The Hitchhikers Guide to the Saughall Massie Fire Station Part 1
People of Saughall Massie, your attention, please.
This is Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz of the Galactic Hyperspace Planning Council.
As you will no doubt be aware, the plans for development of the outlying regions of Saughall Massie require the building of a fire station on your green belt. And regrettably, your green belt is one of those scheduled for demolition. The process will take slightly less than three of your Earth years. Thank you.
There’s no point in acting surprised about it!
All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display at your local planning department in Wirral Council for months, so you’ve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it’s far too late to start making a fuss about it now. … What do you mean you’ve never been to Wirral Council?
Oh, for heaven’s sake, it’s only a few miles away and they have a website you know.
I’m sorry, but if you can’t be bothered to take an interest in local affairs, that’s your own lookout. Energize the demolition beams.
I don’t know, apathetic bloody village, I’ve no sympathy at all.
Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the western arm of the Wirral lies a small unregarded village called Saughall Massie.
This village has a problem which was this: most of the people in it were unhappy for pretty much of the time about the plans for a fire station on greenbelt land. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of them involved either building it elsewhere or keeping Upton open.
And the problem remained; the planning application was refused, but revised and lots of people were miserable.
Many (apart from councillors on the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority) were increasingly of the opinion that the whole thing had been a big mistake in the first place.
And then, one Thursday, years after the first 12 week consultation on the new fire station when the residents of Greasby told the fire service what they thought of their plans to demolish their library, one journalist sitting on his own in Bidston suddenly realised what it was that had been going wrong all this time and he finally knew how the world could be made a good and happy place.
Sadly, however, before could get to a keyboard and tell anyone about it the idea was lost forever.
This is not his story.
But it is the story of the fire station in Saughall Massie and some of its consequences.
But first a journey back in time to two fictional meetings.
“I have a dream comrades, of having no Conservative MPs on the Wirral!”
“But to do this, we will have to blame something on Esther!”
“and her government!”
“Any ideas what we could do?”
*audience looks to each other and one brave soul answers*
“Close a fire station?”
“No, that is not bad enough comrades, we will *dramatic pause* close two fire stations!”
“That’s not going to be enough!”
“OK, then how about closing two fire stations, planning to demolish Greasby library and community centre, then giving our Labour candidate the credit for stopping the plans while blaming it all on the government!?”
*cheers all round*
“Right, any other business?”
*there’s always one*
“But if we give our candidate the credit for stopping the fire station being built in Greasby where will the new fire station go instead?”
*everone looks confused*
“Name one Conservative councillor you dislike comrades!”
“Chris Blakeley, he works for Esther McVey.”
“OK, comrades, Saughall Massie it is then!”
“What do you *expletive deleted* mean the Labour Chair of the Planning Committee voted to refuse the planning application for a fire station at Saughall Massie?”
“Err, well, she did!”
“Well, get Cllr Phil *expletive deleted* Davies to change the *expletive deleted* Chair of the *expletive deleted* Planning Committee before it gets decided again then!”
“Err, well that’s not up to Cllr Phil Davies, it’s a vote of the Labour Group of councillors each year and then of all Wirral Council councillors.”
“*expletive deleted* democracy! Aren’t we the *expletive deleted* Labour Party?”
“Yes, but that doesn’t mean we should act like it’s a dictatorship!”
“Well we *expletive deleted* don’t have any scheduled elections (apart from in Claughton) this year of councillors to Wirral Council, so why not?”
“Because it would harm the Labour Party. I thought we were supposed to be on the side of the ordinary people?”
“Not when we *expletive deleted* have a chance to blame our own decisions on the government!!!”
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