Labour councillors on Wirral Council’s Cabinet will decide next Monday whether to spend £200,000 to demolish Lyndale School

Labour councillors on Wirral Council’s Cabinet will decide next Monday whether to spend £200,000 to demolish Lyndale School

Labour councillors on Wirral Council’s Cabinet will decide next Monday whether to spend £200,000 to demolish Lyndale School

                                       

Cabinet 17th December 2014 vote on Lyndale School closure L to R Cllr Tony Smith (Cabinet Member for Education), Cllr George Davies, Cllr Ann McLachlan
Cabinet 17th December 2014 vote on Lyndale School closure L to R Cllr Tony Smith (Cabinet Member for Education), Cllr George Davies, Cllr Ann McLachlan

As reported around a fortnight ago on this blog Wirral Council’s Cabinet meets next Monday morning to make another decision about Lyndale School.

Cabinet previously decided to close Lyndale School in Eastham at the end of August 2016. On Monday councillors on the Cabinet will be deciding whether to declare it surplus to requirements, to ask the government for permission to sell off the playing fields (with a further six-week consultation expected on this), demolish the school building and to sell off the site.

Demolishing the buildings will cost an estimated £200,000 and the Cabinet report recommends doing this before a consultation on selling off the playing fields.

The rationale for demolition is that an empty building could attract vandalism.

Parents of disabled children at Lyndale School campaigned to try to persuade the Labour councillors on Wirral Council to change their mind and keep the Lyndale School open. Although councillors from opposition parties agreed with the parents that the school should remain open, Labour councillors consistently voted to close the Lyndale School school.

The site of the former Lyndale School is expected to be sold for housing.

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Wirral Council and Magenta Living promise to work together to combat flytipping on Crossways Estate

Wirral Council and Magenta Living promise to work together to combat flytipping on Crossways Estate

Wirral Council and Magenta Living promise to work together to combat flytipping on Crossways Estate

                                       

Councillor George Davies (Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety) and Chair of the Birkenhead Constituency Committee 28th July 2016
Councillor George Davies (Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety) and Chair of the Birkenhead Constituency Committee 28th July 2016

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Birkenhead Constituency Committee 28th July 2016 The public questions referred to below start at the 20 minute 21 second mark

The author lives around half a mile from the area described below.

As you can read in this blog post (which is mainly photos) from January 2011 flytipping has been a problem at Flaybrick Cemetery and the turning heads at the top of Hoblyn Road, Collin Road and Naylor Road for some time.

In the last few days I was walking with my wife Leonora there (sadly without my camera) and there is a lot of flytipping at the top of Naylor Road by Flaybrick Cemetery.

As the photo in this blog post from a local community organiser shows Magenta Living have “tinned up” many of the properties on the Crossways estate meaning that sadly flytipping in that area can be done unobserved.

At the last Birkenhead Constituency Committee (held near the end of July) I asked what was being done about flytipping and what is planned for the future of the houses in these roads.

The written answers given to both questions are below (although you can also watch me ask them in the video above).


Response from Department for Regeneration and Environment (Wirral Council)

Hoblyn Road, Collin Road and Naylor Road are all done on a street cleansing every 4 weeks schedule. Over the past months we have had several deposits of fly tipping emerging at the very top of these areas.

We have had the councils [sic] Enforcement Team and Kingdom investigating the fly tipping and have had positive feedback.

We are also working with Magenta Living regarding the development of the existing houses with additional street cleansing. We will continue to work alongside Magenta living [sic] when the new development is completed working with housing officers tackling waste and recycling and street cleaning and fly tipping.


(Cllr Steve Foulkes who is a Wirral Council appointed Director of Magenta Living left the room during this question)

Response from Magenta:
The Crossways estate in North Birkenhead comprises of 200 3 bed houses including Hoblyn, Collin and Naylor Road along with 13 properties on Hoylake Road.

Very limited demand began to be experienced and Magenta Living took the decision not to allocate any of the properties on Crossways until a longer term, sustainable solution could be found.

Magenta Living has carried out survey work and been working with residents to identify improvement options. One of the principle issues raised by residents was the unpopular ‘gilbury’ units, ground floor extensions that house the bathroom facilities. Two demonstration properties were made available to residents to view in May 2016, one had the bathroom relocated upstairs and made into a 2 bed house, the other was retained as a 3 bed again with the bathroom upstairs.

Feedback from residents was largely very positive and work has subsequently commenced, on a phased basis in order to ensure demand still exists, improving the empty properties in Hoblyn Road, including the demolition the gilbury units, before the occupied properties are then improved.

Other works identified include;

  • Demolition of some properties towards Flaybrick Memorial Gardens
  • Improved physical security measures
  • Improving the external appearance of properties
  • Exploring the option of a low cost home ownership scheme

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5 days after Lyndale School closes, Labour councillors on Wirral Council’s Cabinet will meet to decide on a further consultation on sale of Lyndale School and the playing fields

5 days after Lyndale School closes, Labour councillors on Wirral Council’s Cabinet will meet to decide on a further consultation on sale of Lyndale School and the playing fields

5 days after Lyndale School closes, Labour councillors on Wirral Council’s Cabinet will meet to decide on a further consultation on sale of Lyndale School and the playing fields


                                        

Cabinet 17th December 2014 vote on Lyndale School closure L to R Cllr Tony Smith (Cabinet Member for Education), Cllr George Davies, Cllr Ann McLachlan
Cabinet 17th December 2014 vote to close Lyndale School L to R Cllr Tony Smith (Cabinet Member for Education), Cllr George Davies, Cllr Ann McLachlan

Wirral Council’s Cabinet, who decided to close Lyndale School effective from the end of August 2016 (this month), will be making a further decision about Lyndale School at the first Cabinet meeting after it closes.

The decision to close Lyndale School was opposed by the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Green Party councillors on Wirral Council, but supported by Labour councillors.

At a public meeting of Wirral Council’s Cabinet to be held on the 5th September 2016, the Cabinet will be asked to declare Lyndale School a surplus asset and to seek permission from the government to sell both the Lyndale School site and the playing fields. If agreed there will then be a further consultation on disposal.

The review of commissioning of high needs places, promised to parents during the drawn out process of closing Lyndale School (which many parents stated would conclude after Lyndale School had been closed) will report back to Cabinet on the 3rd of October 2016 (around 5 weeks after Lyndale School will have closed).

As revealed by this blog exclusively in September 2014, Wirral Council’s asset register assigned a value of £1,788,103.00 to the buildings on the Lyndale School site and £908,000 to the land (total £2,696,103.00) in February 2013.

Elleray Park School (another primary school on Wirral in the special sector) has recently had internal alterations and an extension in a contract estimated at £1,028,109.84. It was stated by Wirral Council’s senior management that some of the remaining pupils at Lyndale School when it closed would be transferred to Elleray Park (although this appears now not to be the case as parents have chosen other schools) and an invoice for some of the recent building work (£170,798.74) at Elleray Park School is below.

Wirral Council Elleray Park Primary School Lyjon Company Ltd £170,796.74 28th September 2015 resized
Wirral Council Elleray Park Primary School Lyjon Company Ltd £170,796.74 28th September 2015 resized

Also in 2015 the former Foxfield School in Moreton (which is another special primary school on the Wirral but for clarity this is after the school was moved from Moreton to a new site in Woodchurch) was demolished (see invoice below).

Wirral Council Foxfield School Powell Demolition Ltd £82,050.25th November 2015 resized
Wirral Council Foxfield School Powell Demolition Ltd £82,050.25th November 2015 resized

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Planning Committee (Wirral Council) 26th September 2013 APP/13/00827: Mapleholme, 101 Beckwith Street, Birkenhead, CH41 3JP – Demolition of the two existing vacant buildings on the site and the development of 16 two-bedroom 2 storey houses and 2 two-bedroom bungalows with associated private garden space and car parking (18 Dwellings in total – amended description)

Planning Committee (Wirral Council) 26th September 2013 APP/13/00827: Mapleholme, 101 Beckwith Street, Birkenhead, CH41 3JP – Demolition of the two existing vacant buildings on the site and the development of 16 two-bedroom 2 storey houses and 2 two-bedroom bungalows with associated private garden space and car parking (18 Dwellings in total – amended description)

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Planning Committee (Wirral Council) 26th September 2013 APP/13/00827: Mapleholme, 101 Beckwith Street, Birkenhead, CH41 3JP – Demolition of the two existing vacant buildings on the site and the development of 16 two-bedroom 2 storey houses and 2 two-bedroom bungalows with associated private garden space and car parking (18 Dwellings in total – amended description)

                             

Continues from Planning Committee (Wirral Council) 26th September 2013 APP/13/00676: Ring O Bells Hotel, Village Road, West Kirby, CH48 7HE – New external children’s play equipment. This planning application starts here in the video.

The officer said that it was a proposal for one hundred percent affordable housing. The site was a vacant care home surrounded by housing. Although it didn’t meet the usual separation distances, falling short by half a metre they had relaxed this policy as it only related to blocks within the proposed development. It was reusing a brownfield site and the officers recommended it for approval.

The Chair asked if there were any questions or comments? Cllr Stuart Kelly said that it was exactly the sort of proposal he was in favour of so he was happy to move approval. Cllr Anita Leech seconded his proposal for approval. All councillors voted in favour of approval.

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