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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

“Kirkby land deal takes from the poor and gives to the rich”


Angry Knowsley residents are accusing Councillors of acting like “Robin Hood in reverse” over plans to sell public land to Tesco for a fraction of its market value. The allegation comes in the light of a decision by Councillors to sell the land at Kirkby for only £12 million to further controversial plans for a massive Tesco store, Retail Park and an Everton FC stadium.

Spokesperson for the Kirkby Residents Action Group, John Fleming commented:

“At last we can see the shameful truth behind this extraordinary deal. Residents in the UK's poorest borough are having their precious assets sold for a fraction of their real value to allow mega-wealthy individuals to become even richer.”

KRAG believe the land sale exposes the fact that it is Knowsley Council taxpayers and not Tesco who are actually subsidising the cost of Everton's new stadium, and it is the club's major shareholders including Bill Kenwright and Robert Earl (owner of The Planet Hollywood restaurant and leisure empire) who will benefit most in the long run. John Fleming added:

“We have been advised that the true market value of this land for retail development would be five times the proposed sale value. Tesco are only able to provide a subsidy to Everton because they are already receiving the same subsidy from Knowsley Council. The new stadium will massively increase the value of Everton Football club and it will enable shareholders to cash in big time if they subsequently sell the club to investors. This is a truly shameful exercise in taking from the poor to give to the rich.”

KEIOC would remind all Kirkby residents to remember the land that was kindly provided by Kirkby council taxpayers that enabled Liverpool Football Club to develop their academy. Normally KEIOC would advise Kirkby residents to attend Wednesday's Cabinet meeting at which they will discuss the disposal of the land but the Council have decided to exclude the public on this issue.

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