Billinge – Who’d of thought it on a Parish Council?

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/councillors-accused-racism-bribery-making-13169144

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/councillors-guilty-misconduct-after-racism-13176655

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

I’ve been a parish councillor since 1985 and whilst meeting some rather eccentric parish councillors in my time I have always found the vast majority of my fellow parish councillors to be decent folk.

Because of the nature of parish councils being small local affairs I have come across some councillors who think that the world ends at their parish boundary, or who don’t seem to understand what a parish council can and can’t do or who don’t seem to get how they should interact with the public who attend their meetings.

It’s perfectly legal for anyone to attend a parish council meeting and film it but I have heard of some parish councils who don’t like this and try to stop it. They don’t realise or don’t care that they are acting outside the law.

It’s also the case that sometimes a member of the public can turn up to a meeting and during the public participation part of it can be aggressive and difficult. Such rare events need a strong meeting chairman to handle things without a shouting match having to be the consequence.

I suppose what I am saying is that to be a parish councillor you need to be able to get along with folks especially those whom you disagree with.

Maghull/Lydiate – My letter to the Champion newspaper in respect of the Turnbridge Road site

The letter below is in response to the article on page 9 of the Aintree & Maghull Champion newspaper on 24th May where Labour councillors complain about a developer when their party on Sefton Council voted for the site to be developed via the Sefton Local Plan!

*****

That the developer of the Turnbridge Road site in Lydiate (which will be accessed from Maghull) is not engaging with locals is indeed an outrage. I wrote a detailed objection regarding this development to Sefton Council as part of the planning process. I also opposed the Sefton Local Plan which designated this site for development.

But just hang on a minute the councillors protesting about this in the Maghull Champion article belong to a political party – Labour – which voted for that site (amongst many others across the Borough) to be developed! Do I hear the sound of stable doors being slammed shut after the horse was allowed to trot out?

Yours sincerely

Cllr. Tony Robertson
Lydiate Parish Councillor

Guide Dogs/Hearing Dogs and Taxis

I have a partially sighted friend who uses a guide dog, although he is presently awaiting a new dog as his previous one sadly died not so long ago. Phil Marshall is his name and he lives in Maghull.

I raise this subject because Phil raised it with me whilst we were having a pint in the Derby Arms in Aughton. Phil had been contacted by Guide Dogs for the Blind recently asking him to lobby his local councillors about the problem of a small minority of taxi drivers who refuse to have a guide dogs in their vehicle.

Yes I know, it sounds almost beyond belief that a taxi driver could refuse a blind, partially sighted or deaf person a ride because they have a guide/hearing dog with them but I am told that it does happen.

www.guidedogs.org.uk/supportus/campaigns/access-all-areas/faq#.WTLg_Ma1vv8

The link above is to the Guide Dogs for the Blind web site which addresses this very issue. Locally Sefton Borough Council is the licensing authority for taxis.

I hope by sharing this issue I can help to try to put a stop to taxi refusals for blind/deaf people travelling with their dogs.

Maghull – The worst local road surface?

My money is on the short (seemingly unnamed road) road which links Sefton Lane to Sefton Meadows Waste Recycling Centre and which also serves Sefton Meadows Garden Centre and the businesses operating out of our long lost snooker hall. Just look at the state of it!

Suggested names for the road are Rubbish Road, Landfill Lane, Waste Way and Recycling’s Close.

Lunt – Fly-Tipping – It goes on and on and on!

I cycled through Lunt and its back lanes the other day and this is the sight that met me.

Sadly this is very far from being a new problem and the poor old residents of Lunt Village have had to put up with such illegal activities for many years. Of course Sefton Council is a victim too, as are local land owners, who have to keep clearing it all up.

A fellow cyclist was also passing through and he suggested what needs to be done to fly-tippers when they are caught. Of course as a Liberal I do not believe in executing people.

Seriously, councils and the Environment Agency really do have to get to grip with this ever expanding problem that is both blighting countryside and urban areas. Continuing to do what has always been done is clearly not working at all.

Maghull – That overgrown pedestrian bridge over Northway at the Hall Lane junction

I posted about this on 1st June. Here’s the post for reference:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/06/01/maghull-pedestrian-bridge-receives-camouflage-make-over/

Well I got a reply to my complaint about the bridge from Sefton Council but it was not the reply I expecting! This is what it said:-

‘Thank you for your email. Unfortunately Sefton only cut the grass verges and hedges we do not maintain the trees at the below location (see attached maintained area)

It may be best to speak to Maghull Town Council.’

Since when did Maghull Town Council have responsibility for this pedestrian bridge across Northway? It certainly did not when I was a Sefton Borough and Maghull Town Town Councillor up to 2015. Below is the map Sefton sent me showing the areas around the bridge where Sefton Council maintains hedges and grass verges:-

Well the trees that are overgrowing the bridge are growing on the land that Sefton Council maintains so I have pointed this out to them.

I await a more helpful response.

This is what it looked like today:-