Updated: Jul 12
It feels as though the decision makers at Wirral Borough Council (WBC) have already made up their mind and don’t really want to hear from the people (taxpayers) of Hoylake, Meols and West Kirby that they want a traditional, natural sandy beach.
The public consultation has launched and already there are number of hindering factors, which WBC probably knew about before launching.
1. The Consultation Questionnaire is not accessible for every resident.
WBC did not provide paper copies from the outset when the consultation was launched and our understanding is that they had no intention to provide these either.
Its only been as a direct result of a lot of pushing from HBC that offline consultation questionnaires have now became available. (Collect from Hoylake & West Kirby Libraries* see below for more details).
2. The Chair of WBC environment committee (who has made no secret of the fact she personally wants a grass beach and is a supporter of the Facebook group Hoylake Beach - The Evidence, which strongly pushes for a grassy beach), has utilised her connections with self proclaimed botanical expert Josh Styles and his rather famous mate Chris Packham. The pair have been tweeting to their followers from across the UK and beyond, encouraging them to complete the consultation questionnaire. How can this be fair!?!
Surely a public consultation on Hoylake Beach is for the people in the immediate vicinity… OR even the whole of the Wirral. But NOT randoms who don’t even know where Hoylake is, never mind actually having set foot on the beach and understanding the negative impact that taking away this much needed amenity is having on locals health and well being. They don't know what joy the sandy beach has brought locals.
WBC SHOULD have asked for council tax reference numbers to ensure that people completing the consultation questionnaires are from the local area, because these are the people that the outcome is set to affect.
3. The consultation questionnaire has been poorly designed with misleading elements - such as something so basic as stating the rating rationale. For example, on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being highest, 10 being lowest, rate x,y and z. This has been omitted.
As a person who has designed questionnaires for large market research companies previously, this is an immature attempt at a consultation questionnaire. I would urge people to demand it be redesigned professionally as its misleading… I know, (head in hands) its been designed to get the answers WBC want. BUT it SHOULD be impartial.
It’s sad to say, despite our best efforts as HBC, all our campaigning is in a popularity contest with Chris Packham and his half a million followers (557,100 to be exact). And not in a fair consultation process to find out what the local people want. This is what we have always been led to believe, that our voices would truly be heard and our opinions taken into consideration. We have been waiting a long time for this day and now its being made a mockery.
So come on people of the Wirral… lets give this a really good fight. We need you now more than ever…. If you are reading this, please, take a moment to click on the link HERE and complete the form. It doesn’t take long.
We are in danger of having our only outdoor space for recreation and leisure being taken from us forever.
We have been campaigning for a compromise for so long. We have always said we are not asking for the whole beach to be returned to sand, just the traditional setting from Kings Gap to the RNLI station, with the rest being left to the grasses.
Now is the time… so get your Mum, Dad, Gran, cousin, friends, colleagues, anyone you know to spend a few minutes to complete the consultation questionnaire… only together can we make a difference.
*Paper Copies from Hoylake & West Kirby Libraries
West Kirby Library Open 6 days a week 9am to 5pm (closes 1-2pm for lunch)
Hoylake Library Monday 9am - 5pm (closes 1-2pm for lunch)
Saturday 9am - 1pm
The Potting Shed on Market Street has forms available for you to collect & complete. They have also kindly offered to receive completed forms and return to the council. Please return in a sealed envelope.
WBC will have officers at Hoylake Community Centre for residents and business owners to ask questions about the beach, these take place next week from 11am to 7pm. No need to book a slot, you can just turn up.
Dates: Tuesday 12th, Wednesday 13th, Thursday 14th and Friday 15th July.
: Hoylake Beach Community, is a voluntary group who since the formation in October 2021, have been asking WBC for a compromise that will suit all. Hoylake Beach Community are not affiliated with any other group. HBC only use two forms of online communication. This website and a Facebook group which anyone is welcome to request to join. Search Hoylake Beach Community. HBC do not use any other social media.
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WRITE email / write to non- supporting councillors, Lib Dem, Green and
Independent Councillors. Councillor contact details on the below link:
Thank you! Remember, genuine supporters of a compromise for Hoylake Beach to be restored to sand should join our Facebook group. Search: Hoylake Beach Community