Council leader sells off strategic green space, claims he’s rescued it for us …but what happened next?

2nd July 2015

See this recent article in the Liverpool Echo:

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/anger-after-birkenhead-grassland-left-9371231

Map of the site in question:

sold off site phil davies

Proximity to downtown Birkenhead:

centre of birkenhead - phil davies

So, as we can see,  it would be a very short walk back to the Chelsea tractor for shoppers loaded down with M&S bags.

Since anybody can remember, this site has been a pleasant, safe, grassed area with trees, owned by Wirral Council, where local children constantly played.  Despite this, in March 2014, Council leader Phil Davies oversaw its sale to SIP Car Parks – entirely without conditions – and in return for £106,000.

However, planning permission for two car parks was originally refused, and the application is now at appeal with the Planning Inspectorate.  When this happened, still smarting from the local Green Party’s victory in this ward, Frank Field MP and Phil Davies got together to produce a colourful, smiley leaflet making some bold claims, an excerpt of which is reproduced below:

phil davies saves our green spaces

In effect, as the May 2015 election approached, it appears Council leader Davies used this planning refusal to claim that regardless of permitting an unconditional sale of the land in March last year, his intention all along had been a ‘campaign to protect green spaces.’

With the general election safely out of the way, what happened next (without a peep from either Phil Davies or Frank Field, who’d claimed to be concerned and protective of the land) was atrocious.  Compare the image above with the one below.

The developer who’d bought the land trashed it, felling trees, churning up the ground and transforming what had once been a safe haven, and the local kids’ favourite play area into this:

davies churned up land

Liverpool Echo image

The site remains in the same torn up, unsafe condition to this day and the three questions which need answering now are:

  • After an overwhelming rejection of the initial planning application, was the site trashed deliberately in order to influence the process, to bias the appeal, and to place doubts in the mind of the planning officers?
  • Is it simply a matter of time before the area is tarmaced over, the pay and display machines are installed, the roar of internal combustion engines fills the air and the anticipated takings quickly surpass the £106,000 purchase price as income streams go pouring into the coffers of SIP Car Parks?
  • Despite Frank Field and Phil Davies’ stated concerns for public safety and the environment, local people here have not seen sight or sound of them since the May election and are now wondering where they are, why they’ve lost their tongues and why they’re keeping silent about the destruction of a green space that was once so very close to their hearts? 

Note: local media / newspapers refused to cover this story …and another important question is …Why?

Are their hands tied?

Council leader gifts & hospitality

About Wirral In It Together

Campaigner for open government. Wants senior public servants to be honest and courageous. It IS possible!
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4 Responses to Council leader sells off strategic green space, claims he’s rescued it for us …but what happened next?

  1. Bobby 47 says:

    What is it about ‘us’, the people, the ones who ultimately fund and fuel this slavish obedience to ‘big commercial business’ that allows ‘them’ to do these things to us without any obvious sanctions aimed in their direction when and after bad arrangements are made and are clearly not in the interests of people, but very obviously in the interests of the asset strippers and the developers. Why does it happen. Why can it happen?
    You’d think, after what ‘they’ did to us and our Country post 2008, something may have changed that made ‘us’ conclude, ‘No. Not in our name. We ain’t doing that’. Sadly, the opposite appears to be the case. The sheer scale of the asset stripping and the willing compliance by bloody those we voted to protect us appears to have actually increased. And worse, nowadays, once they’ve chosen the path and route on which they and only they wish to travel, they completely ignore us, and do whatever it is they’ve been directed to do by those that will benefit financially from the outcome of the aforementioned asset stripping.
    It surely can’t be just them, these oily money grabbing bastards that hold sway over all of us! There has to be something that’s directly linked to ‘us’ that allows this social destruction for commercial gain to take place. God only bloody knows what it is about ‘us’ that’s at fault here, but there must be something that tells Councillor Davies and his colleagues that ‘this lot are as dull as ditch water. Fuck Um. Let’s just do it and damn the consequences’!
    I mean, they take an area, a lovely green space place that generations of people have enjoyed, sell it or lease it for two hundred and fifty years to some ‘suit’ who’ll never walk the streets of your home, allow it to be flattened and sanction the trees to be felled and then you tell them, ‘we’ve done you all a huge bloody favour. We’ve saved you millions and created you a few hundred low paid, zero hour contract jobs that’ll allow your kids to serve me a helping of chips, a bloody bread roll and a rotten bloody burger that’ll sustain you through the agony and ordeal of all the other shit that’s languishing in the pipeline and will be tipped over your bloody heads once you’ve all calmed down and recovered from the fond memories you once held for that silly little green space.’
    That’s pretty much it. That’s all it is. Nothing else! Bloody greed and an overwhelming need and desire by Council Officers and Council elected leaders to do whatever is required to serve this fiscal monument to human stupidity that sees them get bloody richer and the people getting bloody poorer, without, may I bloody add, the golden opportunity to sit beneath a tree and enjoy a picnic meal with the family.
    It’s truly desperate. Thoroughly depressing and there seems little we can do to halt the slide.

  2. Ray Rowland says:

    Get seeds, any seeds or get someone to donate turf, make the site green again and show your determination and the chase Frank Field and Phil Davies and make them account for what has been done.

  3. Pingback: Davies, Field and SIP Car Parks are snubbed at the Planning Inspectorate | Wirral In It Together

  4. Pingback: Update on SIP Car Parks land in Birkenhead and Frank Field / Phil Davies’ betrayal of residents | Wirral In It Together

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