Storm as Labour newspaper claims to expose 'Tory lies' about future of Hilbre Island

Storm as Labour newspaper claims to expose 'Tory lies' about future of Hilbre Island

The West Wirral Herald.

Hilbre Island.

First published in News
Last updated
Wirral Globe: Photograph of the Author Exclusive by , Senior Reporter

A STORM has blown up over the future of Hilbre Island with the publication of a Labour newspaper claiming Tories are secretly plotting to sell the site for industrialised gas and oil production.

The four-page “West Wirral Herald” was distributed throughout Hoylake and West Kirby this week with headlines saying it has “uncovered Tory lies” about plans for the island.

Wirral West Conservative MP Esther McVey said the paper was scaremongering and branded the assertions made in the publication “as low as politics can get.”

The tabloid-size paper says it has exposed the “Tory timeline of mistrust” over the controversial issue of fracking and Underground Coal Gasification at Hilbre and the Dee.

It warns readers that although Labour-controlled Wirral Council will fight any proposals to exploit Hilbre, its decisions “can be overturned by the Tory-led government chief Eric Pickles.”

And it says that if the islands were to be industrialised “The quality of life may be affected and house prices could suffer.”

Ms McVey told the Globe: “People can now see what they can expect from the Labour Party right up to the election.

“Devoid of policies, they have chosen instead to make personal attacks.

“Labour have nothing to say on the economy, nothing to say on welfare, immigration, Europe or how to get ourselves out of the recession they presided over, so instead they have resorted to scaremongering and desperate mudslinging.”

Fears for the future of West Wirral coastal areas were first raised after the awarding of a licence for UCG exploratory operations in the estuary.

But while the permit covers 6,900 hectares of the waterway, Hilbre Islands are within the Dee Estuary Special Area of Conservation and Dee Estuary Special Protection Area – a network of protected sites stretching across Europe.

Wirral Globe: Esther McVey said the PIP has been designed 'to update our thinking on mental health'
Wirral West MP Esther McVey.

Ms McVey added: “I wrote to residents of Wirral West who were concerned by the scare stories put about by Labour. 

"I set out the background and facts to underground coal gasification – the whole issue of UCG began in 2009 - when, under the previous government - Ed Miliband gave the green light for UCG in Liverpool Bay.  

"He even told Parliament he wanted to move forward with UCG . I don't - I will never support UCG at Hilbre Island or in the Dee Estuary.

“For Labour to be prepared to panic local residents with this relentless scaremongering for their own political ends is about as low as politics can get.”

Cluff Natural Resources holds five licences – including for the Dee area – which are the first steps on the way towards permission for UCG operations across the UK.

The company has explained its main priorities are centred on other parts of the country, but said: “Wirral is still one of the licence areas, it’s not ruled out.”

Wirral Globe: EXCLUSIVE: Council leader Phil Davies writes for the Globe - why major shake-up will make Wirral more open, more transparent and more accountable
Wirral Council leader Phil Davies.

Earlier this month Wirral Council leader Cllr Phil Davies hit out at Prime Minister David Cameron after comments he made about fracking in the borough.

Mr Cameron said that the extraction of unconventional gas can lead to competitive energy prices and creatae jobs and wealth locally, adding that if Wirral Council does not want fracking to take place at Hilbre Island, they simply do not give permission.

But Cllr Davies said: "I am totally opposed to this method of extracting gas on environmental and safety grounds.

"I am not prepared to accept what amounts to a bribe whereby an area will receive a financial sum if they agree to a well being dug for the purposes of fracking. I am not prepared to expose residents and future generations to potential ecological disaster for any price."

He said the council had stated its opposition to shale gas or coal bed methane testing or extraction, but added: "The Government however has passed a law taking away peoples’ right to object to fracking under their land. 

"Although this council would refuse permission for fracking to take place on Hilbre Island – it is possible for organisations to frack under Hilbre Island using a drill based elsewhere and we can do nothing to stop it."

 

Comments (6)

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9:45pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Wirralrob says...

Pot, kettle, McVey.

Esther produces enough hot air to power 75% of the Ford estate.
Pot, kettle, McVey. Esther produces enough hot air to power 75% of the Ford estate. Wirralrob
  • Score: 19

10:01pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Westerly9 says...

Yeah, the Tories would never put the profits of industry and commerce above those of ordinary people, would they? That would be totally out of character.
Yeah, the Tories would never put the profits of industry and commerce above those of ordinary people, would they? That would be totally out of character. Westerly9
  • Score: 20

9:12am Thu 28 Aug 14

piermaster says...

Enjoy your moment in the sun,,it finishes in May next year Mcvey.
Enjoy your moment in the sun,,it finishes in May next year Mcvey. piermaster
  • Score: 16

1:15pm Thu 28 Aug 14

Joeblogg85 says...

Clothes horse, airhead and nothing more than a tick box for the Nasty Party. I really hope she gets voted out next year. Horrible person.
Clothes horse, airhead and nothing more than a tick box for the Nasty Party. I really hope she gets voted out next year. Horrible person. Joeblogg85
  • Score: 10

6:53pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Hugo1008 says...

The main message is for the electorate of Wirral, is you have seen demonstrated the complete lack of Morals, Truth, Accountability, and Truthful Responsibility that the whole of the Wirral Borough Council have shewn and managed for the past ten years certainly, quite probably for the last twenty years.
When it come to election time if you want more of the same, then vote for the same parasites as before, and that goes for all the so called three main political parties.
On the other hand if and when you vote "Pick a New Face" especially one who does not pretend to belong to the Loonies Labour, Corrupt Conservatives or useless Liberal Democrats. it makes more sense to vote for the complete outsider, any of those cannot possibly be any worse than what we have at present and suffered before.
To re-elect any single one of those who have let you down so blatantly before is absolute madness, just do not do it.
This tactic will believe me. Quickly wake up some of the dead beats to the fact that the Wirral Population have had enough.
Think about it "Pick a New Face" will achieve spreading your money into new areas, other families will benefit from the increased income, and you know what there is more than a good chance you could elect a person who actually listens to the electorate and works exclusively on your behalf.
Now that would be a change, regardless of what your political persuasion happens to be.
For me I believe that all Political Party Politics should be removed from Local Government, local Councillors should only be working for the local population who actually pay them, their enormous Pay and Expenses in the first place. The cure to what ails Wirral is in your hands.
The main message is for the electorate of Wirral, is you have seen demonstrated the complete lack of Morals, Truth, Accountability, and Truthful Responsibility that the whole of the Wirral Borough Council have shewn and managed for the past ten years certainly, quite probably for the last twenty years. When it come to election time if you want more of the same, then vote for the same parasites as before, and that goes for all the so called three main political parties. On the other hand if and when you vote "Pick a New Face" especially one who does not pretend to belong to the Loonies Labour, Corrupt Conservatives or useless Liberal Democrats. it makes more sense to vote for the complete outsider, any of those cannot possibly be any worse than what we have at present and suffered before. To re-elect any single one of those who have let you down so blatantly before is absolute madness, just do not do it. This tactic will believe me. Quickly wake up some of the dead beats to the fact that the Wirral Population have had enough. Think about it "Pick a New Face" will achieve spreading your money into new areas, other families will benefit from the increased income, and you know what there is more than a good chance you could elect a person who actually listens to the electorate and works exclusively on your behalf. Now that would be a change, regardless of what your political persuasion happens to be. For me I believe that all Political Party Politics should be removed from Local Government, local Councillors should only be working for the local population who actually pay them, their enormous Pay and Expenses in the first place. The cure to what ails Wirral is in your hands. Hugo1008
  • Score: 1

9:59am Mon 1 Sep 14

hobroW says...

Second that with full emotion , Hugo
Second that with full emotion , Hugo hobroW
  • Score: -1

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