Who’s Resorting to Misleading Information? You Decide!

BEACON FOR TOURISM

Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies, the outgoing Wirral Council ‘leader’ has repeatedly stated that campaigners opposing the Hoylake Golf Resort have been spreading ‘misleading’ information. However, apparently when asked to meet with campaigners to clarify his accusation he went strangely quiet. If Pip and his Council cronies are so outraged about ‘misleading’ information, we wonder why they haven’t bothered to correct any of the ‘misleading’ information being put out by the developers for the Hoylake Golf Resort?

In recent media articles and on their website the Nicklaus Joint Venture Group (NJVG) have stated the building the luxury golf resort houses will mean that the Hoylake Golf Resort link road will not be funded by the public purse. This information is incorrect as the Golf Resort road WILL be funded from the public purse. This ‘misleading’ information was brought to the attention of Wirral Council officers in February, but no response was received.

We understand that at the last Wirral West Constituency Meeting on 14th March a member of the public asked David ‘Golf’ Ball, Assistant Director of Housing and Economic Growth, to clarify whether the NJVG were correct to state that the road would not be publicly funded.

David Ball responded:

I’m not quite sure why the Nickalaus Joint Venture Group have said there is no public money going in to the road because as we did report, as you have rightly said, to the last Cabinet meeting …the link road has an opportunity for a number of sources of funding, one could be through grant from the Liverpool City Region as a transport scheme or the other alternative approach is to recycle the capital receipt that the Council would receive from the golf resort project into part funding that road, and that is my understanding of the position at the present time, so I don’t know why the Nicklaus Joint Venture Group said there was no public money required for that because that’s not my understanding of the position

Responding to cries from the audience about people being misled Cllr Jeff ‘Yellow’ Green stated:

To be fair to David…David won’t be able to give an answer about why people are being misled by the Joint Ventures web site, but I am sure he will go back and speak to them and make sure that it is corrected, is that right?

to which David Ball gave a resounding:

Yes!

However at the time of this post, more than 6 weeks after the constituency meeting and 10 weeks after the ‘misleading information’ was first highlighted to Council officials, the incorrect information is still on the NJVG website.

Other misleading information which the NJVG is stating on their website is about the quality of the farmland that could be annexed by Hoylake Golf Resort. NJVG claim it is “poor quality grade 4 cultivated land”. The Wirral Society obtained further information from the Soil Association and Landis.org. They also sought the opinion of Cranfield University who produce the Soilscapes website and are sponsored by DEFRA. Rather than being poor farmland, the Soilscapes websites indicate that much of the land is productive, suitable for dairying or beef and some cereal or feed production. Cranfield University were also of the opinion that the soil could even be graded as ALC Class 1 if better irrigation was introduced. We don’t know exactly what that means but even we know that Class 1 sounds better than Grade 4.

https://www.wirralsociety.net/hoylake-golf-resort-agricultural-land-assessment/

Finally, we would like to highlight that one of the pages on the resort website says “Hoylake Resort will provide a beacon for tourism within Wirral” – accompanied by photos NOT of Wirral’s many fabulous tourist attractions and wonderful natural areas, but instead by photographs of the Liverpool skyline and bizarrely , Wallasey Town Hall. Not a green in sight! – which politically is just how Power Boy Pip and Co would like it!

Does this mean that the NJVG know what many already suspect – that despite what the top Council spinners may say about making Hoylake a “world class destination”, most golfers will finish their rounds of golf and disappear along the publicly funded road straight on to the motorway to go and visit the world class international attractions in Liverpool just 15 minutes away!…

Not that we’re suggesting that Wirral Council’s ruling administration would ever resort to misleading information. However we’d like to point out that in a recent Labour leaflet distributed in Birkenhead & Tranmere there was the usual ‘Vote Green Get Blue’ rhetoric and alleged evidence that  that Cllr Pat Cleary votes with the Tories. We are reliably informed that the image is being pointed out to residents on the doorstep.

orginal-scan
It is certainly a ‘misleading’ piece of editing but certainly not as technically proficient as piecing together the panoramic that shows the full vote that was occurring out of view which had six out of seven Labour Councillors with their hands up as well!

A Green Party leaflet exposes the ‘misleading  information’ here :

Transparency

Now that’s what we call evidence of ‘misleading information’.

Over to you Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies to evidence campaigners opposing the Hoylake Golf Resort have been spreading ‘misleading’ information.  Although no doubt he’ll be too busy counting the minutes until his leaving do to be held at Wallasey Town Hall on May 8th…

 

 

Advent Farewell 10 – Question Everything

question-everything

As we’ve commented earlier in this Advent adventure we’re lovin’ the emergence of a seemingly increasingly questioning Wirral public. It would seem that Wirral politicians relying on the supine,docile and uninformed seem to be over……and they don’t like it! Witness yesterday’s public meeting organised by Wirral West MP Margaret Greenwood about the Hoylake Golf Resort proposals. An increasingly exasperated Wirral Council leader Cllr Phil ‘ Power Boy Pip’ Davies was told to ‘stop sulking’ by a member of the public when he was repeatedly forced to halt his oft-repeated stream of BS. It’s called public accountability Pip – get used to it and quit with the titty-lip!

And we don’t know what superannuated Cllr Gerry Ellis is putting in his Horlicks – but can we have some? We couldn’t have done better than describe the dodgy housing development on the Green Belt masquerading as a ‘golf resort’ as ‘Phil’s Folly’

And apparently there’s more to come as tomorrow’s full Council meeting at Wallasey Town Hall which features more pesky members of the public wanting answers to various questions . We anticipate the BS quotient from Pip & Co will be through the Wallasey Town Hall roof. We’d like suggest that people might be better off making Freedom of Information requests  but let’s face it , they probably wouldn’t be – life’s too short.

We are also breathless with anticipation as to whether Cllr Louise Reecejones actually turns up and offers a grovelling apology to rest of the council chamber and the public gallery for previously failing to make an acceptable apology for conduct unbecoming an elected member as well as being , well  Cllr Louise Reecejones and therefore not  one of the protected Labour Party  cabal. Fortunately there are a number of attendees in the public gallery who’ve promised us some feedback on events as they unfold – so we look forward to reporting all the gory details.

Until then we’ll leave you with the petition organised  by the Hoylake & West Kirby Campaign Group which has forwarded to us. And finally remember – when it comes to Wirral Council – question everything!

A few days ago the petition, below, was delivered to Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council, signed by 600+ people. The Council will now go through its ‘validation process’ which means excluding any signature which was not accompanied by a full address.

People are still waiting for Margaret Greenwood, the Wirral West MP, to oppose Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council’s plan to devastate the NW England Greenbelt at Hoylake and West Kirby.

SAVE WIRRAL’S COUNTRYSIDE.
STOP THE HOYLAKE GOLF RESORT.
STOP THE URBANISATION OF WIRRAL’S GREENBELT.
To – PHIL DAVIES, Council Leader, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council, Wallasey Town Hall, Brighton Street, Wallasey, Wirral, CH44 8ED.

We are opposed to Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council’s plan to build the exclusive ‘HOYLAKE GOLF RESORT’ on 285 acres of the Birket Valley, which is publicly owned greenbelt land.
The Council’s plan includes: the construction of roads; car parking; a luxury housing estate; a 250 bedroom, exclusive hotel; a spa; and a conference centre. The Hoylake Municipal Golf Course is to be relocated. There are already 17 golf courses in the Wirral Metropolitan Borough. Most Wirral residents do not play golf. Hoylake already has two golf courses, one privately owned and one publicly owned. There is no need for another, private golf course in the Hoylake/West Kirby area.
The Council has failed to act in an open, transparent and fair manner, in connection with the Hoylake Golf Resort project. . A Freedom of Information request (FOI request 827270), of August 2014, revealed that the Council had paid £237,012, of public funds, to consultants, in connection with the Hoylake Golf Resort project.
The Council failed to allow members of the public to participate at an early stage in the planning process, in an effective way, when ALL options were open. There is no evidence that the Council allowed members of the public to propose any alternative plans for the 285 acre area or for the area to remain as it is.
There is no guarantee that the exclusive Hoylake Golf Resort would be an economic success. Golf resorts, all over the world, have gone bankrupt, including several in the USA and one in Northern Ireland. The proposed, private Hoylake Golf Resort would have a detrimental impact on the Hoylake and West Kirby landscape. It would urbanise a rural area.
We, the undersigned, call on Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council to cancel its exclusive ‘Hoylake Golf Resort’ plan. Housing should be built on ‘brown field’ sites, not on valuable, much appreciated, ‘green belt’ land, in the borough.
We believe that the remaining Wirral greenbelt countryside should be protected.
The construction of the Hoylake Golf Resort would not be in the interest of the local community.

NAME SIGNATURE ADDRESS DATE

…………… …………………… ……………….………… ……
Published by: Hoylake and West Kirby Campaign Group.

Crazy Golf

hoylake golf

Forget the celebrity endorsed golf course and 5 star hotel it’s the potential residential sites that are the most significant parts of the Hoylake golf resort plan.

 

We’ve always wondered at Leaky Towers where the golf resort notion sprang from. So knowing what we know about the gone but not forgotten senior officers at Wirral Council we imagined that an historical Chief Officers meeting went something along the lines of :

“Hey , we all like golf we’ve got a loads of green belt  land – let’s build a golf resort on it!”. They then commissioned a report , all pulled on their Farah slacks and went for a quick round before they concluded their meeting with another round at the 19th hole.

However a  commentator on a previous  Wirral Leaks post send Verity scurrying off to do some research on what happened from there….

Needless to say it took nearly 10 years and for someone to have to resort to the inevitable Freedom of Information request  before the original 2006 Capita Symonds viability consultation report was prised out of Wirral Council’s golf grip.

http://www.hoylakegolfresort.uk/#!capita-symonds-needs-assessment/viwgy

This report which allegedly cost £275,000 is  helpfully summarised by our commentator thus:

‘Nice idea chaps, but the planning issues make it more trouble than it’s worth!” Still, there’s nothing like the “NO, NO, NO I’M NOT LISTENING!” approach to get you through 15 years of self-denial.’

However if you want not listening and self -denial then Council”leader” Power Boy Pip Davies is your,er, man.

It would seem that from the outset the only way a golf resort was viable on the outskirts of Hoylake is for Wirral Council to illegally remove it from the green belt, ignore the agricultural status of the surrounding land and raise money by selling it for luxury housing!. Even the Capita Symonds report states that in order for the golf resort to be successful, it will need to be funded by money raised from housing development.

With  Wirral Council’s deluded golf guru Kevin “Addled” Adderley having moved to where the grass is greener we would have thought it would have been an ideal opportunity to knock this idea out of bounds. However last week , at the meeting of  West Wirral Constituency Committee it seems Adderley’s successor  Dave “Golf” Ball is determined to see this tee off . Although he was well aware that the planning application will have to go before the Secretary Of State, simply because of the green belt issue , he warned this could be years away. So don’t pack your plus-fours just yet!.

No wonder our source comments :  “Either way you look at it, they have to try to get away something quite outrageous before they can see the project being funded!”. When “outrageous actions” are Wirral Council leadership’s stock in trade it’s time to wonder what they could be up to and why they seem determined to get from out of the bunker and on to the green (belt).

We can only surmise there’s a trump card to play in the planning process.Indeed there is a school of thought that Power Boy Pip must be pinning all of his hopes on Mayor Joe or whoever ends up with decision making powers in the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to make use of whatever new devolution powers are available to change green belt planning issues at a local level. It’s unknown territory at the moment, but the current government want to change planning to make it easier to build on the green belt. If the devolution powers put the decision making to the regional heads this will suit Pip and co down to a tee.

This would also enable central government to point out to how devolving  powers to a region in the so-called Northern Powerhouse could work to serve the needs of big business.

So currently it is hard to tell in whose hands ultimately the destiny of Hoylake golf resort project lies – central government ? ,regional government ? , local government ? or big business ?. All we do know is that it doesn’t seem to be local people. Well ,so far anyway…….