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?

Social Care for the elderly – A disaster that is worsening every day

www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/social-care-crisis-latest-governmet-delays-slow-dragging-feet-labour-damian-green-a8058776.html

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

Norman Lamb MP

Quote from the article:-

Liberal Democrat former care minister Norman Lamb said: “This Government is completely failing to address the social care crisis which has left over a million vulnerable older people without the support they need.

“It is outrageous that they are now kicking the can further down the road, leaving the social care sector in a state of uncertainty.”

This vital issue affects every section of society as we will all potentially need social care when we are elderly. That means this is an obvious cross-party issue that should be addressed by the coming together of political foes for the benefit of the common good; something Norman Lamb has tried to bring about previously. Sadly, our ridiculously partisan political system leads to politicians opposing each other even when they agree but every day that this social care crisis is kicked down the road more of the elderly in our families will suffer from inadequate care.

Yet we still like to call ourselves civilised……..

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Brexit – Oh look a shortage of EU nurses!

www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-41838426

The BBC Has the news on its web site – see link above

Sadly Brexiters are seemingly happy to see us have a nursing shortage as they desperately try to turn the UK into a nation with no friends. Of course it could also be that they did not think through the consequences of their actions as they led us towards the cliff edge.

I wonder if Brexiters would be prepared to go in a slow lane when they need to attend hospital? Just imagine being asked ‘did you vote for Brexit?’ at triage. You did, OK please go to that queue of there. It’s a much longer queue because we have ensured that there are no EU medical staff to interact with you. I bet Brexiters would soon change their tune and pretend they had not voted for Brexit!

Sadly, however, we are all in that NHS slowing down treatment lane due to the collective act of self-destruction created by the result of EU Referendum.

As Tom Brake MP tweeted recently:-

Brexiters promised to revitalise the NHS, but they’re killing it. 30,000 unfilled nursing posts, 96% drop in EU nurses registering to work.

Maghull – Merrick Stott – A life well lived

Long time Maghull resident and former Maghull Town Mayor, Councillor Merrick Stott has sadly passed away at the ripe old age of 93.

Merrick had lived on Melling Lane in Maghull for as long as I had known him, he was a regular attender at St. George’s RC Church and had been a bank manager prior to his retirement I understand.

He was always smartly dressed and rarely seen without his suit on, you might call him an old fashioned gentleman.

He was elected to serve on Maghull Town Council in May 1987, was Town Mayor in 1990/91 and was Chair of the Policy and Resources Committee. It fell to Merrick to uncover a loss of money within the Council which ended up with the Police being involved back in the late 1980’s, but as a former bank manager it was no surprise that he picked up on the matter.

Whilst Merrick could look rather formal he actually had a rather good sense of humour and two incidents come to mind that make me smile when I recall them. On one occasion he was canvassing for the Lib Dems somewhere in Maghull and a door opened to reveal a young lady with a little towel covering her up and nothing else! Always the gentleman Merrick did not flinch and carried on with his doorstep conversation as though nothing had happened. On another occasion there was a slight misunderstanding between Merrick and I. I thought he had told me he was a naturist when in fact he had told me he was a naturalist. Well having commented on Merrick of all people being a naturist the misunderstanding got back to him. Fortunately he thought the misunderstanding was hilarious.

Merrick spent some time on the Management Committee of the former Stafford Moreton Youth Club and he was also involved in the running of Melling Tithe Barn. And with his environmental interests taking the lead he worked up the project to replant many trees within Balls Wood during the late 1980’s/early 1990’s. Those trees are now fully established and a tribute to Merrick.

A nice and decent man was Merrick Stott and my best wishes to his family at this difficult time.

And here are some additional comments from George Barnes paying a lovely tribute to Merrick:-

Thank you Tony, for the fitting and lovely personal tribute to the Late Merrick Stott, an ‘unsung hero’ of local & civic service. Merrick had many interests and supported many good causes; he was ever ready to give his time and professionalism for the benefit of others. Always self-effacing, he had an acute mind in matters financial as Tony points out. Very well-read – nothing ‘light’, and well-informed. Back in the day, he was involved in Scouting within St.George’s parish. He co-founded the Stroke Club which met at Christopher Taylor House, was for many years a Foundation Governor of St.George’s Primary School and very much involved with the Late John Hoople in the Melling Arts Association. He was a keen gardener, kept bees at one time, very interested in Environmental matters. We cannot mention Merrick without Marie to whom he was married for over 50 years; and well-known in Maghull in her own right. They were rightly proud of their three sons and 10 grand-children – always supportive and interested in their careers , achievements and travels. All who knew Merrick acknowledge their loss with deepest sympathy but with the conviction that Merrick contributed much without wanting fuss or praise. May he rest in peace.

Maghull – ‘Poppy Fields’ and Maghull North Station progress

I have been keeping an eye on the progress of these two adjacent developments off Maghull’s School Lane and here are are some photos of things as they were on 11th November.

Station platforms beginning to emerge

Almost completed houses on ‘Poppy Fields’, the former site of Moss Side Hospital and subsequently Ashworth South Hospital

Looking over the recently created rainwater collection pond (Sustainable Urban Drainage or SuD in drainage engineer’s speak). School Lane is behind the fence in the background.

Of course the Maghull North Station construction process has become hugely controversial with neighbouring residents in Mersey Avenue in recent weeks due to intrusive night time working, noise and flood lighting.

Merseytravel/Network Rail are promising a residents meeting we are informed in an attempt to find a way forward. There was no work taking place when the photo above was taken.

The housing development on Poppy Fields or the Moss Side Hospital/Ashworth South site (all are used to describe this site and its history) was not controversial when the wedge shaped piece of land was designated for housing in Sefton Council’s otherwise hugely controversial and recent Local Plan. But the site sits across the road (School Lane) from the most controversial of all the sites in that Local Plan – The Maghull East Urban Extension of around 1,600 houses plus a business park.

Poppy Fields in its former guise as a mental health treatment hospital site and before that, in World War 1, as a world leading center for the development of treatments for those suffering from ‘Shell Shock’ is of huge historical significance.

Time for NHS to step up & provide state of the art facilities for Maghull & District

My media release to the Champion newspaper following yet another NHS letdown statement in the Aintree & Maghull edition of the paper dated 11th October 2017

*****

The former Lib Dem Leader of Sefton Council Tony Robertson, who now sits on Lydiate Parish Council, has stepped into the debate about a Health and Wellbeing Centre that is being proposed for the Town.

Tony says he is angry that after numerous failed attempts to upgrade local NHS facilities little if anything has changed at all. He sights the fact that when Meadows Leisure Centre was being planned it was designed to incorporate a GP practice which would have had on-site health, fitness and wellbeing facilities provided by the Leisure Centre. Sadly the NHS walked away from that opportunity and Maghull Library moved into the space the NHS could have had.

“But it does not end’ there says Tony “When Lydiate Village Centre was being planned the NHS was invited to become a partner with Lydiate Parish Council to deliver health services from the Centre. Again the NHS decided not to take up the opportunity.”

“And to put the tin lid on it the Champion has recently been asked to run an article saying that the Health and Wellbeing facility that looked like it may be coming to the Town is now only a vague possibility. This is deja vu for me because when I was given the green light a few years back from a senior Sefton Council Officer to the effect that the NHS were going to rebuild Maghull Health Centre and provide a Walk-In facility within the new building the NHS said ‘oh no we are not’ and they walked away. The Champion was asked to print a retraction back then!”

“Only recently I backed Independent Cllr. Matt Gannon in his attempt to get an NHS Walk-In facility back on track for Maghull. Matt was right to try to get this long promised but never delivered facility back in the mind of the NHS service commissioners.”

“I said at the time Sefton Council backed the opening of the Litherland Town Hall NHS Walk-In facility many years ago that I would support it on the basis that a similar facility was also subsequently provided for Sefton’s East Parishes (Maghull, Melling, Lydiate, Aintree Village & Sefton and Lunt Villages) – we are still waiting 10 years or more on!”

“Too many promises have been made, too many opportunities have been missed and my view is that those who plan for the location of NHS facilities in Sefton, be they the former Primary Care Trusts or the present Clinical Commissioning Groups, have let this part of the Borough down badly. It’s time to put that right rather than keep telling us that the answer is always NO!”

*****

My statement published by the newspaper in its edition of 7th November 2017.