Liverpool City Council refused Engage’s application for the Waterfront to be designated as a Neighbourhood Forum for the purposes of delivering a Neighbourhood Plan. Despite overwhelming support from residents and a Forum membership from across the whole Waterfront and including as many businesses as residents, the Council felt that the Forum should be refused because some businesses and landowners objected and did not want to take part in the process.
This obviously raises serious concerns about the possibility of the Localism Act being implemented in Liverpool if the City Council is to disallow applications when powerful interests object rather than facilitating a process of bringing different and divergent views together to see if an agreement can be reached to allow everyone who lives and works on the Waterfront to play a part in shaping the future direction of the neighbourhood.
It seems to Engage that if we are to be a progressive and global city we need to encourage rather than discourage attempts to deliver a greater democratic accountability especially in the realm of place shaping. We will not allow this set-back to deflect us from our project of enabling everyone who lives in an area to work together with those who work there and visit it to bring forward plans for growth and development that take into account everyone’s ideas and vision.