Merseyside has it’s own unique breed of Walrus

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/what-walrus-everything-you-need-12937411

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link above

And here’s a link to the Merseytravel web pages about this travel card:-

www.merseytravel.gov.uk/Tickets/walrus-card/Pages/default.aspx#

It’s going in the right direction but as Carl Cashman the Lib Dem candidate in the recent Liverpool City Region Mayoral election said to fulfill its potential we need to ‘Expand the Walrus card system, creating an ‘Oyster-like’ system across the region, to include buses trains, ferries, tunnels and bridges. Unifying our transport network into one single contactless payment.’

Carl Cashman

How right he is and so the challenge is now there for the winning candidate Steve Rotherham to make this happen by taking up Carl’s pledge.

Lydiate – An NHS back water with little in the way of public transport to get to major NHS facilities

There are no GP’s or dentists in Lydiate, the only dentist closed not so long ago. That in itself is unfortunate but if you look at the direct public transport links from Lydiate to the major local NHS facilities the picture is also poor.

This is me with the Lydiate & Maghull resident's petition in 2015 at a 311 bus stop in Lydiate. The petition was not collected by me I would add but by the hard work of locals concerned about the loss of this Arriva route to Ormskirk. The battle was sadly lost.

This is me with the Lydiate & Maghull resident’s petition in 2015 at a 311 bus stop in Lydiate. The petition was not collected by me I would add but by the hard work of locals concerned about the loss of this Arriva route to Ormskirk. The battle was sadly lost.

Lydiate (along with Aintree Village & Maghull) lost the 311 bus route in 2015 which linked it with Ormskirk and of course its hospital. Yes the 310 Liverpool – Ormskirk route just skims the eastern edge of Lydiate but its a long trek for most Lydiate residents to get to a bus stop for it on the A59.

Lydiate (together with Maghull, Melling and Aintree Village) has no direct public transport link to Litherland NHS Walk-In Centre, indeed it never has had such a link despite calls for one. I recall saying, when the Walk-In Centre first opened in the early 2000’s, that it could not reasonably be seen to serve the Eastern Parishes of Sefton Borough because of the lack of direct public transport links to it. Of course we were also fighting for a Walk-In Centre to be provided in Maghull at the time and even got to the stage of the NHS allocating money to rebuild Maghull Health Centre with provision for a Walk-In facility. But then out of the blue the NHS pulled the plug on the project for reasons that have never been satisfactorily explained. I was of course pleased when Maghull Councillor Matt Gannon relaunched the campaign for a Walk-In Centre in Maghull in 2016. I also understand that Maghull Town Council will be including such an aim in its draft Neighbourhood Plan for the Town.

Lydiate’s link to Fazakerley Hospital has been via the 236 bus route in recent years. However, this route is no longer serving Lydiate as a consequence of Merseytravel confirming their Sefton Bus Review proposals recently. This is quite obviously a blow to Lydiate folks visiting friends and relatives by bus in that hospital.

Now the Sefton Bus Review proposals have been confirmed Lydiate’s only direct bus link with a major NHS facility will be via the 300 bus route to Southport and of course its hospital.

The last Chairman of Lydiate Parish Council, Dave Russell, tried every possible way possible to get an NHS facility within Lydiate Village Centre when planning for the new centre was at an early stage but the NHS managed to slip from his grasp there too.

Yes for me Lydiate is sadly an NHS back water both in terms of facilities in the community and with regard to direct public transport links to local hospitals and Walk-In Centres.

Stop Press – I had written this posting a while back but had not got around to finishing it of for publication. Then last night at Lydiate Parish Council’s Neighbourhood Plan meeting the very same issues came up and there seemed to be broad consensus that another attempt to gain NHS primary care facilities within Lydiate had to be made. Let’s hope such a plan will win the day this time around.

So it comes down to a dementia tax does it Teresa – How utterly appalling

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron tells Sky News that the PM’s “dementia tax… will become her version of the poll tax”.

news.sky.com/story/tory-social-care-plans-theresa-mays-poll-tax-warns-tim-farron-10886756

‘No school meals & dementia tax. Vote of thanks to Mrs May! Now we see how cruel her Govt wld be with a large majority. You have been warned!’ – Paddy Ashdown former Lib Dem Leader on Twitter

Labour and those with little or nothing whom they have walked away from

richardkemp.wordpress.com/2017/05/20/how-much-do-labour-really-care-about-those-in-poverty/

The story is on Richard Kemp’s blog site accessible via the link above

Richard and I have our differences as free thinking Liberals but I think he has really hit the nail on the head here with regard to Labour all but abandoning the poor.

For me it started back in 2013 when Labour MP’s began to seriously get behind welfare cuts. The Guardian newspaper link below gives the detail:-

www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/oct/12/labour-benefits-tories-labour-rachel-reeves-welfare

It was a starting point from which Labour has not really backtracked even under its supposedly socialist leadership as Richard Kemp details.

For me the big issue of recent times has been Labour’s reversal of policy to back Brexit. What on earth made them do this when they know that Brexit will hurt us all but the poor and disadvantaged the most beats me. If that’s not abandoning those with little or nothing I don’t know what is.

The best you can say about the modern Labour Party is that it sees itself as the political party of those who have something but not of those who have nothing. Is there any wonder that UKIP tried to fill the void vacated by Labour with their racist propaganda.

And if you don’t believe me just take the time to read Richards blog because it shows only too clearly how in Parliament Labour has been walking away from those with little or nothing.

The bottom line for me is that we can’t call ourselves a civilised society when our two major political parties are in effect vying for who can cut those with nothing adrift most ruthlessly.

CAB – The struggles of a much loved help organisation

Many years ago (during the early 1990’s if memory serves) I helped, together with many other concerned folk, to bring a branch of the Citizens Advice Bureau to what was then my home town of Maghull (I live in Lydiate these days). It operated from Maghull Town Hall, was supported in terms of utility costs and via a nil rental charge by Maghull Town Council and was for the early years an outpost/outreach of Formby CAB.

Some years later the CAB’s across Sefton Borough merged into one organisation but they continued to operate out of Bootle, Crosby, Formby, Southport and indeed Maghull. However, as with many things these days they suffer from the withdrawal of the public money which significantly supports the vital advice services they deliver and have been delivering for many years.

The poster below is presently displayed on the outside noticeboard of Maghull Town Hall and it tells a story:-

Maghull does not have a CAB facility these days and the operation of what is now called ‘Citizens Advice’ for Sefton Borough (the word Bureau having seemingly been dropped in terms of its modern identity) can be accessed via the link below:-

www.seftoncab.org.uk/

I’m not trying to apportion blame here for the demise of CAB facilities in communities like Maghull but the financial crash of 2007, as with many things, must be a significant factor.

I do know that for the years the CAB operated in Maghull it had a regular throughput of folks wanting and needing advice. Clearly, they have to travel for such advice these days and the fact that Maghull no longer has a CAB must be a sad reflection on the state of our society.

The Burscough Curves – An historical talk by Roger Bell

The Burscough Curves are in West Lancashire. This historic shot of them is from when they were in place, in 1960’s.

My good friend Roger Bell, former Chairman of OPSTA and former Lab’ Leader on West Lancs Council, gave a talk last Wednesday at Hurlston hall Golf Club about the history of the Burscough Curves to members of the West Lancs Heritage Association.

As an OPSTA member I went along to both hear and support Roger. I had never been to Hurlston Hall Golf Club before.

Roger spoke for quite some time with photos and videos which were really interesting. I learned a lot that I did not know about before even though I have been a part of OPSTA for more years than I care to recall and in all that time pressing for these connecting rail curves to be brought back into use has been a big issue.

Looking towards Wigan from Burscough Bridge Station with the Ormskirk – Preston line crossing the Southport – Wigan line via the bridge in the background.

Here’s a link to West Lancs Heritage Association’s web site:-

www.westlancsheritage.org/

In straight forward terms the curves link the Ormskirk – Preston and Southport – Wigan railway lines which cross each other at Burscough. If they were brought back into use travelling by train from say Maghull to Southport would be possible without having to go via Sandhills for example. A Southport – Preston train could be reintroduced too so the opportunities are obvious to anyone who looks at the situation. Sadly, the railway powers that be have certainly been dragging their heels over this for far too many years and even more sadly it looks like they remain determined to keep on dragging them!

Burscough Junction Station – July ’15 – on the Ormskirk – Preston line.

Click on any of the photos to enlarge them.