The War against Labour-run Sefton Council’s Green Belt busting Local Plan has been lost but there were many local battles where Labour was bloodied.

This is what a recent letter said to those who had taken part in the Sefton Council Local Plan process:-

Dear Sir or Madam

Examination of the Local Plan for Sefton – Receipt of Inspector’s Report

The Council has received the Inspector’s Report into the examination of the Local Plan for Sefton. This is has now been published by the Council and is available at the following locations:

Online at www.sefton.gov.uk/localplan
At each of Sefton’s libraries
At the Planning Offices at Magdalen House, Bootle

Following receipt of the Inspector’s Report the Council now intends to adopt the Local Plan at its meeting of full Council on Thursday 20th April 2017 [6.30pm at Southport Town Hall].

The Council will notify people when the Local Plan is adopted. Following adoption the Local Plan will be used in the determination of planning applications in the borough

Kind Regards

Local Plan Team

In many ways it says so little after so many pitched battles between environmental and community campaigners on one side and Sefton Council, Sefton Labour, property owners and developers on the other. It was a long war and the environmental campaigners lost, although they gave Sefton Labour a number of bloody noses along the way.

I was one of the environmental campaigners and yes I am still angry. Angry because much of the land that has been taken out of Green Belt protection around the Borough is amongst the 2% highest grade of agricultural land in England. To build anything on the land that grows our food is utter madness to me.

But we all remember the heady days of the start of the Local plan process when both Labour and the Lib Dems in Sefton pledged to defend the Green Belt. The Lib Dems did that but Labour, who by then had a majority on the Council, bailed out and started to vote for building on the Green Belt.

The bloody nose was that they lost 4 seats on the Council because of their say one thing, do another approach to this matter. But sadly despite such losses Labour have got their way and what was previously Green Belt land in some parts of the Borough will be designated for building on following the final vote on 20th April.

And yes I know that housing is required but no I am not at all sure that the kind of housing we need will actually get built even though we are chucking away for ever the highest grade of agricultural land. Will there be accessible homes for the elderly, will there be starter homes for young people to get on the housing ladder, will there be social housing for rent?

What do I fear? That the majority of new homes will be 3 and 4 bedroomed properties for the well off which will price out those who need housing.

Sad, yes you bet I am but you know what we have learned is that if there were any ‘green’ credentials locally within the Labour Party there certainly aren’t any more.

House building in Sefton Borough – What should we expect to see?

local-plan-housing-trajectory-1

Please click on the bar graph to enlarge it

It is meant to detail the anticipated house building that will go on across the Borough from 2012/13 to 2029/30 as a consequence of the Sefton Local Plan being adopted.

Don’t worry this particular posting is not another of my rants about the loss of Green Belt and the 2% highest grade of agricultural land in England to building, although that is exactly what is happening here in Sefton Borough sadly.

The second chart below details the individual development sites and when they are anticipated to come on stream for building:-

local-plan-housing-trajectory-2

Again, you need to click on it to be able to see a large size. There’s a lot of information on this sheet and you will need to get it as large as you can to be able to easily read it.

SHLAA – means Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment
PP – means planning permission
Windfalls – means sites that come up for house building that had not previously been anticipated for that use.

What I am not presently sure about is how often these documents are updated as clearly house building can be impacted on by the state of the local and UK economy for instance. Personally, I would not set too much store by these predictions when it comes to individual sites but as an overall projection it does give some idea of what Sefton Council’s Planners think is likely to happen – possibly – well they hope – well you get my drift or is that their drift?

With thanks to Lydiate Parish Council for providing the charts

Why I am backing Carl Cashman to be Merseyside Metro Mayor

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Yesterday I attended a hustings meeting at Dovedale Baptist Church Hall in Liverpool to hear prospective Lib Dem Mersey Metro Mayor candidate Carl Cashman speak. Carl is an impressive young man who seems to have that ‘X’ factor that many other politicians simply don’t.

So what are Carl’s assets? Well youth is one, being in his 20’s brings us a candidate unburdened by the baggage that many older politicians carry with them. He has a fresh perspective and one that folks seem to like.

Carl has not had a privileged upbringing; he was brought up a a Merseyside Council estate.

He is big on green issues and has been a thorn in Labour’s side as they keep trying to build on Green Belt and green spaces. This is a huge issue across Merseyside.

He’s already a Borough Councillor on Knowsley Council regularly taking on the appalling record of Labour in running that Council. This is the Council that was staring down into the abyss of potentially having no schools where young people could take A Levels recently!

He wants more social housing built. The Merseyside housing crisis is at it’s worst in terms of the supply of such properties.

He wants to find a way of improving the income of those living on the Minimum Wage. A Merseyside initiative to try to address our low wage culture – Why not give it a go?

The people of Prescot and Knowsley have taken this young man to their heart and I hope he gets selected as the Lib Dem Metro Mayor candidate so that more electors can find out why Carl Cashman is going places.

Oh and by the way, yes I know that the vast majority of us don’t want another politician running our lives but this new post (Merseyside Metro Mayor/Liverpool City Region Mayor) is being imposed on us in 2017 whether we want it or not.

It’s a result of the Tory Government and Merseyside Labour doing a second or even third rate deal which supposedly devolves significant powers to Merseyside from Whitehall. The powers are far too limited though and Westminster will still be calling the vast majority of the shots, surprise, surprise!

Carl wants to renegotiate that shabby deal so that we have real power over our own affairs locally. And he does not want power for himself but to push that power down to local communities wherever its possible to do so.

Carl is not a man to be told what to do by Westminster, neither is he a slave to a party political machine. Watch this young man go places.

Whiston Delph Ward By-Election – Labour cling on as their vote collapses over Green Belt building

Whiston Town Council Delph Ward – 18th August 2016

Labour 159 [36.1%]
Lib Dem – Paul Shaw 157 [35.6%]

Lab Majority: 2
Turnout: 20.26%

Wow this was close with a number of recounts I hear. This was solid Labour territory but no longer.

Reminds me of the Maghull Town Council North Ward by-election in February of this year. My previous blog posting refers:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2016/03/12/maghull-town-council-by-election-no-one-seems-to-want-you-to-know-the-result/

Labour then lost the following Maghull Sudell Ward election in May to an Independent and you know what it was on the same major issue – A Labour-run Council (in this latest case Knowsley Borough) sanctioning building on the Green Belt!

Knowsley – Green Belt building protests – Can’t say I’m surprised

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/police-called-protesters-disrupt-crucial-10612935

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link above

I missed this story when it was published on 16th December but can’t say I am at all surprised by the protests. Knowsley Council is to allow Green Belt land some of which is bang up against the Melling Parish boundary to be built upon so this decision will affect Sefton Borough as well. Trouble is Sefton Council is just as keen to build on Green Belt as Knowsley.

What is it with Labour-run councils not being environmentally aware? Neighbouring Liverpool (also Labour run) is of course trying to build on green space around Sefton Park. Socialism and strong environmental credentials just don’t seem to go together.

Liverpool Planning Boss – Build on green spaces!

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/liverpool-planning-boss-under-fire-9442181

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above

What on earth is going on here? A Planning boss of a City Council in effect saying build on green spaces!

I think that if was a Liverpool City Councillor I would be livid with him.