Wirral’s Green Belt and the Growth of Grassroots Activism – Part 1

Green Belt FOI

We don’t know who is advising Wirral Council leader Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies but we can guess which belligerent spin merchant it might be. Whoever they are they’re doing about as good a job as Theresa May’s choreographer.

Witness the botched Green Belt PR fiasco which has not only exposed the ruling administration in their failed attempt to gaslight the Wirral public but has also led to a growth in grassroots activism.  As you can see below the people who have been grouping  together to share their concerns about the Green Belt have also been running crop circles around dissembling council officers and councillors.

Are the Council misleading the public about other options considered for the Hoylake Golf Resort Site? In the Common Questions section of the Council’s Hoylake Golf Resort web page, question 36  (see above) asks what consideration the Council have given to other options for the site,( including a Wild Fowl and Wetlands Resort). The Council answers by stating that no other scheme “measures against the golf resort in terms of positive impact” and that the golf resort provides “the best return for Wirral across a number of indicators”. In numerous public forums some Councillors and Council Officers have reiterated this statement and have insisted that other options for the site have been looked at and been discounted.

A Freedom of Information request was submitted in April 2018, requesting copies of reports or studies which looked at the other options for the site and to provide details of the “measures” and “indicators” which the Council say they have used. Initially the Council responded by providing a copy of a 2004 document – “Regeneration Plan for West Kirby and Hoylake – Strategic Options Report”. This report only looked at one option for the Golf Resort Site – i.e the golf resort! The Council were then challenged further and, again, the Council were requested to provide information showing that they had looked at other options for the site. The Council responded that the request was “manifestly unreasonable” and that the “cost or burden of dealing with the request” was too great and refused to provide further information.

The Council were then requested to undertake an internal review of the Freedom of Information request and, only then, (5 months later) did the Council admit that there is “no recorded information….of the nature of a single or series of studies that specifically weigh up the options of the current golf resort proposal vis-à-vis other options on that particular site”. So why have Councillors and Council Officers repeatedly insisted that other options have been looked at and discounted? Full details of the FOI request and the Council response can be read in the following FOI link

 

5 thoughts on “Wirral’s Green Belt and the Growth of Grassroots Activism – Part 1

  1. Having read Kevin o’Roukes email exchange its obvious to me that the council know exactly where all the documents are hidden in large manila envelopes and it would appear that there are vested interests by councillors & officers not to let the information into the public domain , I think Kevin should involve ICO office to get these vested interests brought to book and expose there corrupt practises, Go Kevin.

  2. Typical replies to F. of I. requests directed to Wirral Council.
    Lies, denials, evasions and, eventually, half truths.
    Stick to it Mr. o` Rourke.

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