Maghull – Thieves cause 7 vehicle accident at The Alt junction

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/three-joy-riders-smashed-stolen-9911436

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above

Maghull – Hedges has anyone at the Council noticed how desperately they need cutting?

The hedge along Northway (A59) just north of Maghull Town Hall and KGV Park has been a problem for a long time with residents often complaining that it does not get cut often enough. When I was a councillor representing Maghull (I now represent Lydiate) I often complained and pushed Council officers to have it cut, but without councillors complaining it would seemingly never be cut for reasons no one seemed to understand!.

It used to be quite a contrast because Maghull Town Council would regularly cut the section it owned (the part that borders KGV Park) whilst Sefton Borough Council was always having to be pushed to cut back its section (running from KGV Park to the Leeds Liverpool Canal bridge). Oh, and by the way this Sefton Council lack of cutting goes back well before any public sector budget cuts and well before the first photo below was taken.

This was back in July 2012 when my old friend and then Cllr. Andrew Blackburn was trying once again to get Sefton Council to cut their hedge back as it was forcing pedestrians to walk on the grass verge right next to the very busy A59

This was back in July 2012 when my old friend and then Cllr. Andrew Blackburn was trying once again to get Sefton Council to cut their hedge back as it was forcing pedestrians to walk on the grass verge right next to the very busy A59

But now Maghull Town Council seems to have ‘bettered’ (surely worsened!) Sefton in not cutting their hedges very often either. This was the scene on 14th July 2015:-

This was me just a few yards away from where the previous photo of Andrew was taken but by the section of hedge owned by Maghull Town Council.

This was me just a few yards away from where the previous photo of Andrew was taken but by the section of hedge owned by Maghull Town Council.

Then last Friday night I was out in a local pub with my mate Keith and was asked by a Maghull resident with significant sight problems why Maghull Council was not cutting its hedges on Eastway. It turns out he had walked into the overgrown hedge and got a face full of hawthorn because he could not see that it was overgrowing the pavement.

I had noticed just before I went on holiday that the Town Council’s hedges along Eastway were getting in need of a cut but that was over two weeks ago, so clearly they had not been tackled whilst I had been away. And this is the state they were in on Saturday 22nd August!

MTC's Whinney Brook Field hedge 22 08 15

Yes, folks who can see that hedges are overgrown can say walk on a grass verge (although on the A59 that is hardly a safe thing to do) to avoid them. But what about the blind, those with other disabilities etc.? I am told the chap with sight difficulties had telephoned the Town Hall but had not got much joy other than a response along the lines of the hedges will be cut in September.

And irony of ironies a check of the hedges along the A59, on the same date, showed that Maghull Town Council’s stretch was well overgrown whilst Sefton Council had actually been out to cut their stretch! This was the state of Maghull TC’s A59 hedge!:-

MTC's KGV hedge 22 08 15

I have of course made Maghull’s Town Clerk aware of the concerns expressed to me by the chap with sight difficulties.

Oh, and one other point that may be relevant. When Labour took control of Maghull Town Council they started a process whereby the grounds maintenance staff would be sent to work on some outside contracts which we were told would bring in money for the Council. The consequence of this would be a reduction in the maintenance standards across the Council’s many parks, gardens and play areas as the staff would be working elsewhere. At the time I became aware of this move I voiced concerns about not allowing the maintenance standards to drop too far and the evidence of the photo’s in this posting seems to be that they have dropped too far.

I don’t know whether the Grounds Maintenance staff are still working on outside contracts. If so then we probably know why the hedges are not being cut. If not then why are the hedges not being cut?

I think Maghull Town Council needs to reassess its priorities as their lack of hedge cutting could well be putting local residents at risk from hawthorn barbs.

Maghull/Melling – Ashworth Hospital back in the news

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/ashworth-staff-could-go-strike-9904621

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above

Ashworth is not the subject of the amount media attention that it once was in the 1980’s/1990’s but it seems that industrial relations troubles are brewing up again.

If memory serves correctly poor industrial relations were at the heart of many of the Hospital’s troubles in previous times. I recall being contacted by Dave Preece of the POA in my early days as a Maghull councillor because of staff concerns. Back then there was a huge inquiry into the running of the Hospital which I participated in.

Let’s hope the old days are not returning.

Often referred to as being in Maghull the Hospital is in fact almost equally in Maghull & Melling as the Civil Parish boundary effectively cuts right through it.

Maghull to Preston, by train, took as long as Preston to Glasgow!

A friend of mine took his elderly mother to Preston to catch a train to Glasgow not long ago. They went from Maghull Station, changed at Ormskirk and arrived in Preston.

A train from Preston pulling into Ormskirk Station.

A train from Preston pulling into Ormskirk Station.

His mother’s train to Glasgow was 20 minutes after the Ormskirk train arrived in Preston and as a consequence he missed the return trip to Ormskirk.

He got the next train to Ormskirk, then one back to Maghull.

His mother arrived in Glasgow at the same time he got back to his house in Maghull! Says a lot about the poor irregular Northern Rail service from Preston to Ormskirk does it not?

Petition to try to save the 311 Liverpool – Ormskirk – Skem bus

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Yesterday I was approached by a Lydiate resident who asked me to help her get a petition that she and her friends and family had collected to Arriva the bus company who have said that they are to take this bus route off at the end of August. I was, of course, delighted to help as a local councillor and as I originally broke the news via this very web site of the potential and much regretted demise of the 311.

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Here I am with the resident's petition at a 311 bus stop in Lydiate. The petition was not collected by me I would add but by the hard work of locals concerned about the loss of this route to Ormskirk.

Here I am with the resident’s petition at a 311 bus stop in Lydiate. The petition was not collected by me I would add but by the hard work of locals concerned about the loss of this route to Ormskirk.

The petition has 340 signatures on it and I sent on to Arriva today.

My previous postings on this subject can be read via the links below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/07/29/lydiate-arrivas-311-route-is-to-be-no-more-from-30th-august/

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/08/02/lydiate-more-on-the-potential-loss-of-the-311-bus-to-ormskirkskem/

We can only hope that this eleventh hour petition from concerned Lydiate and Maghull residents makes Arriva think again. Fingers crossed.

Switch Island – Thornton Link Road finally opens but did the original campaigners who fought for the road get their true acknowledgement?

www.southportvisiter.co.uk/news/thornton-bypass-opens-to-public-9890713

The Southport Visiter ran a story story on the 19th August opening ceremony – see link above.

Well there’s no mention of Thornton Parish Council or anyone else from the Thornton community in the Visiter article and don’t you think that is more than a little odd?

Link Road works back in Jan 2015

I have said many times before the reason this new road has been built at all is because around the year 2000 the good folk of Thornton and their Parish Council had just about had their fill of traffic jams. So they took to the streets and marched to get the Council to take notice of them and to get Sefton to resurrect the previously gone to wall plan to build the ‘missing link’ road. Those with long memories will recall that the previously ditched scheme was called the Blue Route.

But those original campaigners finally had delivered what they wanted on 19th August, a by-pass which will hopefully take the strain off Lydiate Lane and Green Lane in Thornton as well as potentially having wider benefits.

I had suggested that the obvious person to cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony would be a Thornton resident/Parish Councillor. But looking at the picture in the Visiter, can you see anyone from Thornton beneath the umbrellas? I can make out the Labour MP for Bootle Peter Dowd, Labour Sefton Cabinet member Cllr. John Fairclough, the Mayor of Sefton Cllr. Steve Kermode and his wife Gwen but then I struggle to recognise the other people in that shot.

So I checked up to see if Thornton Parish Council had been invited by asking the Parish Council. Yes came back the reply there had been a representative of Thornton Parish Council at the event in the form of Cllr. Tony Pengelly. So Thornton was not ignored in the end, yet I still think that just one official rep at the opening ceremony from a community which was the instigator of the new road is rather poor and frankly it smacks of grudging acknowledgement for their great efforts to me.

But despite the fact that those who started the campaign have hardly had the credit they deserve whilst some others who probably deserve little credit seem to have got more than their fair share at least we now have the road. A victory yes but one that leaves you to wonder why Thornton residents and their Parish Council have seemingly been little more than afterthoughts. I suppose in the end it comes down to power and as Thornton has little of that it was all but ignored.

Here’s an old You Tube fly over simulation of the route of the new road:-

www.youtube.com/watch?v=94PRAjPBJJk