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Posted by: John Brace | 23rd June 2015

Chief Fire Officer recommends new fire station at Saughall Massie and closure of fire stations at West Kirby and Upton

Chief Fire Officer recommends new fire station at Saughall Massie and closure of fire stations at West Kirby and Upton

                                                  

Dan Stephens (Chief Fire Officer, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service) answers questions at a public consultation meeting in Saughall Massie to discuss proposals for a new fire station (20th April 2015). Kieran Timmins (Deputy Chief Executive) is on the right.

Dan Stephens (Chief Fire Officer) answers questions at a public consultation meeting in Saughall Massie to discuss proposals for a new fire station (20th April 2015)

There are four agenda items on the agenda of next week’s Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority public meeting that relate to the decision about the future of West Kirby Fire Station and Upton Fire Station.

First (item 3) is a petition asking for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority to “Stop the building of the Fire Station in Saughall Massie and the destruction of precious green belt land”. At the time of writing this petition on the change.org website has 321 signatures. The comments of the signatories can be read here.

According to section 11.3 of the constitution for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority:

“The presentation of a petition shall be limited to not more than 5 minutes and shall be confined to reading out or summarising the subject of the petition indicating the number and description of the signatories, and making such further supporting remarks relevant to the petition as the person presenting it shall think fit.”

Item 4 is a “deputation in relation to the merger of Upton and West Kirby fire stations”. This is described on the agenda as “To consider a deputation of Wirral residents and Councillors concerning the proposed merger of Upton and West Kirby Fire Stations at the site identified in Saughall Massie.”

Section 11.4 to 11.7 of the constitution deal with the procedure for deputations:

“11.4 Any person likely to be affected by a matter in relation to which the Authority has functions, (other than employees in relation to matters of conditions of service) may ask that a deputation should be received by a meeting of the Authority. Such a request shall be made to the Proper Officer at least seven working days before the meeting to which it relates. The person making the request shall indicate the matter to which the request relates, the number (which shall not be more than five names and addresses of the persons who will form the deputation, and the member or members of the deputation who will speak for them).

11.5 On being called by the Person Presiding, the person or persons speaking for the deputation may make, during a period not exceeding five minutes, such remarks as she/he or they think fit, providing that the remarks shall relate to the matter indicated.

11.6 The Members of the Authority may, during a further period not exceeding five minutes for each deputation, ask questions of the members of the deputation. Such questions shall be asked and
answered without discussion.

11.7 Petitions shall be presented, and deputations received in the order in which notice of them is received by the Proper Officer, without making any distinction between petitions and deputations.”

Agenda item 7 is titled Wirral West Fire Cover Consultation 2 outcomes. The reports for this agenda item come to 236 pages!

Finally agenda item 8 (operational response savings options for Wirral) is the agenda item when an actual decision will be made.

This agenda item comprises of a report detailing the Chief Fire Officer’s recommendations to councillors (the following is quoted from the report and is the Chief Fire Officer’s recommendation (Wirral MBC stands for Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council and fire appliance means fire engine):

“a. approve the merger of Upton and West Kirby fire stations at a new station on Saughall Massie Road, subject to agreement from Wirral MBC to transfer ownership of the land to the Authority and the granting of planning permission;

b. approve the relocation of the West Kirby fire appliance to Upton to be crewed wholetime retained as an interim measure prior to the construction of the new station

c. amend the capital programme to incorporate the Saughall Massie fire station scheme; and

d. give delegated authority to the Chief Fire Officer (CFO) to continue discussions with partners, including Merseyside Police and North West Ambulance Service, with a view to sharing the new building.”

There are of course other options that are in theory available to councillors (but I’ll make it clear these are options which the Chief Fire Officer doesn’t recommend). These other options include the outright closure of West Kirby Fire Station and the relocation of the West Kirby fire engine to Upton Fire Station.

Due to the sheer volume of responses to this consultation, whatever I write below is going to leave something out. However I will do my best to summarise some of the responses to the consultation.

I had better also declare an interest at this point, as in the report on press articles/letters to the press on page 4 Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority have included the blog post I wrote on the 20th April 2015 headlined Public consultation meeting in Saughall Massie on proposed new fire station (along with three comments written by Alan Dransfield, keef666 and Jean).

The people of Saughall Massie are opposed to a fire station being built at the proposed site (currently owned by Wirral Council) on Saughall Massie Road. There are a variety of reasons given ranging from traffic, green belt issues, noise/disturbance and concerns that building on the Saughall Massie Road site is inadvisable due to regular flooding.

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service paid Opinion Research Services £19,195.00 (a spin out company of Swansea University) to do a report for the consultation. Their 49 page report details the results of a range of polling techniques including focus groups, a forum and a postal residents survey.

The deliberative forum for Saughall Massie found opposition to a new fire station there. Most of the group they asked from Upton were also opposed to the use of a greenbelt site at Saughall Massie, but at the same time supported a new fire station in the Saughall Massie area. The West Kirby group & the all Wirral forum were in favour of the Saughall Massie site being used for a new fire station. However ORS does state “deliberative forums cannot be certified as statistically representative samples of public opinion”.

A postal questionnaire was also sent out by ORS to 10,000 households (5,000 to the West Kirby Fire Station area and 5,000 to the Upton Fire Station area). Out of the 1,351 postal questionnaires that were returned a majority in both Upton (51%) and West Kirby (70%) areas went for option one (merging Upton and West Kirby fire stations by building a new fire station in Saughall Massie).

However these findings come with caveats as ORS also state:

“However, consultation is not a numbers game, in which the majority view necessarily prevails (like in a referendum), so the Fire Authority will wish to consider carefully all the arguments, evidence and considerations relevant to this case before taking its decision based upon its assessment of the public good.”

Here are some quotes from the members of the public that responded to the consultation and a link to the full 40 page document:

“As a resident of West Kirby and a mother of three young children I object to the proposals to close West Kirby fire station.

This is a ridiculous and dangerous proposal and directly increases the risk of death, from a house fire, to my family.”

“Also please provide a credible reason as to why, in a democratic and fair society, the residents of Saughall Massie’s overwhelming feelings of resistance to this proposed fire station are being overridden by the local Labour Council when equal or lesser feelings of resistance by those in Greasby were considered in full and their request to reject the proposed building of this facility (on a brown field site) was granted.”

“I live next to Saughall Massie Road and during the morning and evening “rush hours” it’s very heavily congested to a far greater extent than other local roads at these times. ”

“I object to the proposed fire station in Saughall Massie because:-

  • lives could be lost as Saughall Massie Road is already congested. Between 8am and 9.30am Mon-Fri – severe congestion
  • no open space for dogs & horses to run free
  • our properties will de-value
  • damage to wildlife habitats”

“Re Fire Station Saughall Massie Road

I would like to register my disapproval at the above. Building on Greenbelt land is out of order.”

“I would hope that you agree that Monday night’s fiasco did not satisfy the criteria as a meaningful consultation exercise. Having said that, you must be aware that the overwhelming views of the residents, both inside and on the pavement outside, was that this development does not take place at all within our precious ‘Green Belt’.”

Proposal for a fire station, Saughall Massie, Wirral

I am writing to express my concerns over the proposal to build a fire station on the greenbelt land at Saughall Massie. I live directly opposite the suggested site and am disappointed to learn of this proposal which I personally use at least twice a day to both exercise my dog and meet up with other local residents. There is also a great deal of wildlife and the beautiful Jenny’s Wood. There are water voles, bats, owls to name a few and I am sure that many of these beautiful creatures will be affected by this build if it goes ahead.

I wish to register that I am totally opposed to the build and wish my feelings to be noted.”

The Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority will make a decision on the future of the fire stations at Upton and West Kirby at a public meeting starting at 1.00pm on Tuesday 30th June 2015 in the Liverpool Suite, ground floor, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters, Bridle Road, Bootle, L30 4YD. The agenda and reports for that meeting can be found on their website.

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Responses

  1. Readers may also be interested in the Wirral Globe article Wirral fire merger: Labour call for politics to be ‘set aside’ in campaign to save stations from closure that deals with the same issue and the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service press release.

  2. Faced with more austerity cuts, the chance that ‘they’ may lose staff if ever the ‘eye of scrutiny’ ever stops and focuses on them, they, the public services do what they’ve always done.
    To protect the ’empire’, consolidate what they’ve already got their hands on they build. Yes! That’s the usual answer whenever they feel under threat. They build a new fire house, tell all that it’ll save us millions, they’ll tell you that if you consider not building a new fire house, lives will be placed in danger and off we go again on the merry go round of life beneath the banner of public service that’s lead and steered by a bunch of passionate bastards who’ve all been certified for attending the course in Common Purpose.
    Oddly enough, in the Metropolitan area of London, where there’s no bloody space to build a ferret cage, they don’t seem to have this unique problem.
    Rather than flatten their fire houses and build they go about things in an entirely different way. They appreciate their architecturally wonderful buildings they call fire houses, they spend money maintaining and adapting them and it all seems to work out wonderfully well without the threat of lives will be lost.
    It’s all a bucket of rancid pigswill designed by public servants who desperately want to continue to ride the gravy train and consolidate what they’ve got and do not want to lose.
    Well I for one say, ‘get stuffed’. I say this because I no longer believe them and I question why it’s necessary to knock down something that works whenever they are asked, ‘what are you doing with our money?’ Mark my words, its true. Some ‘suit’, sat on high who has the ear of another ‘suit’ sat on high, comes up with the idea of ‘let’s bloody build’, the whole bag of rats gains momentum and before you can say, ‘my wife’s a rotter’, you’ve got another firehouse that delivers exactly the same service as the fire house that got flattened.
    It’s all a load of codswallop and anyone who thinks differently clearly disagrees with me.

    • Your comments are always an entertaining read. To save £880,000/year on operating costs they are planning to build a new fire station that’ll cost £4.2 million.

      Of course they do get a government grant of £1.49 million to do this, plus the sale of the two former fire stations (estimated at at a combined £604,000) meaning the net cost is estimated at £2.16 million.

      The point about building a new fire station though is it’s a one off cost, the costs of staffing fire stations are recurring costs year on year.

      As they’re reducing the number of fire stations, what’s the point in keeping a fire station open with no fire engine for it and no staff?

    • Mr Brace, to a great degree Bobby is Right, in the normal course of events. The problem we appear to have here is that other interests exist and they do not include proper suits, who also have a “Common Purpose” that is to make lots of money one way or the other. My Wife is not a Rotter, but due to her want for the Good Life has cleared off and no doubt in due course will be used by those who are not certified in order to try to Compromise me.

      What I say is Good Luck and God Bless to her and the Scumbags and may they have a long and happy life together.

  3. If there are bats on this land are’nt they proctected by law, and if so you can’t build there!

    • Yes bats are protected in law.

      If the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority decide to accept the Chief Fire Officer’s recommendation to go with a new fire station at Saughall Massie when they make a decision next Tuesday afternoon, then when a planning application was made, Wirral Council planning officers would consider such matters in forming a view on whether to recommend the planning application for approval or dismissal and presumably it would be in the report to be considered by councillors if there are bats on the land.

      • Help?

        Can I put in a complaint to the IOC before asking for an internal review of an FOI request? I put in a request for response times to MFRS on 9th May. I was asked for clarification on 20th and replied on 21st. So, clock restarted, I should have had a response by 19th June. I’ve ‘prompted’, but still nothing. I wanted this well before the meeting on Tuesday where MFRA make their decision, so have avoided asking for an internal review knowing that this would mean I wouldn’t get the data in time.

        Page 271 (MFRS consultation outcomes report, chart 1) states that there were 2 responses from those over 80 and this age group were under-represented, as were the under 20’s and those with disabilities (significantly too if they want to talk about it in these terms). Table 6 though (same page) totals 3 respondents in the over 80 age category, 1 with a disability, 2 stating none? The under 20 age category have also been omitted from all calculations as, ‘this would heavily skew the analysis.’ There were 3 and they’ve simply either agreed, to a greater or lesser extent, disagreed, or didn’t know.

        Dan Stephens is on the record too as saying that the response times presented at the public meetings were only the mean times, as using the median or mode could ‘heavily skew’ the response times.

        I could say that he’s a fat shyster in a football shirt! (Not that he is!) But I’d be just like him, talking the talk, without having a bloody clue!

        Lastly, can Leslie Rennie really be impartial after her comments? Will she have to declare an interest and will she get to vote?

        Thank you

        • Right I’ll try to answer these questions.

          I’ve read through your FOI request.

          Yes you can complain to ICO that they haven’t sent you a response either providing you with the information in the 20 working days or a refusal notice. Here is a link to the page on ICO’s website with the information on how to do that.

          You could also request an internal review to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service about the lack of response to your request.

          As to the last two, the relevant section in MFRA’s Code of Conduct states:

          Pre-determination or bias

          1. Where you have been involved in campaigning in your political role on an issue which does not impact on your personal and/or professional life you should not be prohibited from participating in a decision in your political role as member, however DO NOT place yourself under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence you in the performance of your official duties.
          2. When making a decision, DO consider the matter with an open mind and on the facts before the meeting at which the decision is to be taken.”

          However a decision to consult (which I presume is the reference to the comments of Cllr Rennie’s you are referring to) is a very different decision to that which they will make tomorrow afternoon (even though I realise it’s about the same issue).

  4. G’day John

    From the local rubbish propaganda sheet.

    Meeting to discuss reducing councillor numbers in Wirral is called off – for the FOURTH time

    Most improved council in the country.

    hahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    I bet if this meeting ever happens they will speak up to save their scabby arses but a measly £2,000,000.00 fraud and £200,000.00 to cover up the hopeless if not corrupt senior officers they don’t give a shit.

    Ooroo

    James

    Good riddance to most of them.

    • Yes, I was at the Coordinating Committee meeting this evening when it was announced it’d be deferred to a meeting in September.

  5. G’day John

    Another idiot in the village.

    Another one that thinks he is above the law.

    From the rubbish paper from over Stella’s stagnant Wirral Waters.

    Wirral councillor suspended for using school children with special needs to deliver election leaflets

    Good job it wasn’t one of Fudgit and Risk It Committee that has some responsibility. ha ha

    They won’t have to have that meeting about reducing numbers of councillors because if they care to look they will all be suspended for being above the law.

    Wirral “Funny” Bizz is all I can say.

    Most improved council in the country.

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    Your avin a laugh “Phil the Dill”

    Ooroo

    James

    I could have mentioned Lyndale but didn’t this lot are scum.

    • He (Cllr Jim Crabtree) is not suspended from being a Wirral Council councillor, but instead his party membership of the Labour Party is suspended.

      The two are different matters altogether.

      • Thanks John

        If Sir Git is defending him he must be guilty.

        Ooroo

        James

  6. G’day John

    Was this school bus used in helping them get rid of Stuart Kelly?

    I don’t even know why I am asking you just have to see him and Councillor Doughnut at the Fudgit and Risk It Committee.

    About 80 of them covering for the Wirral “Funny” Bizz scandal.

    Just more and more reasons to bring in an Administration.

    Ooroo

    James

    Ps Looks like the whole thing is starting to crack which is exactly what happens when lies are told and things are covered up.

    I just can’t wait to hear of them wanting to blow the whistle when one of their nearest and dearest are affected.

    • Maybe you are asking me because I have a copy of Paul Doughty’s election expenses for his election in 2015 as an Oxton councillor.

      Here’s a breakdown of expenditure by Paul Doughty’s campaign:

      Use of timber for garden stakes £50
      500 A5 out cards £45.83
      6000 A4 leaflets £682.00
      5000 A5 out cards £329.00

      Total £1,106.83

      • No doughnuts John for Clowncillor Doughnut?

  7. G’day Bobby, and. John of course

    Luv your work above as usual.

    Bobby this clowncil reminds me of the England football team who I tried to support and defend for 34 years in Oz against my colleagues, friends and footballers I played with and against from all over the world from proper winning football nations..

    I believed the English propaganda that England was the best in the world.

    A bit like “Phil the Dill” saying, and the idiot probably believing, Wirral is the most improved council in the country.

    Some people actually believe this rubbish and as the latest village idiot outed and suspended would say what a load of tosh.

    Wirral and England are and have been for the last twenty years at least an abject failure and complete shite.

    I don’t usually speak like this Bobby but like you they make me wild.

    It is appropriate that Adderley has a football shirt framed in his office with his name on the back like an eight year. That team also being an abject failure having won errr nothing in recent years.

    I doubt it is any coincidence either Bobby that the team they sponsored for years is now out of the football league.

    The rot is in Bobby and The Administration should have been in years ago

    I can’t believe Bob that only two Labor clowncillors have been suspended in recent times.

    You watch the code of silence that befalls them when a whistleblower turns up vanish as the debate about who goes in the downsize of the number of clowncillors starts up.

    They won’t be able to resist shitting on each other from a great height like the real self centred scum they are.

    Care about Wirral taxpayers….my arse.

    The purple headed desperate buffoons in Labor will be the best watch.

    As like you Bobby they will not care about who they say is sleeping with who, man, woman,dog or lamppost and they will vent bile on each other.

    They like the England football team, and Adderley’s team will self destruct and fail again and again and again.

    Ooroo

    James

    I presume central government thinks this downsizing will get the dross removed but like the redundancy process it won’t work.

    The good will go and the egotistical bullying good for nothing crooks will hang on.

  8. G’day John

    What is the point?

    Council officers can just do what they want.

    They have hidden an honest officer Beverley Edwards damning report into Big and ISUS..

    Basnett was told to keep her gob shut by “The Shyster”……her words.

    The chief internal auditor wrote one that was a croc of shit and he got paid off.

    Grant Thornton got a £50,000.00 bonus for writing a report that suggested legal action and wrongdoing that was ignored.

    Gra Gra had a farce of a public meeting were Adderley and Ball stood there publicly and lied.

    65 dimwitted, or corrupt, councillors entered into a conspiracy of silence.

    Now DCLG have joined the shite

    Department for Communities and Local
    Government
    Fry Building

    2 Marsham Street
    London
    SW1P 4DF
    Telephone: 030 3444 0000
    Mr Nigel Hobro
    By email to: “[FOI #246655 email] “
    Date: 24 June 2015

    Dear Mr Hobro

    Thank you for your email, received on 22 June 2015, in which you requested an internal of this Department’s handling of you request for information. I am sorry that you are dissatisfied with our attempts to handle your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000

    I can confirm that I have been asked to consider your concerns and I am aiming to provide you with a substantive response by 21 July 2015.

    Yours sincerely

    FOI Quality Assurance Manager
    Knowledge and Information Access Team

    John, Rotherham Tower Hamlets Rochdale Wirral they all stink.

    Ooroo

    James

    Where is there junket this year John?

    A Stella Safari?

    “Highbrow” says the next wall to run into is the European Auditors.

    • Mr Griffiths, Mr H is also right given Normal Circumstances, there are Several walls to climb or get over prior to achieve your European Dream.
      1. You have the Local Council not wishing to place its Dirty Washing in Public on a European Stage.

      You have to be in a position to have all the Documents to exhibit to the Auditors, which our friends say, they are lost or Stolen.
      You have to have Competent and Honest Witnesses to prove the case or progress it further. (Not making allegations against yourself or Mr H).
      Adderley and the Pretend Friend have to be Interviewed among others under Caution and the Evidence that was being displayed by Adderley 8/10/14 Recovered.
      Having done that, a File putting together and submitting under Normal Circumstances to CPS (under Normal Circumstances). My understanding is Adderley has former connections to the DWP.
      My understanding of one of the Pretend Friends, aka Garym Lambert was in WMBC Internal Audit and has moved to Liverpool.
      On instruction and the Full knowledge of Former CEO Burgess and I might add against my Pro Bono advice.
      Both of these men should be Investigated as a matter of Urgency and the Chairperson at least of the Meeting of the 8th October – as you call it Fudgit Meeting.

      Your Move Shyster, before any further action against me though I would call in the Administration and Police Pro Bono Advice

      • G’day Reps

        And all this would just be past history if they did the right thing.

        They just can’t.

        They are just in it up to their necks £200,000.00 plus later defending the lies.

        There is not a decent one amongst them.

        They are shite.

        Ooroo

        James

        I don’t care anymore my man I have nothing left with the fourth anniversary of Kevin Adderley is a Liar Day coming up on 5 July 2015.

  9. G’day John

    What analogy today with WIRRAL the most improved council in the country?

    Well is it Gareth Southgate and his rubbish wanting like “Phil the Dill” to stay in charge of his great team.

    They didn’t qualify and were battered by a team….that didn’t qualify either.

    Southgate says look at the stats we are the best team in the world.

    “Phil the Dill” says we are the most improved council in the country.

    Or

    Is it David Cameron at the European Summit?

    Look at our Northern Powerhouse, Rochdale, Rotherham and particularly Wirral and “Wirral “Funny” Bizz who set up 8,000,000 jobs according to “The Football Shirt”.

    I thought I’d lie he does.

    They might have ripped off £2,000.000.00 but look they didn’t take it to the States, I don’t think, they got new gnashers in EUROPE and are blowing an awful lot of it in Portugal on cheap scotch.

    Ooroo

    James

    Great Britain the home of “The Raving Loony”

  10. G’day John

    Todays headline from the local rubbish propaganda sheet

    Police urge extra vigilance after organised gang of muggers targets Wirral

    Are they referring to the Clowncil “Kitchen Cabinet”.

    Ooroo

    James

    Wirral Gate Wirral “Funny” Bizz Wirral Gate Wirral “Funny” Bizz Wirral Gate Wirral “Funny” Bizz Wirral Gate Wirral “Funny” Bizz Wirral Gate Wirral “Funny” Bizz Wirral Gate Wirral “Funny” Bizz Wirral Gate Wirral “Funny” Bizz

    • With all due respect Mr Griffiths these people having been trying to Mug Me for the last 4 years, I can only describe it as a Most Outrageous Conspiracy and the closer I got the more Outrageous it has become. I will refrain from using Swear Words (Expletives).


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