Status of Bidston Court Lodge & Gardens

Jim Barrington made this Freedom of Information request to Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Wirral Borough Council,
Please can you confirm the current status of Bidston Court Gardens and Bidston Court Lodge. Are they still public assets under the Stewardship of Wirral Borough Council.

If still in public ownership:
Who maintains Bidston Court Gardens and at what cost?
What is Bidston Court Lodge being used for?
Were either of these considered for disposal under the recent strategic asset review? If so can you provide further details and outcomes?
Is the Council open to approach regarding the proposals for their use?

If no longer in public ownership:
When were they disposed of and where can relevant information be found regarding their disposal?

Yours faithfully,

Jim Barrington

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Good Morning,

Thank you for your email below, please see answers alongside your original
questions and I hope you find this information of use.

Kind Regards

Jane Corrin

Information Manager

 

This information supplied to you is copyrighted to Wirral Council and
continues to be protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
You are free to use it for your own purposes, including any non commercial
research you are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other
reuse, for example commercial publication, would require our specific
permission, may involve licensing and the application of a charge

 

 

From: Jim Barrington [mailto:[FOI #52212 email]]

Sent: 18 November 2010 18:17

To: InfoMgr, FinDMT

Subject: Freedom of Information request - Status of Bidston Court Lodge &
Gardens

 

 

 Dear Wirral Borough Council,

 Please can you confirm the current status of Bidston Court Gardens and
Bidston Court Lodge. Are they still public assets under the Stewardship of
Wirral Borough Council.

I can confirm that Bidston Court Gardens is Public Open Space classified
as a Local Park, in the Council's ownership.  The Lodge is a listed
Building.

 

 If still in public ownership:

Who maintains Bidston Court Gardens and at what cost?

Although the Council do not have a separate cost centre for the park, we
estimate it costs about £5,800 per year to maintain. The garden is of
historical interest because it was once the garden to a large residential
property that the owner moved and is now called Hillbark House at Royden
which is now a hotel.

 

 What is Bidston Court Lodge being used for?

The Lodge is a private residential property and not in public ownership.

 

Were either of these considered for disposal under the recent strategic
asset review? If so can you provide further details and outcomes?

Neither were part of the Strategic Asset Review.

 

 Is the Council open to approach regarding the proposals for their use?

 The Council would consider any proposals in respect of the gardens.

  

     If no longer in public ownership:

     When were they disposed of and where can relevant information be

     found regarding their disposal?

 The lodge was sold by the Council in May 1991 and we hold no detail on
the current owner.

 

Yours faithfully,

   

Jim Barrington

    

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Dear InfoMgr, FinDMT,

Thank you for your very complete and detailed response. Could you please tell me if there is any information regarding the disposal of Bidston Court Lodge by the council in 1991. Was the sale of this listed building a matter of public record and public consultation? How much did the council raise from the sale of the lodge? How was the sale advertised? I know the council disposed of several buildings around this time. Is there anywhere I can find, or can you provide any more detailed information? Many thanks.

Yours sincerely,

Jim Barrington

Corrin, Jane, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Good Afternoon,
Thank you for your email below, please see answers alongside your
original questions and I hope you find this information of use.
Kind Regards
Jane Corrin
Information Manager

This information supplied to you is copyrighted to Wirral Council and
continues to be protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act
1988. You are free to use it for your own purposes, including any non
commercial research you are doing and for the purposes of news
reporting. Any other reuse, for example commercial publication, would
require our specific permission, may involve licensing and the
application of a charge

Dear Corrin, Jane,

Once again I would like to thank you for your response. I would be most grateful if you could provide further details if available regarding the disposal of Bidston Court Lodge by the Council in 1991 under the Right to Buy Legislation. As previously requested:

How much did the council raise from the sale of the lodge?
How was the sale advertised or was this a direct approach by the tenant at the time?

Additionally, it is my understanding the original gates to Bidston Court were sold to Liverpool and now stand at Calderstones Park. Does the council have any records regarding this sale - e.g. when the sale took place and how much was raised as a result of the sale, or the reasons why the gates were sold at all.

Also, if at all possible the original location of these gates. Is it known whether they were the gates to Bidston Court Lodge which eventually led to Bidston Court via a driveway from the lodge, or whether they were the gates to Bidston Court itself.

Thank you for your efforts and responses thus far.

Yours sincerely,

Jim Barrington

Corrin, Jane, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Good Afternoon,
Thank you for your email below, please see answers alongside your
original questions and I hope you find this information of use.
Kind Regards
Jane Corrin
Information Manager

This information supplied to you is copyrighted to Wirral Council and
continues to be protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act
1988. You are free to use it for your own purposes, including any non
commercial research you are doing and for the purposes of news
reporting. Any other reuse, for example commercial publication, would
require our specific permission, may involve licensing and the
application of a charge

show quoted sections

Dear Corrin, Jane,

Further to your last response I have undertaken some extra research with regards to Bidston Court Lodge and the mystery of the missing gates.

The gates which originally stood at Bidston Court were located at the entrance to Bidston Court Lodge. At some time between 1973/1974 the gates were removed from Bidston Court Lodge and were presented to Liverpool City Council at the suggestion of Sir John Tilney (Member of Parliament for Wavertree 1950-1974).

The gates were subsequently re-erected in March 1974 at Calderstones Park in Liverpool at the end of what is known as the Rhododendron Walk.

Questions:
1) When did Bidston Lodge and Bidston Court Gardens pass into the hands of the Council?

2) Does the council have any records or information relating to how Sir John Tilney acquired the gates for Liverpool Council and if any public consultation took place? I know this was a long time ago but is it possible records of this will still exist?

3) When did Bidston Court Gardens get landscaped and at what cost? Do any records (including photographs) survive detailing the original condition and design of the gardens and the plans for the landscaping?

4) Do any of those involved in the original landscaping of Bidston Court gardens still work for the council?

5) I am told Bidston Court Lodge has been the Park Police HQ, a Polling Station, Rangers Office and Park Warden Accomodation. Do any records exist of other purposes the council have used it for in the past and approximate dates?

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Jim Barrington

Corrin, Jane, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Good Morning,
Thank you for your request shown below. I passed your enquiry to our
Council Archivist who has done some research and suggests the following
course of action to you. Your questions are of an archival nature and
the Archivist suggests the following sources of information are
available to you which may hold answers to your enquiries

* Minutes of Birkenhead County Borough Council

* Minutes of Wirral Borough Council

* Minutes of the Parks and Gardens Committee

* Minutes of the Estates Committee

* Local newspapers, particularly the Birkenhead News.

* Private collections whose references are YHD/1/12, inc.
YHD/1/12/4; YWS/2/26; YIS/2 and 6

The Archivist also advises that you also contact Liverpool Record
Office, if you have not done already.

You are welcome to visit the Archives in Birkenhead and can either
carry out the research yourself or contact our Council Archivist who
will be happy to advise you further. Further details are available via
our website at
http://www.wirral.gov.uk/my-services/lei...
-service/news-and-events#

I hope this information has been of use to you.
Kind Regards
Jane Corrin
Information Manager
Wirral Council

Dear Corrin, Jane,

Thank you for the updated information and the very detailed suggestions. Please also pass my thanks on to the Archivist who has been kind enough to look into this and provide points of reference. I will of course follow up on your suggestions and contact the Wirral Council Archivist and Liverpool Council for further investigation into this matter.

Another issue has arisen recently which is directly connected to this request. It seems the sign which identifies Bidston Court Gardens as a public park has been taken away from the gates marking the entrance to Bidston Court Gardens.

1) Is the Council aware the sign has been removed from Bidston Court Gardens and if so for what reason and when will it be replaced?

2) Does the Council have or know of any plans to close Bidston Court Gardens as a public park and dispose of this public asset now or in the future?

Yours sincerely,

Jim Barrington

Corrin, Jane, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Good Afternoon,
Thank you for your recent request for information shown below. Please
see Council's responses below which I trust you find of use.

The Council is aware that the entrance sign is missing. It was removed
some time ago, after it was defaced and vandalised beyond repair.
Although the Council has no immediate plans to replace it at the present
time, we do hope to replace it at some point in the future dependant on
funding.

The Council has no plans to dispose of the park.

Kind Regards
Jane Corrin
Information Manager
Wirral Council

This information supplied to you is copyrighted to Wirral Council and
continues to be protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act
1988. You are free to use it for your own purposes, including any non
commercial research you are doing and for the purposes of news
reporting. Any other reuse, for example commercial publication, would
require our specific permission, may involve licensing and the
application of a charge

Dear Corrin, Jane,

It has now been a full twelve months since this request was first made and Bidston Court Gardens still does not have a sign at its entrance designating it as a public park. Please could you please:

a) Provide an update on when a sign will be put in place;
b) Provide the cost for the sign to be made and installed;
c) Provide an update on plans by the council for the ongoing maintenance and preservation of Bidston Court Gardens;
d) Provide an update as to whether the council intends to dispose of Bidston Court Gardens.

Many thanks

Yours sincerely,

Jim Barrington

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Hello Jim Barrington

 

Thank you for your request below, Wirral Council can provide the following
information.

 

 

a)         A new sign for Bidston Court Gardens has been ordered and
should be ready for installation in the next six to eight weeks. 
Regrettably the sign previously installed was destroyed in an arson attack
when a stolen car was set on fire.

 

b)         The cost of the sign and installation will be approximately
£200.

 

c)         Bidston Court Gardens remains a public park and will be part of
the regular maintenance schedule for Parks staff in this area.  If you
have any concerns about the maintenance of this site, please contact Dave
Grealis, Area Manager, on 678 3555.

 

d)                There are no plans for the Council to dispose of Bidston
Court Gardens.

 

I hope that you find this information of use.

 

Kind regards

 

Tracy O'Hare

FOI Co-ordinator

Information Management

CH41 6BU

 

This information supplied to you is copyrighted and continues to be
protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.   You are free
to use it for your own purposes, including any non commercial research you
are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for
example commercial publication, would require our specific permission, may
involve licensing and the application of a charge

 

 

Jim Barrington

Dear InfoMgr, FinDMT,

Thank you for your timely response. It is good to hear a new sign has been ordered and will be installed at Bidston Court Gardens over the next few weeks.

You may also be interested to know the original gates which marked the entrance to Bidston Court Lodge were presented to the city of Liverpool at the suggestion of Sir John Tilney (Member of Parliament for the Wavertree division 1950-1974)when he was retiring. Apparently this was permitted because Wirral had become part of Merseyside instead of Cheshire. The gates were re-erected at the entrance to Calderstones Park in Liverpool in March 1974 and can still be seen there today.

Yours sincerely,

Jim Barrington

Dear InfoMgr, FinDMT,

It appears the new signs designating Bidston Court Gardens as a Public Park still have not been installed. Please can you explain the delay and when they will be fitted.

Yours sincerely,

Jim Barrington

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Good Morning

 

Thank you for you your request below, Wirral Council’s technical services
department can provide the following information in response to your
enquiry:

 

The signs are part of an equipment order request that will be submitted
for approval shortly. Subject to the request being approved it is
anticipated that they will be fitted by the end of October.

 

Thank you for your enquiry, I hope you find this information of use.

 

Kind regards

 

Tracy O'Hare

Information Management

Wirral Council

 

This information supplied to you is copyrighted and continues to be
protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.   You are free
to use it for your own purposes, including any non commercial research you
are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for
example commercial publication, would require our specific permission, may
involve licensing and the application of a charge

 

Dear InfoMgr, FinDMT,

Please can you provide details of whether the sign denoting Bidston Court Gardens as a Public Park has been made and when it will be fitted.

Please can you provide details of plans by Wirral Borough Council regarding the protection and maintenance of Bidston Court Gardens in light of recent spending reviews.

Please advise if Wirral Borough Council intends to dispose of Bidston Court Gardens and if so under what circumstances, to what type of seller and for what amount of money. If so, does it have buyers already interested and is it possible to identify them.

Is Wirral Borough Council still open to discussion about the future of Bidston Court Gardens, particularly in light of the Localism Bill. If so please provide details of the best person to contact.

Yours sincerely,

Jim Barrington

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Good Morning,

Thank you for your enquiry below.  Please see attached document and also
text below as our response.

I hope you fond the information of use.

Kind Regards

Jane Corrin

Information Manager

Wirral Council

 

Please can you provide details of whether the sign denoting Bidston Court
Gardens as a Public Park has been made and when it will be fitted.

 

The sign has not been supplied and fitted due to Wirral’s Council’s
expenditure freeze.

    

     Please can you provide details of plans by Wirral Borough Council
regarding the protection and maintenance of Bidston Court Gardens in
light of recent spending reviews.

 

The management plan for the site is attached.

    

Please advise if Wirral Borough Council intends to dispose of Bidston
Court Gardens and if so under what circumstances, to what type of seller
and for what amount of money. If so, does it have buyers already
interested and is it possible to identify them.

 

There are currently no plans to dispose of the site. However due to the
Council’s budgetary position the Council’s landholdings, including park
sites, will be reviewed and as a Council owned park site Bidston Court
Gardens will be included in that review.

    

 Is Wirral Borough Council still open to discussion about the future of
Bidston Court Gardens, particularly in light of the Localism Bill. If so
please provide details of the best person to contact.

Yes, Wirral Borough Council is open to discussion about the future of its
park sites including Bidston Court Gardens. For further discussion please
contact Mary Bagley, Parks and Countryside Service Manager, telephone 0151
6663226, email [email address]

 

 

 

Dear InfoMgr, FinDMT,
It has been some time since this FOI request was originally made and I am writing to ask for up to date information on the status of Bidston Court Gardens.
I recently re-visited this lesser know public park and was disappointed to discover there is still no proper sign denoting it as a public park. Please advise when this is being created and put in place. You will note from earlier requests this has been promised for some time now. How much does a sign cost and when will it be made and fitted?
I was also disappointed to note the tree roots have caused a lot of damage to the yellow brick paths and these are now uneven. Is there a plan of action to remedy this and if so when will these paths be repaired and restored to original condition please?
Please also could you provide an update to Wirral Council plans for Bidston Court Gardens. It is rumoured there are plans to sell off part of the land/car park for house building. Please could you confirm if this is true or not.
Many thanks
Jim Barrington

Yours sincerely,

Jim Barrington

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Barrington

 

Thank you for your recent Freedom of Information request regarding Bidston
Court Gardens.  Please see the Council’s response to your enquiry below.

 

“I recently re-visited this lesser known public park and was disappointed
to discover there is still no proper sign denoting it as a public park.
Please advise when this is being created and put in place. “

Response - The previous sign had been damaged and removed. A new sign has
been ordered and is to  be installed by the end of December 2017.

 

“You will note from earlier requests this has been promised for some time
now. How much does a sign cost and when will it be made and fitted?”

Response - The sign will cost approximately £200 including fitting to the
wall. It will be made and fitted by end of December 2017

 

“I was also disappointed to note the tree roots have caused a lot of
damage to the yellow brick paths and these are now uneven. Is there a plan
of action to remedy this and if so when will these paths be repaired and
restored to original condition please?”

Response - The damage to the brick paths is being repaired by an ongoing
repair programme, where the priority sections are repaired every winter.

 

“Please also could you provide an update to Wirral Council plans for
Bidston Court Gardens. It is rumoured there are plans to sell off part of
the land/car park for house building. Please could you confirm if this is
true or not.”

Response - The 2011 Management Plan for Bidston Court Gardens has not been
updated. There are no current plans to sell off part of the land or car
park for housing.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Lynette Paterson

Senior Information Management Officer

Business Services - Digital

 

Treasury Building

Argyle Street
Birkenhead
Wirral
CH41 1AH

 

[1]Tel: 0151 691 8201

[2][Wirral Borough Council request email]

 

 

[3]LGC Awards15_Winner_MIP

 

 

This information supplied to you is copyrighted and continues to be
protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.   You are free
to use it for your own purposes, including any non commercial research you
are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for
example commercial publication, would require our specific permission, may
involve licensing and the application of a charge

 

 

 

 

 

References

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