Mayor Anderson challenged to public debates about Liverpool Parks


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

My letter to Mayor Anderson is below:

Liberal Democrat HQ,
509, Smithdown Road,
Liverpool 15

Joe Anderson OBE,
Mayor of Liverpool,
Cunard Buildings,
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!
Yours sincerely,
Richard Kemp
Cllr Richard Kemp CBE,
Leader, Liverpool Liberal Democrats


About richardkemp

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool. Deputy Chair and Lib Dem Spokesperson on the LGA Community Wellbeing Board. Married to the lovely Cllr Erica Kemp CBE with three children and four grandchildren.
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5 Responses to Mayor Anderson challenged to public debates about Liverpool Parks

  1. joedd says:

    ”Mayor Anderson and his staff are avid readers of my blog” Hi Guys……

    • Not only is the community of Walton hall park blocked on twitter by Mayor Anderson and his deputy Mayor Cllr Nick Small for no reason but Mayor Anderson does not answer the emails we have sent to him asking him to come to meet us all and listen to our pleas to save our beautiful community Walton hall park.
      We would welcome any meeting to speak openly and honestly with him and show him the tireless work the volunteers have done in the park to improve it after years of neglect from Liverpool city council. We have made huge changes and an incredible difference to a much loved community hub!
      The answer we see to keep the park is to work with Liverpool city council to community asset transfer the park, the whole 130 acres to run it for us by us, the community who love, work, play and use the park every single day.
      This community is both angered and very upset that the mayor and both deputy Mayors do not listen to what we want after all this is where we live, our homes and our lives that will be effected so the very least Liverpool city council and our Mayor should do is come to listen to US. Alls we get is press releases, even the Community Engagement Group is set up to talk behind closed doors and with attendees being development partners and a chair that is pushing the development and is on two of the groups that attend is certainly not as described “independent” in fact forcing this development through is what it seems to be happening.
      So please can somebody please listen, listen to us the people who care the people of this great city, the people who love and want to SAVE 100% of Walton hall park. We are willing to meet with the mayor so we also wait for a reply and a meeting,

  2. Paul traynor says:

    Good monograph Richard. People in this city should challenge mayor

  3. Paul traynor says:

    There should be No pleading from walton hall vounters. You will get shouted down and fall in the the bullys trap austerity its the only game in town a one sided aurgument , bankers have never been jailed from the crash if there ever was one there is enough science and scientific evidence in particular how green spaces take out pollution particulates from diesel think VW Emissions. Scandal a mature tree can sequester one ton of carbon dioxide dthe benefits to mental health are well known also First what is Liverpool’s drug cost for depression for asthmatics obesity ? And other environmental illness Brown field sites are not chosen a because they don’t want to build social housing. Also pref treatment to commercial. Backers A cowered labour group who are frightened to stand up to a some one because he has a mayor title knows it all andnever challanged recent programme showed Liverpool heath disparity with the rest of the country but Anderson should not be the spokesperson on heath issues. Would you take health advice from him I think not the so called bogus green spaces are nothing of the sort just to appease his acolytes and the ones who vote for a turd with rosette red labour on it because they get caught up in the rhetoric. Sadly unable to ask who why cost benefit will it help ?what other plans are available have you thought of this. Hang on no £ 89,000 from people who pay council tax is one

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