HQ Deja Vu

Disneyland lights spitting in the face of Hamilton Square's history.

Disneyland lights spitting in the face of Hamilton Square’s history.

Ever get that vague feeling you’ve been somewhere before and discounted the fact you may have been pissed the first time ?.
Well our Hamilton Square revamp “consultation” story has sent some of our readers scurrying down memory lane recalling the horrorshow that was known as the Hamilton Quarter.
From our perspective the Hamilton Quarter amounted to nothing more than the removal of timeworn and cherished iron railings , the installation of cutesy moon and stars light fixtures that wouldn’t look out of place in Disneyland and the proliferation of ne’er do wells intent on Actual Bodily Harm.
However those closer to the action have asked the following pertinent questions :
“Why didn’t the famous Hamilton Quarter have an exit strategy ? Perhaps Power Boy Pip’s leading man at Hamilton Quarter  Ian Walker could answer….in between counting his  redundancy money from HQ and then stepping into a job with the lovely Paula Basnett”
“Why was the Tourist Information Centre ‘given’ to Mersey Ferries…  yep no money changed hands….funny that for a cash strapped Council.
Where any of the HQ offices sold?  – NO !
Might we suggest this flyer could explain why :
Meanwhile a local councillor reminisces :

Many years ago, in the Conference Room at Birkenhead Town Hall, there was a black and white photograph of Hamilton Square.It dated back to the days of Birkenhead Corporation buses, at a time when buses went to the Ferry terminal, and when train passengers might access Hamilton Square station after using the ferry to and from Liverpool.

In those days, too,  the Square was seen as the suitable home of the professions 

Unfortunately the Hamilton Quarter initiative merely ensured that Hamilton Square was the suitable home of the oldest profession!.

Some years later the Hamilton Quarter regeneration scheme concluded that the area would be far more pleasant without through traffic, that the Town Hall required a better setting, that patterns of  economic activity had changed.

I served on the body managing the Hamilton Quarter until I had a series of disagreements and concerns about process, probity, and the quality of some schemes.

Hush your mouth – concerns about process ,probity and quality ? – who do you think you are ?. A responsible public servant?. Get outta here!

Restoring the buildings and improving the environment in the Hamilton Square was, however, a scheme I agreed with.

I have found, in my files, a copy of ‘Hamilton quarterly9’ which proudly announced that..’most of the through traffic has been removed from Hamilton Square’..

Hamilton Quarter half arsed

‘Reduced traffic in and around the Square, together with the pedestrianised areas, have improved accessibility for buses, cyclists and people on foot’.

Subsequently the business case for the Museum at the Town Hall did not stack up and that project did not develop further. Quelle surprise !

It is, therefore, relevant to examine whether opening up the road to two way traffic will further the regeneration of that area. What study has been made of the current uses of the property around the square? Has consultation with the owners established whether their use as office space is highly desirable or is the conversion to quality apartments now more viable?

What data has been taken into account regarding passenger usage following the refurbishment of Hamilton Square station?  Have passengers leaving the station been surveyed as to where they have walked from or are walking to?  Is it established that re-opening that section of road will save the bus operators sufficient costs to justify the investment?

It would be helpful to have such information before committing the level of investment required for the new traffic layout.

The scheme does not appear to represent good value for money when there are many local schemes, throughout Wirral, that the funding could be applied to.

Value for money?.Do you really think that’s the incentive or is it about someone ,somewhere waiting in the wings to make a killing?………………