Still no further forward I am sorry to say with regard to the charity’s fund raising stall in Maghull Square but I hear that a shop had volunteered the space outside its premises on a Saturday for the charity to pitch its fund raising stall. However, I am also told that the managing agents, presumably acting on behalf of the property owners, put a stop to the offer.
Assuming all this is correct, and I stand to be corrected if it is not, it would indicate to me that the shop keepers who are sympathetic to the cause of the charity are finding themselves in a position where they can’t volunteer the space outside their shop to assist the charity.
There must have been more letters in the Aintree and Maghull Champion newspaper about this than any other subject of recent memory. The animal charity has a great many supporters. And this reminds me of Bill Bryson’s excellent book – Notes from a Small Island, which details his trip around the UK from the perspective of an American by birth.
Bill finds himself outside the Ludlow and District Cats Protection League, which intrigued him. Whatever, he wondered, did the people of Ludlow do to their cats that required the setting up of a special protective agency? And he goes on to write that, there is almost nothing, apart perhaps from a touching faith in the reliability of weather forecasts and the universal fondness for jokes involving the word ‘bottom’, that makes me feel more like an outsider in Britain than the nation’s attitude to animals. Did you know that the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was formed sixty years after the founding of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and as an offshoot of it? Did you know that in 1994 Britain voted for a European Union directive requiring statutory rest periods for transported animals, but against statutory rest periods for factory workers?
The British love of animals is very clear, if very odd, to Bill but he sums us up well.
Please cut and paste the above link to read the story that the Liverpool Daily Post has. One wonders where this will end and who will be carrying the can for such huge losses of public money.
The Labour Party have a lot of questions to answer me thinks.
Now this can challenge your will to live as readers of my previous postings on the subject will realise.
I really did think I had found the obvious solution after months of wrangling and procrastination i.e. to add the Maghull boundary sign on the two posts that already exist in the photo below. Then the Maghull in Bloom volunteers could reinstate one of their flower troughs which they place on all the Town’s boundary signs.
BUT………….. then I am told that Maghull Town Council has told the Maghull in Bloom volunteers that Sefton Borough Council has objected to the plan on the basis that folks will walk into the sign and possibly injure themselves!!!!! The fact that the poles are within a shrubbery area where pedestrians don’t walk would seem to have passed someone by.
So, I am back on the case yet again seeking explanations and trying to get this ridiculous farce sorted out. If anyone is going to bang their head on something it is probably me in utter frustration following months of being mucked about by Councils who should have resolved this problem without all this carry on!
Together with BBC North West News I went to Maghull Town Hall for the launch of Maghull’s Frank Hornby Festival last night and enjoyable it was too.
The photo shows the cast of a play put together by St Andrews Players all about the life of Frank Hornby the famous Maghull toy maker.
Those who know local characters will spot Cllr. Bruce Hubbard amongst the cast – he played the Dad of a little girl having a birthday on 15th May. The play was written very much for children and has been doing the rounds of schools, Brownies etc.
Maghull’s Vicar, Nick Wells, gave a speech as Chairman of the Festival Committee as did Frank Hornby Trust Chairman Les French. The Vicar mused on why model railways are such a big thing with the clergy and this made me think because as an atheist they are a big thing with me too.
Let’s hope that the planned community events over the 5 day festival are a great success as a small band of decicated folk have put in a great deal of effort.
The proposed closure of Maghull Ambulance Station, with the ambulance based there being moved to Buckley Hill Fire Station, is a concern to us all and that is why Cllr. Andrew Blackburn and I made the issue public via the Champion newspaper (24th April) and this blog site.
But hang on a minute, Labour run Sefton Council knew about this closure at least as long ago as the 12th March (some 6 weeks previously) when they were written to by the North West Ambulance Trust.
On that basis why did it have to take us opposition Lib Dem councillors to ferret out the information and make it public? Why did Labour sit on the information? Why indeed. What’s more it seems that the comrades are now scuttling around raising a petition against the closure that they did nothing about at all until we, with the Champion’s help, put it in the public domain.
That’s not community leadership dear comrades it’s band wagon jumping.
Dr. John Pugh Lib Dem MP for Southport and former Leader of Sefton Council is not known for irrational outbursts; indeed he is a thoughtful man who does not crave media attention as do some politicians. On that basis when someone like John waves a flag of concern we should all take notice.
John waved his flag on the BBC North West Politics TV Programme last Sunday and you can see what he said by popping over to my colleague Iain Brodie-Browne’s Birkdale Focus Blog Site to watch a short video from the show.
Sadly, John has a point as Labour run Sefton is becoming very much like a communist regime. It does not like answering questions put to it at Council meetings and does its utmost not to do so. It will not engage in debate about the policies it is pursuing and it fears being scrutinised by its backbench and opposition councillors.
Take the Full Council meeting held last Tuesday. There were two debates initiated by the oppositions Lib Dems. The first was an attempt to open up the Council’s scrutiny process by having some of the scrutiny committees chaired by opposition councillors. The comrades opposed this but failed to give a single reason why they opposed it. Yes their Leader ranted on, for the benefit of his all too quiet troops who are rarely allowed to engage in debate, about this that and the other but he failed to address the point of the debate. Labour then voted to keep their closed shop very much closed.
We then moved on to a second debate where we again pressed for a 10% reduction in the wages paid to the 7 Cabinet members of the Council to assist with the Council’s need to make savings. Unsurprisingly, the comrades were having none of that even though the money we were trying to save was targeted at bringing back some decent democratic representation in the centre of the Borough where Labour have merged 3 Area Committees used by residents to raise concerns about very local matters. The merger was sold as a cost cutting measure but makes no sense at all – what on earth have communities like Formby, Maghull and Crosby got in common apart from all being within the vast middle of the Borough? So Labour again opposed the proposals but without giving a single reason why they thought that keeping more money in the Cabinet’s pockets is more desirable than improving engagement will local communities. No Labour member representing Crosby, Formby or Maghull rose to back their communities but they all voted to keep money in their Cabinet bosses pockets.
And it’s not just on Sefton Council where Labour closes down information channels. Take little Maghull Town Council where a matter was referred to the Police by the Labour run Town Council a few months ago but we opposition members have been unable to obtain the background documents (despite an FoI request) or the detailed reasons for that referral. Yes, the Police decided to take no action but who was under investigation – staff, people who worked for or with the Council? And what about Maghull Cricket Club? We think Labour are trying to use it as a cash cow to gain higher rents from but even another FoI request has yet to reveal what the Town Council’s objectives are in trying to change a legal agreement with the Club.
On a wider Merseyside platform you can also look at what went on with Labour run Merseytravel in the very recent past and where it seems another big financial scandal is about to be dragged from the undergrowth any day now.
So John Pugh MP has a significant point to make even though at face value it may seem like he is a politician simply throwing a little mud at his opposition. Unless Labour start to open up the local councils they run they will end up being accused of more North Korean type approaches to local democracy.
Great to see Google adopting a Hornby theme for their search page today in recognition of the 150 year celebrations.
Last Saturday Sheila said let’s go to that huge M&S next to IKEA so off we went. It was of course heaving but we wanted a coffee and a bite to eat.
In that particular M&S there are two cafes, one of the usual type which had a queue longer than you could shake a stick at, so that was a non-runner. The other named ‘Food on the Move’ was what must be the most inappropriately named café facility you could dream up. No big queue but the order took for ever and the staff looked very stressed to me – not a ‘food on the move’ experience more a ‘stay and wait a good while’. And this takes me to my related story about railway companies.
You see the wait was so long I went to buy a newspaper for something to do. It was the ‘I’ and because I am nuts about railways I found the Simon Calder article on page 41 very interesting if rather frustrating. Suffice to say it was all about a First Great Western service that got stuck going nowhere for a very long time with passengers (note I do not call them customers as they probably had little choice but to use the service) being seemingly treated poorly – lack of information and a far too slow reaction to the broken down train.
And the point of this little rant? Well in M&S you only have to be in the queue to pay for something for a couple of minutes and the person serving you will apologise to you for your wait (they must be told to be this) even if you have not noticeably had one! But no one apologised for our long wait in their café and I wonder if management realised that their staff seemed very stretched indeed. With railway companies, some have got quite good these days in explaining delays, break-downs etc. but others, it seems, just can’t get their heads around why keeping folks informed is so important. What a way to run a railway as someone once said.
A group of over 60 people met in Ince Blundell on 9th May due to big concerns in that small rural community that I used to represent some 10 or more years ago when I was first a Molyneux Ward Councillor and Ince Blundell Parish was then in that ward of Sefton.
The wind farm will, should it gain planning permission, be on land that is a part of West Lancashire, not Sefton, because of the somewhat odd drawing of local government boundaries in 1974 when Sefton Borough was created.
I have already made clear my own views which are that nothing should be constructed on the high grade (best and most versatile to give it is recognised title) agricultural land that is what the proposed site is made up of.
I hear that there are suggestions of concerned people engaging professional legal/planning advice as they take forward their concerns and objections about this wind farm plan.
The petition against the proposed development that a mentioned in a previous posting is available to sign in Edie Pope’s Church View Farm Shop on Southport Road, Lydiate.