Central Park – Walled Garden restored to the public.

16th January 2011

Central Park, standing at the edge of Seacombe and Egremont on the one side, with Liscard on the other, is a key public asset.

Cllr Adrian Jones & Mrs Di Ledder met Council Officers, who came up with remedies at a meeting this morning.

When the Tory/LibDem collaboration, in control of Wirral until last May, sought the reduction of some 1100+ council jobs our Central Park Ranger, who left early under one of the schemes of ‘encouragement’ to go, was among them.  He was popular and dedicated, well known for working far beyond the call of ordinary duty; we all wished him well for his early retirement, but we certainly miss him.

The public were left with the impression that the deletion of such posts would occur only if they did not adversely affect front line services.  But were people under the care of  Social Services  in Central Park not ‘front line’?  Following the deletion of our Ranger’s post they found themselves without organised means to open the buildings they were using, in the morning, or to secure them afterwards, or even to have the lavatories cleaned.

This picture of Mrs Di Ledder was taken in the Park, with Cllr John Salter, when the improvements to the children's playground were being done.

The attractive Walled Garden was no longer open to the public unless the volunteers, or their carers, or Social Services staff, found ways to get it done.  And with the retirement of our Ranger it was also closed to the public and to visitors on weekends.  Not exactly good news for the ‘Leisure Peninsula’?
With no Council arrangements put in place  for the lavatories to be cleaned that, too, fell by default to Social Services Staff and volunteers.  Whoever else felt it was acceptable, it was not acceptable to your Seacombe Labour Councillors.
“What”, readers might ask,  “was the rationale for not making arrangements for the buildings and the Walled Garden to be unlocked and secured, and for the lavatories to be cleaned?”     That would be for the previous administration to explain.  Your Labour Councillors are just getting on with the business of having it put right.
Happier times are back again

 Meanwhile, the privatisation shadow has been lifted and our Parks have returned happily to public maintenance, with our professional officers able once more to arrange for the buildings to be opened for the volunteers and Social Services Staff to work unhindered; for the lavatories to be cleaned, and for our Walled Garden  to be re-opened to the residents of Wirral who, by the way, own it.

 

We will not publicly name Council Officers, not even in a ‘good news’ story such as this, but with great pleasure we can report our sincere thanks to them for the professional manner in which they were able to put remedies in place at a meeting in the Town Hall this morning.  No such thanks would be complete without recognising the wealth of advice given by Mrs Di Ledder, who chairs the Central Park Partnership.

 

 

Liscard Hall lost forever

Jan 8 2010 – re an article by Liam Murphy, Liverpool Daily Post

Fire engine at Liscard Hall after the arson attack

Fire engine at Liscard Hall after the arson attack

Today’s Liverpool Daily Post runs an article about the decision to grass over the site formerly occupied by Liscard Hall, in Seacombe’s Central Park, following an insurance payment of £117,810 after its demolition.   This magnificent building was torched by arsonists who were able to get in because the security measures in place failed to keep them out.

Readers will recall how local Liscard Tory Councillor Leah Fraser rushed to her pen, scratching off a litany of questions for the Liberal Cabinet Member, Cllr Simon  Holbrook.  She demanded to know what measures he had taken to ensure the Hall’s safety from fire, from vandals, etc etc.   It looked really bad that this seemed not to have been done – but that turned to acute embarrasment when Labour reminded Cllr Fraser that she personally chaired the very Council committee with responsibility for Council owned buildings.  

We asked her whether she had initiated any of those safety precautions she rattled off at Cllr Holbrook.  The Hall was, after all, lost on her watch.  Surprise, surprise, she has never given an explanation of why she did none of the things she demanded of somebody else.  Had she just forgotten that she had that responsibility?  We would love an answer.

Readers will recall that when the Hall first became available her priority seemed to be to gift it to a private school on a peppercorn rent of £1 a year.  That caused a storm of local protest from the people who actually use the Park and wanted it for community use.

Meanwhile it seems like characteristic Tory spin when she is quoted in the ‘Post’ as saying:

“What a shame that it took the destruction of the building to make the council sit up and take notice.”

Seems puzzled about something here.

Seems puzzled about something here.

Err …  Has she forgotten that she is a Member of that Council, which she condemns as though it is something she has nothing to do with?

Err … Has she forgotten that she led the very committee of that Council with responsibility for Council owned buildings?  (Before she chaired it she was the Tory Party Spokesperson.)

Err … What was she doing all that time?

Liscard Hall

8th December 2009

Any hopes of having Liscard Hall as the location for a new Seacombe/Liscard Super Centre for library and related services was in effect removed from the agenda today. 

Seacombe library will in any case remain on its present site for the indefinite future.  But there will be many who view the loss of another great opportunity with reservations.  The Wallasey Tories always argued against the replacement of the existing library, by a new vastly improved Super-Centre, as though it was only a matter of closure with nothing to replace it.   That was simply not true – but when did the Wallasey Tories ever let the whole story get in the way of publishing misleading propaganda?

Adrian argued that we should keep the existing library – and Guinea Gap Baths – until new, more modern, facilities were first built to replace them

Labour Cllr Adrian Jones

Labour Cllr Adrian Jones

Adrian’s case for Guinea Gap was heard and the facilities were retained.  His was not the only voice calling for the retention of Guinea Gap Baths but while the Tories conducted a raucous propaganda campaign Adrian put a reasoned case, arguing Seacombe’s corner in writing; and his defence of the Guinea Gap Baths, and Seacombe Library, facilities is a matter of record.    

Tory defector Denis Knowles

Tory defector Denis Knowles

So why is it that in sharp contrast Denis Knowles, who now claims (retrospectively) to have been soul searching about it at the time, lifted not a finger to argue a similar case for Seacombe?  If his claim that he was ‘soul searching’ is true why did he busy himself declaring publicly in the press that their immediate closure would be ‘For the greater good’?