Closure of Lydiate Ambulance Station – Why did Labour sit on the information and say nothing until Lib Dems made it public?

The proposed closure of Maghull Ambulance Station, with the ambulance based there being moved to Buckley Hill Fire Station, is a concern to us all and that is why Cllr. Andrew Blackburn and I made the issue public via the Champion newspaper (24th April) and this blog site.


But hang on a minute, Labour run Sefton Council knew about this closure at least as long ago as the 12th March (some 6 weeks previously) when they were written to by the North West Ambulance Trust.

On that basis why did it have to take us opposition Lib Dem councillors to ferret out the information and make it public? Why did Labour sit on the information? Why indeed. What’s more it seems that the comrades are now scuttling around raising a petition against the closure that they did nothing about at all until we, with the Champion’s help, put it in the public domain.

That’s not community leadership dear comrades it’s band wagon jumping.

Lydiate gets outdoor gym equipment


This was the scene as work to install the outdoor gym equipment was all but finished at Lydiate Parish Council’s Village Centre site on Lambshear Lane.

It is looking good and is NHS funded but I remember when a far seeing Lydiate Parish Council suggested installing such items a few years ago. It was attacked in the press for even thinking about it! How times move on.

Lib Dems raise concerns about closure of Lydiate Ambulance Station

Plans by the North West Ambulance Service to close their ambulance station in Lydiate’s Kenyons Lane and relocate the ambulance housed there to Netherton’s Buckley Hill Fire Station have met with big concerns from local Lib Dem Sefton councillors.

The worrying news came in a letter to Sefton Council dated 12th March from the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust signed by Bob Williams the Trust’s Acting Chief Executive.

Says Cllr. Andrew Blackburn “My worry is that not having an ambulance based in the Maghull and Lydiate community will mean that the level of response to emergencies could well be less.

We have had a local ambulance station for as long as most people can remember and taking into account the size of the Maghull and Lydiate population, which has grown significantly since the ambulance station was built, it must surely be the case that an ambulance should continue to be stationed here.”

The Lib Dem councillors view is that the Trust needs to consult local people about this proposal and explain things to local people. The plans need testing against local opinion and residents need to have a say before the Trust takes any binding decisions.

I fear that this has been under discussion for quite some time but no consultation with residents has taken place. This is a big decision and I want it taken with the views of local people before the Trust Board. But for that to happen information needs to be put before residents clearly stating where all the ambulances that serve Maghull and Lydiate will be based and the estimated response times following any relocations.

I am particularly concerned about the large rural area of Lydiate to the north of the Parish which the present ambulance station can serve very well. The proposal to relocate to Netherton could mean that rural Lydiate becomes not so well served.

Morrisons Store, Maghull – More on that potential rebuild

Morrisons and their car park are behind me

Morrisons and their car park are behind me

As a Maghull Town Centre improvement campaigner I think there may be a break-through in the not too distant future with regard to the long-running project to enlarge Maghull’s ‘too small’ Morrisons store.

When I was Leader of Sefton Council I tried to kick-start a refresh of Maghull’s shopping centre and am now reasonably optimistic about progress being made following previous set backs with regard to the part of the shopping centre on the southern side of Westway.

We all know that the present Morrisons Store is too small and does not fully meet local needs and its car park is also too small and poorly laid out. Unfortunately, the last plan, which would have led to an enlarged Morrisons, fell through as agreement could not be reached with all the land owners involved. However, Morrisons have told me that they are trying again to make progress with the major land owner, London and Cambridge Properties.

In a letter to me dated 23rd January 2013 Morrisons Development Executive Richard Bakes holds out some hope that the problems with the redevelopment can be overcome.

However, the related and long-running saga over the rebuild of Maghull’s Health Centre, which sits right next to Morrisons, still seems stalled despite the NHS saying over a year ago that they had allocated money for the project.

It would seem logical to get the two projects working together as they jointly occupy the same site but that may be a step too far if too many land owners were the cause of the last plan failing.

All we want is for the NHS to get the Health Centre project moving after years of it going around in circles and for Morrisons to be able to expand as soon as possible.

Urban foxes – In Maghull, in Melling, in a community like yours

Following the recent case where a young child was pulled out of cot by a fox there has been much media hype over the matter.

Urban foxes have been around for a long, long time. Indeed, I recall sitting at the busy A59/Hall Lane traffic lights by Maghull Town Hall not so long ago and watching a fox, bold as you like, trot across the A59. That was about 8.00pm in the evening.

I also saw one where my Mum and dad used to live in Sefton Lane, Maghull making its way through back gardens. This was 4 or 5 years ago at least and my Dad would often tell me that he had seen a fox in his garden going back many years.

Yesterday, at work, we got talking about this and a lady who lives in Melling told me that she often sees foxes about. But if you think about it the East Parishes part of Sefton is semi-rural so finding foxes in our communities is hardly a new thing.