Protestors at Walton Hall Park One of the Many in Liverpool up in arms about the Mayor’s sell off plans
I am today issuing a challenge to Joe Anderson to debate the sale of parts of Calderstones Park; Walton Hall Park; and Sefton Park with me in neutral venues with neutral chairs across the City.
If you think he should accept this challenge why not e-mail and ask him to join in. His official e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
My letter to Mayor Anderson is below:
Liberal Democrat HQ,
509, Smithdown Road,
Joe Anderson OBE,
Mayor of Liverpool,
7th October 2015
Dear Mayor Anderson,
An offer to debate the green issues of Liverpool in front of the people of Liverpool
You will recall that at the last meeting of the Council I accused you of gross cowardice. This was after you spent 22 minutes attacking Me, Erica and the Lib Dems in a part of the Council meeting where no-one can challenge or even ask questions of you. Neither Erica nor I are concerned about the tissue of misleading allegations that you made about us as you sought to deflect attention from your use of council money to solve a personal employment issue outside the council. We are concerned about the wider issues.
We are also concerned that there is now nowhere within the system a place that councillors or members of the public can publicly hold you to account. I met both the Liberal Democrat Mayors at our Conference. Both of them regularly have question times at their Town Hall; both of them can be questioned by councillors in a variety of ways; both of them go out into their communities as Mayor to meet people and be questioned by them. You, of course abolished any real scrutiny by abolishing both the Overview and Mayoral Scrutiny Committees. You will recall that I suggested that they be merged into one powerful body with a work programme that would hold you and the Chief Officers to account.
So being a generous, liberal person I am going to give you the opportunity to meet your electorate to discuss the most contentious issue in the City – the continued proposals to desecrate parts of our Parks and green spaces to build housing and other developments.
I am suggesting that you and I debate the issues with a neutral venue with a neutral chair in:
1. South Liverpool to discuss the proposed sale of parts of Sefton Park Meadowlands – although little appears to have happened since the planning permission was submitted before Christmas last year.
2. Allerton to discuss the sale of land as part of the Harthill Estate section of Calderstones Park as part of a secretive and furtive programme which has not been discussed with local councillors or the community.
3. Walton to discuss the proposed use of the land as a stadium which would destroy the strong community which currently lives in this area and treasures the Park as the heart of its community.
The Mayor of Bedford has already been out on 63 meet the people sessions this year. Is it too much to ask you to attend just 3? Were you to do so you would be left in no doubt that your claims of popular support for your programmes are entirely unwarranted. You would then be able to decide whether you were the servant of the people which should be the democratic position or the dictator of Liverpool which is implied by your retreat into your bunker and refusal to discuss and debate key issues.
I will not be posting or e-mailing this to you. I know from your speech in the Council that both you and your staff are avid readers of my Twitter account and blog!
I look forward to working with you to choose those neutral venues and neutral chairs so we can debate the issues in front of the people of Liverpool without delay.
You know where to find me if you accept this challenge!
Cllr Richard Kemp CBE,
Leader, Liverpool Liberal Democrats