SAVE OUR GREEN BELT – Labour hype about Green Belt/Green Spaces – what brass neck!

I mentioned not so long ago a Labour publication that is doing the rounds in the Sefton Central constituency called Sefton Voice and the frankly ludicrous article about the closure of Sefton Council’s libraries which is being pursued by the Labour run Council.

But there was another but this time more subtle attempt to spin a bit recent history. In an article about the Green Belt we see a picture of three Labour councillors who represent Maghull walking across a green space. The impression that Labour wants us to pick up from this is that they are fighting for Green Belt and green spaces. The other picture shows Sefton Central’s Labour MP and his 3 Formby Labour councillors. Again a pro-Green Belt impression is being pushed yet the independent Green Belt campaign group in Formby seems highly unimpressed with what all 6 of Formby’s Borough Councillors (there are two Tories and one Independent in addition to the 3 Labour councillors) are doing to protect their Green Belt.

If we cast our minds back to two quite recent events, one in Lydiate and one in Maghull the actions of Labour, as opposed to their spin, has not been as ‘green’ as that Party seems to think we are.

This snow covered field is where Labour councillors voted to allow a canal marina to be built off Bells Lane, Lydiate

This snow covered field is where Labour councillors voted to allow a canal marina to be built off Bells Lane, Lydiate

In Lydiate, Labour councillors on Sefton Council’s Planning Committee voted to build a canal marina on Green Belt land. The only reason it did not happen is because at that time Labour did not control the Council and opposition parties voted together to stop it. It then went to a Planning Appeal where the developer tried to overturn the Council decision. No Labour councillors turned up at the two day hearing and it was left to residents and Lib Dem councillors to fight the developer. The battle was won but under Labour the planning permission would seemingly have been given.

In Maghull, Labour brought residents together to fight a development on a significant piece of urban green space in the heart of the community, off Damfield Lane. Labour brazenly marched them up to the top of the hill and then abandoned them by voting for the planning application!

The more they spin the more they expose their ‘say one thing do another’ approach. Oh and by the way, in case you may be thinking that I would be saying this because I am in opposition to Labour, consider this. A lady, who said she was a Labour Party member, got up to denounce the actions of Labour at a Planning Committee meeting that dealt with the Damfield Lane project; I know because I was there!

Gun crime in Sefton – Let’s move to bring it under control

I have lived in the Maghull and Lydiate communities since I was 10 years of age so I know how crime free our area has always been. Yet in the past year we have had 3 shootings, one at the Recycling Centre, one outside Maricourt High School and one in Rufford Avenue. This is unprecedented in Maghull history as far as I know and deeply worrying for the folks who live here.

I have also worked in Bootle since I was 17 and the worrying trend towards gun crime there, which seems to be associated with gang culture, has to be a big concern for both Bootle residents and the many public sector workers who are employed in its mini-Whitehall quarter.

My objective is to ensure that Merseyside’s new Police and Crime Commissioner knows how concerned Sefton residents are to rid our streets of guns. I am looking for a clear strategy to achieve that and am pleased that Sefton Council Leader Peter Dowd has agreed to pursue the matter following my raising it at Sefton’s full Council meeting last Thursday.

It is vital that we try to rid guns from our communities before we end up with someone wanting to set up a branch of the National Rifle Association locally. It is essential that this battle with guns is given the very highest priority in Merseyside.