Maghull – Why has the Town Council not been cutting its hedges and a littering of other sins

The lack of hedge cutting around Maghull’s parks has of course been raised before on this blog site. My previous post refers at:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/08/23/maghull-hedges-has-anyone-at-the-council-noticed-how-desperately-they-need-cutting/

But look at this, an advert for hiring out the Town Council’s Grounds Maintenance staff, seen on the Town Hall internal notice board on 22nd October:-

WP_20151022_19_34_24_Pro

Click on the photo to enlarge it.

When Labour took control of the Town Council in 2011 they said they were reducing what they called the ‘Rolls Royce’ standard of maintenance that the Lib Dems had promoted for Maghull’s parks, gardens and playing fields. Little did we know that they were seemingly moving towards a ‘Trabant’ standard as the alternative!

There have been complaints of hedges not being cut this year at Whinney Brook Field and Glenn Park along both sides of Eastway and at KGV Park along the A59/Northway. Also, concerns about litter piling up at Dodds and KGV Parks has come to our attention this summer and autumn via Facebook and the latest edition (28th October) of the Aintree & Maghull Champion newspaper. The lack of hedge cutting refers back to my previous posting about the blind chap walking into and getting a face full of Hawthorne from the uncut hedges on Eastway.

Would it be too much of a leap to wonder if the lack of maintenance of the parks and gardens in Maghull is due, at least in part, to the Grounds Maintenance staff seemingly being out for hire on private contracts?

It was also interesting to note that the Champion article whilst being critical of the Council, via the comments of a local resident, carried a response from a ‘Council spokesperson’. It seems Maghull’s Labour rulers were not too keen on being seen to be a part of an article like this. Surprising really as they would normally be all smiles for the media’s camera at the opening of a packet of crisps but not it seems at the litter caused by discarded packets of crisps etc.

Of course the Council is as much the victim of the litters and rubbish dumpers as the wider community. However, experience tells us that if litter and rubbish is not cleared away quickly it, by default, gives the impression that the community/Council do not care for the area and more littering and dumping takes place.

Will Maghull Town Council address these maintenance issues or not?

Lydiate’s Neighbourhood Plan – An opportunity for community involvement! What just like the last time when we were ignored?

My letter to the Champion newspaper to try to balance up their article of 21st October.

Dear Sir,

I read with interest the article about the proposed Neighbourhood Plan for Lydiate.

The Plan is of course being proposed by Lydiate Labour to mitigate the worst effects of Labour-run Sefton Council’s Local Plan which is to dump hundreds of houses on Lydiate’s high grade agricultural land which also happens to be Green Belt.

Lydiate people wrote many letters and signed petitions opposing what Sefton Council has been proposing for their community. On that basis it’s a bit rich for those in power to try to sell the Neighbourhood Plan idea as a real opportunity for community involvement when the same political party has been ignoring the representations of Lydiate folk over the very same planning and environmental concerns.

Yours sincerely

Tony Robertson
Member of Lydiate Parish Council

The paper used my balancing response in its 4th November edition

Which horse is Bill backing?

My letter to the Champion newspaper

Dear Sir,

So Bill Esterson MP has a new job working for Jeremy Corbyn as his small business shadow minister.

Is this the same Bill Esterson who on the 6th September 2015 said via Twitter “Only Andy [Burnham] can unite our party and win in 2020” and does Jeremy Corbyn know this?

Your sincerely

Tony Robertson

The Champion had not used this letter by the rime I published it on this blog site.

‘Ground survey set to assess potential for Rimrose Valley road’

This was the headline in the Champion newspaper on 19th August and a sobering one it is too.

How many times have I commented on the complete lack of foresight and preparation for the soon to be completed river berth at Seaforth Docks? I lose count I really do but to consider churning up a Country Park for a relief road beggars belief. My last posting is here:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/08/04/lancashire-life-magazine-expansion-at-seaforth-dock/

Yes I know the Highways Agency (now Highways England) has been considering this option for years now, so long indeed that no one can quite recall when they first thought of it!

Frankly this carry on is probably the biggest local scandal to afflict the south of Sefton Borough. With the river berth about to be opened later this year virtually nothing has been done (except for the recent works to the big roundabout in Seaforth) to address the increased HGV traffic and the air pollution it brings with it.

Seaforth Docks seen from the Mersey with work going on to construct the river berth for Post-Panamax ships.

Seaforth Docks seen from the Mersey with work going on to construct the river berth for Post-Panamax ships.

Click on the photo to enlarge it

It’s as though no one has realised or wanted to realise that building the river berth for much larger ships will have significant environmental consequences for Seaforth, Waterloo, Bootle, Netherton etc. Only in the UK could we get ourselves into such a muddle of wishing an end result (bigger ships, better port facilities, more trade etc.) without at the same time planning for the movement of freight from the docks to the Motorway network and onto the rail network. Yet here we are in that muddle and one of the ‘solutions’, possibly the only one we presently know of, is to build a new road right through a County Park in a densely populated area.

Where are the improved rail facilities up to? Who if anyone is planning for them? Do Network Rail have a project in their sights to use the rail freight facility in its present guise to its greatest potential? Is the mothballed Aintree – Bootle line going to be brought back into use to help expand the rail freight capacity? Is the Seaforth dock railway link to be electrified so to relieve the communities living near to the rail line from diesel pollution?

So many questions but only a new road through a Country Park on the agenda or so it seems!

The photo above is also amongst on by Flickr page at:-

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

Was it the Champion wot won it for Labour? – Maghull TC by-election

Labour won the Maghull TC by-election held last Thursday but to paraphrase a long-standing and famous headline from a national paper that is never mentioned in polite company on Merseyside, ‘Was it the Aintree & Maghull Champion wot won it’ for Labour?

The evidence is significant due to the coverage the paper gave to the Labour candidate in the weeks up to the election. Photo’s and gushing reports were in a number of editions.

And I know I am not the only one to think this in the Maghull area and I understand such concerns are being raised in Formby too.

And yes, I have told the Champion what I think in case you are wondering.

What on earth does the Aintree & Maghull Champion think it is up to?

Last week I posted on this site about an appalling meeting of Maghull Town Council where its Labour rulers voted, amongst other things, to restrict the kinds of petitions that can be brought before the Council by Maghull residents. Not only that but they also stopped opposition Lib Dem members from moving an amendment to this terrible policy.

This is what I said last week:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/07/04/an-appalling-maghull-town-council-meeting/

So we move forward a week to the edition of the Champion that followed the meeting and guess what no mention of those matters what so ever! Not only that but the paper publishes a front page lead article all about the Labour candidate in the Maghull North Ward by-election that takes place on 31st July together with a second lead article all about the supposedly wonderful things that the Labour Party are going to do for Maghull.

The best I can say is that the Champion is seemingly not trying to hide its political leanings just before a by-election which was caused by the 8th (yes I did say 8th) Labour councillor resigning from the very same Council since November 2011.

I thought the job of a local newspaper was to hold our local rulers to account not act like a publicity machine for them.

Only recently the Champion ran a story all about the proposal of Peel Holdings to build on high grade agricultural land in Melling and they asked me to give them a quote over the matter. I gladly did but when the article was published my comments were excluded. Odd I thought so I asked the journalist why they had asked me for a comment and then not used any of it. The response was that it had been used but had been taken out before publication. So I sent the same comment in again via the letters page and guess what it was not published this week. For the record this is what I said:-

‘These additional sites for potential building are hugely unpopular in Aintree and Melling just as the similar but previously consulted sites are on areas of high grade agricultural and Green Belt land around Maghull & Lydiate.
Labour-run Sefton Council is playing a dangerous game. By giving way on some areas of Green Belt for development they are simply encouraging more speculative developers to have a go. If Labour have their way we will end up with acres and acres of concrete and tarmac rather than high grade agricultural land producing food. As an environmental campaigner I am desperately concerned.’

Sorry but I have had a gut full of the Aintree & Maghull Champion. What a sad state of affairs indeed.