Maghull – New cycle track from Switch Island towards Maghull on A59

I have commented before about the narrow and completely inadequate cycle/footpath out of Maghull towards Switch Island and it seems someone has been listening as construction work on a much wider path has been taking place in recent weeks from Switch Island up to the pedestrian/cycle crossing just before the Maghull boundary.

I do hope that the highway powers that be Highways England and Sefton Council are going to keep the new path construction going to the junction with Liverpool Road South as there’s no point in stopping at the cycle/pedestrian crossing. This is view from the crossing towards the Liverpool Road South junction – still a very narrow path at present but I will have more news soon on it:-

Of course what Maghull and Lydiate really needs alongside the A59 Northway is a safe cycle route from Switch Island through to Robins Island and Lydiate Parish Council has acknowledge this need in its draft Neighbourhood Plan.

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Lydiate – More on the regular flooding problem in Lambshear Lane

I’ve blogged about this problematic flooding issue previously and both Edie Pope and myself have tried to get Sefton Council to take some effective action.

The latest news is that the Council will assess the situation after the next heavy rainfall and will carry out a ‘level survey’.

More news when I have it.

Bootle – Sefton’s Monopoly Money

Rear view of Bootle New Strand shopping centre

If your Council was strapped for cash and was having big trouble funding vital community services would you speculatively spend what we have been told amounts to £32.5m buying a shopping center, seemingly via off-shore companies and borrow the money to do it? Well most probably you wouldn’t but it’s exactly what Labour-run Sefton Council did in Bootle in 2017

This is of course not a new story but even with the passing of a few months since the purchase it still beggars belief. Whilst Labour refuse to reveal how much the Strand officially cost, newspapers have reported the deal at £32.5m.

But the big question, amongst many that the Labour-run Council refuse to answer, is why buy the Strand Shopping Centre. Why not Maghull Square Shopping Centre, Central 12 Shopping Centre in Southport, a retail park in Aintree etc. etc.

We all know that because of on-line spending retail is not doing well these days and the trend is likely to continue towards more on-line and less retail shop spending. So why is buying a shopping centre in Bootle, which has been troubled by lowering footfall and empty shop units, a good deal for the Borough? Indeed, would the admittedly rather down at heel Maghull Square shopping centre have been a better bet for a speculative purchase as it has not suffered the large number of vacant units that the Strand has since the recession hit us?

You see the stated reason for purchasing the Strand is to bring in rental income that will both pay off the massive loan taken out on the shopping centre, pay for maintenance and future investment in the property and leave money to spare to help run essential public services.

There are huge areas on the Strand that you can no longer access where shop units used to be and a walk downstairs to the lower retail area reveals many vacant shop units. So again I ask the question, if gaining a return to fund Council services was the real objective why not pick a shopping centre in the Borough that is thriving or at least performing better than the Strand is? But then again why buy a retail development at all, aren’t there better property investments around?

Frankly, the purchase of the Strand still does not add up and if, as seems likely, the removal of thousands of civil servants from Bootle and into Liverpool has the predicted big reduction in footfall where will the Labour Party hide its face then?

Southport – New Tory MP in hot seat over leaflet

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/merseysides-only-tory-mp-accused-14561067

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

I saw a copy of the controversial leaflet last Sunday and what actually stood out to me about it was the fact that local head teachers were pictured in it. I know I would be having a word with any head teacher of a school I was a governor of if they appeared in a political publication – indeed I had to tackle a head teacher over this very type of thing a few years back. Of course they will all quite properly have their own political views but from my perspective head teachers need to be seen to be politically independent.

But yes a green (as in colour, not politics) leaflet from a true blue Tory is odd, maybe the Conservative brand is more than a little ‘damaged goods’ at present because of the May/Corbyn appalling Brexit and the equally appalling Windrush scandal.

And as another thought who paid for the leaflet, the Tory Party or Parliament? Odd that it has been delivered during the election period for Sefton Borough?

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting.

Lydiate – ‘In Flower’ makes another 3 splashes of colour

I seem to be dividing my very limited knowledge of things horticultural between Maghull in Bloom and Lydiate in Flower these days and my latest trick has been to learn how to attach Gateway Planters to Lydiate boundary signs.

We put one up at either end of Southport Road/Myerscough Lane to start with a few weeks back and have now added another 3 on the Civil Parish boundaries with Maghull on Kenyons Lane and on both Bells Lane and Punnell’s Lane with Great Altcar. They are all now planted up like the one below at Punnell’s Lane.

The planting was done by other LinF volunteers who know far more about plants than I ever will. Don’t the Gateway planters look grand though…..

Clieves Hill – Beautiful views and huge potholes

Clieves Hill in Aughton provides wonderful views over West Lancashire and Sefton to the coast, views like this:-

But beware if you try to park your car in the viewing lay-by as there are some monster sized potholes in it:-

Note:- Lay-by potholes reported to Lancashire County Council 21 04 18

Click on the photos to enlarge them

The lead photo is also amongst my Flickr shots at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/