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The Mail Bag

The effect of George Howarth

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I was reading with interest the various articles being published over any planning permission possibly being granted by Knowlsey council for Everton's new stadium. One article suggested that if permission was granted it would be 'called in' by central government for a public enquiry. A later article suggested that it wouldn't be called in as the scheme has the full backing of local MP George Howarth. Would George Howarth be able to influence wether a public enquiry took place?

To know that, you have to look at reasons that central government gets involved with local building schemes. Usually it's because it is in the national interest, or it affects an area of outstanding beauty, or a natural habitat of a rare animal spieces. The Newbury bypass is a good example. Remember Swampy and his mates? Now this scheme affected great swathes of coutryside including habitats of some rare animals, Swampy being one of them I think.

Heathrow's proposed 3rd runway will definitely be called in, because it IS in the national interest, and it involves bulding on 'green belt' and flattening 3 whole villiages. Now would you say the proposed scheme in Kirkby is of national interest? You will probably find that, outside of Kirkby and KEIOC, no-one in the UK gives a toss what happens in Kirkby. The scheme also has the backing of the local MP and has already gone through an exaustive public consultation, so why call it in?

Wasting public money and such a low profile project would be politically damaging to the government, and would also be seen as another example of central government interfering in a local matter. I think Goerge Howarth's stance is crucial here, and we may see the bulldozers moving in as early the autumn.
Brian Baker, Aldershot     Posted 25/04/2008 at 16:02:39

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Robert Carney
1   Posted 26/04/2008 at 10:31:42

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When Howarth said he had reservations about the projects transport and roads policy, he would seek assurances that they would be addressed. Now he has come out in favour, can he please enlighten us with the new information.
Neil Adderley
2   Posted 26/04/2008 at 10:16:51

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Brian - you give Howarth far too much credit. While the MP for Knowsley North and Sefton East has said he will not be asking for a call in, there are MP’s from surrounding constituencies who will be doing just that.

Regarding the criteria for a call in, the below is taken from the GONW website;

Departures from Development Plans

?Departure application? refers to an application for planning permission that is not in agreement with the provisions of the Development Plan in force in the area in which the application site is situated.

Where a departure application, which a local planning authority propose to approve, meets the following criteria it should be sent to the Government Office for consideration:

**it includes more than 150 houses or flats, or more than 5000 square metres of retail, leisure, office or mixed commercial development

*the authority has an interest in the land or will itself be one of the developers
*it would significantly prejudice implementation of the Development Plan

Each referred application is considered by the Government Office against national and regional planning polices rather than deciding whether planning permission is justified in the particular circumstances of the case.

The Government Office will consider whether the Secretary of State?s intervention is needed and if necessary will prepare a submission summarising the planning issues for the Secretary of State so that he can decide whether to call-in the planning application.

**Tesco are proposing over 90,000 square metres of retail, leisure, office or mixed commercial development.

Dave Moorcroft
3   Posted 26/04/2008 at 10:58:47

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I cannot believe the reason the MP gave for backing the Kirkbydome: "It will bring 2,000 jobs to Kirkby"

I would like to know when Tesco became a charity? They are in the buisness of crushing any opposition who stands in their way. So when they build the Biggest shop in Europe in Kirkby, make no mistake they will leave all the small shops in Kirkby with no option but to close because they will not be able to compete with Tesco for prices.

So when all the small shops and associated buisnesses that are connected to them close, I would say you will see close to 2,000, if not more, jobs lost thanks to this project. Not to mention people's homes. HOWARTH HANG YOUR HEAD IN SHAME. Tell us what really changed your mind, George.

Gavin Ramejkis
4   Posted 26/04/2008 at 12:06:05

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Well said Dave Moorcroft, I was wondering if Howarth has received a nice back hander a la the other chancer working on this disgrace KW. The question should read how many things (pictures of the queen) changed your mind Howarth?
Gerard Madden
5   Posted 26/04/2008 at 16:10:46

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George Howarth MP?s support is crucial but i?d say far more crucial is the more than 2,000 jobs, the NHS walk-in centre, potential new Knowsley Police HQ, new unamed leisure facility, new local authority/library facilities and the fact there is simply now no alternative to the £400m Tesco/EFC have to offer the decades old worklessness blackspot. These ?material considerations? should well outweigh any aspects of regional/local policies that may get violated in my opinion.
Gavin Ramejkis
6   Posted 26/04/2008 at 17:22:27

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I can see the reasoning behind promoting facilities for the residents but to say a new Police HQ is beneficial for anyone other than the police is laughable, on the same lines you could say vastly increased traffic and noise and refuse pollution are negative to the area.
David Kiely
7   Posted 26/04/2008 at 20:31:08

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Madden - what about the unemployment blackspot of Skelmersdale and the threat to jobs from the St Modwen's development posed by KirkbyTescoTown? You see, for every job created in one part of the region others are threatened elsewhere... welcome to the real world.... the one in which West Lancs MP Rosie Cooper will be demanding an inquiry, alongside all the other local authorities in the area.

Gerard Madden
8   Posted 26/04/2008 at 21:10:22

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David - Er there is nothing in any rulebook that says a £350m regeneration redevelopment in Skem can only go ahead if a £400m regeneration redevelopment 10 (TEN) miles away doesn't go ahead and vice versa so the ?point? you?re trying to make is invalid.

As for Rosie Cooper MP - she?s entitled to her opinion, if she feels only Skem is entitled to the major regeneration that is currently on offer to both areas then... that's her opinion, she?s only protecting her turf and quite rightly so. Peter Kilfoyle MP for Walton doesn't seem to have many problems with the Kirkby development and, judging by the joint press release done with George Howarth MP by Liverpool Riverside MP Louise Ellman in favour of the Merseytram City Centre to Kirkby line, there appears to be agreement there too. There?ll be differing opinions of in favour/against/don't cares by MPs of all parties.

As for the objections by some councils, well I don't know how many times I?ve posted this but I?ll say it again - the Trafford Centre was opposed by no less than 9 neighbouring authorities including the mighty Manchester City Council - so there! As you ended your reply on a lol then so shall I - lol!

Dave Moorcroft
9   Posted 26/04/2008 at 22:31:53

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Madden, You are forgetting a very important point here. Most Evertonians don't want to go to Kirkby. Even more so now that your Luvvie BK and KW have been exposed as LIARS. The so called vote is proved to be a total fraud, eg "deal of the century" ? and it's going to cost fuck all to us "And we will be left with virtually no debt"

They have made our club a laughing stock. What they are doing is tantamount to a rape of some sort. They have stripped the club of most of collatteral assets, and now they are about to sell the actual soul. And you can bet your bottom dollar they will cut and run to their big houses in the country. They only care about themselves. I cant believe some people are taken in by these greedy cunts.

David Kiely
10   Posted 26/04/2008 at 23:16:32

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Madden - try to think things through.

The impact of the massive Tesco proposed retail development on a place (as you helpfully mention) just miles down the road from Kirkby will be to compromise well laid plans. As well as West Lancs, KirkbyTescoTown will also impact on the retail sector in Liverpool, St. Helens, and Sefton...hence their objections (and please dont throw your well-worn Trafford Centre horseshit in, that development was not against the grain of any local plan). As for Ellman/Howarth on Merseytram - it?s local election time...of course they want to look pro-active and collaborative.

You couldn?t make it up....

Ed Fitzgerald
11   Posted 27/04/2008 at 12:02:53

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The government will of course consider the impact of destination Kirkby upon other local constituencies. This is because of the damage it may do long term regeneration projects in neighbouring towns and just as importantly the impact of the likelihood of getting re-elected. So I will believe Rosie Cooper will be listened to not least because she represents a marginal seat compared to George Howarth.

Let?s face it TESCO are not renowned for the community friendly developments so Hazel Blears should call it in at the very least. What about Toffeeweb contributors composing a letter that outlines our concerns over the whole affair including the impact upon all the communities. This might as least help inform her thinking? Maybe someone on the editorial team can get back to me?
Robert Carney
12   Posted 27/04/2008 at 12:23:33

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Tesco to my knowledge have never lost a planning appliciation or any following public enquiry. It is now beginning to look inevitable that the move takes place. The future looks increasingly bleak for Everton Fotball Club.

Wyness and Kenwright will be names of hate for decades after this. But will they be around to listen to it. I bet not.
David Kiely
13   Posted 27/04/2008 at 15:33:49

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Robert - Tesco have been rebuffed on many occasions on planning. Go to the Tescopoly website for prrof of that. The fact that a public inquiry will drag on for - in all-likelihood for a massive project like the one proposed - a year or more will effectively scupper Everton?s interest in it.

An inquiry, as the club and Tesco have admitted, will end this matter.
Eric Myles
14   Posted 28/04/2008 at 02:49:07

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For those of you that favour a call-in of the scheme why not sign the petition?
Gerard Madden
15   Posted 28/04/2008 at 16:24:39

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Correct Robert. Tesco haven't lost a stadium and regeneration project yet. ?David Kiely? you cant compare the few Tescopoly situations where Tesco have failed in their bid to build a store/an extension in a particular area (usually Tunbridge Wells!) in projects that dont have the support of the local MP or even local council and don't have massive regenerative benefits and a situation where the political affinities of the local MP/local council clash. You can't compare all that with the remarkable coming together of interests that Kirkby has.

The worklessness town has a supportive Labour MP, a supportive council, a supportive populous (apart from the usual small unrepresentative residents group who shout loud), and is a project led by two well known long term ?friends? and donators of the Labour Party and Govt in Sir Tel (an ?advisor? to the PM no less!) and BK who both badly (along with the council) want this £400m regeneration project to succeed.

My money is on no call-in at all, I was thinking for a time that maybe a compromise would eventually be reached where the Secretary of State might decide (and she has the power to do this ? she?s done it before) for a ?call-in? but strictly lay down a short term time-limit ? for example say late July to early October, because she can see the viewpoint of the developers over a major delay. This would still leave enough time to get the stadium up for August 2010. However, I?m feeling increasingly confident that there?ll be no call-in whatsoever.

Paul Lally
16   Posted 28/04/2008 at 18:26:56

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This is not over regardless of the side a ’politian’ declares himself.
See Tom Hughes, Trevor Skempton on this site and KEIOC site.
There are alternatives - there always has been but according to Wyness - no plan B at the time of the vote !!!!
Very strange but with no alternative the vote had a far better chance of falling the way he wanted it to.

Re-develop Goodison -
see specialised reports saying it is viable. See St James Park - bigger footprint at GP.
Walton Hall Park -
Sainsburys expressed an interest
The Loop -
Bestway are not a small company and the site is big enough.
Shared stadium -
both clubs cannot afford new stadiums - As the oldest club in the city should we not have first choice over Stanley Park ? Both clubs or neither.
Massive worldwide marketing and financial opportunities.

Or you can simply put on the voting form which includes a glossy brochure;

Kirkby -
for nothing: Deal of the Century.
No plan B

The alternatives have and are there to be investigated further.
Why the rush ??????
The most important decision in our history.

More power to KEIOC and everyone else out-there who feels we are being rail-roaded.

We are pround of being ’The People’s Club’ and it looks as if people power is the only way we are going to be able to halt this decision and force the board to look at the alternatives.
Whay do we have to force the board ???
You would think they would want to ensure they had done everything within their power to exhaust all possibilities before making such a historic decison, which they clearly have not done.

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