Huge response to petitions against Green Belt development in Lydiate

Lydiate Parish Councillors who launched both a written and an e-petition only last week have been inundated with responses from people backing the Parish Council’s stance against development on Green Belt land.

The Lib Dem Parish Councillors made public a proposal (not yet a planning application) to build over 500 houses on land between Liverpool Road and Moss Lane following initial concerns raised by Lydiate residents.

Sefton Borough Councillor Andrew Blackburn, who also sits on Lydiate Parish Council, says “The response to the petitions has been extremely good and it is very clear that Lydiate folks and indeed those who want to defend Sefton’s Green Belt over a wider area are backing the Parish Councillor’s campaign.”

The crucial issues moving forward will be whether or not Sefton Council seeks to remove any land from the Green Belt as a consequence of its ongoing review of land use within the Borough. However, developers may decide to strike first by testing Sefton Council’s resolve to defend its Green Belt by submitting formal planning applications. This could happen either on the site recently identified or elsewhere in Sefton’s Green Belt of which there is a huge amount in the East Parishes part of the Borough, especially around Maghull & Lydiate.

Cllr. Dave Russell

Cllr. Dave Russell, Chairman of Lydiate Parish Council has asked “for residents to get in touch with Lydiate Parish Council if they pick up on other Green Belt sites where they think a developer may be working up proposals to develop the land” and he also says “It is clear that many locals are prepared to try to defend the rural aspect of Lydiate field and field if necessary and I am one of those residents.”

Maghull/Sefton Village – That boundary sign! – An update

Well the two poles now have nothing on them at all as the Maghull in Bloom volunteers have followed suit with Maghull Town Council and removed their planter.

So what is the future of the now lonely twin poles? I am told by Maghull Town Council sources that Sefton Parish Council is to put up a sign on them advertising Jubilee Wood, which is a large area of forest recently planted up by the Forestry Commission. So it seems that some good may come from this bizarre carry on.

But what of the Maghull boundary sign and the Maghull in Bloom planter? I hope they can both be added to the twin poles, just inside the Maghull boundary, which presently advertise the Recycling Centre. At least I have suggested this as a solution.

SAVE OUR LIBRARIES – Are Bootle Labour looking after themselves? – Sign the e-petition at

A careful examination of Labour’s proposals for library closures in Sefton reveals that the Bootle Constituency will have 3 Libraries after the closures.

But Bill Esterson’s Sefton Central Constituency will have just 2 – even though it stretches all the way from Woodvale aerodrome to Melling and Blundellsands. I would add that poor old Southport will have just 1 across the whole constituency!

Netherton Library is one Labour intend to keep open - It is within Netherton Activity Centre

So are Bootle Labour looking after their Bootle heartland despite proposing to close Orrell and Litherland Libraries? What’s more Bill Esterson’s Labour Councillors from Sefton Central are clearly being treated as no more than foot soldiers marching to the Bootle comrade’s tune. Will they really vote for 3 libraries in Bootle Constituency but just two in Sefton Central? The pressure is clearly mounting on them!

Labour’s legacy of debt & party politics at Parish Council meetings

The meetings of Maghull Town Council are sadly highly party political and hardly a meeting goes by without some political abuse being thrown at the 3 Lib Dem opposition members. Quite often we do not respond because we have always taken the view that party politics has no place at a Parish Council meeting. Indeed, not having party politics at such meetings is a general rule of thumb across most Parish Councils.

As an example, at the last Maghull meeting that I attended a report from Borough Councillors representing the Town on Sefton Council soon degenerated into slagging off the Government for its austerity programme to rebalance the economy. Opinions on this will vary but surely such comment is inappropriate for a Parish Council meeting.

Cllr. Blackburn and I could have responded but we kept our comments to ourselves because this was simply not the place for a national party political argument.

I am quite happy though to address what Labour Councillors were saying via this blog. You see they sat there saying how desperately bad (agreed) the savings are that Sefton Council has to make but what they failed to say or even seemingly understand is that it was their party in Government that helped to create the need for all the austerity in the first place! It was like listening to politicians who were trying to give the impression that they had been out of Government for many years who could genuinely say ‘we did not cause it’. Yes the Lib Dems can claim this and to a certain extent so can the Tories as Labour had been running, or is that ruining, our economy for a good 10 years or more.

I suppose that what I am saying is that Labour seems to be in utter denial of what they helped to build – a huge amount of public debt! I wonder though if using a Parish Council meeting to say how upset they are about the consequences of the economic track that they put us all on helps them to further distance themselves from the bad decisions their party took in Government. Maybe, but it still does not mean that such hand wringing and buck passing is in any way appropriate for a Parish Council meeting.

A GREEN BELT WALK – Lydiate Footpath No.17 – Bells Lane, Lydiate to Green Lane, Maghull

Sunset over Crosby - taken from Lydiate Footpath 17

Here is another in my occasional series of brief articles about Lydiate’s local footpath network.

This article is about Footpath 17 which runs across land that developers have more than a close eye upon as the local Green Belt comes under threat. Whether the threat becomes a reality depends on what Sefton Council does via its present review of land use across the Borough.

The waterfall photo is of Maghull brook which forms the boundary between Lydiate and Maghull. This was, of course, the brook into which the Leeds Liverpool Canal collapsed in 1995.

Looking towards Bells Lane

A muddy end to the path at the Green Lane