Again my apologies for taking a month off. I have been moving out of my offices (to work from home) and have found it more tiring than I had anticipated. Now I am back to normal service – and will start with Sefton Park’s well deserved recent award of Grade One status. For many generations, it has provided the city with a taste of the country and must be one of the most used urban parks in Britain. The recent renovations have seen its waterways improved, new cafe amenities and, thankfully for cyclists, the resurfacing of the drive around the park (which, I had not realised, was unadopted). Regular events including Africa Oyé, the Liverpool International Festival and the Liverpool Food Festival, now attract tens of thousands. The launch of the Music Festival, with the Philharmonic Orchestra climaxing the evening with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture accompanied by a stunning firework display (and for free) was an amazing experience.
Perhaps the only question mark must be over the future of Sefton Meadows. It seems incredible that the harmony of the park could be jeopardised by allowing luxury flats to be built on greenfield land for the sake of short-term monetary gain. Liverpool needs more open space, not less and this is not the place to build flats. The fact that the housing on the Garden Festival site has not been commenced seems to indicate that any demand for upmarket flats is purely speculative anyway. Awarding Grade One status should be telling the Council quite clearly – this park is exceptional, don’t compromise its uniqueness.