Indefinite Leave To Remain

Field Brexit 013

Needless to say we made our own Wexit (Wirral-exit) a while ago. However it would appear there is no escape from Brexit and the never-ending Shakespearean feud between the Brexiteers and the Remainers/ Remoaners.

An interesting development to report on the local front is the results of a poll reported in The Observer undertaken by researchers at Focaldata who have compiled the breakdown by modelling two YouGov polls of more than 15,000 people in total, conducted before and after Theresa May published her proposed Brexit deal on 6 July. Their analysis shows voters in most constituencies now favour remaining in the EU.

This includes Birkenhead, Frank Field’s constituency, which apparently now has a 58.4% majority in favour of Remain ,having had a 51.7% majority to leave when the Referendum was held .

Yes , we only it’s only a poll and yes, we know the report is in the pro-EU Observer but we thought it was both an interesting indicator and potentially an intriguing challenge for Field.

Full story here : More than 100 seats that backed Brexit now want to remain in EU

Remember this is a man who holds his constituents (and the Birkenhead Constituency Labour Party) in complete contempt maintaining that he is not the type of MP to be ‘bossed around’ by his constituents nor was he elected to reflect their views…“

…and yet somehow justifies his recent voting record on Brexit by claiming that he is reflecting the views of his constituents who voted to leave!

Of course we also know that Field is the consummate politician , which is absolutely not meant as a compliment, and no doubt he will continue to pirouette his way through this political minefield. But for how long can he continue to swing both ways  – on the right and always right.

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The Great Wirral Land Grab

There are letters and pictures circulating on local websites which have also been sent to us regarding developers wanting to make ‘land grabs’ encroaching on the Green Belt and other pieces of land on Wirral. We have also been sent additional information about housing development plans in Glenavon Road, Prenton.

Might we once again suggest that all the recent bogus Green Belt ‘debate’ was more about  the current Wirral Council administration creating a smokescreen about diktats from Whitehall rather than genuine concerns about the Green Belt or rampant greed of builders and developers.

Exhibit A – Prenton

81 Glenavon road 015

Beyond this vista is this planning application for  81 Glenavon Road which  involves the demolition of no. 81 Glenavon Road (to the left of this picture) and its replacement with a single dwelling and domestic curtilage, and the erection of 28 x 4 bedroom detached dwellings (!) with garages, driveways, private gardens, bin stores, means of enclosure and a sustainable drainage system (SUDS), all to be accessed from a new single point of access via former Pershore House School Playing Fields.

Developers have been wanting to bit of prime real estate since 1992 . The main impediment to a housing development -access to the site – now seems to be resolved by the proposed demolition of a rather nice house. We can only wonder how much over the market price the property was acquired for  – but whatever it was just think of the return on 28 spanking new detached houses!

Exhibit B -Irby

A reader writes :

Hi We have been passed these disturbing letters which are from a number of House Building Companies to a Landowner in the Irby Area. The Landowner has no wish to the sell the Land and has repeatedly told the House Builders that the Land is not for Sale. The Landowner has never contacted the Council to say that the Land is available for houses. The Council say that, all the Green Belt Land up for consideration for release from Green Belt, is land for which they have received submissions from Landowners and Developers.This Landowner has NEVER sent a submission to the Council. It is becoming clearer that House Building Companies are aggressively promoting land to the Council, even if they don’t own it. You DO NOT NEED TO OWN LAND IN ORDER TO OBTAIN PLANNING PERMISSION for it. This Landowner is continuously being bombarded with letters from Developers. Here is a sample of some of the letters……..(the landowner is happy for them to be shared)

 

PersimmonPersimmon 2Taylor Wimpey 1Taylor Wimpey 2Story 1Story 2

Exhibit  C – Landican Lane/Station Road

We have also been passed this photo from a lady who says “I came across the sign today just past Landican Lane bridge when I was walking my dogs on the Little Storeton to Thingwall circular route.” The sign appears to suggest that the proposed development is a “done deal” ( a wink and a nod perhaps?) and, therefore, the Council Green Belt Consultations are a sham. We don’t know who the “whistleblower” is and we can’t corroborate what the sign says. Can any of our readers help?

 

Wirral Land Grab 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Muckspreading Over Wirral’s Green Belt

Muckspreading

© Copyright Peter McDermott and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 

There seems to be no end to the acres and acres of ‘news’ about the so-called threat to Wirral’s Green Belt. The verdant verbiage of  Wirral’s ping pong politicians has been the equivalent to midsummer muckspreading and similarly stinks to high heaven.

Consequently we’d like to give the final word to ‘The Prof’ on the matter. Whilst we appreciate the factual analysis he brings to the alleged threat to the Green Belt we concur wholeheartedly with his assessment of the cynical games that are being played which amount to nothing more than a distraction during the dog days of summer.

Is there no limit to the dishonesty and stupidity of the council?

Having talked to the Wirral Society I was pointed to the issue of
how much land was needed to meet the official 12,000 houses
strategic target. I did a few sums you might like.
Area of Green Belt (GB) land on the published council ‘release’ map
is ~7.6 square miles and 4864 acres.
(Calculated using the NLS online mapping tools and 25 inch OS maps.)
Housing density on ‘previously undeveloped land’ in NW England is
22 – 49 dwellings per hectare, average 36 dph = 14.57 dwellings per acre.
(Data from DCLG Land Use Statistics (England) 2010.)
There is room on the GB release plan for 14.57 x 4864 = 70,870 dwellings.
The official government / council 15 year housing target is 12,000.
The GB land targeted for release is 5.9 X that actually needed.
Is the council incapable of doing simple planning calculations?
Or is the huge area of GB threatened part of a cunning political plan?
Imagine the cabinet conversation earlier this year.
‘I know, let’s scare the hell out of residents by threatening far more GB 
land than we need. Stir the sheep up! Then after the Consultation we say:
look we listened to you…we have saved 5 / 6 of your  GB land under threat! 
Vote for us!’
Of course it’s worse than this. The 800 houses a year official housing target is not based on what has actually happened on the Wirral in the last decade but on fantasies which assume economic growth and migration unprecedented in our history at a time of great economic uncertainty and as life expectancy increase falls drastically. A more realistic housing target is ~200 hpy. So  the official housing target is 4 X that probably needed. This suggests that overall the GB release plan is targeting ~24 X more land than is needed.Of course the council (and government) accept that considerable brownfield land is also available and should be used first.
The only Green Belt crisis is that created by local and central government 
politicians for their various political and selfish ends…not for our well being. 
Surely it is time to stand up to these foul people once and for all. 
                                                                                 The Prof.

 

Tripping The Light Fantastic

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Wirral Leaks reader sheds further light on the Hamilton Square round the clock illuminations:

Not only have they ruined the grass , there is murder. The council parks staff will not work there because the cables are just below the grass and in shrub beds. Unbelievable! , they fear they may get electrocuted if they damage a cable.

But hey what’s a few sizzled and singed council staff and a massive leccy bill as long as a Wirral Councillor illuminati can enjoy the pretty non-stop lightshow and the late night denizens of Hamilton Square can get to see where they’re shooting up , eh readers?

 

The Lights Are On But No One Is Home

Wirral Leaks reader writes to us with their observations about the twilight zone :
Twilight Zone
Maybe you can tell me.. in an age of austerity , when I have to contribute to my child’s pens and books in Foxfield school . A great school that has to withstand its council cuts.
Tell me why for six months the council in a heat wave , in the lightest nights and days in history we 24 /7 illuminate Hamilton Square.
I have asked the question, emailed may concerns but nothing, could you sort it please?
It would appear they listen to you!
All day long they burn .. they are not even energy efficient bulbs from an environmentally fake news council.
And the devastation created by the illumination to this conservation area is a living scandal .Where are the conservation friends of Hamilton Square? Are they asleep at the wheel?
Up to now, the bill is in its 1000s . Heads should roll but they won’t.
Only on the Wirral !!!!!
Twilight Zone 2
Wirral Council – listen to us?
What a wonderful world that would be!

Frank Field – ‘ The Truth Will Out’…

FRANKY-KNOWS

First of all – thanks to our stand ins who I’m sure you’ll agree did a sterling job in our absence. A few editorial points and one-liners from us and they got the house – or Leaky Towers – style down to a tee. Thankfully some of the more contentious and controversial matters have been left for our return. This included a tip-off to check out a particular post from June 2018 on Frank Field’s Westminster blog which ,if you wish,you can find on his website…

Out of respect for the dead we won’t provide a link to the post especially as it names someone who’s anonymity had been carefully preserved for the best part of a decade. Field’s strange tribute seems to us to be less a eulogy and more a rewriting of history. We reproduce the post omitting the initial naming of the deceased and adding the bold type :

…the power that he put into trying to ensure that the truth that underpinned the case for the group that I call ‘the whistle-blowers’ should be made known.

There is this small group of whistle-blowers who were concerned over the Colas highways contract in Wirral. Wrongdoings were alleged by the whistle-blowers and their case resulted in a clutch of cheating officers leaving the council. Cleverly drawn contracts and powerful legal representation resulted in Wirral having to pay compensation monies to these individuals over the contract – tens of thousands of pounds or more that each of them have had to walk the plank.

What an injustice that Wirral ratepayers had to pay these sums by law to people whose position was untenable in the council once the whistle-blowers had completed their work.

Contrast that with the treatment of the whistle-blowers. These were the agents by which less than proper doing was unmasked. The package of compensation for them, of their careers being blighted, and one of their names being published “by accident” on the council website, was around £5,000.

The injustice to these noble citizens has still to be countered. X died before that day arrived but that day assuredly will come as truth is on their side.

It often takes so long in this country which I love to get this elemental truth established. The inquiry, for example, to establish full the truth about BHS goes on and on, and Parliament won’t give up until it has that truth.

Likewise in the Wirral. Now diminished by X’’s death, the whistle-blowers will go on and on, with my support, until truth is established.

The next stage in establishing that truth will come, I guess, with the publication of the Nick Warren report. The whistle-blowers agreed with the council that this stunning lawyer should carry out an inquiry into their case. The report will be made public, I’m sure, as a freedom of information claim has been lodged.

Slowly but surely the truth will out. The citizens of Wirral owe the whistle-blowers, including X, such a debt for shifting officers that were found wanting in respect of the public good.

We really don’t know where to start with this one. But perhaps we’ll concentrate on the tortuous language and why Field feels the need to use the word ‘truth’ 8 times (count’em). It’s as if he’s trying to convince himself of his version of the ‘truth’.

Furthermore the reference to the publication of the Nick Warren report as a means of establishing ‘truth’ is both puzzling and intriguing . Is this the same report that Wirral Council have kept secret for nearly 3 years and is the subject on ongoing legal proceedings which have lasted 2 years? You’d think that Field and the ‘stunning lawyer’ behind the report would have the power,influence and legal knowledge to have the report published before now wouldn’t you? How does Field know that the Warren Report will be made public? Does he know something that we don’t or is he interfering with ongoing legal proceedings ? What’s more can Field tell us who lodged the ‘freedom of information claim’? So many questions and all of them seemingly so far,far away from the truth.

Wouldn’t it be ironic, when we understand Field’s broken arm was a result of tripping over a pavement stone in Hamilton Square ,that it could be the guys from highways who might be responsible for his ultimate downfall.

However on reflection we don’t think that it will be these ‘noble citizens’ or even the Birkenhead CLP  that will be his undoing . It will be Frank Field’s own hubris.

The truth will out …

Frank Field Will Stand As Independent If Deselected

As Wirral Leaks predicted Frank Field confirmed this morning in a radio interview of his intention to stand as an Independent Labour candidate at the next General Election should he be deselected

https://www.lbc.co.uk/radio/presenters/andrew-pierce/labour-frank-field-independent-if-deselected/

Green Belt Review

pip-grinch

Pip : Green Man or a threat to the Green Belt?

We are pleased to publish a letter from The Prof an extract from the introduction to his brilliantly researched Wirral Green Belt Review 2018 explaining why Wirral residents need to wake up and take action against threats to Wirral’s Green Belt. It would appear that there is a growing realisation that that threat lies closer to home and that the approved narrative from Wirral Council that the villains are the Peel Group and bullying bureaucrats from central Government simply doesn’t stack up – especially in the light of the proposals for the Hoylake Golf Resort.

So instead of bogus consultation meetings and political point scoring in the local newspapers Professor David Gregg (‘The Prof’)  is kindly providing facts and figures and a cogent argument as to why local activists need to be informed and get involved to protect the Green Belt. Although his analysis is about the impact of housing development at Poulton Lancelyn it serves as an excellent template for Green Belt activists . If anyone would like a free e copy of The Prof’s book get in touch with us :  Wirralleaks@gmail.com

Hello! Now the time scale for green belt site assessment against the national and local development criteria has been slashed to zero it is essential that local action groups make and submit their own analyses to the planning process.

As I mentioned I have done this for site 1984 at Poulton Lancelyn. I have published and am now circulating this independent report to locals, councillors, Alison McGovern and various heritage, wildlife and countryside activist groups. On several key grounds the aim to ‘fill in’ the whole GB land area east of the M53 from Prenton, south to Raby Mere is very damaging and totally unjustified on the Council’s own criteria. Somebody has gone insane. My local group will be gearing up action over the next few weeks but I thought you might like to see the report now. I am providing e copies free to any local Wirral residents affected.

                                                                          The Prof.
INTRODUCTION

A Strategic Housing Land Availability Study is being undertaken by Wirral Council as part of the generation of the Core Strategy Local Plan to be submitted to the DCLG Secretary of State. Part of this process involves identifying sites within the Green Belt to be made ‘available’ by landowners and developers for housing development and their subsequent ‘release’. The NPPF of 2012 requires local authorities to boost housing supply and this has recently (March 2018) been reinforced by the Prime Minister in the new draft NPPF proposals. Fifteen councils were singled out for condemnation by the then Secretary of State for failing to define a Local Plan and deliver an adequate level of new housing. Wirral is one of these councils. Secretary Sajid Javid has recently said of Wirral

‘In the 13 years that have passed since the 2004 Act was introduced your council has failed to meet the deadlines set out in that timetable.’

The threatened consequence is direct government intervention in the housing development process. The last Local Plan was written in 2000. The policy on Green Belt in the draft 2018 NPPF remains essentially unchanged (3). However there will be increasing pressure to build on Green Belt land which is why the listing of ‘available’ sites for development in the Wirral is important. If a site is not on the list it will not be considered, given the long list of ‘available’ sites in total (~110). The aim of local resident groups at this stage should be to prevent and protest local site listing and then ‘release’ for development. The question of redefining the Green Belt and building on green belt land sites appears to have arisen because of ‘land banking’ by developers in other Wirral areas. Council leader Phil Davies informed Secretary Sajid Javid in an official letter (31.01.18) that

‘Planning permission is currently in place for 16,098 new homes including 2,577 on existing urban and previously developed sites and up to 13,521 dwellings at …Wirral Waters…
The Council’s current SHLAA to April 2017 shows potential for a further 4,531 dwellings, subject to viability…’

At an intended target rate of house building of around 800 per annum the above implies we have a 26 year supply in hand. In addition ~6,000 existing houses are claimed to be lying empty.

According to Cllr. Davies, progress on ‘housing led regeneration has been hindered’ by the cut back in Conservative central government funding. Given this background the pressure to release and build on Green Belt land must seem obscure to the ordinary Wirral resident (but read on). The unfortunate attitude of some local councillors appears to be that until a landowner or developer makes a planning application residents can go back to sleep. This presumably reflects a complacent view of current ‘national’ policy.

‘National policy states that Green Belt boundaries should only be altered in exceptional circumstances through the preparation or review of the Local Plan and that inappropriate development in the Green Belt should not be approved except in very special circumstances.’

But a new Local Plan is being written and ~110 Green Belt sites have been put forward by ‘landowners and developers’ including site 1984 ; GB parcel SPO42, adjacent to Colmore Avenue and Poulton Green Close and further south to a point near Lancelyn Farm. If all these Green Belt sites are ‘safe’ why have so many landowners put them forward formally, as available for development ? Is this simple land speculation or prior knowledge? Also, very special circumstances are with us: an alleged national shortage of ‘affordable’ housing and the government’s desire for some major political ‘virtue signaling’…

The Wirral Chamber of Commerce Comedy Show

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When it comes to Wirral Chamber of Commerce we’re waiting for someone to let us in on the joke… or tell us what they actually achieve other than holding awards ceremonies, acquiring public buildings and the relentless self promoting.

The Chamber of Horrors are, of course, better known as ‘Nepotism Central’ – the leading repository for Wirral Council rejects . CEO Paula Basnett has found more positions for ex-public servants than she has for her own family and friends – and that’s really saying something!

However we at least owe them for the endless comedic opportunities they provide us. They are truly beyond parody. A case in point and a cause of much hilarity for some of our readers was this press release on their website titled :

Woodside Ferry Village Set To Turn Wirral Waterfront Into Major Visitor Attraction

Woodside Ferry Village? – huh? Yeah, you know that well known cultural and historical landmark. And it gets better :

Located in the heart of Birkenhead’s waterfront, the food concept venue will take residence within the terminal, inspired by the success and rising trend for food-markets in a number of cosmopolitan locations, which includes Lisbon, Barcelona, Brixton, Liverpool, London and Altrincham.

Food concept venue??  What’s one of those when its at home? A foodbank with falafels and ‘artisan’ bread? And since when has been Altrincham been a ‘cosmopolitan location’? Has Man Utd’s latest signing moved in?

And on it goes :

The Woodside Ferry Village project, which is looking to open for business during Autumn 2018, is already gaining support from leading figures in Wirral, including Head of Business Improvement District (BID), Gemma Nichols who said: “This project is both exciting and adventurous…”

Apparently Gemma Nichols is one of the leading figures in Wirral – who knew??? Well if Woodside Ferry Village has Gemma’s support it’s bound to be the gastronomic centre of the universe. A leading figure in Wirral ? what an accolade for cashing the cheque each month for heading up another hapless and misconceived Chamber ‘initiative’ under the BID banner.

However no joke is complete without a punchline and who better to provide that than Wirral Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies , who must have a hotline bling to Basnett’s Swarovski crystal-encrusted phone (she looks the type doesn’t she?) asking for favours (and not just about off- loading Wirral Council waste) .

“We have exciting plans coming forward from Wirral Growth Company to redevelop Birkenhead and to create a real destination here on our Mersey waterfront. It is important to make people ‘think again’ about Birkenhead and initiatives and temporary attractions like Woodside Ferry Village will help attract curious visitors and residents from across Liverpool City Region and beyond to come and see what is going on in Birkenhead.”

Curious visitors…to come and see what is going on in Birkenhead???? Presumably those who always wanted to be an extra in a zombie movie!

However the Chamber’s latest appointment is truly inspirational. Via the medium of a selfie (what else?) we see ex Wirral councillor Warren Ward introducing himself and asking you to book a 1:1 with a member.

So now Ward will be imparting his wisdom of being a ‘Decision Maker’ in the Civil Service to advise people on how to start up their own business. So where exactly was this gig advertised? In the window of one of the few businesses still open in New Ferry?

However cyncism aside we accept that Ward must’ve been the only man for the job  – after all he’s worked his way up from the bottom…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Further News from Frank Field’s Birkenhead Bunker

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Pic courtesy of The Skawkbox

Inevitably Wirral Globe publish an article providing Birkenhead MP Frank Field the usual platform for an apologia after Friday night’s Birkenhead CLP vote of no confidence bombshell.

Most of the whining to be found in the press release was retread of Frankenfield’s statements made over the weekend concerning his position on Brexit. By far the most interesting snippet as far as we’re concerned was this :

“This is an absurd suggestion that is being used as an excuse by certain people in the Birkenhead Constituency Labour Party who are fixated on the idea of trying to get rid of me.They would have found some other excuse, had it not been this topic, as they’re already lining up their alternative candidate.

Read press release here

Whilst Frankenfield is absolutely right about this ,as ever he thinks his voting stance on Brexit is somehow ethically and morally superior to that of Birkenhead CLP members who want rid of him. He want’s rid of the EU , the CLP want rid of him . It’s called democracy, Frank . Your local autocracy  is over .We’re just intrigued who Birkenhead CLP have got lined up to replace him. However we think it’s safe to assume it’s not Cllr Matthew ‘seems like such a nice boy’ Patrick .

For a greater insight into what went on at Friday’s meeting we have to turn to  ‘new left media’ website The Skwawkbox . Here we discovered the fact that ,as predicted, Frankenfield did not turn up to the above Birkenhead CLP meeting and is apparently refusing to to do until he receives an apology for his photograph being taken at a previous meeting. Read full story here  Field boycotts CLP in strop over photo. CLP demands apology for S*n column.

Courtesy  of The Skawkbox we publish the offending photo above. For someone who likes his photo taken we’re surprised Frankenfield objected (and he’s wearing his favourite gingham shirt too!)  But then his left side isn’t his best is it ?

The next instalment of this saga will be if the national Labour Party back their members with their stance on Field and judging by his comments this evening on BBC North West Tonight it seems to us that Field is dropping the hint about a threat he made in 2015  to stand as an Independent in the Birkenhead constituency should he be deselected…watch here at about 11 mins :

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bcpgxn