Opposition unites over parks building plans

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Walton Hall Park. Pic © Wikimedia/Creative Commons

Walton Hall Park. Pic © Wikimedia/Creative Commons

Members of the council have joined forces in a rare show of unity to challenge the ruling Labour party’s plans to build on Liverpool’s parks and green spaces.

Liverpool’s opposition councillors have united to sign a cross-party coalition to oppose Labour’s proposals which could see Walton Hall Park be handed to Everton FC to build a new stadium and areas of Sefton Park turned in to luxury housing.

Ten councillors from opposing parties signed the resolution, including members from the Liberal Democrats, the Green party, Liberals and independent, Councillor Jake Morrison.

The city’s Liberal Democrat leader, Councillor Richard Kemp, told JMU Journalism: “Just as our great grandfathers used this land so should our great grandchildren. These green spaces provide the recreation space and beautiful environments that this city needs if it is to thrive and attract people to live in it.”

The coalition wants council officers to liaise with appropriate resident and campaign groups to ensure that suitable uses, ownership and leases for the areas are developed.

Green party representative, Councillor Thomas Crone, who has signed the resolution, told JMU Journalism: “We appreciate the need for more housing in Liverpool, but urge the Labour administration to resist the calls of the big house builders who are lobbying for green space to be made available for development.”

The 10 member-team is unlikely to overcome the ruling 79-strong Labour party but those fighting the scheme hope that by demonstrating a show of strength they will be able to put a halt to the plans.

Cllr Crone added: “A bolder vision is called for which makes the best use of available brown field and city centre sites by promoting high quality, high density housing. This can be more sustainable, closer to where people work and socialise, and better served by public transport and cycle routes.”

The resolution has been signed by Cllrs Richard Kemp (Lib Dem) Barbara Mace ((Lib Dem), Steve Radford (Liberal), Kevin Morrison (Liberal), Hazel Williams (Liberal), Jake Morrison (Ind), John Coyne (Green), Laurence Brown (Green), Tom Crone (Green) and Sarah Jennings (Green).