Cabinet agrees smoking ban "anywhere on any Council site" and Freedom of Entry recommendation for HMS Astute and TS Astute

Cabinet agrees smoking ban “anywhere on any Council site” and Freedom of Entry recommendation for HMS Astute and TS Astute

Cabinet agrees smoking ban “anywhere on any Council site” and Freedom of Entry recommendation for HMS Astute and TS Astute


Councillor Adrian Jones explains why Freedom of Entry status should be conferred upon TS Astute and HMS Astute (4th June 2015)
Councillor Adrian Jones explains why Freedom of Entry status should be conferred upon TS Astute and HMS Astute (4th June 2015)

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Wirral Council’s Cabinet met for the first time after the elections and unusually there were many members of the public. The item the public were there to hear was whether Wirral Council would be support the transfer of properties from Beechwood and Ballantyne Community Housing Association to Liverpool Housing Trust.

A petition of 250 residents of the Beechwood and Ballantyne estate opposed to the transfer of houses to Liverpool Housing Trust was given to the Councillor George Davies (Cabinet Member for Housing) half an hour before the meeting started. He said, “I should refer this back to Beechwood and Ballantyne Housing Association to reflect upon and that we defer any decision on this item this evening and bring it back to a future Cabinet, hopefully by the 29th of June.”

Cllr Ann McLachlan (ward councillor for the residents who signed the petition) added, “As late as yesterday and until mid-afternoon today I do know that negotiations and consultation were being undertaken with the community to allay and address fears that they had and my understanding was they had been largely addressed and that there was satisfaction regarding outstanding matters, so it has come as a shock to us to hear there is now this petition.

However Chair, if this further short period of consultation does seek to address those concerns, whatever they may be then I think it will be time well spent. Clearly I will want to address the report when it does come back to Cabinet in three weeks time.”

Cllr Phil Davies explained that a decision would be deferred to “give us more opportunity to try and get to the bottom of the issues that the signatories are concerned about and obviously with a view to try to come to some agreement in time hopefully for the next Cabinet meeting”.

Cabinet agreed to defer a decision to the 29th June (its next meeting).

Agreement was given by Cabinet to demolish the buildings of the former Foxfield School site in Douglas Drive, Moreton. Foxfield School has moved from Douglas Drive to a new site in Woodchurch that opened in March. Wirral Council hope to sell off the former site for Foxfield in Moreton and are applying for government permission to do so.

Cabinet agreed a recommendation to confer Freedom of Entry status on the Wallasey Sea Cadets (TS Astute) and HMS Astute (a nuclear powered submarine). A decision on Cabinet’s recommendation will be made at a future special meeting of Council.

Making it clear that this was “not a proposal to sell of the municipal golf courses” Wirral Council’s Cabinet agreed to look for a “delivery partner” for its golf courses (except Hoylake). Wirral Council subsidises its golf courses by £330,000 a year and Cabinet hopes that in future the subsidy won’t be needed. A report will come back to a future Cabinet before any further decision is made.

A policy on smoking that bans smoking (including e-cigarettes) “anywhere on any Council site by all staff, contractors, visitors and the public” was agreed. The new policy extends the ban on smoking to outside as well as inside Council buildings.

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Timber – Nuisance Tree removed, Feltree House, Farmfield Drive, Beechwood

Feltree House, Farmfield Drive, Beechwood

Following the closure of Feltree House care home in December 2008, Wirral Council applied to itself to demolish the buildings on the site on the 25th June 2010. Wirral Council told itself that planning permission (DEM/10/00797) wasn’t required on the 23rd July 2010 and demolition was carried out between 26th July 2010 and the 29th August 2010.

After the site was cleared the Feltree House site was sold by Wirral Council to Liverpool Housing Trust. On the 9th October a resident in Ladyfield got in touch with the Liberal Democrat Action Team about a very large sycamore tree overshadowing the gardens in Ladyfield and blocking light to the rear of properties on the South side of Ladyfield.

I wrote to Ian Brand, Head of Asset Management at Wirral Council who informed me it had been recently sold to Liverpool Housing Trust. I then contacted Liverpool Housing Trust, who initially stated they didn’t own any properties called Feltree House and suggested I get in touch with the Beechwood and Ballantyne Community Housing Ltd instead.

However Beechwood and Ballantyne Community Housing Ltd didn’t own the Feltree House site. The Liberal Democrat Action Team persisted and wrote back to Liverpool Housing Trust, who wrote back on the 25th November acknowledging that they did own Feltree House and agreed to a meeting on site with the residents to discuss the problem and their approach.

A meeting was held with Liverpool Housing Trust, the residents and the Liberal Democrat Action Team on the 6th December 2010. At this meeting Liverpool Housing Trust explained their plans for the site (new housing) and agreed that the tree would have to be removed and were puzzled why it hadn’t been removed when the site had been cleared.

Before removing the tree, they had to check if there was a Tree Preservation Order on it first. They did however agree to remove it (if there wasn’t a TPO) by the time it came back into leaf in the Spring.

In February 2011, Liverpool Housing Trust confirmed that the tree at Feltree didn’t have a Tree Preservation Order. They also stated that in October 2010 their employee had confirmed they didn’t have a property at Feltree House and not a piece of land called Feltree House. At this point they couldn’t give a specific date when the tree would come down.

Many months went past and the tree didn’t come down. However the resident was persistent in following it up (with myself) and Liverpool Housing Trust and eventually the tree (as you can see from the photo) was (eventually) cut down.

Although it is sad to see any tree go, the residents of Ladyfield can now enjoy their gardens and houses again and enjoy the Summer sunshine!