Call to order
A meeting of the Management Group of Hoylake Vision Community Planning Forum was held at The Old Town Hall, Hoylake on 08.01.19.
Attendees: Mark Howard (MH)(Chair), Julian Priest (JP), Michael Coates (MC), Sam Gittoes (SG), Nigel Blacow (NB), Alex Woods (AW).
Members not in attendance
All Management Group members in attendance.
Approval of minutes
The minutes of the previous meeting were approved.
- Potential commissioning of PLACED for public consultation events
JP and MH had met with a representative of PLACED in Liverpool in late 2018. This organisation is a CIC who conduct community consultations ith a specific emphasis on community engagement in place making. More information at https://placed.org.uk/ It was considered important that the use of external consultants for this important work would be beneficial as it would be seen by many as being independent and objective. MH has subsequently met with its Director Jo Harrop and discussed a possible scoping exercise. PLACED subsequently submitted an estimate for a series of engagement activities, events and subsequent data analysis. This work would be funded by Locality who make grants available to Neighbourhood Forums who are making or updating NDPs. The maximum available grant is, we think, £8,000. MH has contacted Wirral Council who have agreed to be the fundholder since HV are not incorporated. As per the original NDP funding, they will release funds as required upon presentation of invoices. The estimate came in at £20k and we therefore need to prioritise which elements of the work are most important and valuable to us in the process of making the necessary changes to the NDP. Consultation ideas were discussed such as pop up panels, events, post it note boards, incorporation with Hoylake Live event.
- JP to contact C0-op to enquire whether a unit in the ROW would be available for some consultation events.
- MH to speak to PLACED to inform them of progress but no decisions could be made at this stage.
- ALL to consider what might be best prioritising; to put forward thoughts within three weeks.
- MH to put together proposal after next management group meeting.
- JP and MC to contact Hoylake Live to discuss options.
Update on LJMU Beach Research
MH submitted the final brief to LJMU in consultation with other key stakeholders including Friends of Hoylake Beach, Liverpool FoE Wirral Wildlife, for a PHD student to come to Hoylake to do some research and public consultation.
The objective is to explore what might be involved in extending the NDP boundary to include the beach, with a view to facilitating some appropriately scaled development, for example a dog friendly café with bird watching facilities on or near the site of the old toilet block, and which may extend onto the beach, which would have considerable public support and is supported in the NDP.
The coastal processes that are taking place on the foreshore are of considerable natural interest. This could be a key area for PLACED to work with the PHD student to consult the general public on, noting its sensitivities; it is important to remember that the NDP currently supports the ‘current beach management programme’ but this also confers a responsibility on WMBC to continually monitor and improve the SSSI. Interpretations of what this might mean are open to question but it is widely accepted that evidence and data should be vital components of any ongoing environmental assessment. Public awareness and education about the underlying issues of coastal processes, biodiversity and wildlife are important and are potential contributing factors to developing a successful and sustainable visitor economy.
- MH to contact LJMU to get an update on progress in due course.
- ALL to see if we can involve Hoylake Trinity School (and others?) to get involved and encourage involvement of parents.
Philip Barton as Planning Advisor for next NDP
A quote had been received from Philip Barton for his services to take up to the next NDP iteration, which inlcuded only four days work. It was considered important to seek clarity and set a realistic time requirement and budget.
- MH to speak to PB to prepare a more detailed scope and obtain get a more realistic quote.
Other potential areas for PLACED consultation
The group discussed options such as the Carr Lane / Ellerman Lines reconfiguration in the contact of the NDP Masterplan for the Carr Lane area. This would involve releasing the Ellerman Lines site from Greenbelt which is considered to be within possibility. There have been previosu planning applications for housing on the site; all have beenr ejected. The Masterplan would see industrial and commercial units transposed, freeing up space adjacent to the rail tracks for new housing and possible associated public green space. The previous Liverpool University study work showed in detail how this may be configured and delivered.
It would be critical to engage with the residents and businesses of Carr Lane first and foremost in order to take this forward.
It is also important to note that this piece of land is at the edge of the council’s proposed Golf Resort.
The Liverpool University study work could inform this area and the student should liaiase with PLACED on any public consultation. The study work sets out to establish whether there might be a mechanism for building a better evidence base with which to inform future beach management, as well as to gain further insights into public feelings on the future development and management of the beach. Alan Jemmet’s report of 2000 is probably out of date and something is needed to ensure any future conversations are informed by current thinking, evidence and data. MH had met with Council Officer Christine Snyth at the beach to brief her on the possible study work; this was welcomed by the council. The last meeting had showed a range of opinion on the use of Glyphosate on the beach as part of the beach management plan, reflecting the anecdotal evidence of thinking among the woder community. This is only part of the wider issue of coastal processes and should not be viewed in isolation or as the only issue affecting the beach in the context of and future development that might be considered. Attracting more people to the promenade and beach and delivery of some appropriately scaled development is part of the NDP and as such should be pursued. It is important to have a thorough understanding of public expectations but also of natural processes.
MH to feed this in to future conversations with PLACED
Christmas Cracker event review
The event had gone well with about 200 people attending during the course of the day. Over 100 surveys were completed and nine new members joined. There was a £60 profit after expenses, excluding hall hire cost of £160 (an overall cost to Vision of £100).
- MC to send a breakdown of I&E to MH for the record.
Boundary revisions and Referendum triggers
MH had discussed the implications of any boundary changes with John Entwistle at WMBC.
Any boundary change would trigger a forum redesignation process, which has only just been completed. If a boundary change was to be included in a NDP update that would not, in itself, trigger a referendum. Only material changes to the NDP would do that. Therefore, a boundary change could be introduced at any time.
The last referendum resulted in 86 per cent voting in favour. It is loikely a similar result will be achieved if a new referendum were to be triggered. With good publicity and solid pre-referendum consultation we could be confident of a successful outcome again, but would want to secure a higher turnout. This requires a stronger push for more members and more events.
- ALL to continually conider ideas for promoting the forum and the importance of the NDP
- No need to plan imminently for any boundary change.
Ward Councillor involvement
It was noted that since two ward councillors retured from Vision after the last referendum the two new Ward Councillors had not contacted us or shown any interest in the NDP. This situation would be montired and we might proactively approach them in due course if a particular issue arises (most likely with a specific planning appplication). The forum must remain independent and impartial and lack of involvement by local politicians is not seen as problematic. Membership is open to all, including members. It is for them, not us, to decide whether they wish to be involved with the NDP.
- MH and /or JP to speak to ward councillors should the opportunity arise.
Sharing issues among the management group
The idea that each member of the management group muight lead on a particulr ‘issue’ within the NDP 2020 was discussed. Members of the group were asked to consider which issues they might be interested to take on board. This will help spread workload and potentially be more efficient.
- ALL to consider what areas they might like to lead on.
- No other matters were raised. No significant planning applications had been made.
Provisional date of next meeting 12 February 2019
Approved by the Chair 12.02.19