Advertising
 
Posted by: John Brace | 11th November 2016

Decision on controversial planning application APP/16/00985 (Saughall Massie Fire Station) delayed as councillors call for change of venue, site visit, special meeting & more transparency

Decision on controversial planning application APP/16/00985 (Saughall Massie Fire Station) delayed as councillors call for change of venue, site visit, special meeting & more transparency

                                             

Wirral Council’s Planning Committee meeting held on the 10th November 2016 was standing room only because of the planning application about a fire station at Saughall Massie (APP/16/00985)

Wirral Council’s Planning Committee meeting held on the 10th November 2016 was standing room only because of the planning application about a fire station at Saughall Massie (APP/16/00985)

Updated on 30th November 2016 and the 11th December 2016 by JB: The site visit is scheduled for 11 am on the 13th December 2016. Contrary to what was said at the Planning Committee meeting reported below, the Planning Committee will then meet in the Civic Hall (1st floor) at Wallasey Town Hall, Brighton Street, Seacombe, CH44 8ED on the 15th December 2016 starting at 6.00 p.m. in order to decide on this planning application.

Last night’s Planning Committee at Wirral Council was another event in the long running political saga that is the attempts to start a new fire station at Saughall Massie and close Upton Fire Station and West Kirby Fire Station.

Committee Rooms 1 and 2 which were the venue for the Planning Committee at Wallasey Town Hall were both full (standing room only as you can see from the picture above) and Committee Room 3 in another part of the building was being used as an overflow.

Dan Stephens QFSM (Chief Fire Officer for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service/Chief Executive for the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority) was looking very smartly dressed in what I will describe as his ceremonial uniform. He was there with what I will describe as an entourage of people from Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service including Ria Groves (Trainee Solicitor) and Colin Schofield (PFI Project Manager (part of his job is to manage the Saughall Massie Fire Station project)). Dan Stephens QFSM and his entourage stood near the door.

Also present were the three local councillors for Moreton West and Saughall Massie ward (Cllr Chris Blakeley, Cllr Steve Williams and Cllr Bruce Berry). They have opposed this planning application along with groups such as the Saughall Massie Village Conservation Area Society and the Wirral Society.

The vocal and public disagreements about this political issue between Cllr Chris Blakeley and Dan Stephens QFSM are mainly already on the public record, well documented and have been reported on by myself before and others, so I’m not going to rehash in detail the rather long history of the matter here.

I will briefly state however that Wirral Council withdrew its offer of land for this at Greasby which is what led to Saughall Massie being proposed. The effect of that is it has given some people hope that people power can overturn the previous cross-party political consensus behind it.

Also I had better point out that there was a rather long running First-tier Tribunal case in which I was the Appellant about the financial breakdown of expenditure for the new fire station first at Greasby, then Saughall Massie.

Present at the Planning Committee was Alan Rundle who had exchanged letters with Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority about a proposed judicial review before the Greasby plans were abandoned for very similar issues to those that the First-tier Tribunal (in case EA/162016/160054) covered.

However in summary, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority have estimated £300,000* to pay Wirral Council for the land and an estimated £550,000 from the sale of the fire stations at Upton and West Kirby. To build a new fire station will cost an estimated £3.7 million (I’m not including the figure for the land in that), with £1.5 million offset by a government grant. The complete capital cost breakdown was not made public prior to the two twelve-week consultations (first on Greasby, then on Saughall Massie) that Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service ran on Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority’s behalf.

* estimates were made for sale and purchase prices in 2015

For those who were turned away from the Planning Committee meeting (which was also what happened at some of the consultation meetings) video I took of last night’s Planning Committee meeting is below. However as the Saughall Massie Fire Station planning application has attracted a certain degree of public interest I include a transcript of what was said at the meeting on the matter below too.

Planning Committee (Wirral Council) 10th November 2016 Part 1 of 4 (the discussion on the Saughall Massie Fire Station planning application APP/16/00985 starts at 4:26)

The discussion starts at agenda item 3 (site visits) which starts at the 4m:26s point in the video above.

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):        OK, are there any requests for site visits? Steve?

CLLR STEVE FOULKES:        Errm Chair, sorry with your indulgence and err errm with some trepidation, errm I’d like to move site visits on two sites errm.

The least err controversial one I think might be item 13 which is err Pipistrelle Rise which is well-known to Planning Committee and has one with a varied planning history, it’s a very unusual site given it’s site levels. So I’d therefore request that we have a site visit before we make any decision on that matter.

[5:00]

The next one is errm item 9, which is the err fire station, as you referred to Chair. I think it’s fairly obvious to any elected Member the level of concern and the public interest in this debate and I think it would be better for all elected Members who are making that decision to be forewarned, forearmed with an actual site visit and the layout of the area.

Secondly I think it will be plenty of time for us to get arrange as they said in Jaws, “I think we need a bigger boat!” Err, I think we need a bigger room, if we can arrange that in time for the next err meeting it would make it better for the public to engage with us.

I don’t expect people to be in a standing position for any length of time, I find it errm, it is of a matter of great public interest that we do have a site visit. I’m hoping errm, if we have brought you out on a winter’s night for to no avail, but it’s not unusual that applications of this type to have a site visit, so I will move a site visit on that matter.

CLLR IAN LEWIS:         Chair?

[6:00]

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):         OK, can I take you first?

CLLR IAN LEWIS:         Chair, I endorse what Councillor Foulkes has said, but particularly in terms of where we have the meeting next time to discuss the fire application, can I suggest that we try and find a venue in Moreton/Saughall Massie to allow as many people as possible in that area to attend?

*LOUD CHEERING AND APPLAUSE*

CLLR IAN LEWIS:         Can I explain why Chair just for a moment? Clearly the number of people here tonight would be you know they’ve come along to take part in the democratic process to see how they make a decision.

There will be other people in that area, who haven’t been able to get here.

To drag everybody, these people again late December, can I propose we try and find a venue nearer to the site to consider this application, as an exceptional application?

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):         I think you know the only thing that I would say you know and I totally agree with what you’re saying there and if we can do that we should but in terms of we need to have the right systems in place, wherever it’s going to be.

We need to have the visual and the sound system, if we could find a venue

[7:00]

that will support that, then I’m happy for it to be there.

CLLR IAN LEWIS:         OK, thank you very much.

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):         We may actually need to consider whether it’s a one item agenda,

CLLR IAN LEWIS:         Yes, ok.

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):         as well so we will look into that. So we’ll see if we can find a venue, that is suitable and if we can then we will move it to that area.

CLLR IAN LEWIS:         OK, thanks Chair.

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):         David?

CLLR DAVID ELDERTON:         Yeah thanks Chair, just to endorse I totally support it, the move to

MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC:         We can’t hear you!

CLLR DAVID ELDERTON:         controversial development, which will give a full opportunity for people to see

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):         David, David, sorry David could you start again?

CLLR DAVID ELDERTON:         Apologies for that, errm I totally endorse the move by Councillor Foulkes to have the site visit for number nine. It is essential that we get the widest possible publicity and transparency ‌in making sure we end up with the right decision. So I do endorse that.

My quick reason for speaking at this time of course is to ask for a site visit on item twelve, which is Stone Hive, Darmonds Green, West Kirby. That is it looks a simple site in

[8:00]

terms of the application agenda we’ve got but it’s far more complex than it would appear on paper. So no doubt we will benefit from having a site visit for that particular development before we make a decision to approve or refuse it. Thank you Chair.

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):        OK, are there any others? OK, if I could just read those three out that have been requested and get Committee’s approval?

MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC:         Excuse me, can I ask a question?

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):         Sorry no you can’t ask.

MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC:         It’s just about site visits.

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):         If I don’t cover it, then I’m sure we’ll get someone to cover the answer for you, but I may very well cover it in a moment for you.

MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC:         Can I just mention the site visit, …

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):         I’m sorry, I’m sorry, if, I’m sorry can I, can you just listen to what I’m about to say and then if it’s not covered then we’ll get somebody to cover it for you.

MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC:         OK.

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):         Agenda item 9 which is land adjacent to Saughall Massie Road, errm agenda item 12, which is Stone Hive, Darmonds Green, West Kirby and agenda item

[9:00]

13 Pipistrelle Rise, Noctorum. Are the Committee happy to have all those as site visits?

COUNCILLORS:         Absolutely.

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):        can I suggest that we have a site visit on Tuesday 13th of December? And we’ll meet at the Town Hall at 10 am?

MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC:         What time?

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):         There’s, we will be meeting at 10am and then going to the various sites, so there will be a different time allocated for each of these sites. It’s normally twenty minutes to half an hour for each site, depending on how long we’ve got to travel, but it will be publicised and the agents will be advised of exactly what time that will be.

And the ward councillors will be also be advised.

CLLR CHRIS BLAKELEY:         Chair, can I just raise a point to raise what’s been raised by Councillor Lewis, if you’re going to use a one item agenda for the fire station at a err location nearer to the site, in Saughall Massie, will the site visit

[10:00]

still be on the 13th? And will the meeting then, when will the meeting be?

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):         Err, well we don’t know all of that detail at the moment so, Councillor Blakeley because we don’t know whether we’ll be moving the venue, whether it will be a one item agenda, so as soon as we are aware of that we will make it known.

CLLR CHRIS BLAKELEY:         Thank you Chair.

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):         OK, thank you. As the lady was asking the question, has your question been covered?

MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC:         Can I, I think if we do have a meeting whether here or Saughall Massie, we’ll be doing comparisons with the Upton fire station and I don’t know about West Kirby, but certainly it refers to Upton so maybe we should consider visiting both of those, if you’re able to ..?

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):         We can only consider the one application, which is before us I’m afraid.

MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC:         OK.

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):         Thank you for your comment. Anybody who would like to leave now, please feel free to do so because we will not be discussing those items this evening and thank you for your attendance.

If you click on any of the buttons below, you’ll be doing me a favour by sharing this article with other people.


Responses

  1. G’day John

    The news from the rubbish paper from over Kev and Stella’s Stinking Stagnant Wirral Waters

    Wirral’s youngest councillors sleeping on the streets to raise awareness of homelessness

    Whilst the role model and mentor the great “ex- dunny chain wearer” “The Pretend Friend” Adrian just sleeps in daily meetings.

    Ooroo

    James

  2. Makes me laugh when i hear the Council doesn’t have the room to accomodate a certain number of people when they have council meetings, yet at the top of church street, in liscard road is an old church hall which the council has been trying to sell for years, why don’t they open that up?

    • Committee Room 1 and 2 (used for Planning Committee meetings), once the Planning Committee and Wirral Council employees are there has space for around sixty members of the public.

      There are other rooms in Wallasey Town Hall with a larger capacity such as the Civic Hall (hundreds), or a combination of the Council Chamber and public gallery (around a hundred).

      In the past public meetings has been moved to larger rooms on the evening of the meeting because a lot of people have turned up.

      However Wallasey Town Hall was designed for the population of Wallasey in the 1920s (90,809) and now serves the Wirral (population ~320,000).

      So it’s serving a population of roughly three and a half times larger than it was designed for.

      • G’day John

        Interesting comments by your brilliant self.

        You say

        However Wallasey Town Hall was designed for the population of Wallasey in the 1920s (90,809) and now serves the Wirral (population ~320,000).

        I thought Wallasey Clown Hall had moved with the times and had become self service.

        How did you say all that without including the words malfeasance in public office.

        That reminds me John when you see “The Shyster” say goodbye from me.

        I do hope he goes quietly.

        Just sayin.

        Ooroo

        James

        • “How did you say all that without including the words malfeasance in public office?”

          I will repeat this quote someone made about how a Police and Crime Commissioner described Carmarthernshire County Council, :

          “Critics, not just me, have had their say, most recently it was the former police commissioner, Christopher Salmon who, after four years, reached the conclusion he’d been dealing with a “Sicilian cartel”, not a county council, adding “It extracts vast amounts of money from residents which it showers on favourites, hordes property, bullies opponents, co-opts friends and answers to no one, least of all local councillors”. The former lay member of the audit committee, Sir David Lewis also observed that the council’s internal legal advice was “cavalier at best, incompetent at worst”. If you wish me to comment on legal advice at Wirral Council, I will include a tweet of mine below with my own frustration at Wirral Council’s “legal advice”

          https://twitter.com/level80/status/350346988170121218

          Both the Health and Safety Executive and the government agreed with me rather than Wirral Council. The government issued this press release in 2013 and another in 2014.

          Despite adverse press criticism, Wirral Council just carry on trying to ban filming anyway (four times since the law changed preventing them from doing so)!

          You James think that Wirral Council have done something wrong and therefore individuals should be held to account.

          Whereas my view is that there are institutional failings at the corporate level, which go some way to explain that whoever the individuals are these matters are bound to happen. This is what OFSTED found and why there was government intervention at Wirral Council. No one individual was at fault according to that report, the report states individuals tasked with corporate governance knew what was happening but that they saw other matters as a higher priority, or just didn’t know (or didn’t do) what they should’ve done to change things for the better.

  3. G’day John

    Burgess and Adderley blatantly lied to the public in a farce of a Fudge It and Risk It Mis-Management Meeting on 8 October 2014 watched by Ball, Tour and Grant (Chocolate Teapot) Thornton.

    So John if they are never held to account what is the point?

    That John is exactly the mentality of Adrian Jones who said to “Highbrow” “you can’t win boyo”.

    This little welsh ignoramus John is actually The Thicker than the chair, Chair of the Fudge It and Risk It Mis-Management Committee.

    They are truly a law until themselves and it seems the only way is to see them in court.

    Ooroo

    James

    I know what everyone is saying John that it is only £2,000,000.00 but that is only this small case how much will it be in “Phil the very Very Deluded Dill” and Jack in the Beanstalk’s golf/soccer resort?

    I will always remember in my first job in Liverpool John the senior office boy said if you don’t get your lunch out of the postage tin your not doing it right.

    • “So John if they are never held to account what is the point?”

      Democracy doesn’t need to have a point James! Everyone’s held to account in some form or another though.

      My point however is that if you start on personal attacks on what a person has done (or hasn’t done), it doesn’t end well… for all involved. It ends up being the sort of character assassination that some politicians play very well indeed.

      My first job was church organist. Sometimes we’d also count the collection after mass. It was always short compared to what it had been originally counted as. Now I know why! 😛

      • Oh Johnny Boy I do like you you cheer me up.

        You are still playing the organs and the (Clowncil Tax) collections are still coming up short.

        You can’t get them as a group to do the right thing so

        You say

        My point however is that if you start on personal attacks on what a person has done (or hasn’t done), it doesn’t end well… for all involved.

        So John

        I will just keep insulting them personally until the right thing is done they can’t do anymore damage to me five and a half years on.

        I say

        The little welsh scum bag egit “Pretend Friend” is as short as the £2,000,000.00 collections that was knocked off by Wirral “Funny” Bizz.

        Ooroo

        James

        • I did say I’d promise to respond to your comments and I’m glad I cheer you up.

          No I don’t play either a pipe organ or electric organ any more. Those days of entertaining the public are over.

          After years doing what I’m doing, it’s not my job to as you put it get them as a group to do the right thing. As I’ve hopefully explained before, I’ve extremely limited resources to hold the public sector to account.

          My job is simple really.

          Filming public meetings: Turn up, press record, press stop at end, leave, upload.

          Writing blog: Turn up to meeting and write about it later.

          ==========================================

          That isn’t to say there aren’t times I feel very strongly about something or I blow the whistle, it’s just as you and I both know the public sector experience of doing so is fraught with problems.

  4. G’day John

    Golf Resort last week.

    This week in that rubbish paper over Kev and Stella’s Stinking Stagnant wirral Waters

    Wirral Waters could see cash boost with councils offered £18m for house building

    Asif Uncle Joe hasn’t spent that money already on his ne w football stadium or a trip to Oz for the Commonwealth Games that Birmingham will get anyway.

    Ooroo

    James

    These ridiculous articles come up before every summer holidays and every Xmas holidays they treat the public as STUPID.

    • Publications are always looking for stories.

      On Wirral Waters there are a few buildings there, but nothing like what was promised. I do know Peel had a behind closed doors briefing with councillors about it all recently though.

      As to articles, you’ll probably find very few on this blog that are rehashed press releases.

  5. G’day John

    The ridiculous paper from over Kev and Stella’s Stinking Stagnant Wirral Waters

    Hundreds of new homes in Sefton in massive boost for social housing

    There goes a lump of the dosh John.

    You could tell a couple of years ago that the new tranche of big dosh was going to come to housing.

    Burger(ss with the lot plus 29 mistakes in 7 seconds) moved on in to housing if I remember correctly.

    They actually choose their dodgy people well for purpose.

    Ooroo

    James

    The other most ridiculous story, haven’t they got rid of the tweed jacket with leather elbows that “Ankles” used yet, in that rubbish paper

    Merseyside clinic brings in sperm from Ukraine as UK stocks run dry

    I can tell them John were they can find 65 donors in Brighton Street plus a few senior officers that is what they do most days.

    They are experts naturally and super obedient or are they trying to build a master race?

    Ooroo

    James

    • Housing is an issue that matters to everyone.

      I helped the housing crisis by marrying my wife who had a house already, thus requiring one house to house us both rather than two. Mind you if you saw a picture of this bedroom I have as an office you’d probably tell me to tidy up!

      I’ll describe it for you though in words. I’m sitting on a chair (wooden with legs) in about the centre of the room.

      In front of me is a laptop with thousands of sheets of paper beneath it on the seat of another wooden chair to have it at the right height (the paper are Wirral Council contracts and invoices).

      The laptop is currently connected to an external hard drive as uploading so many videos of Wirral Council public meetings knackered its hard drive.

      Behind that is a corner computer desk covered in paper with some pens, a printer, some stationery and other assorted bits and bobs.

      To my left is the Beast (my nickname for a high speed printer, scanner machine because of its size) that is currently off.

      On top of that is the bag with the video camera and batteries in, a hole punch and some Treasury tags, a Home Office memo from 1989 and some more Wirral Council paperwork.

      Below me is the shredder (currently full). To my left below the Beast a filing cabinet, to my right another filing cabinet.

      There are two phone lines here. Then there are bottles of ink and a lot of stuff in boxes that probably hasn’t been gone through in years.

      The need to print a lot of documents quickly (from the days of being a print journalist) are kept and repurposed in case they’re required.

      Thankfully no one comes here apart from myself and Leonora!

  6. G’day John

    The more I think about “The Pretend Friend” that is clown-cillor Adrian Jones the more angry I get.

    He and missus bilong him “Nurse Rat” were the first clown-cillors that “Highbrow” spoke to about Wirral “Funny” Bizz when he was Cabinet Member for Regurgitation.

    They were appalled at the criminal activity.

    Ha ha ha how things changed.

    The little welsh scum bag obviously like the rest of the fools sided with AdderleyDadderleyDooLally the stinking like an ashtray “Football Shirt” with his “bad” name on the back.

    Aids would say to “Highbrow” to stall him “you can’t take the teeth out of a corpse”.

    The effing idiot, there was 2,000,000.00 teeth in the form of pound notes.

    What example does he set to possibly two good young honest councillors in the rubbish paper from over Kev and Stella’s Stinking Stagnant Wirral Waters

    Wirral’s youngest councillors sleeping on the streets to raise awareness of homelessness

    What does the welsh lunatic say to “Highbrow” “I’ve covered my audit trail I’ve covered my audit trail.

    And, then John his best of all “You can’t beat us Highbrow”.

    Get rid Ecca if you don’t want the corruption to taint you for ever.

    Ooroo

    James

    That is Ecca if you are not lined up for the next tranche of lucre.

    • People do get angry about politics.

      There’s nothing wrong with increasing awareness of homelessness or councillors trying to experience the problems their residents face first-hand to give them better insights into the problems people can face.

  7. G’day John

    Trust you and all is well.

    I miss your posts when they slow down.

    What is the score with their new comic?

    Has it been stopped or have some people received it?

    Ooroo

    James

    • In answer to your queries, I’ve had some deadlines to meet.

      Where I live we haven’t received a paper copy of Wirral View through the letterbox, however I did pick up a copy from Wallasey Town Hall.

      Unfortunately I’ve been a bit under the weather, although the honey is helping. How are you?

      As to an update on what happened this week, Labour got heckled over what they said on Girtrell Court on Monday evening, then Cllr Phil Davies was heckled again on Wednesday afternoon at the Health and Wellbeing Board for deferring the item on the Sustainability and Transformation Plan.

      Monday’s meeting of the Pensions Committee was rearranged to Tuesday evening.

      Thursday’s meeting of the Planning Committee was cancelled as it happened the week before instead.

      I missed today’s meeting of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority as I was too ill. However hopefully Knowsley Council will have filmed it.

  8. G’day John

    Something they won’t be talking about in their new comic is the BIG fund recipient list that they were forced to issue by the Information Commissioner.

    I know that you will have seen the list John with Lockwood included the one they were all aware of the asset stripping and dross.

    You also possibly know that there is worse actions around a company that Ecca will be keeping to himself if they have informed him.

    The invisible mute man that is a pretend CEO on £200,000.00 won’t be mentioning the company in question.

    The Administration will be in sooner or later John I believe.

    That company that “Phil the Very Very Deluded Dill” “The Kitchen Cabinet” and the other leaders would be aware of and not want investigating is New Gaming Concept Ltd.

    Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

    Ooroo

    James

    Saying nothing implicates you Eccs.

    • Yes I’ve read the BIG Fund recipient list.

      New Gaming Concept Ltd when it was liquidated owed money to Wirral Council of £191, although as an unsecured creditor I doubt Wirral Council saw any of that money, due to any available assets when the company was liquidated being less than the amount of a floating charge creditor.

      I’m also puzzled why New Gaming Concept Ltd which a registered office address based in Liverpool got a BIG grant in the first place?

      • Oh John My Boy

        Wait till you get the whole story on New Concept Limited and the associated names.

        No wonder “Phil the Very Very Deluded Dill” hid or had hid or his gang hid or had hid this, shall we say, blot on the landscape or should I say their landscape.

        Why do they do it John when they are not proven business people it is like giving money gamblers in Reno.

        It will always end sadly.

        Ooroo

        James

        Not just wirral John with a small woobleu.

        Where was it registered?

        Where does the “Chamber Potty’s” husband work?

        How come they tolerate her with obviously no business acumen as shown by her controlling Wirral “Funny” Bizz?

  9. G’day John

    Trust your heater is working this morning.

    Pray tell, what little gems do you have in store for us to look forward to this week?

    Ooroo

    James

    Do you think Ecca is writing his front page article about all things Big, ISUS and Working Neighbourhoods disassociating himself from the crud and dross at wirral in their next issue of the comic.

    He has a bit of a look of Desperate Dan with his thick jaw (and head, the strong SILENT SILENT type).

    Ooroo

    James

    Do you think the idiots will be putting out an annual comic for idiots at Xmas?

  10. G’day John

    Heavens to Murgatroyd!

    Oh John there not waiting for their Xmas comic.

    In their ex-local rubbish propaganda sheet

    Birkenhead regeneration scheme wins national award

    What did they get John and what did it cost.

    Did they ever get anything from RENO?

    Ooroo

    James

    You should ask “Phil the Dill” Davies next time you see him John about Reno and watch him panic.

    It is outrageous.

    • Ahh well it wasn’t the aborted (and much talked about) Birkenhead regeneration scheme that has seen businesses close down or move out of Birkenhead due to all the uncertainty.

      No, I think what you’re referring to is something to do with the Birkenhead business district and for the details on that better ask someone like Kevin Adderley.


Categories