‘The police have better things to do than’………

This is probably a phrase that many of us have used when we’ve heard about an incident which is either of no consequence to us or is one we regularly participate in but which is actually against some law or regulation.

So when we say it are we in reality saying ‘well I would break that law too’ or ‘that law should be abolished because I regularly break it’; is it actually simply an expression of our frustration or even selfishness? Let’s see what you think the Police ‘have better things to do than’ – here are 5 examples:-

Enforcing speed limits?
Stopping pavement parking by drivers?
Tackling cyclists who ride on pavements?
Prosecuting motorists with no Road Tax or insurance?
Fining people who break ‘lockdown’ rules?

I could go on, but I think you’ll have got my drift by now i.e. if we park on pavements we won’t want the police/local council to enforce the regulations on it will we? However, if we are a pedestrian/blind/disabled/or pushing a pram we probably will want them to. The same applies to the other ‘crimes’ I’ve listed and indeed potentially many that I’ve not.

In short we’ll often be affronted by the anti-social/criminal behaviours of others whilst conveniently ignoring our own less than community minded activities. Indeed, can we sit on both sides of the fence by for example grumbling about the vehicle on the pavement when we’ve had to step into the road to get around it whilst dumping our own car on any pavement available when we want to park close to the chippy, hairdressers, chemist etc. etc.? The answer, of course, is yes we can!

Oh and one final thing, why are many of the things we can react to in this way associated with travel and how we go about it?

Southport – Vandalism to Pier

Southport viewed from the end of its pier

The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/southport-pier-smashed-up-man-16315281

A bizarre story in many ways and you can’t help but wonder what help the chap involved in this incident must require.

Southport Pier and its much missed pier tram

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Maghull – Police in, youth and CAB out in Town Hall shake up

Work has now started on remodeling the former youth facility in Maghull Town Hall to turn it into a Police Station and Maghull Town Council seems to think this is worth celebrating. But is it? My letter to the Champion newspaper puts the matter in context:-

Dear Sir,

Is there really much to celebrate because part of Maghull Town Hall is to become a Police Station soon?

In my view what we have lost far outweighs what we are going to gain. The accommodation that the Police are moving into was specifically remodeled into a youth facility from its original use as a sports changing room not so many years ago. What’s more that accommodation was shared with the Citizens Advice (CAB). So whilst gaining a Police Station within the Town Hall we have lost the last publicly funded youth facility in the area and the CAB.

What’s to celebrate, the match has sadly been lost 2-1.

Yours sincerely

Tony Robertson

Poster on Maghull Town Hall noticeboard recently

Having campaigned to bring a CAB facility to Maghull and backed the establishment of the innovative Youth Coffee Bar I am rather saddened by this turn of events, indeed it angers me.

These are the plans (above) that ensure that the youth facility can never be reopened. Surely using this space for a Police Station to serve the Sefton East Parishes part of the Borough (Lydiate, Maghull, Melling and Aintree Village) is a wrong-headed priority. Of course the area needs a Police Station but we also need a youth facility and a CAB.

There are plenty of vacant shop/retail units locally so why take the space that had been specifically converted as youth facility and occupied for that use until recently – it could have and should have been revived.

And to put the tin lid on it we are told that there are concerns about the rise in anti-social behaviour as though having a active attractive youth offering would not be part of the solution to that problem!

Click on the photos and the plan to enlarge them

Lydiate – ASB and Play equipment at Ridgeway Park

Anti-social behaviour is nothing new in parks and gardens and in my experience it sporadically pops up in some play areas and then stops as it pops up elsewhere.

In my 30+ years as a councillor there’s not much I have not seen related to ASB in parks and gardens.

Lydiate’s Ridgeway Park (often called Coronation Park) presently has some issues which involve older youths abusing the play equipment intended for much younger children. The law of unintended consequences seems to come into play (no pun intended) here in that the item of play equipment concerned was meant to be a big improvement on what was there before it and indeed it is. Trouble is the play item has provided a place for inappropriate activities to take place which damages the play area and can also upset the surrounding neighbouring property owners.

At July’s Lydiate Parish Council meeting a member of the public (sorry I did not catch his name) attended to ask the Council to reconsider the play item and here’s a photo of it:-

It has suffered from vandalism in recent months and is awaiting repair (note it presently has no roof) but as a consequence of the gentleman’s representations (supported by Borough Councillor Pay O’Hanlon) the Parish Council agreed to review all options with regard to the future of this play item. This could mean a range of things from repairing it, remodeling it or possibly even replacing it.

More news when I have it.