Today we have the good news that the Leader of the Council has withdrawn the availability to MFRS of the Greasby library site.
Since MFRS began its consultation about proposals to build a fire station in Greasby the opposition of local people has been clear. As we said from the beginning – it was important that local people had their say. We had given MFRS a clear indication of the likely response but they wanted to hear it from the people, not from us.
Well they certainly heard it!
The huge turnout at public meetings, approaching 2000 strong petition and formation of an Action Committee are testament to the determination of the whole of Greasby to fight this prospect. It is very good news that Wirral council has listened to us all and withdrawn the offer of land in the centre of Greasby, even before the official consultation period was over. This is a victory for local action but I do wonder what the Labour-run Council was doing offering our village centre to MFRS in the first place?
The news emerged shortly after local councillors Tom Anderson and Wendy Clements had submitted a motion to Council calling for Cabinet not to offer the site. Together Tom, Wendy and Mike have worked to represent the voices of Greasby to the council and the many voices of Greasby have been heard.
Everyone involved in the fight will be celebrating this weekend, and thanks to the efforts of Knit for Greasby the village is looking ready for a party! Pictures to follow on another occasion – this is news to celebrate.
One week ago I stood outside Greasby Methodist Church and spoke with many people who had been unable to gain access to the consultation meeting over the fire station. I promised at that time to make every effort to publicise the promised second meeting.
Today Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service have announced that they will hold a second meeting in Greasby on
Monday 10th November at 7 pm – once again at the Greasby Methodist Church.
MFRS state that the meeting is primarily being held for the people who were unable to attend their prior meetings. They ask people to register if at all possible so that there is an indication of the numbers attending. You can register at Consultation2@merseyfire.gov.uk or by phone on 0151 296 4236
Tonight people poured from all over Greasby to attend the public meeting at Greasby Methodist Church held by the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service. Remarkably the building was full long before the start time of the meeting and hundreds were left outside. (The picture of people outside is gleaned from the Greasby facebook page, thank you.)
In an unsurprising development it was very clear that people in Greasby oppose any suggestion of a Fire Station in the middle of our village.
As the meeting started I realised just how many people were outside and so I went out to speak with them, knowing that my colleagues would be part of the meeting inside. Everyone was very frustrated that they had been unable to get inside to take part. Obviously it is important to hear views, and that was what I was about. As the evening wore on and some left from the meeting a few others were able to get inside. We also heard a promise to hold a second meeting in Greasby and as soon as I hear any news on that I’ll pass it on.
The overwhelming message that I heard from everyone I spoke to was:
Greasby really doesn’t want a fire station.
with a close second:
We think you should keep the Upton site which already exists, and really don’t understand the logic of moving to Greasby.
There are in fact three public meetings being held, to represent the fact that this proposal affects more than one community. The meetings will be held at:
- Greasby Methodist Church Hall, in Greasby Road, Greasby, CH49 2PN, from 7.30pm to 8.30pm on the 27th of October.
- Activity Hall at Woodchurch High School in Carr Bridge Road, CH49 7NG, from 7.00pm to 8.00pm on the 28th of October.
- Hoylake Parade Community Centre in Hoyle Road, Hoylake, CH47 3AG, from 6.00pm to 7.00pm on the 30th of October
The details about the consultation are here.
These meetings should be an opportunity for local people to get further information, and also for the Fire Officers to hear their views. I look forward to seeing you there!
Today I was privileged to join local people and others in Irby. The occasion was the unveiling by my good friend Esther McVey of a plaque to commemorate Private Frank Lester VC of Irby. Sadly his Victoria Cross was awarded posthumously as he died on 12 October 1918, and the local parish website gives some of the details. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission provides information about the cemetery where he lies at Neuvilly in France.
The plaque has been installed at Millers Hey, the home from which he left to join the army and the current owners of the property had really organised a wonderful afternoon to mark the occasion.
Amid all the conversations about the centre of Greasby and suggested Fire Stations it may be that you are not sure about the status of the Greasby Centre. Who runs it, what happens there, etc etc.???
With that in mind here is a document prepared by Helen, one of the Directors for information. All three local councillors are ex-officio Directors too.
Analysis/Audit of The Greasby Centre as a Community Resource October 2014 prepared by Helen, one of the Directors.
1. Greasby Community Association took over The Greasby Centre from Wirral Council in May 2012 on a 99-year lease, following four years of negotiation.
2. The building is in very good condition outside and inside. There are no outstanding remedial tasks. The Directors know what maintenance tasks need doing in the future to keep the building in this condition.
3. The Interior of the building is very clean and always in a fit state to be used by groups when they arrive.
4. The current working together of the Directors, volunteers and the Manager mean that The Greasby Centre can be open for groups and events over a wide time period when required, seven days a week from around 9am to 10pm.
5. The Greasby Centre is used by 15 regular groups each week. Current users include karate, line dancing, aerobics, Zumba, yoga, keep fit for the over 60s, Weight Watchers, dance for children and for adults (ballet, tap, street etc), Over 60s Club and majorettes. On average around 500 people regularly use The Centre each week.
6. In addition to regular users, The Greasby Centre has also responded to local need, and can be booked by individuals or groups for ‘one-off’ events such as children’s parties, attic sales, meetings and fundraising events.
7. The building stands alone, so is suitable for use both by very quiet and extremely noisy groups.
8. The financial position is regularly monitored by all the Directors and is secure.
9. The building sits in an attractive green space made up of a large open ‘garden’ area to the front, a slightly smaller fenced area at the back, and is continuous with the rest of the green space around on both sides.
10. The grounds are well maintained and an asset to Greasby. A plan is being developed to enhance all the grounds as a community resource
11. There is adequate to excellent parking for users: 3 spaces to the side of the building, car parking shared with the library and some permitted access to The Medical Centre car park. (Note – this is very much appreciated). Currently no additional large parking space is needed for the Greasby Centre.
12. The Directors are in a position to be responsive to developing the Centre in ways that meet the needs of future users.
13. The Directors bring a wide range of appropriate skills to the running of The Centre
The running of The Greasby Centre depends on unpaid Directors and on a range of volunteers from the local community. The current directors have a range of skills and experience which are more than adequate for the task. The key to its continuation will be the ability of the directors to encourage and develop new volunteers to become directors in the future. As the Directors have now successfully taken over the running of this community resource this is the development area that requires addressing.
On Friday 3rd October the Fire Authority launched the 12 week consultation on their proposal to merge West Kirby and Upton Fire Stations into a new station in Greasby. You can find the consultation page here. It includes an information sheet and an online survey form. I am confident that many many local people will complete this questionnaire, and give their views, there is no shortage of conversation and speculation on the subject. There are few details as to the actual design or logistics of incorporating a library and possible other facilities, which I recognise is frustrating many local people. We can only respond to what is in front of us, but maybe the public meetings will help us to ask our questions.
You will see that three public meetings are also planned, one in each affected community. The meetings already planned are
Greasby 20th October at 7:30 pm. at Greasby Methodist Church.
Upton 28th October at 7 pm at Woodchurch High School
West Kirby to be confirmed
This morning at the Greasby Lifeboat Bazaar I had the opportunity to speak with some people on this subject, and have received emails and phone calls too. It is important to remember that the application for Sainsburys was a planning matter. This is a genuine consultation, and that is why its so important to put forward your views. I have plenty of views of my own, but the views of many Greasby people are vital to help everyone understand how we should move forward. Please do get in touch with me and tell me your thoughts, and but be sure to share them with the Fire Authority too.
Over the past months there have been rumours circulating about a proposal to build a fire station in Greasby and for the first time there are now some facts to share.
At meeting on Thursday 2nd October the Fire Authority will be asked to “consider the proposal to merge Upton and West Kirby fire stations at a new station on Frankby Road, Greasby as an alternative to an outright closure of West Kirby fire station, subject to a 12 week period of consultation to commence with effect from 3rd October” You can read the agenda here, look for agenda item 10.
So its important to note that this is a consultation and your views are being sought. As soon as I have more information I will share it. Local people can expect to receive a newsletter to explain what is proposed and encourage them to participate in the consultation process. I am sure that local people will do so, a number have already spoken with me about it and I look forward to hearing from many more. I understand a public meeting will be held in the village too.
I have a lot of questions and concerns, I’m sure that other people do too. The site proposed is the area containing the library, Children’s Centre and potentially the Greasby Centre. The stated intention is to build a shared community facility incorporating fire station, library and flexible community space. At a time when the Labour run council is consulting about shutting libraries more days a week than they are open, and reducing the number of Children’s Centres this is a complex picture. It is only a couple of years since Greasby Commmunity Association took over running the Greasby Centre from the council on a 99 year lease after a great deal of work by John Smith and the other members. This proposal has the potential to give Greasby high quality new facilities, but there are questions about the impact would it have on the centre of our village.
The decision will not be taken until a report is received about the outcome of the consultation. As I understand it there are only two possible outcomes, a new fire station in Greasby (leading to closure in West Kirby and Upton) or closure of West Kirby (with retention of Upton).
This “rubbish” image comes from a post on the Greasby village facebook page.
I’ve noticed the comments on facebook, and agree that this needs to be addressed. I have reported this problem to the council – because its really not acceptable for the bins to be in this state.
If you are aware of a bin which has not been emptied frequently enough, please let me know.
As I posted last week, there is a plan to decorate tree trunks in Greasby and here are some more details.
National Tree Week is 22nd to 30th November and the new GREASBY YARNS group are planning to decorate trees in the village. Just how many depends on how many donations are received. The volunteers will gather them all and sew them together to decorate the trees. The plan is that all the work will be complete by Tree Dressing Day
If you knit or crochet the suggestion is that you provide squares, rectangles and strips in any colour or texture. If you prefer you could make woolly pompoms. Could you make individual pieces that are between 3 inches and 9 inches wide and no more than 18 inches long. (in centimetres those are 7.5, 23 and 45).
If you would like to chat to someone from the Greasby Yarns group then you are invited to meet one of the group in the library 10:30 – 12 on Thursdays 17th, 24th and 31st July. If you can’t come then there is a red collection bin in the library for donations.