SAVE SEFTON PARK MEADOWS

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


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Get Our City Mayoral Candidates to Save Trees and Greenspaces

The 2nd Liverpool Mayoral election will take place on Thurs May 5th, along with other local council elections.  This is another chance for us all to  challenge ALL Mayoral candidates on their commitment to Liverpool’s parks and greenspaces – and specifically to those under threat of development, like Sefton Park Meadows.

The Woodland Trust has started a campaign to  ask Mayoral candidates to state publicly if they support the protection of trees. Using their online tool, you can:

  • ask candidates how they intend to protect and restore woodland and plant more trees in Liverpool
  • download useful resources to help you speak up for trees, including a special election door hanger
  • ask if they support saving Sefton Park Meadows – and/or another greenspace near you – in the box for extra comments

PLEASE USE THIS TOOL TO RAISE TREES, GREENSPACES, AND SEFTON PARK MEADOWS AS AN ELECTION ISSUE!

Read our Facebook Page for up to date news and events on these elections.

Save the Meadows campaigners have already used this campaign to contact all Liverpool mayoral candidates.  So far we have had replies from:

  1. Cllr Richard Kemp, Lib Dems Mayoral candidate
  2. Cllr Tom Crone, Green Party Mayoral candidate
  3. Alan Hutchinson

ALL HAVE PLEDGED SUPPORT FOR TREES, SEFTON PARK MEADOWS, AND OTHER PARKS AND GREENSPACES UNDER THREAT.

We are awaiting reponses from the other candidates, including the Labour Party incumbent, Joe Anderson… Watch this space.

Cllr Kemp has also published a blog post stating that he has written to two Redrow Homes non- executive directors to ask them to ‘Move On or Move Out’ of the Meadows, and withdraw the site from development before the elections.

Use your voice at these elections to SAVE THE MEADOWS.  We may not get another chance at the ballot box!

Thank you


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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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Have Your Say On Greenspaces Interim Report

Further to the launch of the city council’s Green and Open spaces Interim report, chaired and written by Simon O’Brien, 2 public meetings have been held with one more to go at the end of January. Meadows campaigners attended the 2nd meeting in the Dingle on Thurs 21st Jan and, with other attendees, pushed for this report to be more widely publicised to encourage more comment and scrutiny of its recommendations. (See previous post for implications for the Meadows).

The council has now put out the following email newsletter.  Use this to make your comments about how you feel parks, greenspaces and public open spaces should be managed and protected.

Fom Liverpool council:

As you probably know, the Interim Report from the Mayoral Green Spaces Review Board is now available. It outlines the extensive survey, consultation and research work undertaken by the Board and makes a series of recommendations from the Board to be presented to the Mayor and Liverpool Council.

However, this is not the final document and you are invited to let the Board know your views on the Interim Report and submit comments, questions or ideas. This is your opportunity to make your views known. The responses can be as individuals and/or as representation by Friends or other groups.

The link for the report and  for comments is here Report & Comments 

Many people have already attended the public meetings that have been held to discuss the report and have already provided useful feedback in the discussions. But if you haven’t been, you cannot be sure that your views have been represented!

The final public meeting is on Thursday 28th January at ‘The Black E’, Great George Street (5pm – 8pm) and all are welcome to attend. To ensure a place, please book by email  greenandopenspaces@liverpool.gov.uk or call 0151 233 7045.

Liverpool Parks Friends Forum Chair, Mark Boardman, said “This series of consultation events are critical to the future of Liverpool’s Parks and Green Spaces, in refining the recommendations of the Interim Report.”

The outcome of the meetings, comments and discussions will contribute towards the Final Report, which is scheduled for publication at the end of March. After this it will be presented to the Mayor and Council as the primary consultation document for the future of parks. Now is your chance to have your say!”

Please share this link with friends and family who may be interested to contribute – the wider the consultation process is, the more value it has.

PS The Meadows campaign has also been asked by Save Britain’s Heritage (SAVE) to publicise its Just Giving fundraising campaign for a legal challenge to the Lime Street development application.  Linked to Merseyside Civic Society, SAVE believes this project has important implications in terms of challenging the council’s lack of respect for heritage and planning principles. A good background piece on this in Liverpool Confidential is also worth a look.

Thanks!

 


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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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Question to Liverpool City Council

Chair Ken Aspinall has submitted the following question to the Regeneration, Housing & Sustainability Select Committee, Thursday, 10th September at 5.30 p.m. related to Item 4 on the Agenda:

Q. In view of the withdrawal of 19 areas of green space from the Council’s Call for Sites list, would the Regeneration, Transport and Climate Change Committee confirm that the two sites described as Map ref 125 Queens Drive Mossley Hill, Land (Aigburth Vale) and Map ref 137 Mossley Hill Drive, Land (adj Carnatic Road), together commonly known as Sefton Park Meadows, which are listed for possible development, will undergo an immediate rigorous and transparent review to conclude that Sefton Park Meadows should be removed from the list, as the limited Reasons for Sites to be Withdrawn associated to the 19 withdrawn sites are insignificant when compared to the dozens and dozens of reasons/constraints that exist, and have been communicated in great detail to Liverpool City Council, over the last two and a half years, to protect Sefton Park Meadows from any building development?

If any supporters can attend tonight’s meeting and support the campaign, please do!

Thank you

 


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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