Lib Dems demand pledge from Labour that the Town Council will back future fireworks displays
In the light of the new Labour administration on Maghull Town Council refusing to confirm that they will help to fund a fireworks display in 2012 the Council’s opposition Lib Dem Group is demanding that Labour get off the fence and pledge the funding will be put in place.
Labour had their chance at the Town Council meeting held on 8th November to once and for all make a clear pledge that they would continue to fund and organise the yearly display but they failed to do so saying it would depend on next year’s Council budget. That is as good as saying we may well have other priorities. If they were really of a mind to keep the popular displays going they would have said so when they had the chance.
We had to drag Labour kicking and screaming to fund the display this year when the budget was there all the time. Now they are sitting on the fence regarding the 2012 display which makes their U turn this year look very much like a temporary measure. Get off the fence and pledge the funding I say.
We had another excellent Steering Group meting today. Having been asked by the volunteers to chair this group some time ago I really do find it a rewarding experience.
Today we discussed the following issues:-
* A piece of public artwork theamed on Frank Hornby and his world famous products. We were joined by my fellow Frank Hornby Trust member and Chairman Les French. If all goes well a piece of public artwork will be designed to sit outside of Meadows Leisure Centre and the work will mainly be done by Asjhworth Hospital. There is a long way to go with this project but let’s hope it comes off.
* The proposed redevelopment of Maghull Square Shopping Centre and the challenges that will create for the area where some of the Maghull in Bloom major displays take place each spring and summer.
* Adding Maghull in Bloom signs to the Town’s boundary signs.
* Resurrecting the project, that Maghull Town Council had offered to fund some time ago, to create two major displays just off the A59 (Northway) at the Alt traffic lights and on School Lane adjacent to the entrances to Ashworth Hospital and Kennet Prison.
My good friend Cllr. Cliff Mainey was behind the push a few years ago to commemorate the fallen in war on the 11th of November at 11.am each year (i.e. separate to the Sunday church service) in Maghull.
This year many people turned out and here are a few photos taken by Cliff. His Sudell Ward Lib Dem coleague Councillor Bruce Hubbard is quite an expert on those who fell in war across Sefton. Bruce has written books on this subject.
11 - 11 - 11 at Maghull's war Memorial in Damfield Lane
Yesterday I went to a fascinating drop-in session held by the Environment Agency in the Punch Bowl Pub in Sefton Village.
The event was to update Lunt and Homer Green residents on the Agency’s planned work to tackle ‘over-topping’ of the River Alt and to create a wildlife habitat in the and around the flood storage area.
This project goes back many years and previously the Environment Agency had been planning for a bigger and more environmentally intrusive solution. However, the experience of the Alt over-topping its bunds in 2010 led to the computer modelling of the consequences of such flooding being scaled back. In other words it now seems that the works do not need to be so intrusive on the landscape.
Whilst I was at the event, for around half an hour, I spoke to a couple of residents who had turned up to see what the news would be and from my assessment of things it looks like folks are happier with the scaled back works. The habitat creation was also being looked at favourably and I understand that Lancashire Wildlife Trust will manage such things.
I have lived in Maghull for 43 years so I can claim to be almost a local now! I recall the Alt flooding (and Dovers Brook) over the years and that the area around it was, in my lifetime, either agricultural or tip land. Now the tipping has stopped and the area that took up has been landscaped. Agriculture has also been scaled back and some farm land sold to the Forestry Commission who have planted it and the former tip land with trees, bushes etc. So times move on and land uses change but the Alt, which is the main ‘drain’ for surface water for miles around, still continues to perform that function as it will for many more generations.
Some years ago I new an elderly gentleman who had been born in Sefton Village and he told me how when the Alt flooded in the winter locals would skate on the frozen fields. I think this activity would have gone on in the early part of the last century.
So an enjoyable time was had at the drop-in session by me and I have asked the Environment Agency to let me have a note of the comments made by residents throughout the 4 hours they were running the event.
My Lib Dem colleague and MP for Southport, Dr. John Pugh, has been asking search questions about about ‘Fracking’ for gas/oil. It is presently taking place in West Lancashire but the activity could well be spreading out and getting closer to more of Sefton’s communities.
Check out my good friend Ian Brodie-Browne’s blog (see my link to Birkdale Focus) for more information. After the earthquake in the Blackpool area which was, we are told, a consequence of ‘Fracking’ strong assurances are clearly required!