Maghull – It’s innovative Youth Coffee has been killed off by Labour – How desperately sad

News reaches me that Labour has finally decided to kill off the innovative Youth Coffee Bar in Maghull Town Hall after a few years or more of seemingly hoping it would simply die off. I understand that they have given the worker employed to help run the Coffee Bar notice to quit.

I have covered this story many times before through all its twists and turns and here is a link to those previous postings:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/11/15/maghull-so-whats-happened-to-the-towns-innovative-youth-coffee-bar-this-time/

As I have said before it was pretty obvious from the start of Labour’s tenure on Maghull Town Council that they simply did not care for the Youth Coffee Bar, possibly because they could not control it? Indeed, it had been deliberately set up so that young people ran it themselves and only relied on adult input as they required it. It was all about them doing things as they thought best, learning life skills along the way.

Sefton Youth Service was involved from the start but they were never really on-board with the concept as they wanted control, education curriculum related activities etc. When Maghull TC was Lib Dem-run we stuck to the format that young people told us they wanted and there were quite a few run-ins with Sefton Youth Service. There were, however, some notable exceptions to the dead hand of Sefton’s Youth Service in a number of individual youth workers who could see what was being created and why. Dear Nova Rimmer headed the list of enlightened youth workers and I was delighted to meet her in Southport a couple of weeks ago looking really well after a period of very poor health in her retirement. She was an absolute star and was so sad to hear of the demise of the Coffee Bar which she stuck her neck out to develop in the face of her employer’s grudging and limited backing.

The original idea for the facility was not a political one from the Lib Dems or any other party for that matter. It grew out of the ideas of young people attending Maghull’s local high schools. They came to the Town Council and the then Lib Dem administration ran with their ideas and made them a reality. We did not ask the youngsters to deliver leaflets for us or to join the Lib Dem Party in return for our support, we simply tried to give their ideas a chance to succeed.

Maghull TH Youth Coffee Bar

Nickie Smith was a leading light within the original group of young people who got the Youth Coffee Bar off the ground and my old chum Andrew Blackburn, back in the days when he was a Maghull and Sefton Councillor, took on all comers who had a downer on the Coffee Bar. And yes there were those who said they did not want a Youth Coffee Bar in the Town Hall which they felt was for adults. Andrew saw them off!

And you know what it became a huge success, regularly attracting numbers of young people well above what traditional youth centres were getting through their doors in Sefton Borough. What’s more folks from across Merseyside and beyond, with an interest in youth facilities, came to look at the Youth Coffee Bar as they considered replicating it in their own communities.

Maghull & District Youth Council, which the Town Council also nurtured, was a part of the management process but Labour-run Maghull TC seem to have let that slip away too.

This is all so very sad. Have Labour killed it off because they could not control it? Because they could not live with a project initiated during the Lib Dem era? Because they have no interest in youth facilities?

So sad, so sad, so sad…………….

One thought on “Maghull – It’s innovative Youth Coffee has been killed off by Labour – How desperately sad

  1. Nickie Smitj says:

    I am so genuinely sad about this Tony. I was a young girl in high school when i first came to the council with the coffee bar idea. For over 20 years I helped manage it, spent time with the young people and enjoyed helping the young people. We had some very difficult groups of young people at times but working with the police, local councillors (all political parties) and youth workers we did help many on the right road. I tried to keep fighting for local young people for some time after this new council came in but they did everything in their power to make it difficult! Nothing to do with politics this local council don’t care about the local community or people. They are a total disgrace and I think anyone who is a true labour supporter would be ashamed of them. When my family grows up and I have a little more time I would love to set up a community youth initiative and help local youngsters again. Even the local parks where I take my young family are now lacking attention. All I can say is if my Dad was alive after all the effort he put in to the local
    Community through the Council he would be saddened and very ashamed of this useless council just like many of us. My message to the Town Council is wake up and take a good look at yourself as you are useless right now!

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