Knowsley Abandons Brown’s Field Sell-off

By on Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Knowsley Council has abandoned plans to sell off 10 percent of the borough’s parks and green spaces, including Brown’s Field in Prescot.

Campaigners have railed against the plan, which would have used £40 million from the sales to establish a trust to look after the remaining 90% of parks.

The historic King George V Playing Field on Wood Lane, known locally as Brown’s Field, is the only green space of its size in Prescot. As well as being popular for family, leisure and sporting activities, it is the venue for the Prescot Carnival, which attracts an estimated crowd of 5,000 people annually.

Local Liberal Democrats and Greens united with locals to publicly protest the sell-off, and Prescot Town Council also opposed it, submitting an alternative proposal to the borough council, suggesting an alternative strategy to save Brown’s Field.

Then-Council Leader Cllr Andy Moorhead spearheaded the plans, which were passed by his cabinet in November 2017, but disappointing local Labour election results in May this year saw him replaced by Cllr Graham Morgan (pictured).

The lack of public support for the plan was further exposed when the New York Times cited it as a consequence of government cuts in a front-page article about austerity.

Now Cllr Morgan has announced the parks sell-off will no longer go ahead.

“The message from local communities has been loud and clear on this issue – they value our parks too much to lose them,” he said.

“With this in mind, I am going to take forward a proposal to reinstate the £1.3 million of council funding for the parks and open spaces budget from April 2019.

“We will still have to make savings to balance our budget, and that is not going to be easy, but we know that our residents want us to look elsewhere.”

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