SAVE SEFTON PARK MEADOWS

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


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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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Sign up to our new govt e-Petition

Joe Anderson and Labour councillors have overruled every single policy to protect parks and greenspaces in Liverpool, and ignored massive local opposition from us as council tax payers and voters. Within a few weeks, adverts will go from this Council to ask developers to bid for Sefton Park Meadows  with proposals to concrete it over for expensive, upmarket housing.

We have started a NEW GOVERNMENT E-PETITION – to get any planning approval called in for an independent review by a planning inspector –  who is not part of the Council.  PLEASE SIGN UP AND HELP US GET PROPER SCRUTINY OF WHAT JOE IS DOING TO SEFTON PARK MEADOWS.

This is an historic area of Liverpool, part of the rich parklands heritage we all own  and it belongs to us. The Council hold this land in trust, like other high value parks and greenspaces in the city, for ALL LIVERPOOL RESIDENTS  and future generations.  ONCE IT’S GONE, IT’S GONE FOREVER!

Read our Meadows Autumn News


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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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Legal Objections to Sell Off – 10 days left!

You have 10 days to send in objections to the  selling off Sefton Park Meadows by Liverpool City Council.

The campaign to stop the sale of our beautiful and valuable Sefton Park Meadows – part of the Sefton Parklands is NOT A DONE DEAL! Postcards are in News from Nowhere bookshop on Bold Street and Oxfam shop on Allerton Road. You can also download and print off a letter  and send in yourself. Or use our electronic version of the letter to write in your comments and send direct to the council.

PLEASE SEND US A COPY OR LET US KNOW YOU HAVE WRITTEN IN TO OBJECT.   We want to lodge at least 1,000 objections against this sell off.                                            Email us at   SaveSeftonParkMeadows@gmail.com

Thanks – let’s show Mayor Anderson and his Cabinet they can’t sell off valuable and historic Liverpool public open space around Sefton Park without a fight!