Make a Difference

Do let us know if you have an item for the newsletter or if you want to help your association in any way, because

Together We Can Make a Difference

Advertisements

Leave a comment »

Brownfield Sites 42/44, 46/48 & 77 Egerton Park – 19th July 2018

The following message was emailed to our list of contacts on 19th July.   If you wish to be added to our contacts, please use the reply box below giving us your email address, name and house number, and we will reply to you.

“Residents will be interested to know that Wirral Council have identified a list of brownfield sites where more homes could be built, in order to meet government targets.   The 91 sites identified include 42-44, 46-48 and 77 Egerton Park.   Councillor George Davies stated that it was the council’s policy to make use of ‘brownfield sites’, protecting as much of the green belt as possible.   The residents’ committee have met with Councillor Davies and council officials several times over the past two years and have been lobbying for development of these sites which finally appears to have borne fruit.

“There are still questions to be asked about what type of developments will take place, and the committee will be keen to ensure that any developer ensures that any damage to the road surface is repaired before they complete the sites.   Nonetheless, the residents’ committee welcomes this news and hopes that the council will follow through on their proposals in due course.

“Watch this space!

“For more information –

Full list of locations where MORE Wirral homes could be built to hit government targets

Leave a comment »

Minutes of AGM – 20th June 2018

Egerton Park Residents’ Association

Minutes of Annual General Meeting

held at The Lauries, Birkenhead

at 7pm on Wednesday 20th June 2018

Attendance:       11 residents plus 5 committee members.

Apologies:          1 apology

1. Welcome and Introductions

The chair and treasurer’s reports had been circulated prior to the meeting.   It was the committee’s intention that an informal style of meeting should encourage discussion and debate from those present.

2. Derelict Properties

The chair reported on meetings that had taken place over the last 12 months with councillors and representatives of the council’s housing department.   These meetings have produced little progress as the council has no powers in respect of private owners of properties.   However, key changes in planning law mean that councils now have to meet targets regarding building on ‘brownfield’ sites, so we wait with interest to see if this has any impact on the sites in Egerton Park.

One resident asked – if a new application was to be submitted to develop one of the derelict/empty properties/sites, what would be the council’s position in light of the highway department’s previous opposition to such developments?   The committee were unable to comment as we have no idea what the response of planning or highways might be to future applications.   All we can do is to monitor applications and keep residents informed.   The chair also confirmed that, contrary to a commonly held misconception, with respect to 42-44, 46-48 and 77, the committee has never opposed any previous planning applications.   A previous application to demolish 77 and replace it with houses was opposed by the planning department, NOT the committee or residents.   Finally, it has not been possible to establish the intentions of the owner of 4 of these properties despite communication by email.

As a way forward, residents suggested a petition to all residents.   However, this would require the involvement of many more residents to assist in this, the current committee not having sufficient manpower to undertake such a time consuming exercise.   Other suggestions included lobbying our local MP Frank Field, and/or emailing the owner of the derelict properties requesting an update.   The committee will continue to check the planning website for any new planning applications and will keep residents informed by emailing those residents for whom we have contact details.

ACTION: the committee to seek a meeting with local MP Frank Field to discuss residents’ concerns over derelict sites.

3. Road Maintenance

All present agreed that the road is now in a better state than it has been for some time and that repairs appear to be holding out well against cold weather.   The committee will continue to ask residents to assist us by identifying particular patches that need work, and will continue in our policy of repairing larger patches as opposed to individual potholes.   Residents commented on the particularly good patch that has been repaired at the top entrance and the use of good quality tarmac.

A resident suggested an increase in contributions to fund future repairs, however, it was agreed that it would be unfair to expect those residents who already contribute, to subsidize to an even greater extent, those who do not pay.

4. Drains and Infrastructure

i) Drains – residents reported that a number of gullies are blocked and some have disappeared or been concreted over.    As a consequence sections of the park, particularly towards the Byrne Avenue end, are prone to flooding.   One drain has been cleared (paid for out of the maintenance fund) and the chair has requested a quote from the same drainage company for all gullies, including those in the closes, to be cleared.   It was also noted that council road sweepers rarely sweep the road in the park and that, unless this is done regularly, the drains will soon block up again.   In conclusion, our only option is to do the best we can in the circumstances and use the maintenance fund to clear gullies if and when necessary.

There followed a discussion about the council’s responsibility for certain services and their refusal/avoidance in offering these services to residents of Egerton Park because of its unadopted road status.   This is despite the fact that residents do not pay a reduced rate of community charge.   This issue has come up in relation to surface water drains, fly tipping, fallen trees, and lighting.   Also it was noted that the road sweeper should clean around the park once a month but it is certainly nowhere near as regular as this.

ACTION: The committee to seek some clarification about residents’ entitlement to council services as full payers of the community charge.   To be raised with Frank Field MP.

ii) Entrance Pillars – these require some repair work and the chair will attempt to complete this work in the summer months.   Any offer of help with this would be welcome!

iii) Lighting in Delyn Close – one resident raised concerns about the lack of lighting in Delyn Close.   The committee had previously done a lot of work on this issue, including meetings with the council, and had proposed a solution in terms of contributing towards the cost of installing lights, but residents of the close had not attended a meeting where this proposal was to have been discussed.   Residents of Delyn Close are free to raise this issue again if it is causing concern.

5. Anti-social Behaviour

One resident reported sighting youths in his driveway and another reported a burglary in the last 12 months but these occurrences, fortunately, are now quite rare in the park.   It is worth reminding residents to take more care during the summer months when windows are left open, which could lead to an increase in opportunistic thefts.   Residents should also let the committee know of any such incidents so that we can send out an email alert to residents.

6. Traffic Issues

The park already has speed bumps and we have previously replaced old and damaged 10mph speed signs.   It is difficult to see what more can be done to stop some vehicles travelling at excessive speeds in the park.   Parked cars continue to be a problem particularly visitors to Salisbury House.

ACTION: the committee to look at possibilities regarding enforcement of parking restrictions on the road.

7. Committee Membership

The committee consists of just 4 regular members who undertake most of the work.   Two of these members are directors of the residents’ association.   Current committee members have been doing this work, sometimes in excess of 10 years, and are not getting any younger.   We are desperately in need of volunteers to help and contribute new ideas, and with a view to taking on some of the committee tasks and to support its work, or there is a very real danger that the current committee will fold.

ACTION: the future of the residents’ committee should be a priority for 2018/2019, with a letter to go to all residents making clear the situation if the committee should fold.

8. Action Plan/Priorities for 2018/2019

·        Future of the residents’ committee should be a priority for 2018/2019, with a letter to go to all residents making clear the situation if the committee should fold;

·        Develop a strategic approach to issues of empty & derelict properties in the park – to seek a meeting with local MP Frank Field;

·        Continue to pursue households that do not pay towards the residents’ association funds;

·        Continue with road repair/resurfacing;

·        Ongoing vigilance and surveillance of planning applications;

·        Reporting of anti-social behaviour and other nuisance issues;

·        Keep residents informed via newsletters and occasional emails;

·        To look at possibilities regarding enforcement of parking restrictions on the road;

·        To seek some clarification about residents’ entitlement to council services as full payers of the community charge.   To be raised with Frank Field MP.

9. Any Other Business

i) Lettering on Pillars – the committee to explore options for road name signs to be fixed to the entrance pillars.

ii) Grass Cutting – a request to fund grass cutting of the verge at the entrance to Delyn Close has been refused.   As this could not possibly be a one off payment, it was felt after discussion that this was not a good use of residents’ contributions.   A question was raised as to why this has recently become a problem?   How was this issue dealt with previously?

The chair thanked all those for attending and for their support to the committee, and also thanked the committee for all their hard work over the last 12 months.

The meeting closed at 8.40pm.

Leave a comment »

Alert to all Residents – 7th July 2018

We have received information from a resident in the park about finding strange markings on a shed and downspout.   On contact with the police it is clear that these markings are used by thieves to communicate with each other and let each other know which properties are easiest to break into, and those which are not worth burgling.   There is information about this online and it was first highlighted by Lanarkshire Police in 2015.   A search for ‘burglar symbols’ will give you more detail.
.
‘Meanings include ‘alarmed house’, ‘previously burgled’, ‘good target’, and ‘vulnerable occupant’.
.
If you see any signs on your own property or anywhere in the park, the police should be contacted immediately and forensic officers are already investigating the case identified by our resident.
.
We do not have everyone’s email addresses so please pass this message on to neighbours and particularly if you are aware of more vulnerable residents.   We do not want to over react and cause unnecessary alarm but felt it was important to keep residents informed.
.
The committee would also like to know of any further incidents so we can see the bigger picture and have a view as to whether this is just an isolated incident or a more worrying trend.

Leave a comment »

AGM 20th June 2018 – Chair’s Report

Egerton Park Residents’ Association

AGM     20th June 2018   –   Report of Committee Chair

At last year’s AGM you, as residents, set the following priorities for 2017/18.   These were identical to the priorities set in 2016/17.

  •       Develop a strategic approach to issues of empty & derelict properties in the park;
  •       Continue to pursue households that do not pay towards the residents’ association funds;
  •       Continue with road repair/resurfacing;
  •       Ongoing vigilance and surveillance of planning applications;
  •       Reporting of anti-social behaviour and other nuisance issues;
  •       Keep residents informed via newsletters and occasional emails;
  •       Consider holding a ‘Clear up Egerton Park Day’.

Derelict Properties & Sites

Throughout 2017/18 we continued to meet with Moira McLaughlin, Councillor for Rock Ferry ward; Councillor George Davies, Deputy Council Leader and Cabinet member for Housing & Community Safety; and staff from the housing department at Wirral Borough Council.   The committee remains frustrated that because all the derelict sites are privately owned there is no “quick fix”.   You will also be aware that number 77 has now been destroyed by fire and the owner is awaiting a decision on its potential demolition.   At a recent meeting with our councillors and local authority it was agreed that they will now explore any available legal options to enforce the development of derelict sites.   Beyond that there has been little progress.

The Residents’ Association Funds

We have (again) carried out a regular and consistent campaign throughout 2017/18 to encourage those households that do not pay towards the work of the residents’ association that they should do so.   Every non-paying household has received invoices and reminder letters and we have responded to a range of individual queries and complaints from those who do not wish to pay.   We have continued to develop an effective database of all households’ contribution history and can tell at a glance who has paid, who is in arrears and have a complete history of contributions back to 2005.   The percentage of households paying their fees has gradually increased again this year and the majority now pay but there is still more work to do.   We propose that this remains a priority for 2018/19.

Road Repairs/Resurfacing Issues

Once again we have carried out a significant number of road repairs to both the north and south drives in the park.   By and large the road is probably better than it has been for a long time – some say it’s better than many council roads which are full of potholes!   In June 2017 we carried out £4,260 worth of road repairs and in April 2018 we carried out a further £2,730.   We hope to carry out further repairs this year before the onset of autumn.

Ongoing Vigilance and Surveillance of Planning Applications

The committee has continued to monitor any and all planning applications throughout the year although they have been few and far between.   We currently know of no major plans affecting the park.

Reporting of Anti-social Behaviour and Other Nuisance Issues

The committee remains vigilant about these issues and maintains regular contact with police community support officers and local councillors but there does not appear to have been any increase in the amount of anti-social incidents this year.   Occasionally there is some fly-tipping and we warned of a number of young people entering derelict properties, especially number 77 and this did indeed result in the arson on that property last year.

We ask all residents to remain vigilant and to report any matters of concern to the relevant authorities as and when they arise including Wirral Council’s “Street Scene” department, your local councillors and the police.   As always, the committee is happy to be kept informed of any issues but we have no special influence and rely on residents themselves to take appropriate action with the relevant department when a concern arises.   We had previously considered installing some CCTV cameras in the park but this was put on hold pending a survey of residents which we have not yet undertaken.   This will not progress unless residents are in favour.

Keep Residents Informed via Newsletters and Occasional Emails

The committee has continued to produce quarterly newsletters and our website  continues to have numerous visits throughout the year.   In addition to hand delivering the newsletters, we have posted onto the site information about a whole host of issues as well as uploading our newsletters, articles and pictures about Egerton Park history.   This seems to be very popular and we will continue to do this.   Numerous residents have used the site to contact us via email to raise our awareness on everything from local crime concerns to nuisance issues and to ask general questions or make suggestions to the committee.   If we do not currently have your email address please use the reply box below to send it to us with a note of what number you live at.

Consider Holding a ‘Clear up Egerton Park Day’

This issue has again slipped down our agenda so let us know your views at the AGM about resurrecting it.

The Committee’s Planned Priorities for 2018/19

We propose that these remain the same as in 2017/18 as above (subject to residents’ agreement at the AGM).

Once again we all owe a debt of gratitude to residents who pay towards the upkeep of the park and to the residents’ committee for their work throughout the year.

After last year’s AGM our treasurer stepped down and we were unable to find a replacement so I have been undertaking that role as well as chair.   We would really like to attract more committee members, and especially a treasurer, so if you can count to ten and think you could help us please get in touch.   We currently hold meetings about 6 times a year and it is not too onerous or time-consuming, so if you are interested in joining the committee please let us know.

Chair, Egerton Park Residents’ Association         –         May 2018

Leave a comment »

HAVE YOU LOST A RABBIT? 04/04/2018

This morning a small ‘silver fox’ rabbit was found on one of the car parks in Egerton Park.   It has obviously been well looked after and is currently being cared for by one of the committee.
.
If nobody claims it then it will be taken along to the RSPCA in Leasowe.
.
If you know a neighbour who has rabbits would you please check with them in case it is one of theirs.
.
We have already contacted everyone we have email addresses for.   If you haven’t received one of those emails but you know of the rabbit’s owner, please use the contact box below and give us your details so that we can get back to you.
.
With many thanks.

Leave a comment »

Women Unionists Egerton Park c.1929 – Eg Pk News (Spring 2018)

The women’s suffrage movement fought for the rights of all women over the age of 21 to vote on equal terms with men.  The more militant tactics of the suffragettes included shouting down speakers, hunger strikes, stone-throwing, window-smashing, and arson of unoccupied churches and country houses.   The fight for women’s votes was finally won in 1928 when the Conservative government of the time passed the Representation of the People Act.   This photo, lent to us by a new resident of the park, was taken just one year after women got the vote.   So did Egerton Park have its very own suffragists?   These women look far too respectable to chain themselves to railings!   We understand that this photo is of a charabanc outing and, if you look carefully, you can see the vehicle.   If anyone recognizes a relative in the photo or has any idea where in the park it might have been taken, we would love to hear about it.

Women's Unionist Photo - Colm 20-02-2018

 

Leave a comment »