Lydiate/Ince Blundell/ Great Altcar – Lower Alt Wind Farm

I attended the public exhibition put on by Coriolis Energy at Lydiate Village Centre today.

Coriolis Consultation at LVC 05 08 15

Dealing with this matter is tough as surely we all want to support renewable energy such as solar or wind power, unless that is you happen to be a climate change denier.

For me the big issue is the fact that the developer wants to build the turbines on high grade agricultural land. I oppose this scarce resource being compromised because only around 2% of England’s land mass is of such high quality.

The stars on this map show where the turbines will be placed if the plans get the go ahead from West Lancs Council.

The stars on this map show where the turbines will be placed if the plans get the go ahead from West Lancs Council.

The now 12 massive turbines (down from 24 in the original proposals) will each have a footprint of their own, a permanent crane stand at the side and an access road. Added together this will undoubtedly compromise the agricultural land.

As I said I support renewable energy, we have solar panels on our house and I helped the Lib Dems push for both Maghull Town Hall and Lydiate Village Centre to be ‘green’ by solar panels being installed on those buildings too. So I don’t need to be convinced about renewable sources of energy.

Land opposite Lydiate Village Centre that is under threat of development which is presently growing food.

Land opposite Lydiate Village Centre that is under threat of development which is presently growing food.

However, compromising high grade agricultural land in any way is counter productive as it leads to us being able to grow less food thereby needing to import more food. This makes no sense to me at all and it is why I have been fighting Labour-run Sefton Council’s plans to allow house building on other areas of high grade agricultural land locally.

Sorry Coriolis I remain opposed to your development because of the high quality of agricultural land you want to construct these turbines on.

I appreciate that there are a whole host of other concerns about these proposed turbines but in this posting I have tried to focus on the major issue from my perspective as a environmental campaigner.

Southport & Ormskirk NHS Trust – Management suspensions

Community concern over NHS hospital bosses’ suspensions in Southport

Community representatives have expressed deep concern over the revelations of four senior NHS Trust managers being suspended at the Southport & Ormskirk NHS Trust. The suspensions have been linked by the NHS Trust Chair Sue Mussom to ‘whistleblowing’ within the hospitals.

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Southport councillors’ health spokesperson, local Lib Dem Councillor Tony Dawson said:

“Suspensions to this extent in any part of the NHS are thankfully rare. They normally follow serious allegations which the Trust concerned has to deal with through proper procedures while those involved are kept out of the picture.”

“This has come at a difficult time for the Trust. The Clinical Commissioning Groups locally have just required them to bid to retain the Community Nursing contract and there is a major financial deficit to address.”

“I hope for an early conclusion to this matter for the sake of all concerned. Southport needs to retain good health services available at a local site. That requires a highly-focused team pulling together at all levels in the organisation.”

“The issue of ‘whistleblowing’ has been mentioned by the Trust. As a former NHS whistleblower myself, I recognise the importance of people being able to raise their concerns without improper backlash. Indeed, I referred a whistleblowing message to the hospital managers only last week and received a positive response.”

Lancashire Life Magazine – Expansion at Seaforth Dock

Thumbing through a July 2015 copy of this magazine in a local coffee shop I came across a really positive spin article about the new river berth dock at Seaforth and the extra freight traffic that will go through it from later this year.

The present Seaforth Docks and hinterland

The present Seaforth Docks and hinterland

This is a subject I have comment on before but this article really brought home to me how out of sync Sefton Council, the Highways Agency and Network Rail are with the project.

The obvious question is why have these public sector agencies and the Council not brought forward, for public inspection and consultation, any firm proposals to deal with freight access to the port bearing in mind that increased levels of heavy good lorries are going to be thundering through Netherton & Bootle very soon indeed?

It’s not as if they don’t know about the port expansion or the negative consequences that it could well have on the environment and the Netherton/Bootle/Seaforth communities. Indeed, they have known about it for a long, long time.

To quote from the Lancashire Life article it says ‘In December this year Peel Ports massive new Liverpool complex comes into operation’ and ‘It’s been a long time in the planning’.

Well one thing is for sure the Council, Highways Agency and Network Rail seem to have been a long time in the snoozing as goodness knows how long it will be before they have a solution to the increased lorries and associated air pollution that they bring to the south Sefton communities.

Lydiate – More on the potential loss of the 311 bus to Ormskirk/Skem

I have made the following representation to Arriva Buses via their web site:-

I am concerned about the proposed axing of the 311 bus through Lydiate. The bus has run for generations and I recall using it as a child. It will leave the vast majority of Lydiate without a service to Ormskirk which is the nearest market town to our community. Please reconsider this move and don’t withdraw the bus on 30th August. I realise that it is a commercial service run to make money but surely promoting it and gaining more users is a far better alternative to axing it.

Please help the campaign to try to save the bus from being axed by making representations too.

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By the way there is no truth to the rumour being put about that the loss of this bus is due to public sector budget savings/cuts. The bus, like most others, is not subsidised by Merseytravel and never has been. Arriva are threatening to withdraw it because they are not making any/enough money from it. That is why I am calling on Arriva to promote the bus rather than axe it.

You can access the Arriva on line form via the excellent Lydiate World web site at:- www.facebook.com/pages/Lydiateworld/568360476517795

And this is what Merseytravel are saying (note some early morning 311 services are in fact subsidised by Merseytravel, correcting my statement above):-

‘In essence Arriva are dropping the 311 route and will instead operate the 310 every 30 minutes, the route in Maghull of the 310 will be the same as at present. Some early morning journeys, operated with Merseytravel financial support, numbered 311 or 250 are incorporated into the new service all of which will operate as 310s.’

Lydiate – What do you know about it? – Read the Community Profile

If like me you live in and love Lydiate then have a look at a document produced by Sefton Council that profiles the Parish of Lydiate.

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It is available on the Lydiate Parish Council web site:-

lydiateparishcouncil.gov.uk/neighbourhood-plan/

Scroll down to the bottom of the page it is the link titled:-

Profile of the Lydiate area

Sefton – Switch Island to Thornton Link Road – Opening postponed again!

Having issued invitations to the opening ceremony Sefton Council has had to withdraw them as the latest planned opening date has been put back yet again.

All was looking good for 6th August but today news slipped out of the Council’s Bootle bunker to the effect that it had been put back to 19th August. Makes you wonder how good the communication channels are between the Council and the road builders does it not?

What’s more the 10 Parish Councils in the Borough who had all been invited to send along a representative to the opening ceremony have now been told to consider themselves uninvited as the Borough Council now only wants 1 representative of all the Parish Councils to attend.

I hear that there had been some ‘misunderstanding’ over the invitation to the Parish Councils but having seen an e-mail dated 20th July it was very clear that all 10 Parish Council were being asked to send a representative along. To quote it said ‘Each Parish Council have been sent an invitation and can nominate one person to attend to represent their particular Parish Council’. So why withdraw the invitations? Could it be that Sefton Council is trying once again to do down its Parish Councils? Whatever the reason it shines the Borough Council in a poor light.

Here's a shot of the original march through Thornton which got the road campaign up and running again. I know because I was on it with Thornton residents and their Parish Councillors.

Here’s a shot of the original march through Thornton which got the road campaign up and running again. I know because I was on it with Thornton residents and their Parish Councillors.

But hang on a minute who started the campaign around 2000 for the road to be built? Well blow me it was the residents and their Parish Council – Thornton to be precise! I do hope that Thornton PC has in fact been invited and that their representative gets to cut the ceremonial ribbon. Anything less will be another snub by a Borough Council which seems to have a very short memory!