ConDem leader applauds Labour’s success as £4.5billion Wirral Waters gets the go ahead. Cllr John Salter reports


4th August 2010  

At last night’s Wirral Planning Committee meeting ‘Wirral Waters’ (the largest planning application in the UK) was given the green light by Wirral’s

A beaming Cllr John Salter said: 'This is excellent news for my Seacombe Ward. It will bring much needed jobs to the whole area. We worked hard to achieve this and it is great news for everybody.'

‘hung’ Council.   ‘Wirral Waters’ is an 18 million sq ft regeneration scheme which will transform the economic fortunes of Birkenhead and Wallasey, as well as Wirral and the broader Liverpool City Region. It will have a dramatic effect on Seacombe’s fortunes in providing thousands of new job opportunities.  

This is a great day for the previous Labour-led administration which, during a period of more than four years, worked closely with Peel Holdings to bring the development to fruition.   

But in May a new ‘ConDem’ administration took over after the Wirral Liberals lost five seats to the Tories – an unprecedented electoral disaster for them, wiping out 25% of their total representation on the Council.  Together with a Labour defection, this Liberal collapse made the Tories marginally the largest party.  Whilst the Liberals lost seats heavily to the Tories Labour gained four.   But the electorally crippled Liberals then joined the Tories, and the defector, in a coalition.  This junior partnership enabled the Liberals to hang on in a limited power-share, heavily eclipsed and overshadowed by the Conservatives to whom they have in effect given leadership of the Council. 
Commenting on the success he inherited from the previous administration, Wirral’s new ‘ConDem’ Leader, Cllr Jeff Green, said:  “This is a fantastic day for the people of Birkenhead and Wallasey and the future of Wirral.  We can now look forward to the site’s transformation over the coming years to help improve the economic fortunes of the Borough and that of its residents.” 

Jeff must, of course, be applauded for recognising Labour’s achievement so glowingly.  Subject, now, to there being no impediment from the ‘ConDem’ government it is hoped that our Council’s professional officers will continue their fruitful collaboration with Peel Holdings to begin work within a couple of years.      

The Birkenhead docks site comprises more than 500 acres.  The ‘Wirral Waters’ scheme will involve a £4.5 billion investment, creating many thousands of jobs during construction (which will span some 30 years).  It has been estimated that as many as  27,000 jobs could exist when the work is completed.  

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