SAVE SEFTON PARK MEADOWS

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


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NEW City Council GreenSpaces Public Survey July 2015

URGENT

Liverpool Council have posted a new Parks and Greenspaces Survey online.

Please read this, complete the survey and spread the word to as many people as possible to fill in. The closing date is 28th August 2015.

The feedback from the recent workshops led by Simon O’Brien’s Greenspaces Review Board are also here: comments from Greenspaces workshops

From Liverpool City Council: “We have been approached by colleagues in our Planning Department to ask if you would be able to assist them and provide a response to an on-line survey that forms part of an Open Space Study that they are undertaking to better understand the provision of open spaces across the City and how people use them, why they visit them or why they don’t. The results of this study will be made available to the Green and Open Spaces Review Board and will help to inform the work the Green and Open Spaces Review Board is undertaking.

The survey is online and takes about 5 minutes to complete.   Greenspaces Survey

The closing date for comments is 28 August 2015.

Brief Explanation of the Survey
This survey forms part of an Open Space Study that is being led by City Council Planning Officers. The survey seeks to find out:
– what it is about the publicly accessible open spaces that people know about that encourages them to use those spaces,
– how often they go to them,
– how far they travel to get there,
– how satisfied they are with the availability and quality of open spaces, and
– what is important to people about the open spaces where they live

The questions are relevant to all publicly accessible open spaces, whether owned by the City Council or any other body. The assessment looks to identify local need for provision within areas and will serve as a key evidence base that will help to inform future decision making processes for the Council.

Any questions regarding this survey should be directed to Helen Breen helen.breen@liverpool.gov.uk or tel 0151 233 3021.”

 

Thank you

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Video of Save Our Greenspaces Council Speech

A number of Liverpool Save Our Greenspace (SOGS) campaigners attended the last full Council meeting on Wed 8th April, demonstrating outside as councillors entered, and attending in the Council Chamber, Town Hall.

Janet Pell, vice chair of Save Sefton Park Meadows campaign, read out the Save our Greenspaces statement, available to view here (36 mins in) and you can listen to Mayor Joe Anderson’s response.  Make your own judgements!

Thanks to all who came to the demo.


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Chance to Quiz Joe Over Green Spaces

The Liverpool Echo describes the future of green spaces as ‘one of the biggest issues in our city’. Paddy Shennan, Echo reporter, posted an article online  and in the paper on 31st Oct , asking readers to send in questions to  Mayor Joe Anderson NOW on our concerns and issues related to their sell off for development.

The Echo has already highlighted over 30 parks, playgrounds, allotments and recreation areas listed by the council, that could be up for development.  These include the high profile sites of:

  • Sefton Park Meadows – a planning application by Redrow is due to be submitted  before Christmas.
  • Walton Hall Park – a possible site for Everton Football Club
  • Woolton Woods – a grassland and recreational area as part of a rebuild of St Julie’s Catholic High School
  • Olive Mount Playing Fields -sell off for housing
  • Calderstones Park – loss of miniature railway, Scout Hut, Harthill Allotments and green space on Menlove Avenue for housing

THIS IS A CHANCE TO TELL JOE WHAT WE THINK – AGAIN!

We expect Joe to reply – again- that Liverpool is in deep financial trouble; that he needs higher council tax band revenues; that it’s not his fault; that we have ‘too much greenspace’; that some of it isn’t used etc , etc.

BUT WE WANT A DIFFERENT DEBATE.  One about  listening to the people of Liverpool,not just developers, about quality of life, especially for children and families, about our health and well-being, about climate change and smart green cities of the future, about wildlife and what they need, about WHAT PARKS AND GREENSPACES GIVE TO US.

We need Joe to understand that  these places are largely protected now, and for very good reasons.  He can’t just rip up the planning policies overnight with no respect or ideas of what will replace the parks and green spaces once they’re gone – and gone forever. He can’t hand over valuable land without more consultation and accountability.  That was not in Joe’s manifesto when he was elected.

Email paddyshennan@liverpool.co.uk or tweet @PaddyShennan.

DO IT TODAY!

Thanks


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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)).