Sefton’s Parishes are being not being treated fairly

I have long campaigned for fair funding for the parts of Sefton that have Parish Councils, and am concerned that Sefton’s cuts do not adversely impact on the 4 Parish Councils that look after their own parks i.e. Aintree Village, Lydiate, Maghull and to a lesser extent Melling.

My concerns follow winning a battle for fair funding in 2009 when Sefton, finally agreed to pay to each of these Parish Councils an amount per acre that matched what Sefton paid out to maintain its own parks. For years the Parishes had been short changed because the Borough took tax from Council tax payers of these parishes but had not returned a fair amount to their Parish Councils.

My present concern is that, due to cut backs by the now Labour run Council, the 4 Parish Councils had been told to expect a 12.5% reduction in the return payments. However, it turns out that Sefton has actually been considering a cut of around 25%. What’s more this was not communicated to Melling, Lydiate and Aintree Village Parish Councils before they set their budgets for 2013/14!

This is a terrible way to treat the Parish Councils and how with 3 Labour Parish/Town Councillors on Sefton’s Cabinet did no one at the Borough Council know that Parish Councils usually set their budgets in January. Consulting with them after they have set their legal budget is simply not on.

We all know times are tough because of Labour and bankers ruining our economy but it is important that Parish Councils, which are grass roots of local democracy, are not trampled all over in the desperate rush to make savings.

School Lane, Maghull – The flooding is still not resolved but we may have a better idea of why it keeps happening

Sand bags at the ready!

Sand bags at the ready!

I have been pursuing this problem for a couple of months, following resident complaints and raised it at the February meeting of the East Parishes Area Committee as did Cllr. Bruce Hubbard.

We have thought for some time that surface water flowing off the site where the new prison was to have been built could be the cause and recent heavy rain has confirmed this is at least a contributory factor. Indeed, some sand bags have had to be placed around the pedestrian crossing to help to control the water.

Sefton Council really does need to get to the bottom of this as the continual flow of water is ruining the road surface of what is a busy connection with the M58 Motorway.”

Maghull V Sefton Parish Boundary dispute – Well folks do keep asking me about it

The posts and sign behind me are, I am told, where Maghull's boundary sign is to be relocated to.

The posts and sign behind me are, I am told, where Maghull’s boundary sign is to be relocated to. Don’t ask me when though as this has been going on for months on end!

Since I first raised this I have been surprised by how many people have asked me what the latest is. It seems this is a matter of some amusement for some folk and I must admit to having had the odd chuckle about it myself.

If you recall the boundary sign saying ‘MAGHULL’, on Bridges Lane, had to be taken down a few months ago because Sefton Parish Council said it was ‘on their land’ or more to the point in their Parish. It was there because there was nowhere for it to go on the actual boundary (Dovers Brook) due to a narrow pavement. What’s more it had been in place for donkey’s years without any complaint. However, the complaint came in and the sign was removed.

In turn this then meant that the Maghull in Bloom volunteers, who had recently put planter baskets on each of Maghull’s boundary signs, were forced to take their basket down as the sign was no long a boundary sign; indeed it was now nothing at all except to two redundant poles. Make that one pole now as the other one disappeared last week.

The back up plan, so I was told by Maghull’s Town Clerk Mark Julius, was to put the boundary sign on another set of poles just inside the Maghull boundary that currently houses a sign for Sefton Meadows Recycling Centre. So far it has not appeared and I assume that until it does neither will the Maghull in Bloom Volunteer’s planting basket.

As one residents said to me recently, ‘we may be in hard times but a little and frankly daft local falling-out over a sign gave me a good laugh; it shows British eccentricity is still alive and well.’

For my money I think that when Maghull Council does finally put the sign back up that the Town Mayor should be trundled out to unveil it with the Town Band playing as well.

SAVE OUR LIBRARIES – Big protest at Sefton Cabinet meeting puts Labour under even more pressure

The message is clear but will Labour back down or swing their axe

The message is clear but will Labour back down or swing their axe

Residents, campaigners, Aintree Ratepayers and Lib Dem councillors protested outside Southport Town Hall last Thursday morning as the all-Labour Cabinet of Sefton Council were about to decided whether they really were going to close more than half the Borough’s libraries.

Whether they bottled it, were having second thoughts or simply did not know what to do we will probably never know but the end result was that they decided not to make a decision. The matter will now be decided at the next Cabinet meeting on 28th February so we are told.

Maghull’s famous Youth Coffee Bar faces funding threat

The unique Youth Coffee Bar in Maghull Town Hall that was set up by Maghull and District Youth Council and the then Lib Dem run Town Council is facing an uncertain future as Labour run Sefton Council has turned down a bid for its continuing funding. This despite the Borough Council saying is has £40,000 available to spend on such projects across the East Parishes in the next financial year.

Lib Dem campaigners are worried that if things are not sorted out soon this valuable youth facility that has won nationwide plaudits, could face the chop. Says Lib Dem Cllr. Andrew Blackburn “We have to do all we can to get the funding in place and if Labour run Sefton will not fund it then Maghull Town Council should put its hand in its rather deep pockets; we can’t let it simply drift away.”