SAVE SEFTON PARK MEADOWS

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


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Council’s 2004 Map recognise Meadows as Sefton Park

LIVERPOOL CITY COUNCIL’S OWN RECORDS in 2004-5 IDENTIFY SEFTON PARK MEADOWS AS AN INTEGRAL PART OF SEFTON PARK, NOT ‘INCIDENTAL SPACE’.
Within our highly urbanised living space, parks should provide oases of natural habitat, pleasure grounds and open areas with no time constraints. For those without gardens they can offer pleasant reminders of seasonal transition, for those with limited transport, a welcome change of scenery.’
A quote from the forward of Liverpool City Council’s 2005 ‘Park Strategy for Liverpool’. This same document also contains a number of maps clearly showing Sefton Park Meadows as being an integral part of Sefton Park.

In the Strategy,  Council ‘Plan 3: Liverpool’s EH (English Heritage) Registered Parks’ is dated April 2004 and clearly shows that at this time the Council considered Sefton Park Meadows to be part of Sefton Park, and not ‘incidental space’, as the Council have been trying to make out since March 2013.

English Heritage 2004 Sefton Park Map

2004 English Heritage Plan 3 of Grade II* listed Sefton Park, includes the Meadows

As we have previously posted here, Liverpool Council  has also issued sales details to prospective purchasers of the Meadows in December 2013  a map titled ‘Sefton Park – Part Land Registered’ (shown below),  along with a copy of the Land Registry Official copy of register of title referring to this map, which shows Sefton Park Meadows as an integral part of Sefton Park.

Land Registry map

Land Registry Map showing Part Title with Sefton Park Meadows

We have already brought the issue of Land Registry and official Sefton Park maps to the attention of English Heritage, now Historic England. With the discovery of these latest Council and English Heritage maps – which were not given to us under previous Freedom of Information requests  – we shall make further representations to them on this matter. Since December 2015, the Chair of the Meadows’ campaign has been trying to get written, legal clarification from Head of Planning David Hughes, on the definition of ‘Incidental Land’.  We are still pressing for this!


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Liverpool’s Mayoral Candidates

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson has been confirmed as the Labour candidate for this year’s mayoral election.  He joins Tom Crone, Green Party, and Richard Kemp, Liberal Democrats to declare so far.

Liverpool Echo are running an online ‘straw poll’ for Joe Anderson. See here

We are still awaiting the final report of the Green and Open Spaces Review Report from Simon O’Brien. Campaign members attended the recent public meetings to challenge Simon and council planning head David Hughes over why the Meadows are not mentioned at all in the draft report, and that wneh questioned, Simon believes the Meadows, against all submitted evidence including Land Registry and Park bylaws documents, to be ‘ Incidental Land’.  Chair Ken Aspinall has repeatedly asked since December 2015, for a legal planning definition of this term from Head of Planning – and is still awaiting this!

Watch this space…


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New Interim Greenspaces and Open Spaces Report Published

No mention of Sefton Park Meadows

Chair  and report author Simon O’Brien states  the Meadows ‘ are a funny one… and incidental land’ in his Radio Merseyside interview on Tues 8th Dec. 

(08mins:20 – Mayor interview, 01 hr:07mins:17  Simon O’Brien interview with input from the Chair of the Save Sefton Park Meadows campaign group.)

The Council has finally published its Interim Report on Green and Open Spaces based on the work of the Green and Open Spaces Review Board, chaired by O’Brien. Mayor Anderson set up this Review Board last Autumn – see previous posts. Over 900 green and open space sites have been visited  and extensive research undertaken across a range of themes.

We were shocked then that in his launch interview on R Merseyside and in a  Liverpool Echo article,  Simon O’Brien, when  asked by Meadows campaign chair Ken Aspinall why no mention was made of Sefton Park Meadows anywhere, despite its huge local, national and international profile, he stated that he thought the Meadows position  is ‘ a funny one’.  He went on to say that to him, it is ‘incidental land’ and not part of Sefton Park. The Report does recommend the protection of parks and greenbelt from housing development but he has clearly put the Meadows outside of this call.

This rings massive alarm bells as the suggestion throughout his report is that incidental land, unlike public parks and greenbelt, is still open for sale.  See our Facebook site for a full definition of what O’Brien calls ‘ incidental land’  and why we have consistently proved that the Meadows in no way fits this council definition – used to justify their original Notice to Sell and Redrow invitation.

We will be taking some time to read and digest this Interim Report.  More updates will be added as we do.  We will also be meeting on Wed 16th Dec 730pm  to discuss the Report and our response.  Please contact us if you would like to join the discussion, or send your comments through our Facebook page.

Please read the Interim Report.  The Council and Simon O’Brien are running three meetings  in January 2016 for the public to comment and places are limited to 100 at each venue. Contact melanie.wilson@liverpool.gov.uk

The fight to Save Sefton Park Meadows continues..

 


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Simon O’Brien about his Green Spaces Report on Radio Merseyside

Simon O’Brien, environmentalist and chair of Mayor Anderson’s Green  & Open Spaces Review Board, being interviewed by Radio Merseyside’s Roger Phillips on  20 October.

Simon O’Brien interview

His interview starts at 1:26:10 and finishes at 1:40:50.

His much awaited interim report is now with the Mayor, before being released for public consultation.

A new report from a wide range of environmental organisations on how we could, as a nation, improve our health through nature may be one of the ways to prove how cost effective our greenspaces really are! One of the recommendations is:  “By 2018, 1% of the public health budget should be invested in using the preventative and restorative value of nature to provide cost effective health solutions.” 

Full Report here

 

 


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TAKE SEFTON PARK MEADOWS OFF THE LIST!

LCC WITHDRAW 19 SITES FROM LIST OF PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT SITES. SEFTON PARK MEADOWS NOT WITHDRAWN – YET!

Liverpool City Council have confirmed that, as the landowner, they have decided a list of 19 sites do not constitute viable or deliverable options for development. This follows assessment and evaluation of the sites and they will now not be considered as potential development sites in the Local Plan.

Virtually all these reasons for sites to be withdrawn can be applied to Sefton Park Meadows.

The press announcements:  article here  and in Echo here

The Council Report and list of 19 sites can be found Report and List here (pages 103 to 108)

Save Our Greenspaces Liverpool (SOGS) handed in city council surveys completed by park users as part of campaign.

Handing n park surveys Aug 2015

SOGS handing park surveys into council Aug 2015

Interesting to note that in an earlier online version of the Liverpool Echo article it mentioned the fact that Sefton Park Meadows has not been removed from the Council Local Plan list, despite the prolonged, vociferous and well supported campaign against the proposed sell off. The later printed version omitted to mention this 2 and a half year campaign!

The 19 sites removed from the Council Local Plan list have achieved this with minimal to nil campaigning and publicity compared to the two and a half year long sustained and justified campaign to Save Sefton Park Meadows. How did that happen?

The Reasons for Sites to be Withdrawn given in the report on page 108 pale into insignificance when compared to the dozens and dozens of reasons/constraints that exist, and have been communicated in great detail to Liverpool City Council, to protect Sefton Park Meadows from any building development.
So why are Sefton Park Meadows not the 20th site on the list of sites removed from the Council Local Plan list of proposed development sites?

See this letter from Cllr Brown, Greenbank Ward in Liverpool Echo 29th Aug 2015.

letter to Echo

Letter to Echo re List of 19

 

 

WE WANT SEFTON PARK MEADOWS TO BE TAKEN OFF THIS LIST NOW. WE HAVE MORE THAN PROVED THE CASE WHY, AND THE EVIDENCE IS CLEAR.  

We will be updating on Facebook and the website with more details.


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Complete Liverpool Park Users Survey & Sign National Petition

Campaigning in Sefton Park

Campaigning in Sefton Park

DSC02519-2Thanks to everyone who came to chat and complete the council’s Parks and Greenspaces Users questionnaire in Sefton Park today (16th Aug).  There’s so much support out there for the Meadows and Liverpool’s greenspaces!  If you took away a questionnaire to fill in, don’t forget to send it in – if you intend to do an online survey, please do it now! AND tell friends and family. Deadline is 28th Aug.

An update came in today from the National Federation of Parks and Greenspaces.

Sign their petition too, link below.

Campaign update, 16th August 2015

National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces
We are pleased to report that tens of thousands of people took part in this year’s Love Parks Week, July 24th to August 2nd 2015, the annual UK event to promote, protect and improve our vital local public green spaces. As World Parks Day approaches on Saturday September 19th we call on all citizens to continue to speak out for our parks and green spaces as they face an ever-deepening underfunding crisis and increasing threats of development.

The Government’s cuts to Local Authorities for our local public services, combined with the lack of statutory protection for open spaces, are causing the most of the problems we are facing. This is provoking a growing number of vociferous and inspiring local grass-roots campaigns and petitioning as local communities mobilise to defend spaces under threat of neglect, privatisation or sell-offs. At the same time the evidence continues to stack up on the vital and unique role our parks play for health, biodiversity, flood control, climate change mitigation, social cohesion and many other essential needs of all sections of all our communities.

Following pressure from UK green space organisations including ourselves, the previous outgoing administration recommended that the newly elected Government consider hosting a National Inquiry into the future funding and management of our parks. Also, a cross-party group of MPs is now calling for a Private Members Bill [Bill 53] to strengthen protective measures.

So please sign and promote the UK ‘Save Our Parks’ petition to step up the pressure on the Government and all political parties to take seriously the future funding and protection of our vital green spaces.

1. Sign the petition
2. Spread the news via Twitter: @LoveParks_Week #LoveParks
3. Spread the news via Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ukparkspetition – and: http://www.facebook.com/LoveParksWeek
4. See the Parks Petition webpage  – includes a paper Sign Up Sheet and leaflets to distribute
5. Join the many others including Groundwork (green space volunteering charity), Fields In Trust (national open spaces safeguarding organisation backed by the Royal Family) and UNISON (Local Government workers union). Let us know.

And please don’t forget to support your local green space Friends Group or help set up one for any green space without one!

best wishes

Dave Morris
Chair, National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces

 


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Love Parks Liverpool – Back Again in Sefton Park 16th Aug

Loving Liverpool’s parks and greenspaces…Next Event…

Campaigners were in Sefton Park today 2nd Aug, and will be back again in 2 weeks on 16th Aug 12-2pm. We may also be on Northwest Tonight at 650pm and/or 1030pm (2nd Aug), as BBC came filming some of our campaigners in the Park.

Campaigners out in Sefton Park

Campaigners in Sefton Park 2nd Aug

 

Campaigning in Sefton park 2nd Aug 15

Campaigning in Sefton Park 2nd Aug 2015

We are out and about to bring local people up to date with the campaign. We’re also encouraging park users to fill in the latest council greenspace survey sheets, asking for your views on the importance of Liverpool’s parks and openspaces.

Come and say hello,  complete a survey and find out where our campaign to Save Sefton Park Meadows is up to, and what you can do.

Save the Meadows – Next Event

Sunday 16th August 12pm to 2pm

By the Eros Statue Fountain (in front of Aviary Cafe) in middle of Sefton Park

Save Sefton Park Meadows Information Event with campaign update and copies of Liverpool Parks & Open Spaces User Survey  for you to complete.

We will also be joined by other Liverpool greenspace campaigners from Save Our Greenspaces Liverpool (SOGS)  for you to speak to as well.

Come and join us – Bring a banner if you want!

If you can’t make it, please try and complete the  greenspace survey form online by AUGUST 28th.  There are some copies in libraries and One Stop Shops too.

ALSO, still time for you to send in comments to Simon O’Brien’s Greenspaces Review Board. Follow this link to comment –  Greenspaces Review Board.

Thanks for all donations received at the event too!


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Meadows and Loss of Greenspaces Local Election Survey

Save Sefton Park Meadows is conducting a survey of ALL political and independent candidates for the local May 7th election to ask their views on the sale of Sefton Park Meadows AND other great Liverpool greenspaces for development .

At Wed 22nd April, see first response received Candidates List (Interim). Liberal Democrats have sent an ‘all candidates response’ to say they are ALL opposing the sale of Sefton Park Meadows and other proposed greenspaces in Liverpool.

FULL SURVEY responses and comments we receive will be published here and on our Facebook site from Wed 29th April 2015.

We want all campaigners and supporters to contact  candidates who are standing as councillors in YOUR WARDS to ask the following questions:

1. Do you agree Sefton Park Meadows should be sold for housing development?

Please state YES or NO

2. Do you agree with the sale of other parks or greenspaces in Liverpool for development?

Please state YES or NO

 

3. Any Further Comments

You can find a list of all local candidates in your wards with their contact details here: Candidates-local-elections-all-wards.

Sitting councillors can still be emailed at their council email address. See link here to find your current councillors.

If supporters also want to contact candidates standing as local MPs and MEPs, you can also find their details here: MPs-nominated. Please write to or email them as soon as possible.

We have 2 weeks to election day and find out their views on Liverpool’s threatened greenspaces!

If candidates do not wish to respond – or we receive no response from individuals – we will also publicise this. PLEASE LET US KNOW THROUGH OUR FACEBOOK PAGE WHEN YOU HAVE HAD A RESPONSE   or email pell.scholes@btinternet.com.

From the beginning of our campaign, we said that the issue of Sefton Park Meadows – and now other greenspace loss – would become an important local election issue. The Green Party saw Cllr Lawrence Brown elected in Greenbank Ward over the Meadows last year. An article ( below) in the Liverpool Echo ( 17th April 15) about a candidates hustings in Wavertree supports this.

Article in Liverpool Echo 17th April 2015

Article in Liverpool Echo 17th April 2015

 

 

 

 

 

We will also work hard to make the issue of the Meadows and other greenspaces sell off  high on the  agenda for candidates in the next Liverpool Mayor elections in 2016 with your support.

Thank you.


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Join the Greenspaces Protest at Council Meeting in Run Up to Elections

TO ALL OUR SUPPORTERS 

Please come and join the Save Sefton Park Meadows Campaign and Liverpool green space groups demonstrating outside the Town Hall from 4 to 5pm on Wednesday 8 April 2015, ahead of the Council Meeting starting at 5pm. Liverpool Echo article here.

This is the last full Council meeting until after the 7 May Local & General Elections and an opportunity to show the strength of feeling from all Save Our Green Spaces campaign groups to Council plans to sell off our precious green spaces.

See you there!