us are safe, and feel safe, is perhaps our most important responsibility.’