EXCLUSIVE: Supermarket giant Asda backs campaign to save Ingleborough Road memorial field (From Wirral Globe)
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EXCLUSIVE: Supermarket giant Asda backs campaign to save Ingleborough Road memorial field
SUPERMARKET giant Asda has joined the campaign to stop Tranmere Rovers selling its former training ground to make way for a housing development.
The club re-submitted its controversial proposals earlier this year to sell nearby Ingleborough Road playing fields to make way for a new housing estate.
It also wants to transform Woodchurch Leisure Centre in Carr Bridge Road for use as a new training ground.
The plans have been mired in disputes with campaigners who want to preserve Ingleborough’s historic role as a memorial to Birkenhead Institute pupils who died in the First World War.
The field is skirted by 88 trees which were introduced in 1931 as living memorials, one for each fallen soldier from the school.
In a letter to the Wilfred Owen Story group this week, Asda's director of external affairs and corporate responsibility, Paul Kelly, said: “We are currently working with the charity Fields in Trust to protect and secure a community grass roots legacy of outdoor open spaces.
"I am also writing to Wirral Borough Council today to express our support for the campaign to save Ingleborough Road Memorial Field."
The campaign is led by Oxton musician Dean Johnson and supported by Fields in Trust and the Wilfred Owen Association.
He said: “You somehow expect these corporate giants to be on the other side, in favour of development - obviously times are changing.
“The unacceptable face of capitalism is getting a makeover. We are very pleased about this”.
Ben Harrison, chairman of the Tranmere Rovers Trust, said: "The desire to create a legacy of outdoor open spaces to celebrate the success of 2012 is exactly why Tranmere's planning application should be given the go ahead.
"The planning application to redevelop Ingleborough includes the construction of fantastic, state-of-the-art sporting facilities in Woodchurch for use by all Wirral residents for the benefit of generations of youngsters on the peninsula.
"At the moment, Ingleborough does not offer free, local outdoor space for sport, play and recreation and its retention would not fulfil this vision.
"Ingleborough is private land, not a publicly accessible field, and approval of Tranmere's plans would significantly enhance the sporting provision on the Wirral and enable the club to expand the outstanding Tranmere in the Community scheme, which takes a host of charity, health and well-being initiatives to local residents."
Wirral Council said that to date it has not received Mr Kelly's letter.
EDITOR'S NOTE: I’ve decided to close the comments thread on this story today.
Not because of the abuse thrown at commenters who disagree with pro-development campaigners, although heaven knows that has been bad enough.
Not because of the continuing attacks on my chief reporter Craig Manning, although that has been rude and entirely unwarranted.
No, the reason I’m stopping the thread is because of this shocking comment from someone calling themselves Yogz66.
It marks a low point in this “debate” and shows exactly how perspective has been lost.
“oh dean, yawn yawn yawn. was that you standing by the war memorial, doing your best neville chamberlain impression "i have in my hand, a letter from asda...."repeating the same arguements, 88 fallen, 88 poplars yada yada yada.”
88 fallen yada yada yada?
Yawn yawn yawn?
Apparently the issue galvanising Yogz is whether it was 88 or 83 young men from the Birkenhead Institute who lost their lives in the trenches.
I don’t really have the words to explain the pointlessness of that argument, it’s actually beyond me.
But I have seldom read such crass disrespect shown to Wirral’s war dead.
That it appeared on a website edited by me is a source of regret and no little shame, and I apologise to readers for not reacting to it sooner.
It seems a small section of the Tranmere Rovers support has no boundaries, has no consideration whatever for those young men from the town who gave their lives for their country.
You may or may not agree with the development plan; whichever side you take is entirely your choice - it’s a free country. And it would be a good time to take a moment to think about why Britain IS a free country.
But there is such a thing as honouring the dead, no matter how urgent the Ingleborough planning issue seems.
I offer this advice: read some history of the unspeakable horror that was the Great War and, more importantly, show some respect for the war dead of Wirral.
Leigh Marles, Editor.