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Brookside actor gets star role in Mayor Joe's 'greenwatch' group

Eco-campaigner Simon O'Brien vows to ask 'relevant and awkward questions'

Written by . Published on December 4th 2014.


Brookside actor gets star role in Mayor Joe's 'greenwatch' group
 

BROOKIE creator Phil Redmond couldn’t have scripted it better, but today it was revealed eco-warrior and green campaigner Simon O’Brien is to chair Mayor Joe Anderson’s "Green" strategy group.

The group will be tasked with scrutinising green space usage and helping to formulate the city’s Local Plan as well advising the council on how to make Liverpool a sustainable city going forward into the 21st century.
Over the next two years the committee will oversee the environmental aspect of all areas of the Local Plan as it is drafted for presentation to central government by 2017.
 
One green space excluded from the task is Woolton Woods, epicentre of a campaign led by O’Brien to stop land being taken for the proposed new St Julie’s High School.
 
It was O'Brien who arranged for a pilotless drone to fly over the historic parkland to capture a shot of opponents spelling out the words "Not Here".
 

Unnamed %281%29O'Brien spearheading the Save Woolton Woods campaign

Speaking his new appointment O'Brien said: “As a truly independent person with no affiliations or political axe to grind, just someone who is passionately interested about the future of our incredible city, I have decided that this is an amazing chance to influence the process from an ecological point of view which is often still lacking when grand plans are being formulated.

“I want Liverpool to be mentioned in the same breath as Copenhagen, Curitiba and Vancouver when it comes to sustainable development. I can’t wait to get started by finding the right people to form the committee which will then take a long hard look at the early draft of the Local Plan, ask relevant and awkward questions as well as bringing fresh ideas and thinking to the process.”
 
The Local Plan contains a list of sites capable of being developed in the future for housing or other schemes. The list includes the Meadowlands in Sefton Park as well as Walton Hall Park, earmarked as a potential new home for Everton FC.
 
By 2017 when the Local Plan is presented to the Government for approval, the controversial Redrow scheme at the Meadowlands could be finished, and if progress is made the replacement Goodison at Walton Hall Park could be well under way.

Mayor Anderson said: "We are committed to producing a visionary Local Plan which will guide Liverpool's growth, economic development and regeneration while crucially protecting its heritage and green space.

"Therefore the city will proceed with gathering robust and current evidence and assess demand for new housing, employment, leisure, recreation, shopping and other uses.

As Damon Grant in BrookieAs Damon Grant in Brookie"However, Liverpool's residents need to have the confidence that this process will examine the sustainability of our current green space for the future and I am pleased that Simon O'Brien has agreed to chair the independent review of our green space and the recommendations from the strategy group will help inform the process we are going through."



O'Brien became a household name as a teenager playing Damon Grant in Brookside, working alongside screen parents Ricky Tomlinson and Sue Johnston.
 
He lives in Woolton vilage and away from his life as an actor, he is a respected environmentalist.

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57 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Rob BakerDecember 4th 2014.

Walton hall park is a fantastic ecosystem with hundreds of species of birds and squirrels etc. It would be environmental vandalism to build anything in this fantastic public park. I'm sure Simon will agree with the whole of the Walton area that no development will take place in "The Peoples Park"

6 Responses: Reply To This...
John BradleyDecember 4th 2014.

If there are hundreds of species of birds then it would be full of twitchers. You need to get out to some real countryside to see what a meagre place most of our parks are.

AnonymousDecember 4th 2014.

It has got swans,geese,owls,squirrels,bats,ducks,migrating birds to name just a few. Some people dont have the money to take there families to the country side so having this in there door step is a god send!

John BradleyDecember 4th 2014.

Get the train to Maghull and walk to Kirkby station. With a saveaway get up to Lydiate around the Scotch piper. Just walk along the canal. Get the bus from Kirkby to the Strand get of at Sefton and walk around a bit. All Zone C

AnonymousDecember 4th 2014.

All the places where EFC could build a stadium, in fact

AnonymousDecember 5th 2014.

"All Zone C" - I thought that the best things in life were supposed to be free?

John BradleyDecember 5th 2014.

All of Zone C is within walking distance, but perhaps you will object to the shoe leather cost.

AnonymousDecember 4th 2014.

You don't build on the parks, full stop.

6 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 4th 2014.

Not when theres enough brownfield sites in the city!

mickeydrippinDecember 4th 2014.

All this talk of enough brownfield sites in the city. Where is there one big enough to build a 50,000 capacity football stadium with a large car park and surrounding circulating area for fans?

AnonymousDecember 5th 2014.

Why do we owe a bunch of multi-millionaires a place to go and kick a ball around? They are rich, they are nothing to do with us, they can sort themselves out.

Walton Hall ParkerDecember 5th 2014.

Very good point Anon. But then Uncle Joe is an Evertonian.

AnonymousDecember 5th 2014.

Why are so many our public officials these days so determinedly undignified? There was a time not so long ago when Liverpool was run by people who did not wipe their snot on their sleeves. Now they all look like scallies, speak like barrowboys and care more for their footy allegiences than their professional detachment. Hatton's 'Toytown' legacy?

John BradleyDecember 5th 2014.

Down to Phil Redmond and the brooksideisation that produce the scalocracy. But Liverpool's polticos have been second rate since WW2 it is how we got here.

AnonymousDecember 4th 2014.

Hopefully all the green parks are saved, these parks have been around for generations & to take them away from our childrens future is a crime! Walton hall park is an oasis in a very built up part of the city & regeneration to me is not concreting over a beautiful green park land.

AnonymousDecember 4th 2014.

Some people do not have a car or cannot afford to travel out into the countryside. I have travelled all over the world and seen birds, animals and fish of all varieties. But I still love to walk in Walton Hall Park, watch the changes through the seasons, smile as my grand children have fun in the playground and appreciate the natural beauty in the heart of our community. I look out of my front door at the park. When the leaves fall I can see right across the field. You and no one else is going to destroy that. We will fight for our park

AnonymousDecember 4th 2014.

Is that Councillor Bradley! must be a pocket liner.

1 Response: Reply To This...
John BradleyDecember 4th 2014.

No I'm not but it shows how up to date with the council you are, but class argument.

AnonymousDecember 4th 2014.

Walton hall park is also used by the local schools for sports and nature walks, disabled groups use it for bikes for all then theres the bowling team so you can see not only is it all FREE and thats rare in this day and age it is USED! Families with no gardens of there own use it for a kick around or flying kites. where else do get all that on your doorstep?

AnonymousDecember 4th 2014.

Joe must go sign the petition to sack Joe Anderson. Save the green spaces and Great Homer Street market. Stop all the cuts in our City and say not to the tory government .Unite and Fight our Yes men Councillors vote them out in May. A big change is on the way. Save Walton Hall Park.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 4th 2014.

We're with you Mr Hatton! ! Coal not dole! Etc

AnonymousDecember 4th 2014.

Thank You for your kind support>I will see you on the Save our City March coming in the next few weeks.

AnonymousDecember 4th 2014.

And don't forget, " Labour "Out In May, spread the word Brother.

AnonymousDecember 4th 2014.

Coalition unite and fight, out with Joe.

John BradleyDecember 4th 2014.

Don't forget your SWP posters.

A-ZDecember 5th 2014.

If you look at Liverpool in Google maps there are lots of pointless and inconvenient bits of grass and scrub left by poor planning decisions over decades. These are of no use to anybody - they just put distance between residents and their nearest amenities making the walks to the shops, schools/bus stops a lot longer wetter and windier than they need be and have no amenity value to the population or revenue value to the Council. If Uncle Joe wants his developer pals to build, why can’t he get them to build on these rather than on well-loved public parks?

17 Responses: Reply To This...
Urban BlighterDecember 5th 2014.

Hear hear! Not only will these wastelands not be missed, a denser population attracts more shops and aminities. It's also easier for the developers because the street pattern is already in place as are the drains and sewers for the new properties. Or do developers make a killing out of the taxpayers building those from scratch too?

Urban BlighterDecember 5th 2014.

Liverpool is getting to look like the ruins of Detroit.

John BradleyDecember 5th 2014.

Name some of the waste lands.

For the last timeDecember 5th 2014.

The whole of the north docks, vast swathes of Smithdown. Kensington, Edge Lane....

AnonymousDecember 5th 2014.

April is the cruellest month

John BradleyDecember 5th 2014.

All of those have plans in place, with the exception of Edge Lane, which has been grassed over. Parts of the land to the north Kensington have been converted to a Park. So nothing unused in that list.

AnonymousDecember 5th 2014.

Grassing-over is not a solution to anything. A patch of grass does not a park make. It merely adds to the air of dereliction, desertion and desperation. You take away the houses, the shops die, they close down and move away. These no-man's land places are obstacles in the landscape to be navigated, they have no value, particularly in a city whose primary economic weakness is chronic depopulation.

John BradleyDecember 5th 2014.

Well then you cannot object to Sefton Meadows being developed as that is just grass. More trees should really be added all over these place. It seems you saying only the older green bits are of value, without any explanation of why. Building houses on some of these places will not solve the chronic depopulation it will just move the population from one place to another. The sefton Meadows scheme is in part to attract people who currently like to liver in Cheshire, West Lancs and North Sefton back to the city where they work. If we can get the population growing we should build high and leave the new green islands of green all around the place. The assumption that the shops are going just because of depopulation ignores the fact that high streets everywhere are struggling because of large supper markets and the internet.

AnonymousDecember 5th 2014.

Sefton Park Meadows never had shops around it because it has been an established public open space for more than century. It adds to the aesthetic of the area and makes it pleasant and the housing there 'upmarket'. A shitty bit of pointless grass off Mill Street just says to onlookers - decline, depression, neglect, abandonment, bugger-all, you might as well kill yourself.

John BradleyDecember 5th 2014.

But it is just a patch of grass, and no it hasn't always been open at one point it was a tree nursery. What about the wildlife on this shitty bit of land, probably far more diverse than in Sefton Meadows. Things change, that's what you don't like.

AnonymousDecember 5th 2014.

And what is wrong with a tree nursery (apart from the likelihood of Uncle Joe identifying it as something to seell to developers)? You haven't a clue, obviously you're an incomer. Your arguments are trite crap. You don't engage with points you can't understand. By all means piss on your own chips Bradley, but don't piss on others'.

John BradleyDecember 5th 2014.

I've addressed all you point you just don't like the answers. Well if it has been a tree nursery in the past it hasn't always been the grass field it is now. You just don't want change. Oh and BTW I was born in Liverpool as where my parents and most of my grandparent. Some of my earliest memories are Sefton park in the late 60s. You should stop putting forward shallow arguments to try and justify your position and just admit you don't like change and are quiet happy when it happens out of your sight.

AnonymousDecember 5th 2014.

Shocking spelling bradders, you been on the chrimbo sherry already? Are you a reporter on the echo perchance?

AnonymousDecember 5th 2014.

There are different types of 'change' you oaf. Good change is progress, advancement, regeneration, growth improvement, etc. Bad change is decline, dereliction, collapse, unsustainability, urban blight, stupidity, Bradleyism.

AnonymousDecember 5th 2014.

Bradley would kill and eat the goose that laid the golden eggs just to spite everyone else. Dogs in mangers are far more reasonable.

AnonymousDecember 5th 2014.

Well Bradders, if the internet is solely responsible for killing off all the shops what was causing the closure of shops in the 1960s, 70s, 80, 90s, the desertion and dilapidation of shops in Kirkby, Cantril Farm, Netherley, Granby Street, Lodge Lane, Wavertree Road etc, before the Internet was invented?

John BradleyDecember 5th 2014.

Yes but your scared of any change and call it bad if it affects you. But of course I also mentioned supermarkets so the idea I blamed on a singular entity is a lie, super markets which where coming in, in the 60s and 70s and did for a lot of local shops, as they have done for high streets in areas without depopulation. Rebuilding houses will not do any good unless people move into those houses. Getting the houses in these areas you think shouldn't have parks might be achieved by using the redundant land to add parks.

Elsie TannerDecember 5th 2014.

Meanwhile, which owner of Everton Football Club is a relative of Uncle Joe's new best mate, the developer Lawrence Kenwright? You know, him who is turning Millennium House into a Bill Shankly hotel and who was almost allowed to get his hands on St Luke's church to turn it into a scummy wedding venue when Joe wanted to sell it to him for £1. I hear there is a connection.

Steve FaragherDecember 5th 2014.

Elsie you're not intimating anything underhand ?

AnonymousDecember 5th 2014.

Why do Everton need a new stadium? Let them use Walton Hall park. They can use a couple of jumpers as goalposts and they can always get a few deckchairs for their 10 or so fans. Problem solved.

mickeydrippinDecember 5th 2014.

Wherever Everton FC decide to build a new stadium, people will undoubtedly object because: (a) If in the North Docks area, some historic warehouses may have to be demolished and historic docks filled in. (b) If on Edge Lane or another large brownfield site, it may over-shadow houses in the area and cause traffic problems. (c) If outside the city at, say, Finch Farm or near Maghull, it be on the greenbelt. (d) If they stayed where they are at Goodison Park, they would have to do what Liverpool FC did by purchasing/demolishing properties in the area, in order to expand. The way things are looking they may have to take the last option.

AnonymousDecember 5th 2014.

Footballers are millionaires wo live miles away, public parks are for the public who live locally. If the pampered richboys want a new playground, let them buy an ugly and unwanted housing estate, like the Boot Estate, and develop the site with their own money, not the public's.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 5th 2014.

I hope Uncle Joe is professional about it and charges them top whack - they can easily afford it, the city cannot.

John BradleyDecember 5th 2014.

What public money is being spent on developing property for footballers?

AnonymousDecember 5th 2014.

John, will you please fuck off and do something else for the rest of the night. For your own sake. Just a thought.

John BradleyDecember 5th 2014.

No coward I will not.

Green TambourineDecember 6th 2014.

SAVE THE RABBITS!!!!!!!!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
mickeydrippinDecember 6th 2014.

Yum yum, rabbit stew!

Green TambourineDecember 6th 2014.

You MUST NOT eat RABBITS!!!!!!!! It's really cruel. And NASTY!!!

Josie MullenDecember 7th 2014.

Re. Elsie Tanner /info on Walton Hall Park- Is this the same Lawrence Kenwright who went bust in 2004 owing £2,000.000 to creditors?

Yaffle ChucklebuttyDecember 7th 2014.

Bobby Grant told me Petrochem want to build a new site there, he said its jobs lad, and it'll save Paul Collins having to commute. Get yer name down Matty, you too Jonah!

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