Venue: Pensby Recreation Centre, 406 Pensby Road, Pensby CH61 9PE
Contact: Tracey Smith Area Forum Co-ordinatorItems No. Item
Welcome, Introductions and Apologies
Cllr. Wilkins welcomed everyone to the meeting, and reported that he had, sadly, to report the death of Graham Ashdown. Graham Ashdown was a regular attendant at the Forum, and participated in community matters regularly. He has done a great deal of work in the area, and will be sadly missed. Cllr. Wilkins asked that, as a mark of respect and remembrance, the audience stand for a minute in silence.
· Minutes of last meeting and matters arising
Tracey Smith asked whether there were any amendments to the Minutes, and reported there were no matters arising. It was agreed that the Minutes were a true record. Tracey asked that, as there were many items to get through, anyone who had any queries regarding any of the headings, please get in touch with her.
Local Development Framework
Andrew Fraser from Corporate Services Department gave a presentation on how to become involved in the new Framework Development Plan for Wirral. A slide presentation was shown as he spoke. The plan will tell people where development will be allowed to take place, and for what purpose. The latest regional strategy had been issued in September 2008, which covers the whole of the Borough and is part of the Spatial Plan. Decisions on Planning applications will be announced, and the public will be told where the development will take place. It will tell you ‘who is to do what, when, where’ and there will be targets and indicators to let you know whether they are reaching the targets. At the end of the process there will be a Public Enquiry (which is now called An Examination) and an Inspector will look at it to test it and see if it is correct.
They are looking at the vision for a stronger economy, and it is hoped that this Vision will take us to 2025, and there are four documents which are available at the moment relating to this. One of the first (with the three other documents) is an Electricity Sustainability Appraisal Report on previous consultations.
The next stage will be policy and options once the vision and publications are set, they will then be looking at the alternatives and another set period of consultation. The public will be asked what their views are, and then the Council will look at the results and publish the Preferred Options Stage. Another period of consultation, and after this the public will see the full plan, which will be submitted to the Secretary of State. Date possibly 2011. Forum members will already have copies of the documents, but if you do not have one, please ask and it will be sent to you free of charge. You can also be connected to the contact data-base, and it will keep you up to date over the next couple of years. If you have comments, they must be made in writing, by e-mail or fax, but ALL WILL BE PUBLISHED at some point. They will begin on-line on the 27th March at 5 p.m.
Ken Gethin asked whether this was going to be cheaper than the old way of consultation because we are supposed to be trying to save money.
Andrew Fraser could not answer that, but stated that it was unlikely to be cheaper.
Ken reported after the meeting the name of the system that might be worth contacting, as he understands it is completely free. LINUX SYSTEM.
Tony Garrett stated that he is very pleased with this document which is including the very comprehensive proposal for the electrification of the Bidston/Wrexham line, and he hopes that this will happen. He does see that there is a necessity for land to be set aside near stations to provide for ‘Park and Ride’
Partner Organisations Update
- Merseyside Police/Community Safety
- Fire Service
- Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- NHS Wirral
- Older Peoples Parliament
Streetscene. Phil Miner reported that funding has been made available to the Local Authority by the Government, and the decision has been made to spend it on a Pedestrian Refuge at Telegraph Road/Lightfoot Lane also the provision of dropped kerbs as Old Wood Road and other roads in Pensby.
NHS Wirral. Russell Favager reported that there has been a national recommendation in Lord Darzi’s review that, as the public did not always know what the PCT did or where the boundaries were between organisations, they are now to be called Wirral NHS. He reported that there has been an unprecedented 12.5% increase in the call-out for ambulances, and there was very high levels of usage of A&E. Up to 50% of the patients in A&E could have been treated by more appropriate NHS services such Walk-In Centres, GP’s Pharmacist and NHS Direct.
A comment was made that the Walk-In Centre was closed, what should people do? Russell Favager commented that he was not aware the WIC was closed, there had been some re-furbishment going on but he didn’t think it had closed.
Sandy Cameron asked if the change of title will be a further cost, and is it the end of the need for Town Planning for the Health Centre, as he understood it had been withdrawn. Kathy Doran had said that the cost of the Health Centre so far was in the region of £75,000., but a month later a letter had been received asking for a breakdown of the cost and it had jumped to £117,000. How much more has it gone up since November? A letter had been received from the Architects including their fees for planning, drawings for buildings etc. with the figure of £117,000.Russell Favager said that he did not have a detailed breakdown of the costs but he doubted if the increase had occurred just in the last few months. It was more likely the original figure quoted by Kathy Doran was direct costs on the scheme and the written figure now included all associated costs such as legal fees. A comment was made that they are applying for the glasshouse site, and that the area has been drawn with an access road from Woodchurch Road. This is felt by some people to be an extremely dangerous junction, and there will be a serious accident (or many) if this does go ahead. Many people were very unhappy about the proposal for The Warrens, particularly with the entrance at the road junction.
Mrs. Ite Rafferty had a letter stating that the purchase has gone ahead, the Cabinet have taken all into account, and have agreed, but she understands that there is a second letter out. David Armstrong replied that the position is that the Council will enter into the sale of the land, subject to the Planning Permission being granted. Russell Favager commented that it was actually a lease of the land.
Sandy Cameron asked, in view of ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
Public Question Time
Mrs. Swinnerton asked whether the railings at the junction of Barnston Road and Brimstage Road around the coppice there could be replaced, as they are in a very bad state. Roger Calvert has stated that they are beyond repair, but subject to funding, they will renew a short section at that junction. The Heswall Society has intimated that they will help financially.
Heswall Hill shops. Heswall Hills station has a free car park, and there are shops opposite where there are always a great many cars parked. This road is now being used more since the Lower Village Post Office was closed. This road is narrow, and if you are driving past the shops, and a car comes in the other direction, it is very difficult. It would make it safer if this road could be made one way. -Tracey Smith reported that she is awaiting a response.
Douglas George representing members of Probus Club. Now that the Alexander Hall future has been published when are we going to get some information, and when are the Community groups going to be made aware that Heswall Hall is going to be closed?
Cllr. Hodson replied that the three Heswall Councillors had attended the meeting at Hulme Hall, and Probus are looking at the possibility of taking over the running of Alexander Hall. Mr. George stated that he had requested the accounts from the Director of Regeneration, but had not yet received them. David Armstrong said that he understood that this information could not be given out before a decision is made. 24 premises had been identified and these premises were to be transferred to the Community, and this had been agreed on Monday, and the Director of Regeneration will attend a meeting to explain about this.
Mrs. Ite Rafferty went to the West Kirby meeting, and all they said was that Heswall Library was safe.
Mr. Kinlan attended the meeting at Hulme Hall, and what was not told was how many assets have been lost. Are the Council proud of what they have done to Wirral? Why don’t they spend some money on Arrowe Park? He had to visit there recently, and was kept in the corridor. The comment was passed that the only company doing well on Wirral is Peel Holdings.
Irby is losing everything, and with the closure of the Library, some of the shops will suffer.
Mark Johnston – Fishers Lane Community Group was massively under-used, and they would like to take it over, and they have bent over backwards to help them start. One lady said her husband was part of the beginning and worked very hard there, and the Council never put one penny into the building, and it ran very successfully until they got tired. The roof is damaged and the Pioneer People came in and members came to help out. All the money being made was helping keep the doors open . The Community Association gave up their charitable status, and she is ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
Date of next meeting
June 18th 2009 - venue to be agreed.