Croxteth Hall, Farm and Park are important to a lot of people in this city – including me. Only last year I commissioned a £600,000 refurbishment of the Hall, after 60 years of neglect. The Hall is magnificent once again and I intend to make sure the Park and facilities continue to be the pride of Liverpool for many years to come. But Government cuts means we have less than half the money we used to. I have always said that changes, forced on us by the Government, will affect everyone. For example, it will affect those who use our parks as well as the thousands of vulnerable people who will be left without a care package. This is just one example of the difficult choices we have to make.
I am fully committed to a strong future for Croxteth Park, but we have to look at doing things differently, especially in places like the farm which costs us £200,000 a year to run. Let me remind people that we get no money from Government to help with facilities like this – regardless of how popular they are.
So, we are talking to partners and organisations like Larkins Farm and others about entering into a partnership, not only to keep the farm open but also invest and develop it for the future. The walled garden in the Park is a great example of what we can do when we work with partners – keeping it open to the public and well maintained thanks to those committed to the area, like Myerscough College. I welcome their support to maintain a loved resource and in the future we will have to rely on more partnerships like this. But nobody should doubt that we are and have been working very hard to find solutions to challenges like this – where we can find innovative ways of working with others in the future we will.