SAVE SEFTON PARK MEADOWS

The campaign to stop Liverpool City Council selling off the meadows of Sefton Park


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Latest Meeting: What You Can Do

We were invited as the Meadows campaign to speak at an informal meeting on Thurs 17th July at Ullet Road Unitarian Church. New Green Party councillor for Greenbank Ward, Lawrence Brown, wanted local people to come and meet him informally – and hear from the Meadows,  which he described as ‘one of the most important doorstep issues’ in Greenbank, helping him gain election for the first time.

The meeting was lively and well attended.  Meadows campaigners were led by local Avenues resident Janet Pell.  Cllr Brown was joined by another new Green Party councillor Tom Crone from St Michael’s Ward, who will now sit on the Council Regeneration Committee – the key group that was supposed to scrutinise  green space sell off.  Both pledged their continuing support to stop this heritage greenspace in Sefton Park being sold for housing. We also met a student at Hope University who is writing  his dissertation on the Meadows as part of his Environmental Management degree. People filled in questionnaires to support his survey work.

Sincere thanks to Angela, Hilary and the great people at the Unitarian Church.

HOW YOU CAN HELP NOW

1. We believe strongly that Redrow Homes are the preferred developer.  We want people to contact Redrow – and their Chief Executive Steve Morgan to ask him to confirm or deny, and say why they object to housing on this beautiful and unique part of Sefton Park.

Redrow House, St David’s Park, Ewloe, Flintshire, CH5 3RX
01244 520044 /01244 545655
groupservices@redrow.co.uk  or  nw.customerservice@redrow.co.uk

You can also write to Nick Kavanagh and Joe Anderson to ask the same question.  nick.kavanagh@liverpool.gov.uk      liverpool.gov.uk/contact-us/contact-the-mayor

Ask them to CONFIRM OR DENY!

2. We need to fundraise £1,500 to pay for professional legal and planning advice.  Redrow will submit a planning application for the Meadows in early September, and we need to be ready.  We are starting to draft our submissions BUT WE NEED PROFESSIONAL HELP.  And this will cost us money!  Please donate using our PAYPAL button lower down this page.  Share this on your own Facebook & Twitter Accounts.

3. Our government e-petition is open to AUGUST 2ND to ask for future planning approval to be called in for an independent review. SIGN UP NOW AND HELP US GET PROPER SCRUTINY OF THE COUNCIL’S SELL OFF. http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/53216

4. English Heritage will have a major influence on any Planning Application.  They will be a Formal Consultee and give an opinion on the impact of housing development. Contact English Heritage and tell them how much you value the Meadows as part of Grade 1 listed Sefton Park.                           graeme.ives@english-heritage.org.uk

5. FLASH MOB EVENTS. We need a group of enthusiastic people to come to the Meadows at short notice to protest. CAN YOU HELP? Contact Martin Dobson on 07930 760868             facebook.com/saveseftonparkmeadows

6. A new STATE OF UK PUBLIC PARKS REPORT by Heritage Lottery has been published in June. IT MAKES GRIM READING. Parks & Greenspaces will be lost, or slowly decline due to cuts in budgets to local authorities. Northwest parks are the worst hit in the country. CONTACT HERITAGE LOTTERY to complain that public money they have invested is now being wasted and their great work in Liverpool is being lost.  Tell them about the current threats to Sefton Park Meadows and Woolton Woods.   Sara Hilton is Head of Heritage Lottery NorthWest.            NorthWest@hlf.org.uk

Please, let us know what actions you are taking to stop the Meadows being sold off.  Time is critical now and we need all the help we can muster! Leave a comment or message on this website or post on Facebook.   THANKS.


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Meadows Meets Liverpool Biennial

Turning Green to Brown

John Davies photography exhibition 5 July to 10 August 2014

The Meadows portraits launch night

Thursday 10 July at 6:30pm

Unit 51 Coffee Baltic Creative

49 Jamaica St L1 0

 ALL WELCOME

Turning Green to Brown exhibition

John Davies photography exhibition

During the month of May this year, John Davies spent 90 minutes each day for 10 days in the public green space of the Meadows parkland. He asked a total of 114 adults if he could take their picture. 98 people agreed to have their portraits made to be included in exhibitions to help promote awareness of the potential loss of the Meadows. The Mayor of Liverpool is proposing to sell off Sefton Park Meadows for executive housing.

This is an example of what is happening in local authorities throughout England: assets sold off and services cut to meet the requirements of central government’s austerity measures along with pressure to build housing on green space as a more profitable alternative to building on brown-field sites. A planning application to develop and sell the Meadows will probably be decided by September 2014.

Portraits of people in Sefton Park Meadows, Liverpool – on show at 3 venues across Liverpool:

Quaker Meeting House Cafe, 22 School Lane, Liverpool L1 3BT 
(next to Bluecoat Centre)

Open Monday to Friday 9:00am-5:00pm & 6:00-10:00pm.

Unit 51 Coffee, Baltic Creative, Jamaica Street, Liverpool L1 0AF

Open daily 8:30am-5:30pm or later.

The Old Police Station, 80 Lark Lane, Liverpool L17 8UU
(front entrance)

Open Thursday to Sunday 12:00am-6:00pm.

All portraits will be shown at the Old Police Station on Lark Lane. These will be all together in 2 big frames.

Other venues will have a selection of large prints.

For further details contact John Davies on info@ourground.net     http://www.johndavies.uk.com


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Meadows Developer About to Go Public – Campaign to hold Anniversary Picnic

The preferred developer  for Sefton Park Meadows is to be announced within  a few weeks by Liverpool City Council.  Eight developers submitted Expressions of Interest by the March 31st closing date. We couldn’t get information from the Council on who they were, but we wrote to all development companies we could track down in Liverpool and the northwest, to let them know of our  campaign and the fierce opposition by the majority of people to housing on the Meadows.
WE WILL FIGHT ON THROUGH THE NEXT STAGES AND THROUGH THE PLANNING PROCESS!

WE ARE INVITING ALL FRIENDS AND SUPPORTERS TO OUR

ANNIVERSARY PICNIC ON THE MEADOWS

EASTER MONDAY 21ST APRIL  2PM TO 4PM

It’s just over a year since the Council decided to put Sefton Park Meadows up for sale.  Come and celebrate the beauty and historic place of Sefton Park Meadows, bring your friends and family, music, food, creative spirit and picnic rug (maybe a brolly too!).

New Save Sefton Park Meadows butterfly logo

New logo by John Davies

We still need your support  – this campaign will not stop here!

Contact us if you can bring anything to the Picnic on 21st April.

www.facebook.com/saveseftonparkmeadows or call Martin 07930 760868

Selling off our cherished assets – St Luke’s ‘Bombed Out’ Church is the latest on the council’s list – is shortsighted, damaging and in our Meadows  campaign experience, poorly scrutinised.

Local people and the Save Sefton Park Meadows campaign have challenged this decision on every front.  We went through a Formal Complaints process to the Local Ombudsman over Council process and administration over the sell off – only to receive a decision that the Local Ombudsman ‘cannot investigate this complaint about a land sale as the Ombudsman cannot investigate something that affects all or most of the people in a council’s area.’ As a channel to challenge ANY SELL OFF OF COUNCIL ASSETS , the Local Ombudsman ‘cannot question councils’ legal right to sell or otherwise dispose of land, or question the merits of their decisions about whether and how to do it. It can consider complaints about administrative fault in the decision-making process. However, the Ombudsman would not usually investigate complaints that a council has been ‘wasting public money’. This is because the Ombudsman cannot investigate something that affects all or most of the people in a council’s area’ (Local Government Act 1974, section26(7)).


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Why we say ‘No’ to Merseyside Civic Society

On 11th December 2013, Save Sefton Park Meadows campaign group received an email from Graham Marshall, vice chair of Merseyside Civic Society (MCS). On behalf of the MCS Council and members, he had written a Sefton Park Position Statement for MCS, supporting development on Sefton Park Meadows.

MCS Sefton Park Position Statement

He circulated this to ourselves,  Mayor Joe Anderson, Chief Executive of Liverpool City Council, Head of Planning, and an article appeared a few days later in the Liverpool Echo.

We are very upset over a number of issues related to this, not least that we had contacted MCS several times to ask for advice and support, taking account of their stated conservation and heritage protection objectives. No reply had been received, up to their Position Statement being published. And now we learn that MCS supports housing development on Sefton Park Meadows!

We have discussed and agreed our response.

SSPM Response to MSC 12.01.2014

We sent this email below to Graham Marshall and LCC.  We will also be sending out a local media press release this week.

Supporters – what do you think? Let us know your views on both Statements, and the MCS proposal of hosting an’ open and independent debate ‘.

Email to Graham Marshall, MCS vice chair. CC to Mayor Anderson,  LCC Chief Executive and  Head of Planning                                                  

Dear Graham Marshall,

Further to your email below of 11 December 2013, with the Merseyside Civic Society Sefton Park Position Statement attached.

I attach the Save Sefton Park Meadows Campaign Group response to the Merseyside Civic Society Sefton Park Position Statement on the proposed sale of Sefton Park Meadows for housing development.

In your paper, MCS indicates its interest in hosting an open and independent forum to promote informed and balanced discussions on this important issue.

MCS have confirmed by the contents of their Position Statement that they support Liverpool City Council on the proposed sale of Sefton Park Meadows for housing development. Save Sefton Park Meadows Campaign Group is unclear how MCS could now host an open and independent forum to promote informed and balanced discussions on this important matter, when they have publicly declared their support for Liverpool City Council on this issue.

SSPM GROUP


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Campaign Banners Go Back Up

Banners OK Lawful postersOur Save Sefton Park Meadows posters are back up on the site! And just in time, as the Meadows will be marketed from Monday 2nd December 2013 to potential developers. After an angry exchange with Chief Executive Ged Fitzgerald, who instructed his council’s grounds maintenance firm Amey to remove our campaign banners  a few weeks ago, we welcomed the Liverpool  Echo  to photograph us putting them back up. Ged Fitzgerald said he had received public complaints and that the campaign was  in danger of committing ‘ common law trespass’ by putting advertising up without permission on council assets.

Campaigner Janet Pell immediately write to the CEO to ask for clarification and lodge a formal protest that this was preventing lawful democratic opposition to one of the most controversial proposals from the Council. Using posters on the Meadows was one of the few available visible campaign activities that local people have to show opposition and gather public support. The recent Public Meeting confirmed Janet’s opposition.

Cllr Richard Kemp of the Lib Dems then contacted the CEO to request details of the complaints and to see details of the council logs.  To date, this has not been forthcoming. Cllr Kemp and Green Party councillors John Coyne and Sarah Jennings have given their support and Cllr Kemp invited the Echo to join us to put posters back up on Friday 29th Nov. We expect this to be published in the Echo on Sat 30th Nov or Mon 2nd Dec.

Despite our requests, the campaign to save the Meadows has not been formally notified of the Marketing date or details. We are pressing for these and will make them available on the website and Facebook page.


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WHAT DO WE DO NEXT?

We are doing really well with this campaign. There has been massive support and we are building excellent local and social media support. But Liverpool Council are still selling off the Meadows. They still want to dig up the most beautiful green space in South Liverpool for expensive, half a million pound houses.

What should we do next?

The Campaign is considering the next steps and how to keep up the pressure over the summer – before the council advertise for developers.

We want your ideas? Visit our Facebook page to post to the campaign group – we meet every week or email Saveseftonparkmeadows@gmail.com

  •  We need ideas to engage more with the public, and ways to attract local media.
  •  We need help from legal people and planning people to map out our next steps.
  • We want good ideas for engaging with national politicians/media.
  • We need ideas for building the network of support

Thank you!


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Meadows is in Sefton Park Boundary, says Joe Anderson

An exchange of emails between formal Lib Dem Councillor Jan Clein and Mayor Joe Anderson has confirmed that the Meadows are within  Sefton Park Boundary.      At the start of our campaign to stop the sell off, Joe stated that they were not. (at the first Regeneration Committee in April, on air with Radio Merseyside and in written answers to campaigners). The land registry title deeds also describe the Meadows as Sefton Park.

The Mayor has called the Meadows ‘Incidental Open Space’ – words which are usually used to describe verges and small bits of land left over from development. This was also used in the Council’s Loss of Open Space Notice. The Meadows are certainly not incidental open space. All of the council’s greenspace reports and open space planning documents list the Meadows as one of the highest value greenspace sites in Liverpool, with the highest category of protection.They are prime parkland, within the historic Sefton Park boundary, within the Sefton Park Conservation Area, and an important part of this great city’s heritage. They provide a huge range of ecosystem services, regulating air, water, pollution, climate – costed by UK govt and European Commission reports at millions of pounds. They are important to health and are an important recreation and amenity space.  NONE OF THIS IS COVERED BY ‘INCIDENTAL OPEN SPACE’.

 

 

 

 

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/victorian-map-should-stop-sefton-4310825

 


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Record 1,200 Formal Objections Handed In

We achieved a record 1,200 formal objections to Liverpool council’s Notice of Loss of Open Space, which Liverpool council are cynically using to try and sell off Sefton Park Meadows.  We handed our objections personally to Nick Kavanagh, Director of Regeneration(!) and the Regeneration Committee meeting on Thurs 13th June.  We were allowed 5 mins to speak. Nick Kavanagh stated again that this Land Disposal process does not require any discussion of the Meadows’ huge environmental values, heritage character, or loss of amenity – this will have to wait until a planning application is submitted.

Yet if the Meadows had been listed from April 2012 to March 2013 in their own formal assessment of sites being considered for housing or development (their Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment – known as SHLAA), this would have required formal assessment of the Meadows by an external consultant, then scrutiny by local councillors and local residents over several months.  Strangely, the Meadows was not listed –  but suddenly in March this year became a site to be sold for development – no process of consultation required, just a council vote along party lines,a tiny advert in the back pages of the Daily Post and 3 weeks to write in?!

Well, Mayor Anderson, Cllr Malcom Kennedy and Director of Regeneration, we have done this in huge numbers! Your own council e-petition supporting the sale has so far recorded 58 supporters.  Can you do the maths?


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OUR SECOND MASS PICNIC!

MAY 27th 2013

Sefton Park Meadows

Thanks to all those hardy people who came out in the rain and wind to our second MASS PICNIC on the Meadowlands on Bank Holiday Monday! The really committed even enjoyed their outdoor picnic!

We had great fun, despite the weather, and over 600 people joined in over the afternoon for music, food, games, dog training, information and to show their support.

Highlights were  the Socialist Choir who had even composed their own song, Dan’s sack races for kids and adults, and Phoebe and Catherine’s dog agility and pet grooming area! Dogs and their walkers love this space too… All part of our campaign against Liverpool City Council’s SELL OFF of this historic and valuable public open space around Sefton Park.

We’re showing Liverpool City Council that greenspace makes good social and business sense. Mayor Anderson, it’s also a fantastic space for events!

Mass Picnic Poster!

Mass Picnic Poster!


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WHAT’S IT WORTH?

Meadows Newsletter (May)

Our MAY newsletter has been printed and is ready for distribution; to take a closer look, click on the image for each page.

MEADOWS NEWS-May (page 1)

MEADOWS NEWS-May (page 1)

MEADOWS NEWS-May (page 2)

MEADOWS NEWS-May (page 2)

NOT EVERYBODY HAS A COMPUTER!

Please feel free to download newsletter and print off; this can be done by clicking on each image, and then right clicking the image (“save image as”) to save on your computer, you can then print off in colour, or black and white depending on your printer preference. Images can also be sent as an email attachment.

WE NEED MORE SIGNATURES!!!

Our petition is going well, but we still need more signatures, both on-line and paper: If you can help with the door to door paper petition, please email us at SAVE SEFTON PARK MEADOWS. You can download and print the paper petition HERE!

Also, the councils own on-line E-PETITION. It’s a bit long winded this one, but PLEASE DON’T GIVE UP…..we need every signature to count!

COME AND JOIN US!

THIS MONDAY…..outside the AVIARY CAFE, in SEFTON PARK, Bank Holiday Monday (6th May 2013) between 1pm and 4pm.

Eros & The Aviary Cafe, Sefton Park, Liverpool

Eros & The Aviary Cafe, Sefton Park, Liverpool

SAVE SEFTON PARK MEADOWS: SAY HELLO; Sign the petition, find out more about the campaign, pick up a newsletter, donate to the campaign cause and join in with our FAMILY FUN PAVEMENT ART EVENT; making the park EVEN MORE beautiful this Springtime!

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