A59 Hedge in Maghull – let’s fix it once and for all!

I have blogged before about the length of Hawthorne hedging along the A59 from KGV Park to the Leeds Liverpool canal bridge.

The obvious fact is that Sefton Council does not cut it often enough (and has not been doing for a few years) so it overgrows the pavement causing pedestrians to have to walk on the grass verge next to very fast moving traffic. Frankly, it is dangerous and this issue has gone on for too long. This year was the worst it has ever been and one public spirited resident got so cheesed off by the Council’s lack of action and the dangers that he took the matter in his own hands and cut back the hedging himself.

No what can we do about it? Well it strikes me that the solution is not beyond the wit of man or woman because the hedge as it runs up the A59 past KGV Park is owned and maintained by Maghull Town Council. Their section of the hedge has never been a problem so why not just ask the Town Council to take on responsibility for the rest of the hedge. Surely this can be fixed up with a little good will all round? I hope so as an informal meeting of local Sefton Councillors from the East Parishes part of Sefton discussed this very option very recently.

Please Sefton and Maghull Councils sort it out and let’s put this yearly problem to bed once and for all.

Tony Nicklinson and the Right to Die

This so very sad case fills me with great anger. How could we treat this man so badly as a society?

Please read the posting in the link below by Johnathan Fryer – an excellent contribution to the debate that our political leaders just will not have.

http://jonathanfryer.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/tony-nicklinson-and-the-right-to-die/#comment-13725

Dune FM – The strange story of our only Sefton based radio station going under

For years Sefton has had a local radio station which I have listened to and indeed both visited and been interviewed by. It always struck me as being important as it covered issues in Sefton and West Lancs that may not have been picked up by the likes of Radio Merseyside or Lancashire.

I suspect that it ran on a shoe string though and when it outsourced its news reporting to another radio outlet in east Lancashire 3 or more years ago I did wonder whether it was going to survive. The sad thing was that before they did this their coverage of Sefton events and issues was not bad at all for a local commercial radio station.

Anyway a couple of weeks ago I was listening to Smooth FM and they were playing a song I did not care for (Smooth has never really cut the mustard for me since it ceased to be Jazz FM) so I pressed the pre-set button for Dune only to find the sound of static noise. Thinking it was just a technical fault I moved on but a technical fault it certainly was not – Dune had gone off the air and seemingly for good.

Since then there have been newspaper articles about the station’s demise in the Echo and Champion newspapers. A court case, fine and shutting down by ‘the authorities’ is behind it all but none the less we have lost our local radio station and that must be an unfortunate turn of events.

Greedy attention seekers? – No not politicians this time but footballers

With the football season just started are we to see match upon match of diving for penalties, trying to get opposition team members sent off and greedy overpaid prima donnas having tantrums on the pitch? I assume so as that is what our national male sport at a professional level seems to have been degenerating into for some years now.

But from seeing the women’s game via the Olympics it looks as though there is some hope as little of all that is wrong with the professional male game could be seen there, indeed it was frankly better football to watch.

I have moved away from football watching because of all the silly antics and the attention seeking of the overpaid. Football just does not seem to be able to deal with its bad boys properly because the clubs fear losing revenue if they chuck out the violent or the balmy. Compare that with what is going on with the England Cricket team where seemingly a strong stand is being made against a player who, we are told, has got well out of line.

Sport has always had its eccentric geniuses – Alex Higgins and Brian Clough come to mind. But at times gifted sportsmen behave badly; at best it can be odd and at worst something to be embarrassed and ashamed of. Football needs to relearn that standards of behaviour are important and that it does need to deal with those who bring the game into disrepute far more harshly than may have been the case in recent times. Failure to address this will put the game into further decline as folks like me will turn it off more and more.

What really worries me though is that maybe there is a case to answer for players being urged and taught to cheat, so are some badly behaving big time footballers just following orders?

Costa, Nero, Starbucks – None in Maghull but independent coffee shops are springing up

I mentioned a couple of days ago that a new coffee shop had opened at Maghull’s Meadows shops but in fact two have opened in the Town in a short space of time as just down the road at the Woodend shops there is another new coffee shop. Sheila and I have tried them both and will be back to visit them again.

It seemed at one time that the national if not international coffee shop chains would be taking over the world so it is great to see a couple of new local private ventures giving it a go. Now don’t get me wrong I love a ‘flat white’ from any coffee shop so this is not an anti chain coffee shop rant; it’s just that it is nice to see the independents trying to make a go of it in Maghull.

When Rumbles Coffee Shop opened in the old Sayers shop unit in Liverpool Road North some 3 years ago we must all have wondered if it would work out. However, it is still there and Jen and I had lunch there earlier this week.

There is nothing like a visit to a local coffee shop so let’s hope all these ventures continue to succeed.

Maghull Town Hall/Meadows Leisure Centre – Whatever happened to the Café? – Sit around for long enough and one will come along!

I posted about this on 30th September 2011 and if you live locally you will have noticed that the café remains an empty shell.

Having asked Maghull’s Town Clerk about the current state of affairs I was told that since the Council decided to defer the matter many months ago he is unaware of any moves at to reopen the café.

There was commercial interest shown in reopening the café last September but doubts within Labour run Town Council as to whether it could be made to be a viable business meant it was not given another commercial chance to succeed. The idea then was to look into an alternative not for profit/community run café as suggested by the Town Clerk.

Trouble is nothing has happened in the past 11 months as the Council has not only lost any potential rental income that could have been generated from commercial use it has also not developed the not for profit/community option either. The end result is that no café facilities have been available in the complex since September 2011.

The idea of integrating the Town Hall with the new Meadows Leisure Centre right from the start was to have refreshment facilities available within the Town Hall part of the complex. However, this worthy aim of both Sefton and Maghull Town Councils has simply fallen by the way side and for no obvious reason.

Why was the issue put on the back burner? Why was a commercial use not tried again to see if it could be made to work? Why was the alternative of a community/volunteer run facility not established?

It is sad to see the former café space just sat there with no one doing anything about it. I think we need some vision within the Town Council as no good will come of sitting back and leaving the unit locked up.

But out of the blue a new café has opened just yards away from the Town Hall and Leisure Centre in one of the Meadows shop units. Having tried it out I can say that a good cup of tea and Danish pastry were consumed by me and I will be back for more. What this does show, however, is that there certainly is commercial interest in a café (as there was last September) in or around the Leisure Complex but having sat on the matter for 11 months the Town Council has probably fulfilled its own prophesy as indeed the commercial viability of the café within the Town Hall/Leisure Complex must now be far less than it was.