A celebration of Maghull in Bloom

I promised to return to this matter yesterday and the best way I can do that is to list those organisations who have been a part of it:-

Maghull in Bloom volunteers

Maghull Station Volunteers

Sefton Council

Maghull Town Council

Maghull Horticultural and Gardening Club

Maghull Photography Club

Ashworth Hospital (Merseycare NHS Trust)

HMP Kennet

Altside Business Village

Maghull & District Cluster of Schools

Maghull Art Group

Maghull Community Association

Merseyrail

The Parkhaven Trust

I could probably name more but you get my drift. This has become a big community project in Maghull and I hope it will go from strength to strength in the future.

Wild flowers at Bobby's Wood (junction of A59 and L'pool Rd Sth) in Maghull. They were originally the idea of Cllr. Cliff Mainey but now taken forward by the Town Council here and at Balls Wood Park

The message is Clear, these organisations and volunteers are saying this is our community and we want it to look good and be environmentally friendly.

Having just returned from the volunteers celebration event I can’t help feeling that whatever else the Big Society is this is clearly one manifestation of it. My congratulations to all involved.

Great day for Maghull in Bloom

Well today was judging day and it looks like the judges were really impressed with local efforts. It also looks like Maghull Station Volunteers will be going into the national Britain in Bloom competition.

The Mayor of Maghull hosted a lovely reception at the Town Hall and all in all things could not have gone better on the day. My thanks to the excellent group of volunteers and everyone who helped this year. As chair of the Steering Group I feel privileged to have been able to help.

I will return to this in more detail.

Aintree Youth Centre

Traditional youth clubs may well be old hat and as I mentioned a few days ago if Maghull’s innovative Youth Coffee Bar in Maghull Town Hall is anything to go by this more modern approach to youth facilities could well be the future or at least part of it.

In Aintree Village there is a traditional youth club and in recent years it has hardly been buzzing with activities for young people day in day out. Having said that some excellent sessions have been run there in recent times (indeed they still are) and a session particularly for a disability group is highly thought of.

However, when I was a ward councillor for Aintree Village (up until May of this year when I moved to neighbouring Park Ward) I quickly came to the conclusion that if this youth club was going to survive it needed to reinvent itself. A dynamic new Chairperson was then found and things are really moving now.

The way things are going I can see the youth club building being taken over and run by the community and for it to provide a wide range of facilities. Some exciting plans are being work on and I really do hope they prove to be successful. I am sure that a community run trust type organisation will be far more innovative and involved with the community than the building continuing to be in the hands of the local authority and it being used only part of the week.

I wish the group of resdidents who are putting the bid together to breath new life into Aintree Youth Centre every success.

Green Belt – sorry for going on and on about it but….

I don’t think I have ever been lobbied or spoken to so much about any issue in all my time as a local councillor as I am being at present regarding our precious Green Belt.

As readers will know I have been preaching for months about the value of Grade 1 and 2 agricultural land (that makes up virtually all of the Green Belt land in Sefton’s East Parishes) until I am blue in the face but now my comments are being repeated to me which is nice to hear.

But talking of blue, there is a Tory MP on message too. She is Laura Sandys who represents South Thant and she is trying to bring a Bill to Parliament in October ‘to prohibit local authorities granting planning permission involving the development of Grade 1 agricultural land other than in exceptional circumstances’.

I mentioned this at the packed meeting last Thursday but the lady MP’s name escaped me at the time. The surprising thing here for me is finding a Tory opposing land development and what’s more for ‘green’ reasons.