Oriel Road & Balliol Road, Bootle – A look at some sadly rather run down and disused listed buildings

The area around Bootle Town Hall has always interested me particularly because of the grand buildings that are close to the Town Hall.

First let’s have a look at Bootle’s Listed Buildings via Wikipedia:-

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Listed_buildings_in_Bootle

Next to Bootle Town Hall and along Oriel Road & Balliol Road where there are some splendid buildings that have sadly not been well maintained and some have fallen into disuse. You will have noticed from the link above how many of them are in this small part of Bootle. The former Bootle Swimming Pool, Police Station, Library & Museum, Post Office and School Board Office.

I recall that only a few years ago there was a determined and successful campaign to save the School Board Office from demolition. Sefton Council had proposed its demise as part of a Housing Renewal project it was pursuing. Indeed, you can see that the old building is now surrounded by new residential properties (see bottom photo). Of course saving it was one good thing, finding a use for it is quite another and if no use can be found it will deteriorate further and eventually fall down. Such are the dilemmas facing building conservationists.

The photo below is of the former swimming baths that were taken out of use when Bootle Leisure Centre was built in North Park some years ago. I recall using the old Victorian swimming pool in the 1970’s.

Balliol Road buildings, Bootle r

And across Balliol Road is the former School Board Office looking rather sad amongst some very new property.

IMG_4434 r

Click on both the photos to enlarge them

I notice that Sefton Council’s draft Local Plan, which I have often criticised on this blog site for its grabbing of high grade agricultural land to build on, has ambitions to the ‘refurbishment and reuse of listed and historic buildings in and around Bootle Town Hall.’ It says this is a regeneration priority amongst some other worthy projects but I wonder if there is a real plan behind these fine words?

The photos are amongst my Flickr shots at:-
www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Remember Labour’s NHS privatisation of GP services during the last Labour Government?

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/four-merseyside-gp-surgeries-hit-9167453

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above – but it is far from being the whole story!

nhs-logo

Question – Which political party pursued the privatisation of GP services in the NHS when last in government? Answer – Labour.

Question – Name a community which was subject to Labour’s GP privatisation project? Answer – Maghull.

It’s as though Labour has zapped all their NHS privatisation policies from their own memories and then flipped over to condemn NHS privatisation! It is a fact that more of the NHS has been privatised under Labour. It is also a fact that here in Sefton Central constituency we were meant to be a big part in Labour’s NHS privatisation push of GP services.

My posting of 5th October 2012 refers:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2012/10/05/first-private-gp-surgery-is-a-step-closer-%E2%80%93-this-liverpool-echo-headline-is-from-2007/

I really do think that the press are letting Labour off by helping them forget their previous crimes when in government. The problems being faced on Merseyside as a consequence of NHS privatisation of GP services were started by Labour when in government.

And this is the same Labour Party that has failed to pledge the £8bn needed to keep the NHS afloat!

Pollution in cities could raise dementia risk as UK breaches EU limits

Scientists have found that breathing in polluted air in cities could raise the risk of dementia and stroke in middle age. The study, published in the journal Stroke, found that levels of fine particles commonly found in urban areas were associated with smaller brain structures and of covert brain infarcts — a type of “silent” stroke caused by a blockage in the blood vessels that supply the brain.

The Times newspaper covered this story

Pollution is a subject often comment upon via this blog site and here is another connection between airborne pollution in our cities and associated health risks.

Government must act on air pollution

The UK’s Supreme Court has ruled that the government must take immediate action to reduce air pollution, after the nation breached EU limits on nitrogen dioxide, which is primarily emitted from diesel vehicles and causes a range of respiratory illnesses. The Environment Department responded that it had already begun drawing up revised plans to meet EU targets, after campaigners ClientEarth brought the case to court.

Financial Times, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, & The Guardian covered this second

When the Tories and UKIP get the UK out of the EU who will set limits for pollution then? No one will and we will take another step back into the dark ages!

Maghull North Station – So when will it get built?

I have long fought for this station to be built and was pleased when the Coalition Government gave what amounts to around 90%+ (£6.1m) of the money required (Est £7m) in 2014 to The Liverpool City Region.

Site of the new Maghull North Railway Station. North of the School Lane bridge and adjacent to the Ashworth South site (right) and Mersey Avenue (left)

Site of the new Maghull North Railway Station. North of the School Lane bridge and adjacent to the Ashworth South site (right) and Mersey Avenue (left)

My understanding of where we are up to is this:-

* Merseytravel is in the process of developing a detailed business case for the new station.

* At least a year will be needed to complete the final design and around another year to construct the station. But additional approvals will be required at City Region level and from Network Rail.

* Two and a half to three years would seem to be a reasonable estimate from now until the first train stops at Maghull North Station.

Having said that major projects like this are often subject to slippage for all sorts of engineering and/or financial reasons so further delays would not be surprising.

Mauretania – Bringing the ship makers model back to Liverpool?

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/bring-mauretania-home-liverpool-echo-9124039

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above

11174998_10153869196323677_2533520848106495675_n

Merseyside Maritime Museum says:- A stunning 3 Metre ship model of the Mauretania is being auctioned on 12 May and we want to buy it and bring it home to Liverpool. We are looking for donations to help us win this at auction.

I have made a donation, can you help too? Just follow the Liverpool Echo story to the end where the donation process is detailed.