15 Nov 2019

A Green MP for Birkenhead

My vision is a Birkenhead that is both prosperous and green.
Birkenhead has enormous potential. But, for decades under the
Labour party and the current MP, that potential has remained
untapped and our town has suffered badly.

That has to change. I’m proud that, at the local level, the Green
Party has ended the days of one-party rule in Birkenhead. That
has forced the council to pay us far more attention. We now need the same energy and the same fresh thinking from a new MP with a proven track record of achievement for Birkenhead.

Our town can be a leader in renewable energy. We have large
amounts of land that can be transformed with warm, affordable
housing and truly sustainable communities fit for the 21st century. This will give us the platform for a public transport revolution that is an essential response to the Climate Emergency.

If you want fresh thinking, fresh ideas and fresh energy then vote Green on December 12th.

7 Nov 2019

General Election, Birkenhead Constituency

I'm delighted to be standing as the Green Party candidate for the Birkenhead constituency in the forthcoming general election and speaking out on our key election messages:

Yes to Europe: We have always believed the public should have the final say on Brexit. We demand a people’s vote and will campaign to Remain.

No to climate chaos: Every Green vote helps speed up climate action. This means cheaper energy, better transport, warmer homes and thousands of decent new jobs.

A fairer Britain: A Britain of ‘us and them’ led to the Brexit vote. Our policies will transform Britain so it works for everyone.

If you need to get in touch with me about the campaign then please email: Pat4Birkenhead@gmx.co.uk

If you want to donate to the campaign please support our Crowdfunder.

19 Jul 2019

Finally, a climate emergency in Wirral

Seven months ago, I asked Wirral Council to declare a climate emergency. Sadly, the other parties failed to back me.

This week, the council finally caught up and has now recognised climate breakdown as an emergency. You can listen to my contribution to the debate at (20.05) via this link.

Our amendment (copied below) and the wider Climate Emergency motion won unanimous support and will help shape council policies in the future.

This is another sign that the entire debate and public sentiment around climate chaos is moving in the right direction.

Green Party motion proposed by Cllr Pat Cleary, seconded by Cllr Chris Cooke:

After the existing motion, add the following:

Specifically, Council requests the Cabinet to:

Set senior leadership responsibilities across all departments reflecting that the climate emergency relates to all aspects of the council's activities

Prioritise the climate emergency as part of a wider partnership ensuring the Cool Wirral initiative has clear reporting links with other strategic partners

Implement a long term climate emergency communication programme including a dedicated web site and a dedicated mailing list to build a network of interest groups

Adopt appropriate decision making tools supported by a staff and member training programme. This to include:
  • the reintroduction of environmental impacts in committee report templates
  • the reinstatement of carbon budget reports
  • robust carbon/sustainability appraisals for all significant plans and strategies
Establish a cross - department task group to draw up a council climate emergency action plan.

27 Feb 2019

Hoylake Golf Resort #2

As a postscript to yesterday's post on the Hoylake Golf Resort, here is a telling email I have received from a Labour party member. The knife edge vote on Monday clearly demonstrates that people have the opportunity in May to change the make-up of the council which would hopefully kill off this folly.

Dear Councillors

I find it very disappointing and telling that the only responses to my email came from Conservative and Green Councillors. They seem to be the groups listening to public opinion. 

As a Labour party member I find this doubly disheartening. The development goes against Labour principles and policy and it is shocking to see Labour whipped to support such a destructive vanity project. 

I've spoken to many people on Wirral about this and it wouldn't surprise me if the public makes their feelings known with their vote in the future - and who can blame them...

Wirral council seems to be intent on environmental, community and their party's demise with their commitment to the development. It's my hope you change your stance soon. If not, and it saddens me to say this as a committed Labour supporter, but a Green or even Tory vote will be needed to end this s*** show, and the public are sadly starting to realise this.

26 Feb 2019

Hoylake Golf Resort is a failure of political leadership

Last night there was an extraordinary meeting of full council to debate the Hoylake Golf Resort scheme. 

This has long been a hugely controversial proposal which has sucked time, energy and cash from where its really needed and what Wirral people support which is regenerating East Wirral. How much further advanced would Wirral Waters be if we hadn't wasted so many of our resources on the hugely unpopular scheme.

By a single vote on one motion Labour won the day but they are clearly losing the war. It is a real failure of political leadership that this scheme ever saw the light of day never mind the failure to now pull the plug.

Below is the speech I gave which you can watch here (at 1.14.30) on the council webcast.

Firstly, I’d like to sincerely thank the work of the Stop the Hoylake Golf Resort group. Their detailed and dogged analysis has systematically challenged the economic and environmental credentials of this scheme.

Anyone who watched the recent call-in on the local plan will have heard the cabinet member for housing say more than once “none of us councillors want to build on the green belt”.

The simple truth is by promoting this scheme, and allocating huge amounts of public funds that could have been invested where really needed, the leader and cabinet have persistently demonstrated that they do want to build on the green belt.

And, there can therefore be no surprise if the public simply do not trust this council to protect any of our green belt. 

So instead of rebranding this scheme as the Celtic Manor Resort let’s start calling it what it really is – “The Hoylake executive housing in the greenbelt” scheme.

But the public loss of trust extends way beyond the green belt. This scheme is a poster project for unsustainable development. It assaults every key environmental concern that we face.

Take biodiversity: we know that, on a global scale, humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970. Just last week, the UN warned us that the world's food supply is under 'severe threat' from loss of biodiversity.

In response, Ireland’s President Michael Higgins said “Around the world, the library of life that has evolved over billions of years our biodiversity is being destroyed, poisoned, polluted, invaded, fragmented, plundered, drained and burned at a rate not seen in human history. If we were coal miners wed be up to our waists in dead canaries.

Yet here we have Wirral council still promoting a scheme that will devastate our own biodiversity in a key location for wildlife. Apart from the destruction caused by new roads and buildings, golf courses require, on average, seven times the amount of chemicals as farmland.

Take air quality: we know that Wirral fails to meet World Health Organisation safe limits. Some of our residents are literally chocking to death on the air they breathe. Many others have their health impaired.

Yet here we have plans to spend £17 million of public money to build a new road which we know will increase traffic and further damage our air quality.

And as for climate breakdown it’s almost as if a scheme based on the wealthy flying in to play a round of golf and flying home again has been deliberately designed to wind up the surging ranks of climate campaigners.

When striking school children tell us they feel let down its exactly this kind of outdated, 20th century thinking they are referring to.

On more than one occasion I heard a former cabinet member for the environment refer to the Hoylake Executive Housing Scheme in the green belt as “my kind of socialism”. 

But now we learn that Celtic Manor do not recognise trade unions, use zero hours contracts and do not pay the living wage.

If the cabinet thinks this is an acceptable form of socialism then it is no surprise that they have failed to carry their own party members with them. 

Surely nobody who calls themselves a socialist could vote for this elitist scheme.