Maghull in Bloom – Loved every minute of it

Following my decision not to stand for Maghull Town Council again (after 30 consecutive years of membership) and the fact that the electorate invited me to vacate my Sefton Council seat representing the western side of Maghull 3 weeks ago an important and rather sad consequential move was brought about.

Maghull Station in Bloom r

The move? To resign my chairmanship of the Maghull in Bloom Steering Group.

More than anything this was the role that I had enjoyed doing over the past few years as a councillor. Indeed, I think it fair to say that I found the experience one of the post rewarding activities I have ever been involved with. You see working with volunteers who simply want to improve the environment of Maghull and make it a better, cleaner and nicer place to live is very uplifting. No political side, no egos, nothing but those volunteers wanting to put Maghull first.

Volunteer 'Bloomers' get their just rewards.

Volunteer ‘Bloomers’ get their just rewards.

The Steering Group came out of an invitation to me from the volunteers a few years back to set one up. The problem had been bringing all the oganisations and bodies together so that progress could be made on ‘In Bloom’ projects. We ended up involving Maghull Station Volunteers, Melling in Bloom, Maghull in Bloom, Maghull Town Council, Sefton Borough Council, Ashworth Hospital, Kennet Prison, MADCOS (Maghull & District Cluster of Schools) and Sefton CVS to name just a few of the regular participants at our monthly meetings.

Maghull in Bloom

I like to think that the coming together each month of everyone who wanted to push the environmental agenda forward for Maghull worked and I really do hope that another Maghull Councillor will come forward to take the Group on to even greater success.

All I did was try to get people and organisations pulling in the same direction the work, as always, was done by the dedicated volunteers.

So sad to have to let this job of a lifetime go but having moved to Lydiate and not having any councillor responsibilities for Maghull any more the time had come to move on. I will really miss those monthly meetings and the great people who made them so enjoyable.

Skelmersdale – That plan to bring a railway back to the town – An update

I blogged about this ambitious plan last August. Here’s the link to it:-

The old Skelmersdale Station - now long gone in the name of progress!

The old Skelmersdale Station – now long gone in the name of progress!

Well the Southport Visiter newspaper is carrying an update:-

Looks like things are progressing although it is fair to say that what could well end up being a £100m+ project is thought not to be a runner in some circles simply because of that price tag. The theory goes that such a huge amount of money spent elsewhere on the local rail network could deliver other much needed projects (the Burscough Curves?) for far less money.

If delivered the project may well see Merseyrail electric trains reaching Skem’ with a diesel hauled service connecting Skem with Wigan.

This one has a long way to go before it really is a runner I think but as I said in my previous posting correcting the errors of the past does not come cheap!

With thanks to Cllr. John Dodd of Meols Ward in Southport for the lead to this updated story. John sits on the Merseytravel Committee.

Bootle and its history wall

You know when you walk past something so often that it just becomes a part of the background well that recently happened to me until someone said ‘What’s that history wall all about in the Strand? It’s asking for people to share their memories of WW1 but there will be hardly anyone who can do that’.

Bootle's history wall 05 2015

Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Well the wall remains blank despite being on the shop unit for 6 months or more now but if you think about it anyone with memories of WW1 would have to be well over 100 years old now.

I posted on this site last year about Bootle’s WW1 Pop-Up shop/Museum (see link below) and my recollection is that the memory wall appeared around the same time.

I wonder what those who put the memory wall up intended?

Sefton Council Cabinet – No Dowd about it

With Council Leader Peter Dowd becoming MP for Bootle in the recent General Election he stepped down from the Leader’s role on Sefton Council and as a Cabinet member, although he remains a member of the Council .


Would this be an end to Dowd family having a senior role in local government on Merseyside though? Well no it would not as another Dowd stepped up to the enlarged Cabinet in the form of Cllr. Marion Atkinson niece of Peter and daughter of former Merseytravel Chairman Mark, who is also a Sefton Councillor.

There’s no Dowd about it, Sefton remains a family affair.

Sefton now has 9 Cabinet members (all Labour), it had 7 before the elections on 7th May.

Southport – Lancashire V Derbyshire – A day at the cricket

It was hardy Sunny Southport yesterday morning indeed in was more like Shivering Southport! But the sun came out in the afternoon and a great day out was had despite the strong wind at Birkdale Cricket Ground.


Lancashire's Glen Chappel training the next generation of the Red Rose.

Lancashire’s Glen Chappel training the next generation of the Red Rose.

Seeing Lancashire’s South African batsman Ashwell Prince get his double hundred was something I had not previously witnessed on a cricket ground and it was well deserved.

Derbyshire batsmen Chesney Hughes & Benjamin Slater meet in the middle to work out how to keep the Lancs bowlers out.

Derbyshire batsmen Chesney Hughes & Benjamin Slater meet in the middle to work out how to keep the Lancs bowlers out.

A lot of new faces in the Lancashire Team these days as they strive to get back into the 1st Division of the County Championship. Based on what I saw today they stand a good chance of doing it but I just hope it is not at the expense of my team Notts who seem to be doing all they can to get themselves relegated at present!

This score of 900 for Lancashire had the crowd laughing. The scorer had made a slight error it should have read 400.

This score of 900 for Lancashire had the crowd laughing. The scorer had made a slight error it should have read 400.

With Derbyshire 58 runs behind with 3 second innings wickets down the last day looks set up but unfortunately I can’t be there.

The last photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-

Lydiate Parish Council under Labour – Our way or no way?

The Aintree & Maghull Champion reported in its edition of 20th May on the election of a John Bailey as the new Chairman of Lydiate Parish Council.


All well and good but prior to last night (26th May) I had never met the chap. Yes, I am a member of the Parish Council but according to the papers I had been sent the AGM, where a new Parish Council Chairperson would be elected, was advertised to be on Tuesday 26th May so how did the Champion report on his election 6 days before it actually happened?

My concern was that we could have been in one of those elections that are held in undemocratic states, who like to pretend they are democratic but the election results are always known before the ballot takes place, if you get my drift! Had the just Champion misreported the matter or had a meeting taken place which the paper had reported on but which the 3 Lib Dem members of Lydiate Parish Council knew nothing about?

So on to last night and clearly a number of us wanted answers. The explanation from the Chairman, who was indeed elected last night I might add, was that it was the Champion that had got it wrong and that journalistic license had crept into a Labour Party press release that had not claimed he had already been elected as Chairman.

So that’s alright then but I will return to the new rulers of Lydiate Parish Council soon.