A general public meeting was held on 8 May 2017 at St Luke’s Methodist Church, Hoylake. 41 members of the forum and general public attended
The main topic was Evening and Night Time Economy and Younger Adults
The forum approved Alexander Woods as a new management group member. Alex has a social policy research background and will be an invaluable additional to the group, especially in the areas of research and data gathering, for the agreed areas of conversation for the new iteration of the NDP (2020-2025).
A member of the public, George Roberts took the floor to speak from his perspective as a younger adult with particular interest in live music, the evening and night time economy and leisure provision for younger adults. George explained his background as a local music promoter, and particular frustrations that previous attempts to run music events in Hoylake, including as part of Oxjam and Festival of Firsts, had been stymied by local objections and opposition frm a vocal minority.
In one particular instance, the police had been called and he was forced without good reason to cancel a number of performances and acts ‘on the night’ which was a huge disappointment for many people. As a result of this he decided not to continue with his efforts, which had been considerable, only to feel it had been wasted.
He could not understand why some local objectors appeared to target younger people and in particular anything related to night time economy, music and alcohol, feeling that reports of occasional past incidents were being exaggerated to lobby ward councillors, police and council officers to clamp down on other events and the night time economy in general. The closure of all the bars in Hoylake appeared to be directly connected to continued pressure by this minority.
His view was that the NDP 2015-2020 had not been well enough publicised and the content and policies of the plan simply supported those viewpoints rather than challenging them and setting out a more positive framework for leisure provision for younger people and the night time economy. The language used (for example the term “high quality food and drink”) was a particular issue for him and other younger adults. He acknowledged that the proposed wording for the 2015-2020 NDP appeared more positive and he was encouraged by that.
He expressed his reservations about the proposed ‘Beacon’ scheme, with doubts about its potential contribution to, and suitability for, Hoylake, as well as a concern that a post on the beacon website appeared to him to indicate the scheme was being designed to ‘fit in’ with the proposed Golf Resort, but nevertheless supported the proposals.
He was keen to become more involved in the development of Hoylake Vision and to help influence policy and objectives on provision for younger adults and the Night time economy.
The conversation was then opened to the floor and members of the audience contributed.
Main points made were:
- Agreement that provision for younger adults was totally inadequate in Hoylake and the closure of the bars was damaging for Hoylake more generally
- That the NDP should support initiatives that provide evening and night time economy leisure and entertainment facilities
- That there were people willing to engage in this process both within and outside the audience and that Hoylake Vision could utilise the sense of grievance about the demise of the NTE in a positive way by engaging with them
- That the forum’s activities need to be better promoted and advertised.
Mark Howard, from the Management Group, thanked George for his valuable contributions, invited him and others in the audience to become more involved with Hoylake Vision more generally. He explained that the Beacon Scheme, the development of which he is involved as a volunteer, is entirely unconnected with the Council’s proposed Golf Resort.
The proposed conversion of the Old Lifeboat Station was discussed, with some in the audience preparing objections to the scheme. Hoylake Vision had made pre-submission comments but considered the application to be in accordance with the NDP.
The meeting concluded. Next Management Group meeting date was agreed as 5 June 2017.