I wanted to give you an update on the Walton Hall Park situation, in a bid to avoid any confusion or misleading information.

As you may know, we have just recently released a copy of the outline feasibility report. This is an independent report which investigated the potential of a Walton Hall Park project as a whole. The report looks at statistics such as crime, education and unemployment figures and goes on to look into the difference a regeneration project could make to the area. This report is in no way a plan or agreement; it is simply an independent view of the maximum possibilities. But I felt it needed to be shared with people of the area and City.

It would be irresponsible of us to allow anyone to come to us with any proposal, for anywhere, without us taking a full, in depth look at the situation. As mentioned – this report is looking only at the potential of the project. It is not a plan and the figures used within it are looking at the maximum possibilities. I know there will be some people who will use these figures and portray them as facts or agreements but I cannot stress enough, this is simply an independent review of the maximum potential.

There are currently no plans on the table from Everton FC, nor have I had any secret discussions about plans or seen any drawings. That might be hard to believe for some but it is the case. I have heard and seen rumours and myths being shared on social media and before you know it they’re being treated as fact. Scaremongering by political opposition is something I am use too but in their excitement, they have allowed their intentions to be quite blatant. I would ask people to be careful not to be fooled by the political opportunists who are latching on to campaigns only to win votes – nothing else.

I understand people’s frustrations and worries and as a result there have been a lot of accusations flying around about me. Some offensive, some insulting and some just baffling. I’m big enough to take the insults on the chin but I would like to take this opportunity to put a few things right.

1

Liverpool City Council have been working closely with both of the city’s football clubs for nearly 10 years to help them in their pursuit of new stadia. I fully expect Everton to have been working on plans and proposals because, if they hadn’t, this whole thing would be pointless. However, what they do is up to them, but there have been no plans presented to the Council and we certainly haven’t been planning anything ‘behind closed doors’. I, like you, look forward to seeing them.

2

I’m not sure what documents this person is referring to but they certainly aren’t plans. The 130 acre figure is the size of the whole park. I can categorically state, whatever happens, we will not be losing 130 acres of Walton Hall Park – far from it. The park that will remain will be a vibrant, beautiful park that will serve its purpose not only to the community of Walton but to the rest of Liverpool.

3

Liverpool City Council’s role in the Walton Hall Park Project would be to regenerate the park, ensuring it is a park brought back to life, living up to its potential and being enjoyed by all. This means protecting greenspace as well as facilities that are already there – Sports Centre included.

4

I don’t know whether this one comes under the insulting, offensive or baffling category? It probably ticks all three boxes. It goes without saying that I have never stated any such thing. I am as passionate about our parks as anyone else. I have very fond memories of spending quality family time in our parks over the years. That is why I am dedicated to reanimate the city’s parks and create as much greenspace in the City as possible.

I am not trying to be facetious in anyway but what I am doing is trying to make the point that there is a lot of unhelpful and wrong information being bandied about which is getting in the way of us working together going forward.

We have been listening to residents and we will continue to do so throughout this whole process. We have a designated team who will answer any questions and we will continue to keep you involved every step of the way.

Regardless of what the perception may be to some, we care about your opinions. They will be listened to, they will be taken on board and they will make a difference.

We will continue to be open and transparent throughout this whole process, there’s nothing more I can offer you at this point other than that. Once there is more to talk about, you will hear from me direct. Until then please direct your comments and questions to http://www.waltonhallparkproject.co.uk/

Joe


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