Tim Farron – Don’t bleed the poor

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This is powerful but very clear message. You will notice which Labour Party leadership contender is missing from their line up i.e Jeremy Corbyn as he voted, like our local MP’s John Pugh (Lib Dem) and Peter Dowd (Lab), against the Conservative’s Welfare Bill.

Sefton Local Plan – Residents take on Council spin

A commentary on Sefton Council’s bizarre Local Plan process from Malcolm and Joan Gore of Maghull:-

I read with interest this weeks article [Champion newspaper of 22nd July] on the Local Plan and Councillor Maher’s [Council Leader] comments but feel there should be a few points of clarification.

Firstly the new figures are from the D.C.L.G. a government department and would be the same irrespective of which party is in power.

Secondly, what the Council decided was to submit the plan as it stands but to immediately review it in light of the new statistics. To this end they are providing the inspector with details of sites, previously rejected and some new ones, that developers have applied for since the plan was passed.

They promise to consult with neighbouring authorities, hoping that they will increase their housing provision but as they all have already had their Local Plans passed, this is a bit of a “red herring”. In fact if Sefton had produced a plan quicker, we would not be in this predicament.

This means that if the plan for 615 houses is adopted the Council can then review it and build even more houses, wherever they want, without consultation, with Lydiate and Maghull Green Belt taking an even bigger hit.

The 615 figure has always been vigorously contested by everyone, so now the figures are approaching the ridiculous. The council should be disputing these household projection figures, which has seen Sefton’s rise from one of the lowest in the country to one of the highest in the space of a few years but why would they when originally back in 2013, the third draft plan option was to build even more houses on more greenbelt land.

Malcolm and Joan Gore

Maghull residents.

Rail Curves – Vital rail connections – 3 projects come to mind

Curves on railways – in reality pieces of hardly or never used track/trackbed that folks are campaigning to have reinstated so that better services can be delivered.

I can think of 3 of them in the north west of England:-

The Burscough Curves – They should connect the Ormskirk – Preston and Southport – Wigan lines but were taken out of use in the 1960’s. OPSTA, John Pugh (MP for Southport) and others across the political spectrum have be fighting for years to get the curves brought back because Southport – Preston trains would be a possibility and indeed Ormskirk – Southport trains as well. Sadly, the powers that be continue to drag their heels whilst giving tea and sympathy.

Looking towards Wigan at Burscough with the Ormskirk - Preston line crossing the Southport - Wigan line via the bridge. The Burscough Curves would reconnect these two lines.

Looking towards Wigan at Burscough with the Ormskirk – Preston line crossing the Southport – Wigan line via the bridge. The Burscough Curves would reconnect these two lines.

The Todmorden Curve – It has recently been reinstated and trains from Burnley will be able to reach Manchester far more quickly. Burnley’s last MP Gordon Birtwistle was a big driver for this work to be done.

The Halton Curve – down near Runcorn/Widnes and it looks like it is on the verge of being slated for reinstatement. When it is it will improve rail services for Merseysider’s and folks in North Wales.

So two out of 3 north west rail curves (2 out of 4 in reality as the Burscough Curves is plural of course) is not bad but rail travelers in West Lancashire and Sefton should not rest from their campaigning until all 4 are slated for being brought back into use.

The Snake Davis Band at Playhouse2

Remember that great soul group M People with Heather Small on vocals? Well Snake Davis was their saxophone player who has long had his own band.

Keith, my Lydiate chum and I have been to see this band many times across the north of England and last night we went to the Playhouse2 in Shaw near Rochdale to see them once again.

www.playhouse2.org/

These are quality musicians who thrive on playing jazz/soul music live and a packed theatre saw and heard a great performance.

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Playhouse2 is a great small venue for plays and concerts and we have now gone over there quite a few times with more visits planned. It is run by volunteers, is friendly, welcoming and simply a delightful place to go for a night out.

The photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Lydiate – Latest on those wind farm proposals – Developer to hold consultation event 5th August

Readers will recall that this is a subject I have commented on numerous times before.

My last posting is available via the link below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/07/04/ince-blubdelllydiate-what-ever-happened-to-those-wind-farm-proposals/

To recap, Coriolis Energy submitted a proposal for a wind farm at Lower Alt a couple of years ago (to the west of Lydiate and east of Ince Blundell on land in West Lancashire) but subsequently it fizzled out. At the time, Lydiate Parish Council, Ince Blundell PC and many other groups and residents objected to the proposal.

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This is what Lydiate PC submitted to West Lancs Council in response to the original proposal:-

Lydiate Parish Council, having taken account of local concerns and the recent public exhibition held in the Parish, wish to raise the following concerns and objections to the plan that is presently before West Lancs Borough Council.

• We have significant ecological concerns regarding the location of the proposed development. They relate to negative potential impacts on bird species and designated breeding sites within Sefton and within West Lancashire.

• In our view the plans do not consider the effects of the proposals on the agricultural land. There is a high proportion of ‘Best and Most Versatile’ agricultural land in the area and its potential loss is a significant concern.

• The area in which the development is proposed is low lying and thinly populated. The landscape has wide open views. The local character of the landscape will be hugely and negatively impacted on by this proposal.

• Noise generated by the proposed development is a significant concern.

• Shadow Flicker – again a significant concern of Lydiate residents.

As I suggested in my last posting Coriolis are now looking at their proposal again and they have booked the Lydiate Village Centre to hold a public consultation session on Wednesday 5 August 2015 (2pm to 4pm).