Maghull – Millbank Lane is unadopted says Sefton Council

I cycle around the Sefton East Parishes (Maghull, Lydiate, Aintree, Melling and Sefton & Lunt Villages) part of the Borough quite a lot and the other day I was stopped by a chap on Park Lane who said ‘hey you are a local councillor aren’t you? – can you get the pot holes in Millbank Lane filled in please?’.

Oddly I had just been down there on my bike and had noticed some large pot-holes myself so I was only too happy to get in touch with Sefton Highways to ask them to oblige.

Millbank Lane, I should add runs from the junction with Kenyons Ln, Park Ln and Dodds Ln through to Maghull’s boundary with West Lancs and Aughton Civil Parish. The final 50 yards of it (in Aughton) is a footpath, only the part in Maghull is tarmaced and it serves a part of the Maghull community known by some as The Small Holdings.

Sadly the response from Sefton was that the lane is not one that has been adopted by the Council so it is not their responsibility to repair the pot-holes. I had wondered if that would be the answer because although unadopted roads usually have a sign saying ‘Unadopted’ at their beginning (and Millbank Lane for some reason does not) I had a funny feeling that it may indeed be unadopted.

From the gate and stile to Butchers Lane (behind the camera) in Aughton is only a footpath.

But clearly over the years the lane has been patch repaired on numerous occasions as you can clearly see. So the question now is who does hold the repair and maintenance responsibilities for Millbank Lane. Any answers on a postcard (or by e-mail) to me would be appreciated.

Which brings me to a memory of my first political campaign as a candidate and when when I first won a seat on Maghull Town Council in September 1985 for the SDP/Liberal Alliance.

My agent for that election was none other than Bruce Hubbard and he sent me canvassing up Millbank Lane to the Small Holdings community. So door-knocking I went to be met at one house by a chap asking me about ‘pig subsidies’. Suffice to say that I was floored by that question and Bruce has been using my bewildered response in his after dinner speeches ever since. No wonder I had to leave Maghull in 2011 to move to Lydiate! I would add that I no longer represent Maghull as a councillor – I’m a Lydiate councillor these days.

Maghull’s vast urban extension – Labour blasts development on land their Local Plan identified for development! You could not make this up

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

Well, well, well would you believe it Sefton Labour are protesting about a housing development on land which they voted to take out of the Green Belt for it to be built upon.

The vast Maghull East site seen from Poverty Lane presently growing crops.

I fought for this particular site (and indeed many others) to be protected from development not only because it was in Green Belt (prior to Labour-run Sefton taking them out of it) but in many cases these development sites are also the highest grade of food growing agricultural land. That I now hear Labour complaining over a process which they put in motion by picking the sites that would be built on is bizarre!

A Maghull Town Council leaflet from 1998 – That fight to stop Green Belt building was won.

In 1998, when Sefton’s last Local Plan (known then as a Unitary Development Plan) was being put together Sefton Council wanted the very same site east of Maghull to be taken out of Green Belt. I was then a Maghull Town Councillor and we brought together a community-wide campaign to resist the plan. What’s more we won. But as soon as the next plan was announced (the recently agreed Sefton Local Plan) it was no surprise that Sefton looked straight at the site, which is partly in Melling Civil Parish as well, that they had failed to take out of Green Belt last time for building on once again. This time the now Labour-run Town Council in effect rolled over and did not raise a community-wide campaign to fight their political masters in Bootle Town Hall.

By sitting back and letting it happen Labour were signalling that they were going to allow the vast Maghull East site of high grade agricultural land to be taken out of Green Belt. And that’s what happened bearing in mind that Labour had said they were going to fight for the Green Belt! In the end Labour voted on Sefton Council to allow this and many other sites to be built on.

Campaigners, outside Maghull Town Hall trying to save Sefton Borough’s high grade agricultural land from development.

And this is not the first time they have protested about the activities of developers whom they gave the green light to. They did it only a few weeks ago with regard to the much smaller Turnbridge Road site on the western side of Maghull & Lydiate.

So what are all these crocodile tears all about? Are they trying to cover their tracks by blaming developers? It was always the case that developers would have their own ideas for the sites and would not want to do what Sefton Council or the local community wanted them to do.

Developers are are about as popular as bankers or politicians. I’m sure the developers will be pushing at boundaries; that’s what I would expect but the bottom line here is that no matter how the developers are perceived the fact is that Sefton Labour fired the starting pistol for building on these sites in their Local Plan. Labour-run Sefton Council chose the land that would be developed no one else.

Labour need to stop running and hiding and take the blame for what they chose to do.

Brexit – And the shambolic negotiations stumble on

The story is linked above to the original article by Tom Brake MP.

Lib Dem MP Tom Brake

Maybe Bill Esterson MP, the Labour International Trade Shadow Minister, could help? He was on Radio 5 Live a couple of days ago giving the socialist ‘perspective’ on the matter. My previous posting refers at:-

Heed the words of a wise elderly man – Harry Leslie Smith

The Guardian has this opinion piece on its web site – see link above

Some 20 odd years ago I was given the privilege of getting to know a chap who was involved in the Second World War. Our close friendship sadly ended earlier this year when he died (well into his 90’s) but I like to think that I learned a great deal from listening to Charles (Uncle Albert) Walker about his wartime RAF experiences.

The piece above by Harry Leslie Smith deserves a wide audience because he can see what many of us may be ignoring i.e. that international leaders like Trump and Kim Jong-un (and others) may well be pushing us all towards another war.

My thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting.

300 bus route – Arriva are fiddling with the timing again but why?

An Arriva bus at The Meadows stop in Maghull

It has been brought to my attention that from 3rd September, Arriva intend to re-time the 300 route buses for their Monday-Friday (weekday) journeys to run 5 minutes later throughout.

This will take them nearer to the 310 journey times, which seems to fly in the face the objective that was set with the timetable revisions made back in April this year.

I wonder why Arriva is making this change? I am making enquiries.

With thanks to Kevin for bringing this matter to my attention

Boris, Davis and Fox – The 3 Tory Brexit Ministers – They look shmbolic but what would be different under Labour?

That our 3 Brexit Ministers and indeed our Tory/DUP Brexit Government look to be all over the place with regard to pursuing the Nation’s mass suicide wish is a given.

That Labour shout about the muddle and lack of policy direction from the sidelines is also a given.

But what would be different under a Corbyn Government when Labour actually shares a pretty similar Brexit agenda to the Tories? Labour’s manifesto for the 2017 General Election was clear in that it advocated leaving the EU so would they not be in the same tangle and policy black hole if they had won in June as opposed to the the Tories and their DUP allies?

It strikes me as beyond belief that the major party of opposition is on the same page as the Government with regard to the most significant policy issue of a generation. Where’s the opposition? How can there be any opposition when Labour MP’s, despite their Brexit bluster, are being whipped into backing the Tories Brexit Plans whatever they may be?

It is more than likely that our economy will continue to decline because of Brexit, that jobs will be at risk, that Government revenues will fall and that public services and therefore welfare will be hit hard. On that basis how on earth is an incoming Labour Government going to fund all the myriad of things that it claims to want to fund from the public purse?

And it’s this conundrum that leads me to think that Labour, as much as the Tories, are simply not thinking through the consequences of backing Brexit whilst they try hard to be popularist. Both want to be seen as backing the 52% in the EU Referendum because they want to be pursuing the will of the electorate. Yet they both know that beneath the veil of populism Brexit means only one significant thing – a poorer country with less influence on world affairs. Neither seem to know how they will deal with these stark facts when they become the view of an electorate which will then surely turn on their leaders and blame them for misleading them about the consequences of Brexit. Well all except that section of Brexiters who bizarrely want the pain and misery for their friends, family and country.

As a Liberal and as a trade unionist my thoughts are always with those who are missing out in our society; the poor in particular are surely going to be the major losers when the economy tanks and even a Corbyn Government, should there be one, will not be able to fund the welfare system that it dreams of. They won’t fund it and other promised public expenditure because Government revenues will simply not be there and the alternative of borrowing more money will simply tip the UK economy over the edge again.

So what is Labour’s answer to Brexit? Sit and watch the Brexit 3 make a complete mess of things, blame them for the mess and point out how much better things would have gone had Labour been negotiating the UK leaving the EU? But surely that will not wash? Surely the electorate will look at Labour and say hang on a minute you wanted what the Tories wanted over Brexit so you are as much to blame as the Tories.

And there’s the rub, Labour have to hope that the Brexit 3 and our Tory Government make such a mess of the Brexit negotiations (which is in no way in the interests of the UK) that the electorate will be convinced that there was in fact a more sensible and benign way to leave the EU (although there wasn’t) and that Labour would have pursued it if it had been in Government. Best of luck with that plan Corbynistas – you need the Country to tank so you look like heroes but then you won’t have a brass Farthing to bless the poor with even if you gain power!

An opposition with a backbone is required and the way Labour are going it won’t be them.

Stop press:-

On the day I published this posting I became aware that my own Labour MP for Sefton Central had been interviewed only hours earlier about Labour’s Brexit position and he tried hard to make things clear, or not, as the case may be:-

Emma Barnett asked the Shadow International Trade Minister Bill Esterson five times if Labour would leave the customs union on 5 Live Daily. The Politics Home web site has the video and story:-