Call to order
An open public meeting hosted by Hoylake Vision Community Planning Forum was held at The Old Town Hall, Hoylake on 13.11.18.
From the management group: Mark Howard (MH) (Chair), Julian Priest (JP), Michael Coates (MC), Sam Gittoes (SG), Nigel Blacow (NB), Alex Woods (AW). Approximately 45 members of the public including forum members were present.
Members not in attendance
Approval of minutes
As an open public meeting, no minutes required presentation for approval.
Presentations and subsequent conversation
- Assets of Community Value
A short video about assets of community value was screened. This can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/iXxft3yilzIAssets of Community Value (ACVs) are privately and publicly owned buildings and spaces (excluding residential), that are deemed to be of value to the community. When they come up for sale, a six-week period begins within which in which a community group can put forward an expression of interest and have six months to prepare an offer before other private buyers are able to.An ACV ‘list’ can be prepared by a Community Planning Forum and submitted to the Local Authority who will assess eligibility. If some or all of the buildings or land plots are eligible to be classed as ACVs the Council must include them on the list, publish the list and inform current owners.MH gave a presentation about how ACV listing works. A conversation was held about whether there is an appetite to research and develop such a list.There was overwhelming support for the forum to proceed with this process, and attendees were invited to bring forward their own suggestions for buildings and land suitable for inclusion in the list.
Management group member NB was tasked to start work by identifying possible buildings and land.
Update on Beach Research
MH explained that the forum had been in talks with Liverpool University about a potential PHD student research project in which a student can be available for 15 days, at no cost to the Forum, with a £500 bursary to conduct research.
This would look at some of the issues surrounding Hoylake beach, with a view to informing a decision on whether to include some of the beach in the NDP.
The NDP boundary stops at the promenade wall and does not include the beach. Philip Barton sees no reason why the beach to the mean high tide should not be included. This will support further developing priorities, objectives and policies that will further support increased visitor numbers and new, appropriately scaled facilities, for which there is support in the existing NDP.
MH had drafted a brief in consultation with key stakeholders including Friends of Hoylake Beach, Hillary Ash from Wirral Wildlife and Liverpool Friends of the Earth. All parties were on board to get the research done; a very positive and collaborative approach.
The study will necessarily take into account accelerating sea level rise/sand accretion and other coastal processes, as well as long, short and medium term shoreline management recommendations.
The report should bring forward new recommendations to be provided to move forward revisiting recommendations of the 2000 Alan Jemmett report in line with the current context.
A conversation emerged from an attendee about the efficacy of chemicals on the beach to suppress growth of grasses. It was emphasised that the issues of grass control is only one issue at hand and should not dominate the research work, although it was recognised that current beach management elicits a range of opinion from the community and is important to consider carefully.
It was suggested that limited, reversible beach trials, as recommended in a the Jemmett report, had a consensus of support and would provide useful data and evidence for informing future beach management whilst being of interest to school students, researchers of coastal processes and have potential to increase eco-touristm.
A show of hands showed mixed feelings (approximately 50:50 within the audience) about the use of chemicals and also about the prospect of a more ‘green’ beach in future, although it was recognised that this was not in any way a scientific survey of public opinion.
The key objective is to amplify facts, to deliver accurate information and to correct misleading or incorrect information when presented in order to facilitate a much better informed community conversation around the issues.
Addressing concern about perceived conflicts of interest
MH read a statement in response to reports of perceived conflicts of interest that had been submitted to Wirral Council during the public consultation period for the recent successful re-designation of the forum. Put simply, members of the Management Group of the forum can not be in a position to hold any conflict of interest since they are not responsible for making planning decisions. The Management Group is solely reponsible for the efficient running of meetings and events; revising the NDP in consultation with the community by improving existing or adding new objectives, priorities and policies, all of which are subject to scrutiny and potential further independent examination and referendum; measuring new planning applications against the NDP; monitoring the council’s application of the NDP; and making representations to the Local Authority where appropriate. The NDP was adopted into the Local Plan following in a public referendum in 2016 and as such is part of the Council’s Local Plan and has been adopted and approved by the local community at large.
NB advised on current membership and invited non members to join.
A future open public meeting will be announced in due course.
Approved by the Chair 10.10.18