Maghull/ Lydiate – last night’s rain storms

That was some heavy rain we had last night and cycling around Maghull and Lydiate this morning I ran into the consequences of it. The first shot is of Millbank Lane, the unadopted road/public right of way that runs from the junction of Dodds Ln/Kenyons Ln/Park Ln to the boundary with Aughton. The surface has been breaking up in the latter 3rd of it for some time now (my previous posting refers – linked below) but today it was impassable for cyclists and pedestrians. I had to turn back and find an alternative route into Aughton.

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/08/20/maghull-millbank-lane-is-unadopted-says-sefton-council/

The second shot is of Pygons Hill Lane near to Jackson’s Bridge. Not too clear in this shot but it was running like a stream down the hill towards the canal bridge.

I noticed yesterday afternoon before the really heavy rain how high the River Alt was, where Bridges Ln crosses it between Maghull and Sefton Village. Reminds us all of how vulnerable to flooding we are when major rain storms hit low lying Sefton.

Crosby – Wrecks off the Sefton Coast – Talk at Crosby Library

Sheila and I went along to what turned out to be a packed out talk at Crosby Library this afternoon all about shipping wrecks along the coast of Sefton. The talk was given by Martyn Griffiths who has a web site about such matters which I have linked below:

www.martyngriff.co.uk/

The fact that there have been around 300 wrecks in the past 300 years is quite a surprising stat for those of us who are not well antiquated with the treacherous nature of the sand banks out in the Mersey estuary.

Martyn told us about just a handful of the many wrecks and one in particular The Bradda was illustrated by a beautiful model (belonging to Peter Kenrick) of the ship. Here’s some photos that I took of the model:-

An hour well spent gaining some knowledge of what is clearly a huge subject matter. The photo below shows one of the wrecks that can been seen on the Sefton Coast:-

Photo credit Sefton Libraries

Click on any of the photos to enlarge it

England Coast Path – Coming to a Borough like Sefton soon

Hightown Beach

I have been aware of this project to create a coastal path along the whole of the English coast for some time but had not looked at it in any detail for a while. However, at a recent meeting of the Sefton Rights of Way Liaison Group the project came up and I decided to delve into it again.

I’m told by those in the know that the whole project is due to be completed by 2020, so that’s not long at all is it. I also understand that details of the proposed north west stretch of the path will be out for consultation very soon. Our section covers the coast from Cleveleys down to Liverpool Pier Head – See map linked below:-

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/602831/cleveleys-pier-head-stretch-map.pdf

It will indeed be interesting to see what the proposals for the section of path through Sefton Borough will look like. Watch this space……

Here’s a link to the .gov.uk pages about the project:-

www.gov.uk/government/collections/england-coast-path-improving-public-access-to-the-coast

Maghull – Habitat Regulations – Town Council has an in and out relationship with them or so it seems

The irony of Maghull Town Council taking out hedges (otherwise know as a habitat for wildlife) in Glenn Park only yards away from other hedges along Eastway, which they have previously left uncut despite complaints from pedestrians, due to Habitat Regulations is not lost on me.

This saga goes back a while now (to 2015) and I have posted about it previously. Here’s my most relevant previous posting:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2016/11/30/maghull-i-keep-getting-asked-why-maghull-tc-does-not-cut-its-hedges/

What’s brought the matter back into focus now is the removal of a couple of quite long hedges from within Glenn Park by Maghull Town Council in the past few days. My understanding is that the stated reason for removing them is to introduce sight lines across the park to assist with anti-social behaviour issues there. Well the motive seems sound then at one level but hang on a minute.

Glenn Park – Where until recently there was a hedge/wildlife habitat

Firstly, a bit of history. Glenn Park has long had ASB issues associated with it; I can trace them back into the mid 1980’s at least, as that is when I became a Maghull councillor. Various things have been tried to tackle the problem. For example the former tennis courts were floodlit to provide a caged ball area in the 1990’s. Another initiative between Maghull Town Council and Sefton Council’s Youth Service was the youth facility that operated within the park making use of the former bowls hut. I also recall The Town Council introducing Park Rangers across all of Maghull’s parks to tackle ASB. The demise of the youth facility and the Park Rangers must have had a negative impact on ASB issues.

Anyway back to the present. As you may have guessed by now the Town Council pointed to Habitat Regulations when they were challenged over uncut and overgrown hedges along Eastway. As I have pointed out in my previous posting (linked above) they were being selective in their interpretation of the regulations because where a hedge is close to a footpath it can be cut back on the side causing access issues for pedestrians.

So what we have established is that the Town Council are aware of the appropriate regulations. Here’s a link to those regulations which seem to be more properly known as The Hedgerows Regulations (1997):-

www.gov.uk/guidance/countryside-hedgerows-regulation-and-management

So how do we end up in a situation where the Town Council takes out hedges seemingly without reference to the hedgerow regulations it was merrily quoting when it came to the non-cutting of hedges only yards away not so long ago?

I am aware that a Maghull resident has referred the matter to Natural England and that a response is awaited but frankly I can’t see why the environmental and habitat considerations were seemingly not taken into account along side the ASB issues before action was taken to grub out two lengthy sections of what would have been mainly Hawthorne hedging.

Yes of course the ASB issues need to be addressed again at Glenn Park but to do so whilst removing habitat for wildlife is solving one problem to effectively create another. There must have been a viable alternative (reducing the height of the hedges comes to mind as is happening in other places presently around Glenn Park) so why was it not pursued? Surely an Environmental Impact Assessment would have been the first consideration would it not?

The Town Council may well get away with removing the hedging and the home it provided for wildlife but surely a public body should be approaching such matters with the green and environmental consequences of any park management changes being its first thought.

As an environmental campaigner I am so saddened by this turn of events.

The challenges of youth – The Icelandic way/solutions

www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05mw7rd

The BBC has some innovative youth solutions on its web site – see link above

I have not been one to watch the demise of local youth facilities without saying that we are headed in very much the wrong direction and that there are and will continue be negative consequences for the wider community and the young people left wandering on our streets.

The closure of Maghull’s innovative Youth Coffee Bar set up by local youngsters for local youngsters comes to mind. On the positive side though volunteers are working to set up a new youth facility which will soon operate from within Lydiate Village Centre.

But this a is not another rant about the the failed political processes in Maghull/Lydiate that have led to the demise of publicly funded youth facilities, its a call to say hey look at what the Icelandic nation is doing and could we not do something similar?

The alternative i.e. to continue to let our young people wander the streets getting into trouble and keeping our over-stretched police force busy is hardly offering them a happy, healthy and positive future now is it?

Lydiate – Parish Council’s winter planting at Nedens Lane

The piece of land at the junction of Nedens Lane and Southport Road always looks good and has done ever since Lydiate Parish Council took over the maintenance of it from Sefton Council.

Winter planting of the flower beds in this landscaped area has been completed recently by the Parish Council’s grounds staff who are doing their bit to assist with the recently launched Lydiate in Flower volunteer group who will hopefully be starting work on other flower/environmental projects next spring.