There’s been a lot happening since our last update, and it’s taken time for enough detail to emerge for us to be able to update people meaningfully. We’ve decided to drop the ‘weekly’ from the name of the update going forward – it was maybe a bit ambitious to say that we’ll update people on a weekly basis when actions can sometimes take longer than that before there’s something worth saying.
We’ve put together a Project Timeline showing how the legal planning process works and when things happen. Please click here to view it. We’re working on a graphical version at the moment.
We’ve been asked why we’re only starting the campaign now when it’s too late, and that we should have started a long time ago, so we want to set the record straight:
- Rimrose Valley Friends started the campaign back in 2015, with our first of many announcements and activities being on 17th April 2015 and we held a public meeting 2nd April 2016 that was attended by around 200 people. Feel free to scroll through our news items from the start if you want to see what we’ve been doing since the beginning.
- In December 2016 Rimrose Valley Friends was instrumental in helping to launch SCAR (Sefton Communities Against Roadbuilding) to try to bring everyone together to fight against both options. We put a lot of effort into posting leaflets into tens of thousands of homes, including those on Dunningsbridge Road, Church Road and Princess Way. The aim was to raise public awareness and to encourage everyone to make their objections known.
- We’re not too late, the time is now. We’re at the start of the formal planning process and now is our chance to sway opinion ahead of Highways England’s ‘Pre-application’ consultation phase which they have scheduled for Spring 2018. Our local elected representatives know the strength of feeling and are completely onside, so now we have to get the politicians at metro, regional and national level to understand what’s happening and why it’s bad for everyone.
The leaflets for our first leaflet drop are intended to raise awareness, more leaflet drops will follow.
They have been designed and are currently being printed. You can download the leaflet here. We will get them delivered with the help of our volunteers as soon as possible.
Huge thanks to everyone who has volunteered so far to deliver the leaflets. We really appreciate it and want you to know that your offer has been noted and the leaflet coordinators will be in touch very soon. In case you don’t hear back for any reason, we will soon be creating a leafleting event on our Facebook group. Please look out for it on there.
It’s going to be a very big job to deliver the volume of leaflets we’re going to be distributing so we’ll need more volunteers than have currently put themselves forward. If you can help us with delivering leaflets please click here to send us an email to email@example.com or phone 0151 558 1105 and leave a message.
Sefton Council and our Elected Representatives
Later this month a few of us will be meeting with local councillors and Peter Dowd MP. We’ll be joined by The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) and The Campaign for Better Transport who will be giving us their full support.
We’ve been promised the full support of our elected representatives, and we’ve been told that the full resources of the council will be put to fighting this road threat, so the meeting will be to put detail around what the council and our elected representatives will be doing, what they can do to support us, and what we can do together.
We’ll report back on how the meeting goes.
Campaign for Better Transport
The Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) is being very active in their support for our cause. They’re operating at regional and national level to try and bring about the urgent and necessary political change needed to improve our chances. Also in addition to them joining us in our meeting with our councillors and Peter Dowd MP later this month, they will be meeting with the Road Action Group later that same day to help us with our strategy and action planning.
Environmental Law Foundation
The Environmental Law Foundation has secured two barristers who will be prepared to work with and assist us on a pro-bono basis as and when needed. We’re in the early stages of talking to them, helping them to understand the full scope and picture of what’s been happening.
Upcoming further Ground Investigations on Rimrose Valley
Highways England has told us that they will be carrying out further borehole drilling in the near future, similar to what they were doing back in the autumn of 2015 (see our September 2015 information on that here). We’ve asked them to tell us when it will happen and exactly where on Rimrose Valley the work will be carried out.
They have told us that the work will probably involve digging boreholes along the length of the Rimrose Valley where they intend to put the road and it should be concentrated down the centre line from one end to the other, rather than specific to what was the former ‘Whabbs Tip’ area where the boreholes were dug back in the autumn of 2015.
Highways England has told us that they hope the work will be completed before Christmas 17, but at present the scope of the work has not been agreed and a contractor has not yet been appointed. They have promised to tell us when things move forward and they have further information.
We’re putting together a Frequently Asked Questions document for publication. We will then refine and add to it over time.
We’re getting a lot of feedback from people saying that they’re desperate to see a public meeting, demonstration or protest. We’ve noted how important this is to people and we’ll report back once we’re ready to make an announcement on what we’re going to do.
We are committed to carrying out our campaign productively and legally. This means that we won’t call a public gathering just for the sake of people wanting to ‘do something’. Any public activity carried out in our name must be with the purpose of defending the people and the green space of Rimrose Valley and it must be done firmly within the law.
It’s important that we use our time and resources effectively and we need to ensure we retain our credibility with the organisations and statutory bodies we have to work with to be effective.
That said, we are in the early stages of planning positive and productive public events to support our campaign. More information will be shared at the right time.
‘Grow your Tenner’ Fundraising Campaign
On 17th October we will be launching our fundraising campaign through Local Giving. Local Giving has secured £200,000 of funding to be shared amongst all the good causes it works with nationally, and for every £10 donated they will match it with another £10! If you’d be willing to contribute some money to our campaign, please put 17th October in your dairy, and on that day click our orange ‘Donate Now’ button to contribute £10 so it gets doubled for us:
The campaign will run for as many days as it takes for the money to run out – so it’s first come first served.
As always, thank you for your support