Crime on Merseyside’s railway stations

Liverpool Lime Street Station at night.

The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/revealed-merseyside-railway-stations-youre-15699984

A Virgin Trains Pendolino train at Liverpool Lime Street Station.

There’s every danger with looking at crime stats and trying to interpret them that folk become more fearful of crime than they need to be. But the positive side of talking about railway stations where crime is an issue is to make travellers more aware of what is going on around them on busy stations. It’s a question of balance as with most things of course.

Southport Station.

When does protest become unacceptable abuse?

Reuters has the article on its website see link below:-

uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-abuse/facing-chants-of-nazi-and-scum-mps-ask-police-to-act-over-brexit-abuse-idUKKCN1P2187

That Anna Soubry is called a fascist is bizarre especially as those who so label her are often of the far right themselves. I’m no Conservative but you have to respect Anna for standing up to the ridiculous people who are presently running the UK; I admire her as I do the small number of Labour MP’s who are speaking out against their similarly ridiculous party leadership.

Should the Met Police intervene when MP’s and others are being unreasonably abused?

Well, firstly the Met will be considering its own reputation before doing the decent/right thing. Secondly, the taunters will probably want to be arrested so they can claim that their freedom of speech is being infringed/stopped. Thirdly, freedom of speech is vital in our admittedly crumbling democracy where lies are traded as everyday facts these days.

As a Liberal, my stance is that I will defend anyone whose rights are being infringed

Do I want to shout abuse at Brexiters, yes I do! Will I do it? Well, I try to choose my words carefully on this blog and face to face I generally do not engage with Brexiteers because you can’t have logical arguments with folk who base their views on prejudices whilst also ignoring facts.

Abuse is often a difficult thing to define though. I’ll give you an example – I was once called a useless bucket of tripe in my time as leader of Sefton Council. I thought it was the funniest thing I had heard in years yet many others around me were horrified by it and the context it was used. So is calling Anna Soubry a Nazi legitimate protest or abuse? Well, I guess the reason for those saying it will be associated with trying to gain media attention and they succeeded in that. Anna seemed to laugh it off though as it was clearly a ridiculous thing to say.

The Police will have to act though if the behaviour of protestors is felt to be abusive and threatening by those on the receiving end of it but having seen a senior Met officer being interviewed today you can tell how they would rather just be referees not using yellow cards never mind red ones.

Tough calls and extreme Brexiters will defend their own come what may I guess. The balance will tip when the seemingly ‘acceptable’ behaviour attracts the absolute nutters who will go too far. Freedom of expression and protest comes with it responsibilities……………..

Interesting that Remain protesters behave reasonably…..

Southport – Why on earth attack the Sandgrounders?

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its website – see link below

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/raid-merseyside-football-ground-leaves-15613039

Why on earth attack a football ground? I’ve been to Haig Avenue a few times mostly to see matches between The Sandgrounders and my team The Stags when they were both in the same division. What a friendly place the now renamed Merseyrail Stadium is; so sorry to hear of their troubles.

Southport V Mansfield Town – Jan’ 2013

Sefton Focus Review of 2018

It’s always interesting to look back at a year just ending – lessons can always be learned from history (even very recent history) but that’s a piece of traditional advice many of our present-day politicians really seem to struggle with.

So let’s look back at the past 12 months via 12 Sefton Focus postings – each month has a link back to my original posting. It’s my personal take on 2018:-

January – A celebration of everything Hornby:-

In the Hornby Room at Meadows Leisure Centre Maghull – Michael Portillo with Frank Hornby Trust Chairman Les French as seen on TV this year.

Well, I had to start this review with the TV programme which put Maghull firmly on the map. I refer of course to the Town being a part of one of Michael Portillo’s Great Railway Journeys celebrating the life and works of Maghull’s most famous resident – Toy maker Frank Hornby:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/01/18/maghull-hornby-as-seen-on-tv/

February – Pavement Politics:-

We Libs are known for our ‘pavement politics’ so it’s no surprise that in February I was going on about pot-holes! Sadly, as we shall see later, a pot-holed/poorly maintained road which I mentioned back in Feb’ ended up being a contributory factor to a cyclist’s death later in the year.

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/02/26/the-state-of-our-road-surfaces-on-your-bike/

March – Youth and CAB make way for Police:-

The move of Maghull’s Police Station from Westway into Maghull Town Hall, facilitated by Labour-run Maghull Town Council, made my blood boil because a successful CAB help point (still not replaced when we were told it would be) and a unique youth facility (a Youth Coffee Bar run by local young people) were both lost to make way for the boys and girls in blue.

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/03/24/maghull-cheering-on-the-new-police-station-no-remembering-what-we-lost-to-rehouse-the-police/

April – Oh for decent services on the Southport-Wigan-Manchester line:-

Departure board at Southport Station.

Railways have always been of great interest to me and I’ve been a member of OPSTA for many years now. Their campaigning to bring about a decent train service from Southport to Wigan and Manchester has been long-running and as I type it still is. This was the state of things back in April BEFORE the complete melt-down of the May timetable changes. Note – I think it fair to say that Merseytravel have now upped their game a little regarding services on this line but the reliability of it (It’s run by Northern Trains) is still very poor indeed.

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/04/18/southport-loss-of-trains-to-manchester-airport-and-piccadilly-seems-merseytravel-has-form-here/

May – Did Merseytram burn Merseytravel’s fingers?:-

This promotional Merseytram bookmark is about all that Liverpool City Region has to show for its big tram ideas.

In May I mused about the lack of significant public transportation developments across the Liverpool City Region and pondered on whether the failed Merseytram project burnt Merrsytravel’s fingers too hard.

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/05/25/merseytravel-did-merseytram-knock-the-stuffing-out-of-innovative-progressive-transport-planning-in-the-city-region/

June – Canal Breach in Melling:-

The Leeds Liverpool Canal breached in the Waddicar part of Melling during June, stopping the many pleasure boats that use the canal during the summer season. The canal was closed for quite a few weeks whilst repairs were undertaken by the canal and River Trust.

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/06/13/melling-canal-breach-this-mornings-photos/

July – How accessible is the new Maghull North Station?:-

I penned this posting a few weeks after the new station was opened. The level accessible route into the station has now been provided although there’s still no dropped kerb for cyclists off School Lane.

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/07/23/maghull-its-new-north-station-an-accessible-interchange/

August – The sad death of a local Councillor and cyclist:-

The August posting links directly back to the one I highlighted in February i.e. the fatal accident involving Melling Parish Councillor Alion Doyle who was cycling on one of the lanes in Aughton which I raised concerns about back then. A stretch of this lane, maybe a 100 yards or so, is still in terrible condition this December and I have raised this with Lancashire County Council. Such a sad loss of life. RIP Allison Doyle.

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/08/20/aughton-fatal-accident-on-bold-lane/

September – The battle against fracking:-

Being an environmental campaigner the battle against Fracking is important to me as it is to many others. This month’s chosen posting is about Lydiate Parish Council gaining information from the volunteer campaigners against fracking. And yes, Lydiate PC did subsequently agree to put £500 to one side to help the volunteer Moss Alliance with their legal costs.

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/09/27/lydiate-parish-council-gets-insight-into-fracking/

October – Building on high-grade agricultural land, which feeds us, is the politics of the madhouse:-

The vast Maghull East urban extension (presently high grade agricultural land) site as seen from Poverty Lane, Maghull

Another environmental campaign that I feel passionately about. That governments and councils (of any political colour) can allow building on the highest grades of agricultural land, which grows the food we eat, is utterly mad to me – a subject I have blogged about many, many times…..

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/10/15/we-import-50-of-our-food-now-do-opposition-politicians-get-why-i-keep-banging-on-about-saving-high-grade-agricultural-land-from-development/

November – Ormskirk to Preston Line – The worst performing in the UK?:-

Ormskirk Station – The train in the foreground is Preston bound (when it’s not being replaced by a bus). The one behind it is Liverpool bound.

As the year dragged on for the poor long-suffering passengers of Northern Rail questions began to be asked about whether the line from Ormskirk to Preston could possibly be the worst performing in the UK. The question was taken up by BBC News with particular reference to a whole week without a single train running on the line. Performance can only improve in 2019, it just could not get any worse.

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/11/23/northern-trains-could-the-ormskirk-preston-line-be-the-most-poorly-performing-in-the-uk/

December – The battle to try to save Rimrose Valley Country Park from Highways England’s plans for a new road:-

Idyllic view of Rimrose Valley Country Park

And to close 2018 a subject I have oft-blogged about, the campaign to try to stop Highway’s England building a new road to the Port of Liverpool through Rimrose Valley Country Park. There have been many angles which I have reported on but the bizarre tangle Sefton Council’s Tory Group have got themselves into takes a lot of beating.

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/12/04/rimrose-valley-country-park-are-sefton-tories-backing-highways-england-plan-for-new-road-through-it/

Policing – I find this matter profoundly disturbing

The BBC has the disturbing story on its web site – see link below

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-45439954

What on earth were the Police up to and why? Does it not come across as power and control being exercised by the Police because they can do that? What does this say about how our Police go about their work?

Liverpool Prison – This should not be happening in a civilised society

The BBC has the story on its web site – see link below

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-45877305

What I’m about to say will not be at all popular in some quarters but my view is that if you treat people like wild animals don’t be surprised if they behave just like that.

Prison has to be about reform where that is possible. Yes there will always be a hard core that are probably beyond any kind of reform but if we are to look upon ourselves as being a civilised society we have to treat prisoners in a humane way.

I also worry that undiagnosed mental health issues will be at the root of many behavioral issues in our prisons.

That our prison system seems to be regressing towards the pre-Victorian era is hardly encouraging. What’s more damming reports from prison inspectors don’t seem to be leading to big and timely reforms of some appalling conditions across the prisons system.

How come there are so many deaths in our prisons? Does this not indicate that that the conditions are well below decent, that mental health conditions may not be being managed at all well, that violence is far too prevalent etc. etc.

This is just something else that the Billions being shoveled into the Brexit black hole could be responsibly be spent upon but I guess that Brexiteers will disagree.