Video Attacks Knowsley Council over Greenbelt

By on Thursday, April 21, 2016

A short film by a local election candidate criticises Knowsley Council for failing to save the borough’s green spaces.

The 10-minute video, by Paul Woods, documents how in 2000 the council sold six acres of the King George V Playing Fields in Huyton, despite a 1991 promise by then-Council Leader Jim Keight that the land would and could never be taken away from the public.

It goes on to describe the more recent furore over the removal of protection from over half the borough’s greenbelt, as part of the Knowsley Local Plan.

Despite many of them having voted against giving up greenbelt on town and parish councils, borough councillors said the government had forced their hand when they voted unanimously in favour earlier this year.

The move means that developers are now free to build houses on previously protected land.

Paul_Woods“I made the video to show how the Council have destroyed our greenbelt in the past, and how they continue to do so,” said Paul Woods.

“Our greenbelt is not an infinite source. One day there will be none left for councils to profit from, if they carry on in the same way.

“But they get away with it because there is no opposition. I believe it is time that they had some opposition.”

Mr Woods – whom a Labour councillor infamously maligned in a leaked email last year – is standing as an independent candidate for Stockbridge Ward on 5 May 2016.


  1. Kathy murray

    Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    Its about time Knowsley Council were exposed and what a way to do it, brilliant little vid speaks for itself.
    Well done Paul Woods , i hope you win in the election you so deserve it

  2. David roche

    Friday, April 22, 2016 at 7:13 am

    Good luck mr woods we need to stop taking are green belt.

  3. Janet L

    Saturday, April 23, 2016 at 8:18 am

    I have just watched your clip and am absolutely astounded.I have no strong views either for or against the sale of greenbelt land but was horrified to see how a Labour council could ride roughshod over the views of the people it represents and prevent debate and due process.Do we really live in such a totalitarian state?Regardless of anyone’s views on individual issues surely the voters of Knowsley must now see the need for other parties to be represented on the council to provide some balance.

  4. DJ

    Saturday, April 23, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    in 2004 i saw a plan for a 55 plot housing estate covering the BICC social club and Prescot leisure centre site. When I pointed out to the council leaders that the land was bequeathed via various covenants from King’s College to the People of Prescot. i showed the council bods a copy of the covenant and it was great to see them turn white!!

    Sadly, they’ve still managed to build on the swimming baths site but leave the eyesore that is the old BICC. And managed to spend close to £1m on replacing the astro turf pitches not once but twice!!! (quotes i received came to £125k). Strange when budgets are so tight?

    Being blunt, all land deals done by Knowsley are dodgy. They spend 3x to 8x more than they need to via ‘official suppliers’ who get the contracts…

    Prescot needs to control its own destiny. Knowsley are not fit for purpose be it education, land deals, corruption, incompetence and generally employing stupid people at all levels.

    vote out the idiots in May.

  5. JohnJ

    Thursday, April 28, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    In the January Knowsley Challenge, Cllr. Mike Murphy proudly announced “we will still retain 49% of the borough’s greenbelt”. What an achievement! Predictably, the public consultation about this development plan, which ended in October 2015, didn’t seem to feature at all in the council’s distributed media beforehand. Surprisingly few people seem to be informed in advance of proposed development decisions; one former councillor revealed that often the first he and colleagues would hear of them was in the meeting at which the full council is expected to give rubber-stamp approval to “cabinet” decisions.

    I have just received our local Labour candidates’ election leaflet full of “promises” to the people of Prescot. Now I have lived here long enough to remember other such promises. When the Rainhill High School annnexe off Delph Lane was closed the Council promised that “only the footprint of the existing buildings” would be used for development. Then the whole site, including the playing fields, was built over with housing. (Calls for the nearby land surrounding the old Delph Lane quarry to be made public recreational space were also ignored, and the land sold for housing.) Belatedly, the community was given the plot of low-lying land behind the school site, off Two Butt Lane, as public green space. That is now included in the 2016 sell-off.

    We get the government we deserve. The historic solid Labour support of Knowsley residents allows councillors to treat us with contempt. A view of, or access to, green space is for “hard-working” car owners and golfers, just as the Tories would like.
    “I looked from pigs to men and from men to pigs, and already I could not tell the difference.” (George Orwell, Animal farm)

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