Lib Dems raise concerns about closure of Lydiate Ambulance Station

Plans by the North West Ambulance Service to close their ambulance station in Lydiate’s Kenyons Lane and relocate the ambulance housed there to Netherton’s Buckley Hill Fire Station have met with big concerns from local Lib Dem Sefton councillors.

The worrying news came in a letter to Sefton Council dated 12th March from the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust signed by Bob Williams the Trust’s Acting Chief Executive.

Says Cllr. Andrew Blackburn “My worry is that not having an ambulance based in the Maghull and Lydiate community will mean that the level of response to emergencies could well be less.

We have had a local ambulance station for as long as most people can remember and taking into account the size of the Maghull and Lydiate population, which has grown significantly since the ambulance station was built, it must surely be the case that an ambulance should continue to be stationed here.”

The Lib Dem councillors view is that the Trust needs to consult local people about this proposal and explain things to local people. The plans need testing against local opinion and residents need to have a say before the Trust takes any binding decisions.

I fear that this has been under discussion for quite some time but no consultation with residents has taken place. This is a big decision and I want it taken with the views of local people before the Trust Board. But for that to happen information needs to be put before residents clearly stating where all the ambulances that serve Maghull and Lydiate will be based and the estimated response times following any relocations.

I am particularly concerned about the large rural area of Lydiate to the north of the Parish which the present ambulance station can serve very well. The proposal to relocate to Netherton could mean that rural Lydiate becomes not so well served.

SAVE OUR LIBRARIES – Big protest at Sefton Cabinet meeting puts Labour under even more pressure

The message is clear but will Labour back down or swing their axe

The message is clear but will Labour back down or swing their axe

Residents, campaigners, Aintree Ratepayers and Lib Dem councillors protested outside Southport Town Hall last Thursday morning as the all-Labour Cabinet of Sefton Council were about to decided whether they really were going to close more than half the Borough’s libraries.

Whether they bottled it, were having second thoughts or simply did not know what to do we will probably never know but the end result was that they decided not to make a decision. The matter will now be decided at the next Cabinet meeting on 28th February so we are told.

SAVE OUR PUBLIC TOILETS – Maghull campaign launched

Maghull toilet campaigners fighting Labour's axe

Maghull toilet campaigners fighting Labour’s axe

Lib Dems launch round 2 of their campaign to save Maghull’s Central Square toilets from Sefton’s axe.

Liberal Democrat campaigners in Maghull are putting down a clear marker that if Sefton Council closes the toilets at Maghull Square the Town Council should take them on.

We launched a campaign to save the toilets in 2012 when closure was a possibility but now that Sefton’s Labour run Cabinet has earmarked all public toilets in the Borough for closure the Lib Dem campaign has swung back into action.

DON’T LET LABOUR FLUSH AWAY OUR PUBLIC TOILETS

Says Lib Dem Sefton Councillor Bruce Hubbard “Maghull’s toilets once won awards because they were so well thought of and were so well kept. Now they are not so well kept and the axe of Sefton Council is set to close them. We can’t allow this to happen so I am calling on Maghull Town Council to clearly state that they will save the toilets from closure.”

Bruce is right, these are Maghull’s toilets and Maghull Town Council has to take them on. What’s more they need to be brought back up to a good standard and then well looked after like they used to be. That is just what a Town/Parish Council is all about looking after a vital community facility and Parish Councils across England do this all the time. The challenge is there for Labour run Maghull Council; I know if we were running the Council we would not have to think twice before saving them and making them award winners once again.

SAVE OUR LIBRARIES – What on earth is going on at Birkdale Library?

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My colleague Cllr. Mike Booth has this story on his blog site at

http://kewfocus.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/birkdale-library-development.html

Frankly, it is all rather odd. Why has Sefton Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) come up with their ‘idea’ of moving into the Library seemingly after Labour run Sefton Council closes it. Talk about stamping up and down on the grave before the patient is even dead! I thought CVS was supposed to support the voluntary sector not to look for opportunities to do the Labour Council’s bidding by providing it with a tenant (CVS) should Labour go ahead and close this excellent community facility.

Please read what Mike has to say and then have a look at the document below that was put together by a group of non-political people working towards a common goal of saving the Library.

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BLAG. Birkdale Library Action Group.

In response to consultation by Sefton Council regarding proposed closure of Birkdale Library.

INTRODUCTION

Following a proposal by Sefton Council to close down 7 Libraries in Sefton, BLAG set up an action group to investigate ways that a library service could continue to operate in Birkdale. Various BLAG sub groups have carried out research on library issues, which was co-ordinated into an overall plan by a central steering group. A petition was signed by just under 2,000 people demanding that Birkdale Library should be saved.

AIMS.

• To maintain a valuable Public Library/Reference/Information Service.
• To create a more cost effective & manageable service.
• To maintain an accessible library service for all.

BASIS OF BLAGS CASE.

It is essential that the library service in the Southport area should be accessible to all people and for this reason thought must be given to disabled and elderly people who can only access a library by car.
Birkdale is the only library in Southport with a dedicated car park containing reserved spaces for the disabled. ( The councils chosen library option for Southport – The Atkinson – will have the worst possible access for anybody arriving by car.)
It is felt that if Birkdale library were to close, that this user group could be victims of discrimination.

Another group that would be greatly affected by closure are pupils of the 8 local schools who would not be able use a library without travelling by public transport out of the area. By removing the “convenience factor” of not being able to use the library on the way home from school, it is thought that most of these children would be lost to the library system at the expense of their educational needs.

BLAG have investigated how Birkdale Library could remain open at a reduced cost to the council. This report contains details of how a saving of 48% can be made to the current revenue budget reducing the net annual cost to £43,460.

This report also contains details of how Birkdale Library could provide an improved service in meeting local community needs whilst generating increased income which would contribute towards library running costs.
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The submission above is much more detailed but I have not produced the whole of the excellent document here. However, my point is why have Sefton CVS not been working alongside the volunteers who made the Birkdale Library submission. To throw in their own curved ball after the volunteers have spent hours working on their plan is frankly a disgraceful way to treat volunteers.

Youth facilities – Caught in the economic crash and mad local decisions to spend money we don’t have!

You can’t but be impressed by the determination of Sefton’s young people as they fight for their youth centres across the Borough.

The trouble is that because Labour and their mates the bankers bankrupted the UK economy we are now having to consider withdrawing youth facilities and youth services. Thanks a lot Labour and the bankers for putting us in this appalling position! And thanks even more to both the Labour and Tory Parties on Sefton Council who continue to blindly go ahead with the rebuilding of Southport Indoor Market and a new Netherton Activity Centre at a staggering cost of £8m in total! No wonder youth facilities and indeed other valued community services are under even greater threat when some people think that money still grows on trees.

My campaigning Lib Dem colleague Jack Colbert, a former youth worker, shares my frustrations and is pictured outside Aintree Youth Centre before works on the excellent new GP surgery (next to the Youth Centre) were completed.