September’s meeting went on for over 2 hours but that seems to be par for the course these days.
We had a presentation from Protect Aughton Landscape Together who are campaigning against high grade agricultural land in their Parish being potentially taken out of crop growing use only to be replaced by solar panels. Aughton is to the north of Lydiate so the issue is of interest and concern to Lydiate residents. Here’s a link to the campaign group’s facebook page:-
Lydiate Parish Council had already sent in an objection to West Lancs Borough Council to the proposals on the similar basis as the one we sent in about the wind turbine plan for Altcar Parish to the west of Lydiate. This was a unanimous view of the Parish Council i.e. Labour rulers and us Lib Dems in opposition. And it’s not because we Lib Dems oppose renewable sources of energy, quite the opposite in fact, but it’s because of that old chestnut in this area of the high grade agricultural land. Building anything on it either in Sefton or the surrounding parts of West Lancs that have the same quality of land is just not on when only 2% of England has such high quality food/crop growing land. I do wonder though about Labour as their troops on Sefton Council have consistently voted to build on Sefton’s high grade agricultural land yet Labour oppose it happening on West Lancs land surrounding Sefton. Very odd.
We had a discussion about doing a Neighbourhood Plan for Lydiate and this forms a separate posting to follow soon.
Tennis Courts and caged play areas – We approved some significant expenditure on the tennis courts at Sandy Lane Park and the other caged ball areas at Coronation Park. We are talking quite a few thousands of Pounds but patching up the fencing around these areas is no longer cost-effective. Best to bite the bullet and do a major job. The tennis courts will probably need resurfacing in the not too distant future too but that’s a worry for another day. Lydiate has had quality parks in recent years and I hope we all want to retain such standards.
The Leeds Liverpool Canal is celebrating its 200 year old birthday (Bicentenary) next year (2016) and we agreed that as the canal is a significant feature and leisure facility in our community that we should take part. Hopefully Mersey Motor Boat Club who operate out of Lydiate will be keen to promote celebrations as well.
311 Bus – We also discussed the sad demise of the 311 bus route previously run by Arriva and before them Ribble Buses for many years. It ceased on 31st August, because Arriva said they could no longer make any money out of it. I asked that we write to Pat Breckell who ran the community campaign to try to save the bus. She deserves some recognition for her efforts and I am glad the Parish Council agreed.
These were the highlights for me anyway.