You know what I will be doing today – Voting Liberal Democrat

Lib Dems fighting for Sefton's Libraries

Lib Dems fighting for Sefton’s Libraries

Fighting Labour's proposed £46 Green Bin Tax on Sefton households households.

Fighting Labour’s proposed £46 Green Bin Tax on Sefton households.

Working with the community to try to save our Green Belt from Labour's development plans.

Working with the community to try to save our Green Belt from Labour’s development plans.

3 very good reason for me (and you?) to vote Liberal Democrat today.

Lib Dems defend our Green Belt, fight for our libraries and oppose Labour’s £46 Green Bin Tax

For anyone who cares about our environment, the amount of local taxation we pay and closure of libraries supporting the Labour Party would be simply out of the question this year in Sefton.

Since Bootle Labour grabbed control of the Council they have:-

* Voted to build on the Green Belt and high grade agricultural land
* Tried to bring in an additional £46 Green Bin Tax on every household in the Borough
* Closed 7 local libraries and stopped volunteers from running two of them.

We Lib Dems have fought Labour all the way over all these policies and so have two prominent local independent candidates – Peter Gill in Molyneux Ward (Aintree Village, Melling and southern Maghull) and Maria Bennett in Ravenmeols Ward (Formby). We have been happy to work with these two community activists.

What have the Tories done? Does anyone know? In the Sefton Central Constituency wards the options, in my view, are very clear :-

* back the Lib Dems to fight for our Green Belt
* support the Lib Dems to say ‘NO’ to Labour’s £46 Green Bin Tax and
* and stand with the Lib Dems to send Labour a very clear message that we will not put up with library volunteers being treated so disgracefully

However, in Molyneux and Ravenmeols wards, where the Lib Dems have stood aside, I suggest you Support the independent candidates (Peter Gill – Molyneux and Maria Bennett – Ravenmeols) because they are fighting the same local battles that we Lib Dems are fighting.

Lydiate Village Festival

This years event, held yesterday, benefited from good weather and a big turn-out of locals. It took place behind the famous Scotch Piper Pub and in the adjacent grounds of Lydiate Abbey.


It was the second weekend in a row that I listened to Maghull Wind Orchestra although playing in a large tent in Lydiate could not be much further from the grand surroundings of Sefton Park’s Palm House of last week! Of course they were just as good though.

Maghull Wind Orchestra

Maghull Wind Orchestra

There was a display of owls and what wonderful creatures they are. Sadly some of them had previously been mistreated and others injured making their return to the wild impossible.

Tawny Owl

Tawny Owl

Barn Owl

Barn Owl

Eurasian Eagle Owl

Eurasian Eagle Owl

A battle re-enactment was also taking place which certainly made the owls all a flutter when the guns went off!.

Battle Re-enactment

Battle Re-enactment

All in all a good day out and the organising committee deserve great credit for their efforts which must be year round.

The owl photos are amongst my Flickr photo’s at

Majority of voters favour devolution – What a surprise NOT!

A poll by Survation has found that most voters want to see more powers devolved regionally and locally across England. Some 65% said “too much of England is run from London”, while 70% believed “London receives preferential treatment over most other parts of the UK”.

Another clear pointer to what we Liberals have been banging on about for years and which other parties pay lip service to, Sadly, the Coalition talks about this far more than it delivers it.

My posting of 17th April comments on Labour’s flawed devolution proposals.

With thanks to the LGiU

Maghull Town Council – Labour’s fantasy figures presented as fact!

If you live in Maghull you have probably heard the Labour Party claim that Maghull Town Hall roof cost £500,000. They seem to have worked on the basis that if they repeat it often enough in their leaflets and in the Aintree & Maghull Champion folks will believe it.

Like all the other members of Maghull Town Council I have known since at least October 2012 that the real cost of the roof refurbishment was £206,816.79, considerably less than half the cost that Labour have claimed. ‘The actual cost was £206,816.79’ in the words of Maghull’s independent Town Clerk Angela McIntyre – 27th February 2014. The reality is that the figure was never going to be anywhere near Labour’s £500,000 figure.

My point is made because Labour continue to repeat the £500,000 figure as if it was fact.

Labour can’t claim, as they often have, that £500,000 is the figure when you add in the interest payable on the loan taken out to fund the project. Even then the figure still gets nowhere near £500,000. But again this also misleads because the Council did not have to take up a loan facility to pay for the works as Maghull Council has been awash with cash reserves for a long time and could have paid for the work from such reserves. The reserves at 30th January 2014 stood at £399,199.43!

So every way Labour turns shows that they are presenting fantasy figures when they know that the facts show a very different story.

And the final irony of Labour’s utterly misleading story is that to date the solar panels, which were installed as part of the project, have generated both electricity and over £6,500 of income for the Town Council. They will continue to generate both for a total of 25 years!

Road casualties rise due to turned off street lights?

According to research carried out by the Times, road casualties in areas where street lights have been turned off have risen by 20% in four years. It found that 324 more people were killed or seriously injured in crashes at night on roads where street lights were unlit in 2011-12 than in 2009-10. Deaths rose by 39% to 25 and serious injuries rose by 27% to 225, analysis of 800,000 pieces of data collected by police showed. The Local Government Association said: “If councils were presented with evidence it ‘turning off street lights’ was causing a public safety risk they would act. However, this data fails to provide that evidence and it is completely misleading to suggest it tells us anything about the cause of accidents.”

I have always been of the view, from the perspective of being an environmentalist, that our roads are lit to an unsustainable lux level. Street lighting is obviously important for road safety and to help combat crime but does it really have to be to such high lux levels which cost us all a fortune to pay for via our taxes?

If you look at any road improvements done in recent years, where it involves new street lighting, the result can be all but like daylight! Light pollution and wasted energy are the result. LED street lights are the way forward from an environmental and power saving point of view.

I recall, not so long ago, having to get involved in a dispute between a Sefton based social landlord and its neighbours. The social landlord had upgraded a sheltered housing facility to a high standard but in doing so had put in new outside lights that were far too bright and which kept some of its neighbours awake at night! In the end it was all resolved but I never really understood why such high lux levels had been desired in the first place.

This is hardly a decent photo but it illustrates to some degree how a bright light can negatively impose upon on a residential property.

This is hardly a decent photo but it illustrates to some degree how a bright light can negatively impose upon on a residential property.

Council’s have been turning street lights off to save money not because they are worried about light pollution or environmental sustainability but, when sensibly done, our environment can also benefit from lower lux levels. This can be a win, win situation in my view.

With thanks to the LGiU