Sinonswood – Cycling and Fly-tipping

A nice lane to cycle is Outlet Lane which turns off Prescot Road by Carla Lane Animals in Need. Starting off in the Civil Parish of Melling it soon leaves Sefton Borough and goes into West Lancs Borough and the Civil Parish of Simonswood.

It’s a single track road so you have to watch out for farm vehicles but sadly you can also watch out for the consequences of those in our society who care nothing for the environment – the fly-tippers.

And you know much of what I saw dumped in ditches alongside the road could easily be disposed of at a waste disposal site, for goodness sake there’s such a site within a couple of miles at Sefton Meadows! So why go out to a country lane to dump when you can do so without any issues at a local recycling centre?

Yes I now some of the dumping is old tyres, asbestos, builders rubble etc. from companies and contractors who are deliberately trying to evade the legal processes to safely dispose of such waste and that this is becoming a national scandal.

Here in Outlet Lane Simonswood Parish Council are trying to do their bit to stop the fly-tipping:-

But surely this lane could easily be protected from the activities of the anti-social element of our society and indeed we could have the pleasure of catching them too! All that is needed would be a couple of covert surveillance cameras at each end of the lane. Why can’t West Lancs and Sefton Borough Councils do this?

Formby, Maghull, Bootle, Netherton & Sefton Borough generally – Gun Crime Concerns

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/fears-liverpool-city-gun-crime-13300452

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site as written from the perspective of Formby’s Independent Councillor Maria Bennett – see link above.

I lose track of how many times I have blogged about gun crime in Sefton Borough and indeed across Merseyside and yes it does seem to be a worsening problem that is before us on an almost daily basis.

I recall only too well how Maghull found itself in the middle of an outbreak of gun crime in 2013 which led to Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, being brought in to speak directly to concerned locals at a meeting held in Lydiate Primary School. To be honest she spoke well in trying to calm local fears and thankfully the spate of Maghull shootings has not been repeated. However, shootings and gun crime are an almost every day event in some Merseyside communities and I think it fair to say that many folks will feel, with some considerable justification, that the situation looks to be almost out of anyone’s control.

Maria Bennett is right to raise this issue once again because gun crime is an issue that will one day be an every day event in virtually every community if ways to effectively combat it are not found soon. And quite obviously a fully resourced Merseyside Police Force is required to lead that fight.

My thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Emergency Services – Austerity causes innovative and welcome/unwelcome thinking

We are all sick and tired of austerity which has in effect been inflicted upon us as a consequence ‘casino banking’ and the subsequent financial crash. And yes it has caused great harm to the public services we all rely on.

But one, maybe the only positive consequence is that public services which for years have operated in glorious isolation from each other have had to look at innovative solutions to service delivery. Basing ambulances in fire stations or other similar solutions that bring together sometimes all 3 emergency services under one roof is an example.

Having said that the principle is good I was personally not supportive of the local solution which put ambulances, once based in Lydiate, in a fire station in Netherton. I wanted the Lydiate Ambulance Station and Maghull Police station merged onto the Maghull Police Station site but sadly no one was listening and the joined up thinking was not joined up as the Police were separately (and seemingly in glorious isolation) planning to shut down Maghull Police Station and sell off the land…….

But another innovative solution to service delivery is just up the road from my Lydiate home in neighbouring Aughton where the local Police Station is actually on Town Green Railway Station’s Liverpool bound platform. See photo below:-

As for Maghull the Police Station, we are told, it is going to occupy space within Maghull Town Hall. This may well have been a welcome and innovative solution if it had not meant the loss of the Town’s only surviving publicly funded youth facility. Plus that facility also doubled up to house the Town’s CAB but that has also now gone and a joint community the size of Maghull/Lydiate now sadly has no CAB.

So readers will understand why I am not at all happy with Maghull/Lydiate’s rather unwelcome public service delivery ‘solutions’. When the move of the Police Station to Maghull Town Hall will actually happen we don’t presently know as all has gone quiet on the matter.

Merseyrail Train is shot at

A 507/508 EMU Merseyrail unit at Crescent Road level crossing – Birkdale, Southport.

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/merseyrail-train-evacuated-after-being-13217678

The Liverpool Echo has the story from Monday night on its web site – see link above.

Goodness me the use of guns on Merseyside becomes a bigger concern each week that goes by. This may have been ‘just’ an air rifle incident but sadly it fits into a much wider picture of gun use locally.

Merseyside’s Gun Crime – Sobering stats April ’16 to April ’17

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/four-dead-more-30-injured-12867251

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link above

Sadly this is a matter I have covered on this blog site many times and things are just not getting any better and you could say they are in fact getting worse.

Does anyone have the answer to the question – ‘How do we get guns of the streets of Merseyside?’

Great divides? Community boundaries – Mean a lot, mean a little?

I have often pondered on boundaries especially those associated with local government. What forms a boundary, why was it chosen and who chose it?

Here are two boundaries close to my Lydiate home. One is with Maghull and the other with Aughton:-

Maghull Brook - On the left Lydiate (and me) - on the right Maghull.

Maghull Brook – On the left Lydiate (and me) – on the right Maghull.

Sudell Brook - On the left Lydiate - on the right Aughton

Sudell Brook – On the left Lydiate – on the right Aughton

In both cases the boundary is obviously a stream and this can often be the case with local government boundaries where watercourses have been chosen to divide communities up.

The boundary between Maghull and Lydiate simply divides the two Civil Parishes of Lydiate and Maghull and the only real obvious difference this creates is the amount of Council tax or Precept that the residents of these two communities pay to either Lydiate Parish Council or Maghull Town Council. Both Civil Parishes are in Sefton Borough and both are a part of the Liverpool City Region/Merseyside.

The Lydiate – Aughton boundary is of far greater significance though as it is all but an invisible barrier rather than a boundary because Aughton Civil Parish is in West Lancashire Borough and the County of Lancashire. The world does not look any different on either side of Sudell Brook but in fact it is as the Sefton Borough – West Lancashire boundary has, since 1974, become a local government barrier. Why you can almost hear senior council officers saying ‘we are a Metropolitan Borough [Sefton] and they are just a County’ and of course the reverse will apply too. Sadly, whilst I may well be exaggerating here the reality is that since 1974, in local government terms, Sefton’s communities and those in West Lancashire have mainly planned for their futures in glorious isolation – a great divide indeed.

Considering the massive boundary between West Lancashire and Sefton you would think there would be a huge amount of cross-border co-operation and planning for the joint communities. You would think so but I assure you there is not.

I recall during my time as Leader of Sefton Council I went to Ormskirk to meet the Leader of West Lancs Council to try to kick-start closer working relationships but it seems that those who followed us have not developed things further. What sense does separate transport planning in the two Boroughs make? Environmental protection issues must be similar surely? Health issues surely do not stop at a stream do they? Why we even have an NHS Hospital Trust on split between Southport and Ormskirk either side of the great divide.

I recall when Sefton and West Councils were planning for building on the Green Belt and on the highest grade of agricultural land in England that I started to ask questions about how closely the two two planning departments were sharing and consulting each other. The answers I got were hardly an example of close cooperation in my eyes and I wondered if the contact was little more that phone calls with one side saying ‘we are doing X’, ‘well we are doing y’, ‘OK speak again next year maybe’.

The bottom line is that Merseyside and Lancashire are very different worlds in local government terms. Is this something that is hammered into local government officers from an early age akin to religious indoctrination? Whatever the case it is very much to the disadvantage of communities which are near to a significant local government boundary in my view.