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Is Liverpool City Region’s Year of Environment just ‘greenwash’?

Liverpool City Region’s (LCR) flagship environmental initiative has rejected an approach from the Save Rimrose Valley campaign to work together.

This is despite encouraging statements made by the Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, ahead of its launch, in which he wrote:

“…while Year of the Environment is a golden opportunity to showcase our stunning natural assets – it must also be used to start a conversation on how we protect and preserve them for future generations.” [1]

Gideon Ben-Tovim

Responding to the campaign’s approach on behalf of the Metro Mayor and the 2019 Year of Environment team, the LCR’s environmental advisor, Gideon Ben-Tovim, wrote:

“The Year of Environment… has agreed that it will not in principle support site-specific campaigns, and so we would not be able to be identified with your organisation and activities.” [2]

Stuart Bennett of the Save Rimrose Valley Campaign commented:

“It is deeply disappointing that our campaign cannot be associated with the Year of Environment initiative. Many of our supporters had seen this as an ideal opportunity to raise the profile of the potential destruction of Rimrose Valley by a four lane highway. This clearly falls under the LCR’s remit and is the single, biggest environmental issue facing the people ofNorth Liverpool. Our campaign is directly linked to many of the initiative’s core themes [3], yet apparently, it doesn’t even warrant discussion.

“If Steve Rotheram genuinely wants to ‘start a conversation’ and for this initiative not to be seen as greenwash, then he needs to support campaigns like ours. Otherwise, future generations won’t have much green space to enjoy.

“We urge Steve Rotheram to reconsider his team’s approach and encourage anyone who disagrees with it to contact his office and let him know how they feel.”


[1] Taken from Steve Rotheram’s Foreword on 2019 Year of Environment Website:

[2] Taken from Gideon Ben-Tovim’s email to Save Rimrose Valley Campaign – copy available on request

[3] The 8 2019 YoE Themes

Of the 8 environmental themes identified by the initiative [3], this Scheme will have a huge impact on 5 of these, namely, Air Quality; Climate Change & Resilience; Green Spaces, Habitats & Biodiversity; Connecting and Engaging with Nature; Health & Wellbeing

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