Boots the Chemist – Just how long does it take to make a shop disabled accessible?


Whilst Boots have been chasing Ed Miliband about because of his anti-business policies I wonder if they could find a moment to address the issue I raised with them ages ago i.e. the lack of disabled accessible arrangements (a big step) up to their Maghull Westway shop. It’s only been 14 months since I published the posting above!

Sefton Council Local Plan – Opposition Leader says Labour Council Leader got his facts wrong

Cllr. Iain Brodie Browne

Cllr. Iain Brodie Browne, Leader of the opposition on Sefton Council, has been doing a bit of number crunching since Sefton Council’s Labour Leader, Peter Dowd, made some claims which Iain thought were erroneous at the last Council meeting about school places. Iain’s checks on one particular school in Southport seem to prove that he was right to be sceptical of the Labour Leader’s stats.

I am aware of others doing similar number crunching on school places following Cllr. Dowd’s speech which had quite a number of us scratching our heads about his claimed number of vacancies.

Labour-run Sefton Council wants to build thousands of houses on Green Belt and high grade agricultural land in Sefton Borough (including a vast ‘New Town’ bolted on to the east of Maghull’) and their Local Plan is the way they trying to do that.

You can read Iain’s blog posting on this matter via the link above.

Mental health – We need to invest in it

I received this letter by e-mail yesterday and have to say that it raises an issue that is far too often swept under the carpet. I am lucky having not suffered mental health problems but let’s face it we all know someone who has and they probably didn’t get the support from the NHS they needed.


Hi Tony,

I’ve had mental health problems and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

These problems became worse when I went to university. I’d been struggling with my health and had been seeing health professionals for some time. When I went to university I moved away from those services and found that without the support I’d been receiving it was too much. Unfortunately, for me it meant dropping out.

Many universities and their student unions have put a lot of resources into their mental health and welfare services. When access is easy they can be used to their full potential, providing a lifeline for those who are finding it hard to cope. But many new students struggle to get access to this support at a challenging time in their lives. Some, like me, slip through the gaps.

My story didn’t have to end the way it did. Mental health is the elephant in the room at university, with 6 in 10 students saying they haven’t believed a fellow student who said they had mental health problems. That has to change.

We need to end the stigma of mental health and talk about this invisible illness that affects so many of us. It is never acceptable that someone is denied their chance to fulfill their potential because they are ignored or shamed.

This is why I’m campaigning with Liberal Youth and the Liberal Democrats to end the stigma. Will you share yours with me today?

All stories are anonymous—and you don’t have to be a young person to share.


Liberal Youth

P.S. Need to talk about Mental Health? Mind can help.

Labour V Environmental Campaigners – It’s getting rough for Labour in Sefton

I commented a couple of days ago about how environmental campaigners in the Sefton Central Constituency have targeted Labour Councillors following them approving a Local Plan for the Borough of Sefton which no one I have spoken to has a good word for.

Well the battle lines have really been drawn now as the campaigners, who are independent of the main political parties, are presently delivering the first edition their own newspaper called ‘Sefton community Matters‘.

I continue to stand with these campaigners as indeed does the Lib Dem opposition group on Sefton Council. We share a common agenda but respect the independence of environmental campaigners.

I was pleased to see the campaigners use the photo below that I took at the recent Sefton Council meeting on the front page of their newspaper.


PEOPLE BEFORE POLITICS is their slogan and its a good one too. Indeed, it has been one used by Liberals and Lib Dems for generations in our battles against the Tory and Labour establishment.

Green Belt – London being urged to follow Sefton model?

Open up green belt to solve London’s housing crisis

A report, co-authored by planning consultancy Quod and the London School of Economics’ Paul Cheshire, has called on the capital’s local authorities to review rules protecting green belt land around the city. It calls for homes to be built in certain areas as part of a push to address the city’s housing shortage. The report claims brownfield sites are the “first and best option” for development, but that a large chunk are “poorly connected and costly to develop”. “Londoners should be able to get greater value from the green space that surrounds them. This can be achieved in a way that also sees a limited amount of green belt land used to accommodate more homes,” it concludes.

The Financial Times covered this.

Do folk who advocate building on Green Belt know nothing of why it is there in the first place? The environment that we depend on is being destroyed each time the Green Belt is eaten away for building purposes and when the Green Belt is also high grade agricultural land, like in Sefton, we remove land on which we grow our food.

Southport Chapel Street Station in old photos

I picked up some old photos of Southport Station not so long ago from the collection of the National Railway Museum and a visit to the excellent Atkinson on Southport’s Lord Street also brought me face to face with another old photo of the Station. Here they all are, reminding us all of how important the Station has been to the Southport community over the years:-

Click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

From a display in The Atkinson - Lord St. Southport

From a display in The Atkinson – Lord St. Southport






The last 3 photos were taken in May 1919. The others are of unknown date.

The photos are amongst my Flickr shots at:-