Sefton Council speeches – Sometimes they are completely off the subject.

I have previously commented on the happenings at Sefton Council on Thursday 22nd January when the Council’s Local Plan was being debated.

One thing I have not mentioned though so far is the rather off the subject contribution of one member of the Council. You see this Labour councillor had to be told to stick to the matter being debated, by the Mayor, rather than carry on with his vision of how socialist revolution was benefiting Maghull Town Council and seemingly Maghull as a whole.

He made a number of claims, before he was advised to stick to the Local Plan by the Mayor, including the old chestnut of it supposedly cost £500,000 to repair Maghull Town Hall roof. It actually cost less than half of that i.e. £206,816.79 – I know because I asked the Town Clerk for the exact figure due to Labour’s fantasy £500,000 figure oft being quoted by them. Check if you don’t believe me.

He also made some odd reference to Maghull Town Hall being run like some kind of private club prior to Labour taking control of the Council in 2011.

Goodness knows what he was on about; I have been on Maghull Council for nearly 30 years and it has never been any such thing at all, indeed I have always thought of it as being more a community centre than a town hall. I am told that it was called ‘Town Hall’ because Maghull Community Association was already in existence and there was a feeling that calling it ‘community centre’ may lead to confusion.

The only ‘club’ in the Town Hall, if you want to refer to it as such is Maghull’s unique Youth Coffee Bar and it is certainly not one of Labour’s favourite things as they have blocked the funding of the Youth Council that runs it and closed it a couple of times without consulting the young people who are meant to learning life skills by managing the the facility themselves. I have blogged about this before, the last time being associated with Nickie Smith stepping down as its main adult support due, in part, to the disinterest of guess who, oh yes, Labour-run Maghull Town Council!

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/11/03/maghull-youth-council-nickie-smith-a-big-thank-you-and-a-nagging-sadness/

So next time a Labour member gives a ‘come the socialist revolution’ speech maybe they can remember the right figure for the cost of the Town Hall roof and how their party was hardly a friend of Maghull Youth Coffee Bar Club.

Who was it that said it?

Aintree’s railways

I have recently purchased copies of some really good old photo’s from the National Railway Museum’s collection in York. 3 of them relate to Aintree and here they are:-

Aintree Coal sidings - April 1911

Aintree Coal sidings – April 1911

Aintree Racecourse Station - 1912

Aintree Racecourse Station – 1912

Aintree Sefton Arms Station - April 1913

Aintree Sefton Arms Station – April 1913

The photos are amongst my Flickr shots at:-
www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Wheelie bad joke

A Carmarthen traffic warden is being investigated after giving a £30 ticket to a wheelie bin because it was parked on double yellow lines. John McEvoy, Carmarthenshire Council’s traffic and safety manager, said: “Although this was meant as a humorous incident, we take this kind of thing very seriously.”

The Daily Telegraph & The Times ran this article.

Goodness knows what punishment Eric Pickles would want to hand out to the ‘owner’ of the bin. By the way did you see him being interviewed on the TV recently in connection with litter bringing down house prices? All he was able to say, as far as I could understand him, was that the litter was the fault of by-weekly collections of wheelie bins. Excuse me but litter is normally chucked on the floor by those who do not give a damn for their community!

With thanks to the LGiU for the lead to this story.

Maghull Town Council – Just how many houses would the planners have had to have dumped on Maghull before the Town Council said NO?

I really have no idea what figure Labour would have finally baulked at despite being a member of the Town Council as an opposition councillor. This Labour-run Town Council have made some tentative noises about concerns they may have about the Local Plan (which is dumping many hundreds of houses on the Town) yet the Council, in my view, is still a long long way from really fighting for the Town.

Green Belt campaigners outside Maghull Town Hall at a previous meeting.

Green Belt campaigners outside Maghull Town Hall at a previous meeting.

Last night we Lib Dems voted to oppose the Town Council’s submission to the Planning Inspector who will assess Sefton Borough Council’s Local Plan. We did so because the Town Council is still basically going along with the Plan whilst saying there could be a few issues around infrastructure that worries it. Not good enough.

That’s more like sitting on the fence than fighting for Maghull. I told Labour members that I would have far more respect for them had they fought and lost rather than not have fought at all. But they continue to hide behind their survey conducted in 2013, a survey we Lib Dems would not back as in our view it was flawed. And I would add it’s a survey which I am now told has had all its background data destroyed! Bearing in mind that I had asked to see this data quite some time ago and was told by the Council that the information was held by the Labour Party, I now find it has been disposed of. Read into that what you wish.

Our bottom line is that Maghull Town Council, under Labour, has not robustly stood up for the Town. It has not taken the fight to the Planning Officers of Sefton Council and Maghull is now going to have 100’s and 100’s of houses dumped on its Green Belt and high grade agricultural land. Why if the Town Council (then Lib Dem run) could fight and win a similar battle with the planners in 1998 did Labour think it was a good idea not to put up a fight this time around?

Frankly I can’t get my head around this socialism lark; it’s all smoke and mirrors. Labour having told Maghull folk they were going to save the Green Belt then vote to build on it via Sefton’s Local Plan! Party politics before local people is one answer but hang on a minute the local Labour MP says the Local Plan needs to go back to the drawing board or words to that effect. I reminded his councillor comrades of that last night and told them that on this I was with the MP over his advice to ditch the plan and and start again with a community based approach. However, just like last week at Sefton Council the MP’s councillors utterly ignored their own MP!

But don’t you feel that a Local Plan is a very municipal socialist thing for Labour to want to put together anyway? They love dictating what they think is good for us, trouble is this Plan is a hopeless Local Plan

Oh yes, a couple of other gems from last night. The environmental campaigners who attended last week’s Sefton Council to lobby against the Local Plan were criticised by Labour for not staying for the debate on Sefton Council’s budget. Environmental campaigners generally were also criticised by Labour for not opposing the new Switch Island to Thornton Link Road. The spurious link here being that Labour said the land could have been used for 600 house instead of the road. Yes, I can’t quite get my head around that argument either!

This carry on resembles a Brian Rix farce and Maghull is being very poorly served in my view. When it comes down to it did Maghull Town Council under Labour not put up a fight because their bosses (Bootle Labour) had already decided what was going to happen?

Maghull – Sefton Drive and Cheshire Lines Path is a dumping ground!

Having had complaints from residents I took the photos below on 21st January. Frankly the whole area is a mess of litter and dog fouling.

It is not a new problem but it is one that is getting worse. I have asked Sefton Council to try to clear the area up.

The sad thing is that this area is the end or the beginning, depending on which way you look at it, of the section of the Cheshire Lines Path Maghull to Southport stretch. Goodness knows what visitors think never mind what the Sefton Drive residents have to put up with on their door step.

Cheshire Lines 1

Cheshire Lines 2

Cheshire Lines 3

Cheshire Lines 4

Sefton Drive

British pubs dying out and its no different in Sefton Borough

Residential developers are targeting pubs to convert into homes, as many struggle to make ends meet. The Guardian newspaper cites figures from the Campaign for Real Ale, which show that 29 UK pubs a week are shutting down, double 2011’s rate. Around a third of the 1,722 pubs which shut last year were in London and the South East – highlighting the sheer demand for homes within the region.

Former Cabbage Inn - closed

Former Cabbage Inn – closed

This is a subject I have been following at a local level for some time now and yes our pubs are in crisis in Sefton Borough just like other places. Here’s a links to my previous postings on this subject:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/07/18/saving-pubs-at-risk-of-closure/

One thing that is rarely mentioned is that often these struggling and closing pubs are of real architectural merit and are landmarks in their community. Better that they find a new sustainable use than that they are demolished to be replaced with nondescript modern buildings.

STOP PRESS

Just as I was about to publish this posting I picked up on this:-

Pubs offered lifeline

Pubs considered important by local communities will no longer be converted by developers without planning permission under new legislation proposed by the government who say that over 600 pubs have been nominated as assets of community value so far. If memory serves the closed Priory Pub in Litherland is one of the 600.

The Daily Telegraph and Guardian covered this recently.

With thanks to the LGiU for some of the information in this posting.