Sefton Labour – An apology? – Well one is certainly required

Do you think if we listened very quietly we may just hear an apology like this being muttered from Labour HQ on Maghull’s Industrial Estate?

We in the Sefton Labour Party took a bit of a pounding on 5th May in some Sefton wards and to be honest we brought it all on ourselves by not being straight with voters about the Green Belt.

Yes, we said we would defend the Green Belt and yes we put up posters saying this too. But we then voted to build on Borough’s Green Belt on Sefton Council. Indeed, we consistently voted to build on Sefton’s Green Belt.

And yes, we then blamed everyone else for us voting to release Green Belt and high grade agricultural land for development; the very land we had pledged to defend. We even attacked those who were fighting to save the Green Belt.

Well it’s time to apologise. The electors in Park, Sudell and Ravenmeols wards saw that we were saying one thing but doing another and turned to independent Green Belt campaigners as a consequence.

We in the Labour Party slagged off Nick Clegg unmercifully for his say one thing do another over Tuition Fees yet we, on a local level, found ourselves doing something similar. We are sorry for what we have done and hope the electorate will find a way to forgive us in the fullness of time.

Well sadly, it seems unlikely that Sefton Labour will acknowledge their failings. It takes a lot of guts in politics to say openly that you were wrong but Labour really does need to try to clear the air if it wants to rebuild it’s tattered environmental credentials with the electorate in Maghull, Lydiate and Formby.

Merseyrail back in 1977

I recently picked up an old publicity map of Merseyside’s local railway network published in 1977 at a time when it was being substantially redeveloped as an underground railway within Liverpool City Centre.

Merseyrail Network

Click on the map to enlarge it

You can see from the main map that the electrified services only reached Rock Ferry back then on one of the Wirral Lines (in Green). Extensions were subsequently constructed to both Chester and Ellsemere Port in later years. An additional station also appeared along this line at Bromborough Rake and a further one at Overpool on the Ellsemere Port extension. Conway Park Station is an addition to the Network too. Upton-By-Chester Station has since been replaced by Bache Station about half a mile away from it.

The Northern Line line (in Blue) now terminates in Liverpool’s southern suburbs at Hunts Cross. This extension from Liverpool Central Station (which was an overground station until the 1970’s but is now underground) along the tracks of the former Cheshire Lines Committee was yet to be completed at the time the map was drawn. Also, this southern end of the Northern Line gained a new station at Brunswick (first stop out of Liverpool) whilst Garston Station has since been replaced by Liverpool South Parkway.

Of course the former Liverpool Exchange Station was lost as a consequence of this 1970’s redesign of Merseyside’s railway network and it was replaced by Moorfields Station which is close to it but underground.

The presently named Rice Lane Station on the Liverpool – Kirkby Northern Line (in Blue) was called Preston Road Back then.

Merseyrail map

The next significant addition to the Merseyrail Network of electrified lines will be the soon to be constructed Maghull Station on the Northern Line to Ormskirk. It’s name clearly identifies its location i.e. north of the present Maghull Station which is beyond its capacity at rush hours.

Just a bit of recent Merseyside railway history, please feel free to comment particularly if I have got anything wrong.

Lydiate – The Wool Boat has been in town

The Wool Boat with Colin the Captain

The Wool Boat with Colin the Captain

The only wool boat in the world, at least that’s what I was told by the boat’s captain (Colin) who was moored by the Bells Lane swing bridge yesterday.

The boat is usually based on the Leeds Liverpool Canal at Burscough and next week will be in Parbold but was in Lydiate for a spell – thanks to Lydiate World web site for the tip off.

Wool Boat 2 - 05 16 r

It was nice to have a chat with Colin and Carole who crew the narrow boat and to learn that Carole is a girl after my own heart as she visits the East Lancashire Railway and has done a steam engine driving experience course there.

Colin is a photographer so as well as selling and telling warns they also sell cards with Colin’s photo’s on them.

Wool Boat 3 - 05 16 r

Look forward to seeing them in Lydiate again soon.

Lydiate – Neighbourhood Plan – Public consultation event

Parish of Lydiate Map

Please click on the map above to enlarge it – It shows the whole Civil Parish of Lydiate which is much more rural than many people may realise.

There is a launch event at Lydiate Village Centre on Lambshear Lane on Tuesday 24th May between 3pm and 7pm where residents can drop in to find out more about the proposed Neighbourhood Plan for the Civil Parish of Lydiate.


The Parish Council is presently delivering an information newsletter to all properties in Lydiate which outline how residents can participate via on-line questionnaires on Survey Monkey.

If you are a Lydiate resident or own a business operating in Lydiate please get involved. If you don’t receive a newsletter please contact the Parish Council at Lydiate Village Centre – Tel: 0151 527 2662

Lydiate – Car crash Southport Road Saturday 21st May

Sadly there was a serious accident on Southport Road earlier today close to Seafore Close. I understand that a car ended up on its roof.

Numerous emergency vehicles rushed to deal with the accident and we can only hope that those involved will be OK.

However, what was odd about this accident was that the Police made no attempt, as far as I am aware, to manage the ensuing traffic jams caused as consequence of the accident. This is even more odd when you consider that Southport Road is a major ‘A’ road and bus route.

Indeed, local residents took over the traffic management themselves and I saw ladies in the middle of the road at the junction of Liverpool Road North, Southport Road and Liverpool Road advising queuing drivers what was happening and to use alternative routes.

What’s more a chap who lives in Southport Road who owns an old American Police car placed his car across the road at the junction will Bells Lane to try to assist. I photographed this car a while ago and here it is:-


All this public spirited reaction to a nasty vehicle accident is indeed commendable but I can’t help but wonder why Merseyside Police did not address the need to manage the traffic. I am aware that a resident has subsequently phoned the Police to log their concerns along similar lines to mine.

I think the road was impassable for around two and half hours or so.

Update:- I am indebted to Mike Brown who informs me that he understands there were 2 vehicles and 3 people involved in the accident but no serious injuries.