Green Belt – Labour’s mad world of push me, pull you!


I snapped this photo in Lydiate’s Coronation Road yesterday and frankly was incredulous of what I was seeing. I am sure the person living there must genuinely want to preserve the Green belt but Labour are the last Party in the Borough to do that for them!

In Sefton the Council is Labour controlled and the majority Labour Group on the Council recently voted to consult the people of the Borough about their proposals to build on Sefton’s Green Belt!

I am beginning to think that we are living in a parallel universe where some things are the opposite of what they are in the other universe.

But just in case you don’t think I am not being fair and reasonable just click the link below to the Crosby Herald newspaper where Sefton Council Leader and Maghull Town Councillor Peter Dowd is stating what Labour’s position is. I disagree with Peter’s objectives, because they will mean so much housing having to be built on Green Belt/high grade agricultural land, but have known him long enough to accept that what he puts in the press is what Sefton Labour Party really thinks.

My posting of 13th February 2013 also refers and this was followed up by an article in the Aintree & Maghull Champion which made building on Green Belt a clear consequence of Labour’s policy direction.

On that basis why are Labour producing posters that are the opposite of what they are doing on the Council? Answers on a post card…………………..

Postscript – the word on the street is that these posters are being put up by Labour supporters in an attempt to give the impression that their Party is doing just the opposite of what they are really doing.

Lollies Bridge looking towards Maghull – Leeds Liverpool Canal


This is a shot of the Leeds Liverpool Canal through Lydiate looking towards Liverpool from what locals call Lollies Bridge on Southport Road. In the very far distance are the outer northern moorings of the Mersey Motorboat Club. You will have to click the photo to enlarge it and look carefully to see the moored boats.

There is no canal towpath access at Lollies Bridge, which I have often thought is most odd. However, there is a footpath that is accessed by the bridge on the opposite side to the towpath heading north only towards Lydiate Hill Bridge.

Lollies Bridge is the next bridge northwards from Pilling Lane where the access has been closed by the Canal & River Trust for many months now. Repairs are due to be undertaken in January so I am told. The goodish news is that at last the Trust has put up notices at Bells Lane (the access south of Pilling Lane) and just north of Lollies Bridge (where a footpath joins the canal towpath) making it clear that you can’t access Pilling Lane due to the closed steps leading up from the canal.

Sefton Local Plan – Do Labour really have a secret agenda to shift some Green Belt house building from Maghull into Lydiate?

Now I have said before that Labour in Sefton has a problem with leaks and the latest one to reach me (which I mentioned in my posting of 22nd October) is about what looks at face value to be a potential slight of hand, assuming it is true.

What I am being told is that there have been discussions within Sefton Labour to reduce the amount of house building in Maghull but that this could well be at the expense of neighbouring Lydiate or elsewhere in the Borough. Sharing the pain more evenly across the Borough may be their intended strapline? In reality though it would simply bring them more grief!

Building on the two Lydiate ‘reserve’ sites would increase the number of houses in that Parish by up to 35%!

There has been a very bad reaction to Labour-run Sefton Council’s plan to build a huge urban extension to the east of Maghull because, if it goes ahead, it will increase the number of houses in Maghull by around 25%.

Are Labour running scared of their own proposal to build a massive urban extension to the east of Maghull?

In Labour’s draft Local Plan for the Borough the 2 sites in Lydiate are what they term as ‘reserve’ sites. A reasonable interpretation of this is that if sites elsewhere do not move forward to be developed then the Lydiate sites will be released to build on. But whichever way you look at it, it must surely be the case that these two Lydiate sites, under Labour’s plan, will be built on it’s just that it will take longer for this to happen than say the Maghull sites.

What some Labour folk seem to want to do is to try to buy off disgruntled voters in Maghull (who recently gave Labour a good kicking in 2 by-elections) by reducing the number of houses to be built there whilst bringing the Lydiate/other sites forward more quickly. They must think that this will get them off the hook with the Maghull community and environmental campaigners! I wonder who could have had such a naive thought?

It looks to me that Labour will dig themselves into a even deeper hole if they try this one on for real!

North West in Bloom – Sefton’s communities win many prizes

The 2013 awards for North West in Bloom were held in Southport yesterday and today and they saw a number of success for Sefton’s diverse communities. Yesterday’s awards, which I was not at, saw Maghull Station Volunteers take two more awards. They are going to need a bigger trophy cabinet if they keep on winning as they have been in recent times under the determined leadership of Nigel Winchester.

Today I was at the second awards ceremony and the prizes kept rolling in for Sefton communities. Have a look at my photos below.

Of all the things I do and have done as councillor working with ‘In Bloom’ volunteers will always be one of my most rewarding activities. Their determination to improve their communities is inspiring.

Southport winners with Mayor Maureen Fearn

Southport winners with Sefton’s Mayor Cllr. Maureen Fearn

Certificate won by Crosby & Waterloo in Bloom

Certificate won by Crosby & Waterloo in Bloom

The Crosby winners with Sefton Mayor Maureen Fearn

The Crosby winners with Mayor Maureen Fearn

Cup won by Southport in Bloom

Cup won by Southport in Bloom

Southport won a another prize as well!

Southport won a another prize as well!

John and Anne Hill of Maghull in Bloom - middle and right in photo.

John and Anne Hill of Maghull in Bloom – middle and right in photo. They collected a Silver/Gilt award in the Large Town category for Maghull

Doreen Scott (left of Mayor) of Melling in Bloom picked up an award in the Small Village category for Melling

Doreen Scott (left of Mayor) of Melling in Bloom picked up an award in the Small Village category for Melling

Lydiate Green Belt – Parish Council responds robustly to an approach from a developer’s agent

Just as the pressure seems to be coming off Formby’s Green Belt, via a developer pulling out just before their plan was to go before Sefton Council’s Planning Committee, another one has started to ramp up the pressure this time in Lydiate.

Below is the response of Lydiate Parish Council which met last night to discuss a response to a letter from a developer’s agent requesting a meeting to discuss their clients building proposals. The site in question is bounded by Liverpool Road, Lambshear Lane, Sandy Lane and Moss Lane and is one of the two proposed ‘reserve’ sites in Sefton Councils’ draft Local Plan. The Lib Dem run Parish Council has already collected a huge petition against the site being developed for housing.

Anthony H Aitken MRTPI
Head of Planning
Colliers International
39 George Street

Dear Mr Aitken,

Town & Country Planning Act – Mactaggart & Mickel

Thank you for your letter of 8 October 2013, regarding your client’s plan to build on Green Belt land in Lydiate Parish.

I think it is only fair to inform you that Lydiate Parish Council has been participating in a local campaign to protect the present Green Belt boundaries in and around Lydiate.

I am not at all sure that a meeting with your company at this time would be of much purpose. Sefton Council is yet to publish, formerly react or change any of its recommendations as a result of the recent three month public consultation period.

Lydiate Parish Council challenges you to withdraw this threat of building on Lydiate’s Green Belt and high grade agricultural land.

Yours sincerely,

Barbara Keenan
Parish Clerk

Green Belt developer pulls out (for now) in Formby – A real turn up for the books!


Sefton Council Corporate Communications 1st Floor, Bootle Town Hall Bootle, L20 7AE
Date: 23 October 2013

Formby Planning Application Is Withdrawn

A planning application for housing on the edge of Formby has been withdrawn by the applicants prompting the cancellation of an additional planning meeting. Barrett Homes and David Wilson Homes have written to Sefton Council to withdraw the application for 274 dwellings on the site bounded by Liverpool Road, Monks Drive, Savon Hook and River Close. The applicant’s decision means that an additional meeting of Sefton’s planning committee on Monday, October 28, at the Atkinson, Southport, has now been cancelled.


Notes for editors A report to Sefton’s Planning Committee published on Friday, October 18, recommended to the committee that the application (Ref S/2013/0905) be refused.
Issued by: Chris Hannaway Principal Communications Officer


Check out the Fragoff website for more news on this surprising development at:-