Sefton Local Plan – Labour has concerns about it? Really, then why do they keep supporting it!

The letter below was written in response to the lead article in the Aintree & Maghull Champion on 13th January entitled ‘Concerns at Local Plan put to Inquiry’

Dear Sir,

I read with mounting disbelief the representations made to the Planning Inspector by Maghull’s Labour councillors as reported in the Champion on 13th January.

Yes they were making all the right noises but hang on a minute it is Labour run Sefton Council that is trying to impose its appalling Local Plan on the Borough. What’s more when I was a member of Maghull Town Council Labour members would not vote to reject the Local Plan! Now all of sudden Labour has concerns.

Frankly, this say one thing and then say just about the opposite when Labour thinks folks will have forgotten about their original stance on a matter as important as this is appalling.

Having fought Sefton’s Local Plan, which proposes thousands of houses to be built on high grade agricultural land, areas that flood and Green Belt with Labour councillors supporting for the Plan I find Labour’s concern now very hollow indeed.

Let’s see Labour run Maghull Town Council propose that the Local Plan be completely rejected and for Labour run Sefton Council to do the same then Labour will have clearly done a welcome U turn. Warm words now giving the impression of concerns about the Plan mean nothing unless they actually reject it/withdraw it.

Yours sincerely

Cllr. Tony Robertson

This letter was significantly edited and published in the Champion on 27th January 2016

Green Belt – Action Group’s covering Melling, Lydiate, Aintree Village & Maghull

I was invited to one of the monthly meetings of the Maghull & Lydiate Action Group last Wednesday evening as was a Labour Sefton Councillor. Sadly, Labour had declined to attend I was told.

We discussed a whole range of issues associated with Sefton Council’s Local Plan, why it is dangerous to even consider building on high grade agricultural land, how the Green Belt can be protected from development etc. etc.

This group certainly knows their stuff and I credit them with doing a huge amount of investigation and research. The 30 or more people who form their committee seemed to represent a good cross-section of the Maghull & Lydiate community; so yes a credible and well organised group who deserve to be taken notice of.

Clearly their approach to saving the Green Belt and high grade agricultural land from development is a cause that I very much share as readers of this blog site can’t have failed to have noticed.

They have, in particular, done some detailed research into population statistics and their number crunching produces a far less significant population increase for the Borough of Sefton than what Sefton Council and its consultants have previously come up with.

Readers may recall that many of us were highly sceptical of Council’s view that Sefton’s population was going to rise significantly when it has in fact been falling for many years. This group’s research seems to nail the shaky nature of the Council’s figures and it means that the number of houses needing to be built in the Borough is far smaller than the Labour-led Council has been pressing for.

All in all a very positive meeting and I would urge Maghull & Lydiate folk to take heed of this independent group and what they have to say.

The Group’s facebook page is at:-

www.facebook.com/maghullandlydiateactiongroup/timeline?ref=page_internal

A similar Group are campaigning in Aintree Village and their facebook page is at:-

www.facebook.com/aintreevillagecommunityactiongroup

Another local group is specifically fighting the Peel Group proposals in Melling. I have also spoken at one of their regular meetings recently. Their facebook page is at:-

www.facebook.com/pages/Melling-Maghull-and-Aintree-Against-Peel-Plan-mmaapp/256660907869130?fref=ts

All these groups are independent of party politics.

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.