SAVE SEFTON PARK MEADOWS

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


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May 2015 Election Manifesto for Parks and Greenspaces

The Liverpool Echo recently asked local people what issues we think are the most important for our politicians and councillors to consider ahead of the May 7th elections.

Our replies – over 3,000 – put Renovating Housing to Protect our Greenbelt and Open Spaces from Development at number 2, just behind restoring local govt finances.  See the Echo report here.

Campaigners to save Sefton Park Meadows have long said that :

1. Targeting the Meadows would set a precedent for wider greenspace sell off

2. This would become a major election issue, particularly for Labour councillors

People in this city put a high social, economic, natural, wellbeing and heritage value on their greenspaces.  We are very intelligent about them as key assets to a successful, thriving, healthy, smart and green city that we know Liverpool needs to become.  Using brownfield sites and restoring empty properties first is what we want to see, NOT selling off valuable greenspaces.

The May elections give us all a chance to ask those standing as councillors or MPs to protect our parks and greenspaces for future generations.

Also, check out this new national Parks Manifesto to get politicians to pledge their support in the run up to the Elections in May.

 

Simon O’Brien’s public meetings

See Meadows campaigner Paul Slater’s notes from the Strategic Greenspaces Review Board public meeting in Greenbank, Mossley Hill and Riverside Ward  Notes (20 March 2015). (See previous post for Review Board details) The final public meeting with Simon O’Brien took place on Sat 28th March. No surprise that it was the best attended by local people, held in Woolton in the church directly opposite the threatened greenspace in Woolton Woods. Local people protesting about the potential loss of Score Lane Park were there too, with other greenspace campaigners. We held a public demonstration outside as the meeting ended.

Astonishing Facts: 1. The council has no idea what it is spending on individual parks and greenspaces.  2. No surveys are ever undertaken to understand usage. 3. No representative from a  health body is on the Review Board.

The first draft report should be out in June and 4 more public meetings will be held. Local people can also request online to attend workshops being run by the Review Board in May and June.The final report will be out in spring 2016.  Meanwhile, ANY development on greenspace under planning application will continue, or new applications can be made for building on greenspace.

Watch this space!

 

 

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Important Meadows Public Meeting Frid 20th March with Green Spaces Review Board

The key public meeting for  Sefton Park Meadows,  run by the Green Space Review Board, is THIS FRIDAY:

Greenbank, Church & Mossley Hill Wards: 20 March, 6.30 – 8.00pm
Merseyside Police Support and Social Association, Riversdale Road, Liverpool L19 3QN

Please attend if you can and encourage as many of your friends and neighbours to go along. Chair Simon O’Brien is willing to listen and take account of local views at the moment, before he writes his draft report in June.  We need people to stand up for the Meadows and our parks and greenspaces.

Our request to this Board regarding Sefton Park Meadows is very simple:

‘In view of the the special and unique position of Sefton Park Meadows, which has been clearly and widely articulated by huge numbers of local residents across the city of Liverpool, and people from a wider Liverpool expatriate community, we request that the Strategic Board ask the Mayor to reverse the decision to sell Sefton Park Meadows and retain it as part of our heritage greenspace asset for future generations.’

Also, check out this new national Parks Manifesto  to get politicians to pledge their support  in the run up to the Elections in May.

Other Strategic Greenspaces public meetings are being held in the next few week, details below.  

The Future of Liverpool’s Parks and Greenspaces?

The much awaited city council Green Space Review Board, chaired by Liverpool actor and environmentalist Simon O’Brien, is out and about visiting our city parks and greenspaces.  The Panel has also scheduled 10 meetings covering all Liverpool wards.  The first was on Tuesday 10th March in St Michael’s, Central and Riverside Wards. See below for the full schedule.

The Save Sefton Park Meadows campaign has no doubt however, that a significant objective of this review is to identify green space for housing developments AND to save costs in maintaining Liverpool’s parks and greenspaces. Last year, a number of property developers such as Redrow called for a greenspaces review to get more valuable – and currently protected –  sites such as Sefton Park Meadows included as viable sites for new ‘ executive’ housing. Already from the Strategic Greenspace and Open Spaces Review Board Terms of Reference we have noted with concern that the following key objectives include:

4.4 Land Identification & Ownership: Consider the key issues associated with land use in order to allow the Council to make decisions in relation to land ownership, equitable access, development and management. The project will review and agree the existing land assets and type.

4.4.4  Incidental green and open space – that could be transferred to other individuals or organisations.

4.4.5  Land with a strategic value to the Council – whether that is through financial disposal to a developer; development of the land by the Council; or for wider regeneration and/or multifunctional benefits.

Of concern is this paragraph: 

1.3 It has ultimate accountability for the Strategic Review of Green and Open Spaces and acts as the ultimate point of reference for the development and allocation of land types (as set out below) across Liverpool.

Also note: The use of the term ‘Incidental’ in 4.4.4 above is specific to the original Notice of Disposal of Land that was used in June 2013 to put the Meadows up for sale.  We have consistently contested the term ‘ incidental land’ used by the city council to describe Sefton Park Meadows, given its currently location and unique protections.

As a Board which is representative of the people of Liverpool, with the right expertise and breadth, we are also extremely doubtful – see members of the Board listed below the meeting schedule.

The timescale for these meetings is very tight and they are already underway, as they need to run before the Election ‘purdah’ (when councillors and MPs have to withdraw from political activity).  Publicity of them is very limited, online only, to say the least. As well as being at the meetings, Simon O’Brien is attempting to visit all Liverpool’s greenspace sites during the course of this month – quite a task as there are around 200 to visit!

You can attend ANY of these meetings – regardless of whether you live in the relevant wards – to give your views on parks and greenspaces.  PLEASE ATTEND ONE OF THESE  IF YOU CAN. Make your views known.  The next most important for the Meadows campaign are in Greenbank, Church and Mossley Hill Wards, which include Sefton Park, on Frid 20th March 6.30pm to 8.30pm – see below.

Our request to this Board regarding Sefton Park Meadows is very simple:

In view of the the special and unique position of  Sefton Park Meadows, which has been clearly and widely articulated and proven by huge numbers of local residents across the city of Liverpool, and people from a wider Liverpool expatriate community, we request that the Strategic Board ask the Mayor to reverse the decision to sell Sefton Park Meadows and retain it as part of our heritage greenspace asset for future generations.

To give your views direct to the Board contact  Chair Simon O’Brien: greenandopenspaces@liverpool.gov.uk

To request an invitation to one of the themed workshops in April and May you need to put in an email request via this website Workshop Attendance Request 

Ward Meetings Dates and Venues:

St Michael’s, Central & Riverside Wards: 10 March, 6.30 – 8.00pm
Southern Neighbourhood Council, 109 Upper Mann Street, Liverpool L8 6TS

Norris Green, Clubmoor & Tuebrook Wards: 12 March, 6.30 – 8.00pm
Porchfield Community Centre, Porchfield Close, Liverpool L11 9DT

Wavertree, Picton & Princes Park Wards: 14 March, 10.30am – midday
Wavertree Athletics Centre, Wellington Road, Liverpool L15 4LE

Fazakerley, Warbreck & County Wards: 17 March, 6.30 – 8.00pm
Community Centre, Formosa Drive, Liverpool L10 7LQ

Greenbank, Church & Mossley Hill Wards: 20 March, 6.30 – 8.00pm
Merseyside Police Support and Social Association, Riversdale Road, Liverpool L19 3QN

Knotty Ash, Old Swan and Kensington & Fairfield Wards: 21 March, 10.30 – midday
Kensington Fields Community Centre, Hall Lane, Liverpool L7 8TQ

Speke-Garston, Allerton and Hunts Cross & Cressington Wards: 24 March, 6.30 -8.00pm
Garston Urban Village Hall, Banks Road, Liverpool L19 8JZ

Croxteth, West Derby & Yew Tree Wards: 25 March, 6.30 – 8.00pm
Croxteth Hall & Country Park, Off Muirhead Avenue East, Liverpool L11 1EH

Anfield, Kirkdale & Everton: 26 March, 6.30 – 8.00pm
Kirkdale Neighbourhood Centre (KNC, The Gordon) Stanley Road, Kirkdale, Liverpool L5 7QP

Childwall, Belle Vale & Woolton: 28 March, 10.30 – midday
St James Church Hall, Woolton, Liverpool L25 7RJ

Board Members

Chair: Simon O’Brien
Cllr Steve Munby (Riverside Ward, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods & Waste Services)
Cllr Malcolm Kennedy (Kirkdale Ward, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Transport & Climate Change)
David Hughes, Head of Planning, Liverpool City Council
Ron Odunaiya, Head of Community Services, Liverpool City Council
Professor Richard Meegan, Professor of Economic Geography, European Institute for Urban Affairs, Liverpool John Moores University.
Dr Ian Mell, Lecturer in Planning and Civic Design, University of Liverpool
Arwa Al Rekabi, Denovo Design
Maxine Ennis, Rotunda
Malcolm Kelly, Woolton Youth Club
Victoria James, Estate Agent (Whitegates Woolton)

PLEASE ATTEND A MEETING IF YOU CAN, SEND IN YOUR COMMENTS, OR REQUEST TO ATTEND ONE OF THE WORKSHOPS IN APRIL AND MAY.

Campaigners needs to leave this Board with no doubt about our support for Liverpool’s parks and greenspaces.

Thank you.