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.

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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…

 

 

Campaign Trail Tales : Bullying and Intimidation by Councillors

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We are dismayed but not surprised by the following press statement issued by Stop Hoylake Golf Resort Action Group /Defend Wirral’s Green and Open Spaces. We would  suggest to them that they make a Code of Conduct complaint but we think a more useful course of action would be to publicly name and shame the councillor involved so that the people of Wirral know what kind of person is representing them…
BULLYING AND INTIMIDATION BY COUNCILLORS
Stop the Hoylake Golf Resort Action Group/Defend Wirrals Green and Open Spaces, have witnessed first hand, bullying,intimidation and Harassment from those leafleting for Labour Councillors on Wirral.
Recently there have been two incidents within the Thingwall and Pensby ward, where two of our members on separate occasions have been bullied and harassed, whilst leafleting for our campaign. We find this behaviour totally unacceptable to our campaign.
On the 9th March whilst out leafleting, one of our lady members was shouted at and verbally abused by a senior labour figure within Wirral Borough Council. On behalf of our member, I wrote to the person in question asking for a full apology, stating that, our members are instructed not to engage with any members of the labour group,or any other group who they may encounter whilst leafleting, this is a strict rule within our group.
The lady in question was walking on the opposite side of the road to the senior officer when shouting started from their side. This has left are member very uneasy and traumatised.
On behalf of our member I wrote to the council official for a full apology to which I received a unreserved apology, which we accepted, it was mentioned to the person concerned that, I would appreciate if your members did not engage with ours during leafleting, we all have a job to do and we should be able to do it without prejudice. The official agreed.
However, the following week on the 16th March, one of our members neighbours had a knock on the door from an elderly gentleman. the gentleman asked if the person he was speaking to would be voting labour in the forthcoming by-elections, to which he received a answer saying no, definitely not. The reasons where explained to the gentleman about building on our greenbelt, especially when at council meetings the labour councillor for the ward of Thingwall and Pensby, can be seen voting to build on greenbelt, on at least four different occasions, when, in his news letter to residents, he says he will protect every blade of grass on the greenbelt areas. After this conversation the elderly gentleman left.
However, approximately three minutes later there was a knock on the door  again, this time it was the councillor himself. This time, the councillor was very abusive, with threating behaviour and abusive language. My members neighbour was preparing a childrens party at the time, so there where family members who must have heard the language from this councillor. It was a  very upsetting experience and once again, is totally unacceptable to members of the public to have verbal abuse thrown at them from councillors who mislead their constituents. It is shocking.
I as chairperson for the fore-mentioned groups, wrote to the councillor for a full  apology, I wrote on two separate occasions, he failed both times to even give the curtsey of a reply.
As the chairperson of the groups mentioned, I keep a rolling update of our petition signatures that we have to date. The figure is growing at a daily rate, it stands at 28,523 currently. The residents of Wirral are infuriated at the proposals to build on our greenbelt. Residents on our peninsula believe we are the forgotten shores, everywhere else seems to receive good coverage except Wirral.
Maybe our councillors realise this and therefore treat their constituents with the utmost contempt.
Finally, this case of intimidation and bullying must be addressed, if we are to encourage people to come out and vote at local elections. I will stress strongly, that the bullying was carried out, not by the momentum groups(whoever they are), but by acting councillors, yet these are the same people who accuse others of trying to ruin their party. The information that these councillors give out, is totally and utterly false. The  bullying, intimidation and harassment comes from within the cabinet.
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Your chance to lose the abusive councillors is on May 2nd

A Day of Protest at Wallasey Town Hall Part 2 : A scorched earth approach to Wirral’s Green Belt

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Many thanks to those who have sent us photos from last night’s extraordinary turnout at the Wirral Council Extraordinary Meeting to discuss Wirral’s Green Belt and specifically Notices of Motion on the Hoylake Golf Resort. There were many pictures to choose from but we’ve tried to keep them as apolitical as possible. We’ll be also be posting a couple of further candid shots later as we think they’re particularly telling and worthy of a post of their own.

When it came to it the Green Belt debate was by the by as the Labour group seemed to want to carry on their ongoing self-immolation in front of a large audience.  Not only do certain sections of the local Labour Party hierarchy seem to have a scorched earth policy when it comes to the Green Belt it also seems to apply to members of their own party.

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First up there was Cllr Chris Meaden and a ‘personal statement’  about her recent deselection about which you’d really need to have a heart of stone not to laugh. It was the usual unsubstantiated attacks on other Labour Party members and ‘poor-me’ on parade.The blown kisses to family members in the public gallery was a nice touch to end on.  There was a standing ovation from the Tory benches (yes, the Tory benches) as Meaden had previously warned that the Labour Group ,which she had been a part of for so many years, wouldn’t stand they’d been told they couldn’t ( by the party whip? The party ‘leader’? Sonic rays from outer space?) So does Meaden want us believe that  in all the years she’d been a councillor that she never followed such directions?  A sickening postscript to this show of disloyalty on both sides of the Labour schism was Cllr Steve ‘Foulkesy’ Foulkes telling Cllr Meaden he would still be her ‘fwend’ ! Not so much BFF but BSF!

Our favourite aspect of the night’s proceedings were the repeated digs from right across the political spectrum pointing to Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies’ failure of leadership. However it was best evidenced by Wirral’s most prominent political power couple Labour’s Cllr Jo Bird and Cllr Tony Norbury. We couldn’t help thinking that the former would make the better future leader but it was clear that she wanted shut of Pip pronto! Cllr Norbury was more mealymouthed about why he was voting against the Tory Notice of Motion to ditch the Hoylake Golf Resort (which was narrowly lost) claiming that the evening’s proceedings were a political stunt and protesting was a complete waste of time . Norbury thereby managed to alienate the public gallery and further protestors in the overflow Committee rooms.  Way to go, Tone!

Norbury went on to claim that although he agreed with the Notice of Motion a) he wouldn’t side with Tories and b) if he did he would be suspended by the Labour whip. So kudos goes to Labour Cllr Jean Robinson for sticking by her principles and calling time on the Council ‘leader’s expensive ego trip and not kowtowing to political pressure.Whether she’ll be suspended  by the Labour Group for doing so is a moot point but if she isn’t it will make Cllr Norbury’s protestations seem like empty words…

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Hoylake Golf Resort : Protest and Protect

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We confidently predict that next week will be  a challenging one for the ruling administration at Wirral Council.  As we heralded in our  Message from Wirral Green Space Alliance : Extraordinary Wirral Council Meeting 25th February there is a coordinated protest prior to the meeting which is concerned with the long-running  ‘Hoylake Golf Resort’ saga.

There is a growing alliance of protestors against the luxury homes with a golf course proposal and from some unexpected quarters. Who would have believed that having gone independent as a councillor that ex- Labour Cllr Moira ‘Matron’ McLaughlin would suddenly be ‘independent’ of thought ? Now having helped set up an ‘independent group’ at Wirral Council (along with Cllrs  Chris Meaden and Michael Sullivan ) Matron now feels free to express doubts on her former leader Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies’ pet project.

Liverpool Echo reports :

While Cllr McLaughlin would not reveal which she would vote for or against (at the Extraordinary Meeting) , she revealed her “grave concerns” about the huge project, and the “capacity” of officers to carry it through…

Meanwhile we have also received a leaked email sent by Wirral Trades Union Council :

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Anticipating the strength of growing opposition Pip and his ever decreasing cohort of cronies have been busily preparing their justifications and prepping the press.

We understand that this preparation for tomorrow included a visit  by Pip , Cllr Angela ‘Excited’ Davies and Wirral Council CEO Eric ‘Feeble’Robinson to Celtic Manor Golf Resort in South Wales on 6th February . Labour councillors were briefed about the visit last week (18th February) giving them a week to rehearse their roles and memorise their lines in time for tomorrow’s meeting. This will no doubt include reference to the news found in the Place North West article  Hoylake’s £200m golf resort ‘ready to go’ as contractor joins team where we find Jim Anderson of developer Nicklaus Joint Venture Group (NJVG) , saying the Hoylake Golf Resort proposal was “fully funded” with an aim to “start work the next day” if planning permission is secured. Anderson goes on to say :

Hopefully we won’t be used as a political item one way or another. It’s important for us to get out to the people to understand what their concerns are; we have a year of planning where we can look at those concerns and hopefully address them, and a lot of that will be when they understand the true nature of the project.

The doors of the golf course are very much open. You don’t have to be a member to come into the clubhouse to have a coffee or have a pint or use the restaurants; it’s there for everyone. It’s a misconception that this is a playground for the rich and only they can use it, and frankly, the business model wouldn’t work if we didn’t get engagement with the local population.

Under the circumstances we would expect Mr Anderson to be at tomorrow’s meeting to help address concerns of protestors and engage with the local population. As for the Hoylake Golf Resort being used as a ‘political item one way or another’ does he know that it’s a) Wirral and b) a local election year ?…

 

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Message from Wirral Green Space Alliance : Extraordinary Wirral Council Meeting 25th February

WGSA

URGENT!!
Please Help save Green Belt … Give One Hour
On Monday, February 25th, there will be an Extraordinary Council
Meeting in Wallasey Town Hall. It’s a FULL council meeting, to discuss and
vote upon threatened development in Wirral’s beautiful Green Belt.
WE URGE EVERY resident caring about the environment and their Green Belt
to attend this meeting from 5pm, to show opposition to unnecessary Council Plans to
release Green Belt for Development – of an unwanted Golf Resort and the wrong
number and type of Housing, built in the wrong places – in beautiful Green Belt
rather than areas requiring rejuvenation, being available and more suitable.
WE URGE EVERY Wirral resident to attend this meeting – it will affect YOU.
WE are: Wirral Green Space Alliance (WGSA), an alliance of 20 Wirral community and environmental groups – see list at end -who came together to fight the threat posed by the Group controlling the Council,arguing for a different, feasible and legal approach having shown that:
There IS another way.
Government is NOT “forcing” the Council to build a huge number of homes –
But Government does insist ALL Councils work out their own Local Need, and
then compare their own assessment of ‘Housing Need’ with that derived from the
‘Standard Formula’, citing any ‘exceptional circumstances’. Other Councils have
succeeded but Wirral won’t try, seeking higher income from Green Belt Housing.
In a recent letter to the Council, James Brokenshire (Secretary of State) also highlighted:

Wirral is one of just 11 councils (out of 338) to be in breach of the Act;
Wirral has “consistently failed” to meet key milestones on at least six occasions;
Wirral is not an area where there is high housing pressure; and
Wirral has made the least progress recently, of any council, in adopting a ‘Local Plan’.

Yet Wirral seems determined, despite recent warm words, to drive forward its policy, andhas appointed the country’s top property Barrister at £135,000 initially and Liverpool
University to discredit the Alliance’s alternative approach which, under ANY scenario, shows that releasing Green Belt is unnecessary. Clearly, the Council think their own Case is so weak as to need such an extreme and expensive defence.
But, we are unlikely to change the Council’s current approach without wider support,
starting with a peaceful show of wishes and determination by people standing together in significant number outside Wallasey Town Hall from 5pm on Monday, 25th February for just one hour whilst the Councillors assemble for this significant Meeting.
Such a peaceful show of ‘People Power’ was highly successful when the same Admin-
istration wished to close most of our local Libraries; and it might just convince enough of the ruling Party’s Councillors to vote against Green Belt release – all other Parties’ Councillors are committed to oppose the release and development of Wirral’s Green Belt.
Please don’t leave it to others, as they may be leaving it to you !!
There is ample car parking in the vicinity of the Town Hall.

For further information about this event or the non-political ‘Alliance’ of Groups working hard together to produce an alternative ‘Local Plan’ which doesn’t include loss of Wirral’s Green Belt, you are welcome to contact representatives of the Groups involved:

WGSA 20 current Member Groups:
The Wirral Society and CPRE (Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, Lancs)

Barnston Conservation Society

Caldy Society CAW (Conservation Areas Wirral)

Defend Wirral Green & Open Spaces (DWGOS)

Eastham Village Preservation Assoc.

Frankby Conservation Assoc. Greasby Community Assoc.

Heswall Society

Irby, Thurstaston & Pensby Amenity Society (ITPAS)

Mountwood & Bebington Assoc.

Saughall Massie Village Conservation Area Soc.

Stop Hoylake Golf Resort Action Group (SHGRAG) Storeton Residents Assoc.

Thornton Hough Community Trust

Wirral Barn Owl Trust

Wirral Footpaths and Open Spaces Preservation Society

Wirral Ramblers

Graham Stevens (Statistician)

Prof. David Gregg (Statistician and Modeller)

Please help us with this next step and copy in your own Contacts.
Many thanks in anticipation.

EXCLUSIVE : Hoylake Golf Resort /Celtic Manor Resort – Extraordinary Wirral Council meeting

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For those of you who peruse the Wirral Council calendar of meetings and who might be wondering what the Extraordinary Meeting called for 25 February 2019 was all about we can exclusively reveal, courtesy of the above leaked email, that it’s all about the Hoylake Golf Resort (aka Celtic Manor Resort).

As you can see the letter requisitioning the meeting emanates from the Wirral Council Conservative Group :

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Now where do you think the ever opportunistic Conservative Group might have read about ‘the opposition voiced recently by the Local Campaign Forum of The Labour Party’ ?

We’ll give you one guess : Hoylake Golf Resort : ‘Wirral Local Campaign Forum reflects the views of the members which may at times differ from the Labour Group’

Whilst a credit would have been nice we are more than compensated by the thought that the Extraordinary Meeting will be a test of Wirral Council leader Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies’ ‘leadership’ (no laughing at the back) . After all Pip has bewilderingly pushed for this misbegotten development against all known reason, logic and finance and after the sinking of Wirral Waters courtesy of his naive faith in Stella Shiu this was presumably to be his ‘lasting legacy’ on Wirral (we can  make some suggestions as to what his lasting legacy really should be but we’ll leave that for a later date )

Not only will Pip face opposition from the Conservative Group and presumably the might of the Green Party ( yes,that’s you Cllr Pat Cleary) but opposition within his own ranks of newly elected or up and coming councillors who will no longer do as their told or bend to the will of a power crazed elite. But will they stick by their new found principles and back the Local Campaign Forum of The Labour Party AND the Conservative Group ?  Now there’s a political dilemma !

Pass the popcorn…

 

 

Hoylake Golf Resort : ‘Wirral Local Campaign Forum reflects the views of the members which may at times differ from the Labour Group’

A  press release we have just received from the Wirral Local Campaign Forum (formerly known as the Wirral District Labour Party) is the clearest indication yet of the schism between local party members and the old guard of Labour Group . The LCF declares its opposition to the Hoylake Golf Resort – or Celtic Manor Resort as its being rebranded in certain quarters – which has been a flagship development for the ruling administration under the ‘leadership’ of council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies.

We did predict that 2019 would be an interesting year for politics on Wirral. One week in and things just got a whole lot more interesting…

 

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Golf Gaffe

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We’ve long held that the Hoylake Golf Resort proposal is not so much a golf course as a Trojan horse to a housing development on the Green Belt…and we’re not the only ones who think so. A message we received this week rightly questions the Wirral Council ruling administration’s boundless passion for a sport in decline and the gaffe they’ve made in a report which highlights this fact. But then we need to remember that golf is an enthusiasm pursued by some influential people within the Council and the local business community (we’ll let you join the dots) and which inspired this lament about a senior officer who has been “spending months organising a Wallasey golf day for managers to use up their flexi to play with contractor sponsors who generously donate to your day and prizes …”

Hi Wirralleaks,

Why are the Council proposing to spend £millions of public money on building a new Golf Resort (and luxury housing estate) on Green Belt Land in Hoylake when they are proposing to “offoad” municipal courses because golf is in decline??? You couldn’t make this stuff up!

Wirral Council are reviewing their future provision of Municipal Golf Courses.

In a Golf courses Cabinet report to be presented to Cabinet next Monday, Councillor Phillip Brightmore, (cabinet Member of Leisure and Recreation) is recommending the transfer of Arrowe Park and The Warren Municipal Golf Courses to an “alternative specialist golf provider”.

Interestingly the report states “…….with the national trend in golf usage being generally down, (not just for municipal golf courses but also for the majority of private golf clubs)” and “Participation in municipal golf in Wirral is in decline and follows a national trend in that people tend to have less disposable leisure time to spend on playing a five or six hour round of golf. Those people that would have traditionally played golf in the past have migrated to a more ‘time determined’ sport (such as cycling, running,fitness) to fulfil their leisure time demands. Some smaller private member golf clubs are suffering from the same problem and it is noticeable how some ‘community’ based golf clubs have responded to this problem by reducing membership/joining fees and offering ‘pay and play’ packages which compete favourably with our existing municipal fees and charges”.

So, at a time when even the Council acknowledge that golf courses are becoming less and less financially viable – is it really the right decision to invest £millions of public money in a new Golf resort in Hoylake – or will the resort, as many believe, become just a white elephant, ripe for further housing development once the new access road and luxury housing estate has been built?

Best wishes!

Defend Wirral’s Green Spaces

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There is some heartening work being done by community activists which requires your support. Defend Wirral’s Green Spaces have been distributing well researched, vital information about the threat to Wirral’s Green Belt . They are also encouraging concerned members of the public to attend an Extraordinary Meeting of Wirral Council – see details above (note the curious change of time – could this be to prevent maximum attendance we cynically ask ourselves?)

For more information :

Email  :

defendwirralsgreenspaces@yahoo.com

stophoylakegolfresort@hotmail.com

Facebook : 

Defend Wirral’s Green Spaces

Stop Hoylake Golf Resort

Twitter :

@defendwirral

@stopHGR

Also a reminder from us to complete Wirral Local Plan Feedback Form via this Survey Monkey link Wirral Local Plan Survey Monkey

or using this form to be found in your local library /One Stop Shop or information hub as they’re no doubt calling them these days  – that’s assuming that the former hasn’t been bulldozed down and turned into non-affodable housing!

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Green Gauge Summer

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Another week , another front page shock horror probe about the Green Belt courtesy of Wirral Globe.

Following on from Wirral Council’s CEO Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson coming out from under his desk at Wallasey Town Hall to make a special guest appearance and announce his deep and heartfelt concern about Wirral’s green and pleasant land we now have a ‘leaked document’ which has been sent to the Wirral View , sorry , we mean Wirral Globe.

This ‘leaked document’ – yeah right ! -‘leaked’ from Wallasey Town Hall HQ  with full approval of council leaders and their lackeys by the looks of it- apparently tells us that :

A MAJOR assault will be launched on Wirral’s precious Green Belt land, the Globe can reveal.

In a leaked document seen by this newspaper, acres of protected space have been earmarked to be sold-off to developers in order for the council to meet Government-set housing targets.

The controversial proposals, which target 14 wards across the peninsula, “will fundamentally change the nature of our community.” Full story here : Leaked Document

Note how  councillors Phillip ‘Brightboy’ Brightmore and Angela Davies don’t seem particularly bothered that the document has been leaked with the former commenting that : “Residents will be rightly outraged at these proposals……”

No sorry to have to tell you  Phil , sweetheart , but what residents are pissed off about is being subject to the cynical media manipulation that’s going on here.

Is anyone taken in by this carefully orchestrated bullshit? Shall we gauge this summer by the amount of bogus stories about the alleged threat to Wirral’s Green Belt that clearly emanate from the power elite within Wallasey Town Hall?

Oh and can anyone identify where the Hoylake Golf Resort proposal is on the ‘Green Belt threat map’ – or is that not considered a threat? And if not why not?…