Liverpool City Region – Mayoral dust-up

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/tensions-rising-between-liverpool-mayor-13224506

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link above

It seems to have been rather obvious for a while now that Anderson and Rotherham have a problem with each other; one is the elected Mayor of Liverpool the other the elected Mayor of Merseyside. The other obvious question is why because they both come from the same political party – Labour.

It strikes me that the mayoral quarreling, as described by the Liverpool Echo article, is not going to be in the interests of Merseyside and the Liverpool City Region.

If they were from differing political parties you could almost understand it and you would expect some friction but they are not.

Do we need an elected referee now?

Guide Dogs/Hearing Dogs and Taxis

I have a partially sighted friend who uses a guide dog, although he is presently awaiting a new dog as his previous one sadly died not so long ago. Phil Marshall is his name and he lives in Maghull.

I raise this subject because Phil raised it with me whilst we were having a pint in the Derby Arms in Aughton. Phil had been contacted by Guide Dogs for the Blind recently asking him to lobby his local councillors about the problem of a small minority of taxi drivers who refuse to have a guide dogs in their vehicle.

Yes I know, it sounds almost beyond belief that a taxi driver could refuse a blind, partially sighted or deaf person a ride because they have a guide/hearing dog with them but I am told that it does happen.

www.guidedogs.org.uk/supportus/campaigns/access-all-areas/faq#.WTLg_Ma1vv8

The link above is to the Guide Dogs for the Blind web site which addresses this very issue. Locally Sefton Borough Council is the licensing authority for taxis.

I hope by sharing this issue I can help to try to put a stop to taxi refusals for blind/deaf people travelling with their dogs.

Maghull – That overgrown pedestrian bridge over Northway at the Hall Lane junction

I posted about this on 1st June. Here’s the post for reference:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/06/01/maghull-pedestrian-bridge-receives-camouflage-make-over/

Well I got a reply to my complaint about the bridge from Sefton Council but it was not the reply I expecting! This is what it said:-

‘Thank you for your email. Unfortunately Sefton only cut the grass verges and hedges we do not maintain the trees at the below location (see attached maintained area)

It may be best to speak to Maghull Town Council.’

Since when did Maghull Town Council have responsibility for this pedestrian bridge across Northway? It certainly did not when I was a Sefton Borough and Maghull Town Town Councillor up to 2015. Below is the map Sefton sent me showing the areas around the bridge where Sefton Council maintains hedges and grass verges:-

Well the trees that are overgrowing the bridge are growing on the land that Sefton Council maintains so I have pointed this out to them.

I await a more helpful response.

This is what it looked like today:-

Merseyside has it’s own unique breed of Walrus

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/what-walrus-everything-you-need-12937411

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link above

And here’s a link to the Merseytravel web pages about this travel card:-

www.merseytravel.gov.uk/Tickets/walrus-card/Pages/default.aspx#

It’s going in the right direction but as Carl Cashman the Lib Dem candidate in the recent Liverpool City Region Mayoral election said to fulfill its potential we need to ‘Expand the Walrus card system, creating an ‘Oyster-like’ system across the region, to include buses trains, ferries, tunnels and bridges. Unifying our transport network into one single contactless payment.’

Carl Cashman

How right he is and so the challenge is now there for the winning candidate Steve Rotherham to make this happen by taking up Carl’s pledge.

Lydiate – An NHS back water with little in the way of public transport to get to major NHS facilities

There are no GP’s or dentists in Lydiate, the only dentist closed not so long ago. That in itself is unfortunate but if you look at the direct public transport links from Lydiate to the major local NHS facilities the picture is also poor.

This is me with the Lydiate & Maghull resident's petition in 2015 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 Arriva route to Ormskirk. The battle was sadly lost.

This is me with the Lydiate & Maghull resident’s petition in 2015 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 Arriva route to Ormskirk. The battle was sadly lost.

Lydiate (along with Aintree Village & Maghull) lost the 311 bus route in 2015 which linked it with Ormskirk and of course its hospital. Yes the 310 Liverpool – Ormskirk route just skims the eastern edge of Lydiate but its a long trek for most Lydiate residents to get to a bus stop for it on the A59.

Lydiate (together with Maghull, Melling and Aintree Village) has no direct public transport link to Litherland NHS Walk-In Centre, indeed it never has had such a link despite calls for one. I recall saying, when the Walk-In Centre first opened in the early 2000’s, that it could not reasonably be seen to serve the Eastern Parishes of Sefton Borough because of the lack of direct public transport links to it. Of course we were also fighting for a Walk-In Centre to be provided in Maghull at the time and even got to the stage of the NHS allocating money to rebuild Maghull Health Centre with provision for a Walk-In facility. But then out of the blue the NHS pulled the plug on the project for reasons that have never been satisfactorily explained. I was of course pleased when Maghull Councillor Matt Gannon relaunched the campaign for a Walk-In Centre in Maghull in 2016. I also understand that Maghull Town Council will be including such an aim in its draft Neighbourhood Plan for the Town.

Lydiate’s link to Fazakerley Hospital has been via the 236 bus route in recent years. However, this route is no longer serving Lydiate as a consequence of Merseytravel confirming their Sefton Bus Review proposals recently. This is quite obviously a blow to Lydiate folks visiting friends and relatives by bus in that hospital.

Now the Sefton Bus Review proposals have been confirmed Lydiate’s only direct bus link with a major NHS facility will be via the 300 bus route to Southport and of course its hospital.

The last Chairman of Lydiate Parish Council, Dave Russell, tried every possible way possible to get an NHS facility within Lydiate Village Centre when planning for the new centre was at an early stage but the NHS managed to slip from his grasp there too.

Yes for me Lydiate is sadly an NHS back water both in terms of facilities in the community and with regard to direct public transport links to local hospitals and Walk-In Centres.

Stop Press – I had written this posting a while back but had not got around to finishing it of for publication. Then last night at Lydiate Parish Council’s Neighbourhood Plan meeting the very same issues came up and there seemed to be broad consensus that another attempt to gain NHS primary care facilities within Lydiate had to be made. Let’s hope such a plan will win the day this time around.

CAB – The struggles of a much loved help organisation

Many years ago (during the early 1990’s if memory serves) I helped, together with many other concerned folk, to bring a branch of the Citizens Advice Bureau to what was then my home town of Maghull (I live in Lydiate these days). It operated from Maghull Town Hall, was supported in terms of utility costs and via a nil rental charge by Maghull Town Council and was for the early years an outpost/outreach of Formby CAB.

Some years later the CAB’s across Sefton Borough merged into one organisation but they continued to operate out of Bootle, Crosby, Formby, Southport and indeed Maghull. However, as with many things these days they suffer from the withdrawal of the public money which significantly supports the vital advice services they deliver and have been delivering for many years.

The poster below is presently displayed on the outside noticeboard of Maghull Town Hall and it tells a story:-

Maghull does not have a CAB facility these days and the operation of what is now called ‘Citizens Advice’ for Sefton Borough (the word Bureau having seemingly been dropped in terms of its modern identity) can be accessed via the link below:-

www.seftoncab.org.uk/

I’m not trying to apportion blame here for the demise of CAB facilities in communities like Maghull but the financial crash of 2007, as with many things, must be a significant factor.

I do know that for the years the CAB operated in Maghull it had a regular throughput of folks wanting and needing advice. Clearly, they have to travel for such advice these days and the fact that Maghull no longer has a CAB must be a sad reflection on the state of our society.