It is always a pleasure to hear from ‘The Prof’ and here he tells us :
I just read your ‘A Fear of Green’ piece on Wirral Green Space Alliance attempts to get information out of the council on green belt activities. One of the requests asked for details of the work commissioned by the council from Liverpool University on Wirral housing needs under the local plan. The council answer was that the work is ‘not yet completed’. You might therefore be interested in the reply (dated 08.05.19) of professor Alex Lord of the Dept. of Planning to my own inquiry on this work. As he says clearly, the work was completed and sent to Wirral council ‘several weeks ago’.
This is work we paid for and it should be available for public scrutiny.
And indeed here is the aforementioned response from Professor Alexander Lord (how’s that for a name btw?) :
Dear Professor Gregg,
Thanks for your e-mail. We (a small group from the University of Liverpool and a colleague from Manchester) were commissioned to carry out a small piece of work for Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council. One aspect of this related to projected household formation. As part of this process we took into account the submission that I understand you made along with ONS measures. Our work was submitted to the local authority several weeks ago now. As this was a commissioned piece, the details of the report are the property of the local authority and so I am sorry to say that I have been advised that I am not permitted to share it.
I know from discussions with the local authority that they take public consultation very seriously. I am sure that they would welcome further engagement with you on this question and in relation to the development of the local plan more generally.
Professor Alexander Lord
Lever Chair of Town and Regional Planning
Department of Geography and Planning
School of Environmental Sciences
University of Liverpool
We’ll leave that there for your delectation.
But before we go a couple of comments from us. First, Prof Lord is the Lever Chair of Town and Regional Planning at the University of Liverpool . So , should any conflicts be declared here? And secondly he appears to have a particularly keen sense of humour. Apparently he thinks Wirral Council take ‘public consultation very seriously’. Might we suggest (like ‘The Prof’) it is as seriously as sharing information which the council tax payers of Wirral have paid for and yet somehow aren’t allowed to read?…