Those of you who have followed our campaign for some time will know that one of our two main goals as a campaign is to try and access the ‘Westminster bubble’ and to make sure our situation is being discussed at a national level, and not just a local or regional level. The other goal is to ensure our community is aware of what’s happening and ready to fight for Rimrose’s future, and we think you’re doing a great job on that front!
In terms of our political activity, we’ve been working extremely hard on this in recent months. This ‘invisible’ work can be time-consuming and frustrating at times, as different avenues are explored, which often lead to dead-ends.
However, we hope that it is beginning to bear fruit and wanted to share a brief update with you here.
We’re happy to report that we’ve been able to arrange a meeting with the Shadow Transport Team and will be meeting with Rachael Maskell MP next month at Westminster. This is extremely encouraging and positive, as it is something the Campaign for Better Transport saw as one of our priorities.
This is because we will be able to discuss the A5036 Port of Liverpool Access Scheme at a national level. Getting this on the radar of the Shadow Transport team is particularly important, with so much political uncertainty around at the moment.
We will share an update on how that meeting goes as soon as we can.
You may remember our meeting with Clive Lewis MP last autumn. Again, this is a member of the Shadow Treasury Team, working at a national level.
During the meeting, he told us that he believed the A5036 Port of Liverpool Access Scheme would not have been approved under a Labour Government on the grounds of sustainability and decarbonisation. Not to mention the huge impact to the public’s health and wellbeing.
Following an update from Peter Dowd MP, the latest news here is that the case of Rimrose Valley has been fed into a much larger review of how the Government makes its decisions when allocating funds for such projects. This is therefore a ‘slow-burner’ as it is one part of a significant piece of work and it will be some time before we see the results.
However, we will continue to liaise with Peter Dowd MP until the findings of this review are in a position to be shared and any follow up actions specific to the A5036 Scheme have been identified.
On the back of approaching each of the main political parties in Sefton for statements on the threat to Rimrose Valley, we have been pursuing a number of different routes in an attempt to gain access to someone within the Department for Transport.
Unfortunately, this falls under the ‘frustrating’ category with neither Sefton Conservatives nor Damien Moore MP able to assist us, at the time of writing.
Instead, Peter Dowd MP has agreed to write once again to the Secretary of State for Transport requesting that he, or one of his Ministers, meet with us to discuss the Scheme.
We will let you know the outcome of this latest approach.
Finally, another of the Campaign for Better Transport's goals for us is to try and make Rimrose Valley Liverpool's cause. Not just important to the people of Sefton, or even South Sefton. The purpose of this is to foster a feeling of solidarity. We want others to know that, should they find themselves in a similar situation, we would care about their green space, not just our own.
With so much of our region having Labour MPs, there’s a real opportunity here to raise awareness at a political level and to come together to protect our green space and clean air. Each MP’s primary responsibility is to their own constituents, however, we’ll be working with both Peter Dowd MP and Sefton Council to explore what can be done on this front.
In the meantime, there is something that we can be doing ourselves.
We have a supply of “Liverpool, we need you!” flyers we are keen to distribute across the city, not just in the communities surrounding Rimrose itself. If you are willing and able to help us get the message out there by helping to hand these out, or are attending any suitable events where this could be done, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org