Maghull’s Great War – Bruce Hubbard presents an excellent MADCOS video

youtu.be/4jdtBQsehLQ

Cllr. Bruce Hubbard

Cllr. Bruce Hubbard

MADCOS (Maghull & District Cluster of Schools) have produced an excellent video about the Great War and its effects on Maghull. Local historian, battlefield tour guide and Maghull Town Councillor Bruce Hubbard presents the video which is well worth watching. Use the link above to access the youtube video.

Well done MADCOS

Maghull Green Belt – More pressure being heaped on Labour councillors

Below is the text of an e-mail sent to Labour members of Sefton Council by a clearly well informed Maghull resident following the Overview & Scrutiny meeting on Sefton’s draft Local Plan which I commented on recently on this blog site:-

*****

I attended last nights meeting, a debut for me, and was surprised by the orderly nature of the evening, considering the content. Whilst it is fair to say that Labour councillors are not on my Christmas present shopping list, (though Bill Esterson may get a surprise under his tree after his recent outburst) I must congratulate you on managing to get the planners,”on the ropes” a few times, particularly regarding roads and schools on the School Lane site, MN 338andMN246,( I assume M.N. stands for Maghull Newtown).

To admit that the cornerstone of the whole plan, 1400 houses etc. was still awaiting a traffic assessment and no “tipping point” would matter in terms of traffic volume, was quite frankly mind blowing. Should this not have been done BEFORE the site was put in the plan?

Lib Dem MP Simon Hughes surveys the present high grade agricultural land/Green Belt to the east of Maghull where a massive urban extension is being proposed by Labour-run Sefton Council

Simon Hughes MP and local Lib Dem Green Belt campaigners survey the present high grade agricultural land/Green Belt to the east of Maghull where a massive urban extension (‘Newtown’) is being proposed by Labour-run Sefton Council

Then in answer to your question about a catholic primary school, something they [Sefton Planning Dept.] had obviously not considered, to suggest they could go to St Georges would create even more traffic, have you ever seen the school run there.

This only confirmed my suspicions that someone from planning looked at a map, saw a big field and said, we’ll build here .

A quick point on figures discussed. The O.N.S [Office of National Statistics] project a population increase of 5,000 in the 16 years to 2031 and 6,000 in the 22 years to 2037.

The plan wants to build an average of 615 homes per year. Assuming a 2.2 [person] occupancy rate it means each year 1353 (615 X2.2) of the new population are housed, therefore it will take just over 3.5 years to house the 5,000 people in the 15 year plan period and just under 4.5 years to house the 6,000 in the 22 year period (5,000 divided by 1353 and 6,000 divided by 1353).

This means during the plan time 11.5 years worth of houses out of 15 years, 7072 houses to be exact, are not for the population increase as predicted but just to cover things like backlog, second homes, (come to sunny Maghull for your hols) etc. You must admit it is daft.

So come and join the Esterson camp you know it makes sense.

Your comments would be appreciated.

*****

There can be little doubt that environmental campaigners around Sefton are putting together a strong case to challenge Labour-led Sefton Council’s draft Local Plan and that their campaigning is gathering pace and supporters. If only Maghull Town Council (also Labour run) had found the courage to fight the Planners proposals for the huge urban extension, or ‘Newtown‘ as referred to above, rather than allowing it all to wash over them. In the last round of what was then called the Unitary Development Plan in 1998 the Town Council (then Lib Dem-run) stood up and took on all comers to defend Maghull’s Green Belt and it won the day. If you don’t fight you can’t win and this time Maghull TC (now Labour-run) did not fight!

Out on the campaign trail – Boy it was cold (all our) yesterday(s)

Was out on the campaigning trail and leafleting over the weekend with my old chum Roy Connell.

It was a bitter cold but well worth the effort to fly the Lib Dem flag.

Bruce, Tom, Bill, Roy & John

Roy and I go back a long, long way and we speculated about how many times we had been out on the campaign trail together and how many leaflets we had delivered. The conclusion was that it must be hundreds of thousands – far too many to count. And this got me thinking…….

In the photo above, taken by me outside Maghull Town Hall @1992, Roy is the tall one second from the right. Like me and indeed our fellow Lib Dem campaigners in the shot (Bruce Hubbard, Tom Smith, Bill Chambers and John Sharman) we were all a lot younger then! Sadly, Tom has passed away since this photo was taken. Bill now lives in Spain I understand but Bruce and John, like Roy and I, are still about and both Bruce and John are stalwarts of Maghull and Aughton Rotary.

When male councillors all wore ties! – Things are not what they were you know.

This picture made me realise how times change and over not too long a period either.

rsz_bruce_tom_bill_roy_&_john

It was taken in @1992 and shows (left to right) 5 Lib Dem Maghull Town councillors – Bruce Hubbard (still a local councillor in Maghull), Tom Smith (a lovely man who died some years ago now), Bill Chambers (he went to live in Spain), Roy Cornell (retired and living in Ainsdale – The chap of Roy’s Roundabout fame) and John Sharman (still to be seen around Maghull working hard for Rotary).

But it was the fact that they all had a tie on that made me realise how times change, except for Bruce though who is rarely without a tie especially at a Council meetings.

And whist I often don’t wear a tie these days I still have at the back of my mind the comments my parents often made along the lines of ‘turn up smart or don’t expect to be taken seriously’.

Local Election results – Sefton splits its votes in a rather odd way

Local elections about local issues…………

SOUTHPORT & FORMBY PUNISHES LABOUR FOR ITS LIBRARY & ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES

We Lib Dems held all our seats that were up for election in the Southport part of Sefton but we lost 3 seats in the Sefton Central part of the Borough. All the losses were to Labour and I have been struck by how voters went out to support a Party who are openly going to trash our Green Belt and potentially charge for the emptying of Green Bins in the Borough. And of course Labour has also closed many of the Borough’s Libraries.

CROSBY, BOOTLE, MAGHULL, LYDIATE, MELLING & AINTREE EMBRACE LABOUR

As an environmental campaigner who has worked to defend the Green Belt against Labour’s attacks on it I must say that I am surprised that the electorate in places like Maghull, Aintree Village, Melling and Lydiate has now backed the party of Green Belt destruction. But, there was a single glimmer of hope for the Green Belt as the voters of Formby elected Maria Bennett who, like we Lib Dems, stood on a platform of stopping Green Belt building.

Questions:-

* Is the cause of Green Belt protection in Maghull, Lydiate, Aintree Village and Melling now dead following Labour winning all 3 Sefton wards in this area?
* Why did the electors of Southport & Formby vote for Green Belt campaigners but elsewhere they elected a Party (Labour) that wants to build on the Green Belt?
* Why did electors give Sefton Labour a green light (except in Southport and Formby) to bring in their threatened £46 Green Bin Tax?
* How has Labour got away with closing Libraries in Crosby, Aintree Village and Bootle whilst they were firmly rejected in Southport where they also closed libraries?
* Why did the electors of Maghull vote in Lib Dem Cllrs. Bruce Hubbard and Jen Robertson last July, because of their opposition to Labour’s Green Bin tax and their fighting for the Green Belt, but reject them both today for continuing to campaign on these issues?

These were local elections about local issues…………

Maghull canal breach 1994

In 1994 the Leeds Liverpool canal through Maghull/Lydiate breached, houses in Hickson Avenue were flooded and fish were left flapping in the fields on the opposite (western) side of the canal.

I recently found and scanned some photos of the disaster which occurred between Green Lane (Methodist Turn Bridge), Maghull and the Bells Lane swing bridge, Lydiate. The cause was the canal collapsing into a culvert that went under it which carried and indeed still carries Maghull Brook under the canal. Maghull Brook is in fact the boundary between the Civil Parishes of Maghull and Lydiate.

This is looking northwards towards the Bells Lane swing bridge which is out of sight around a bend in the canal. Most of the water had run out of the canal by the time this shot was taken.

This is looking northwards towards the Bells Lane swing bridge which is out of sight around a bend in the canal. Most of the water had run out of the canal by the time this shot was taken.

This is Bells Lane swing bridge with a makeshift dam in place to try to hold back the water. The houses by the bridge look significantly different now.

This is Bells Lane swing bridge with a makeshift dam in place to try to hold back the water. The houses by the bridge look significantly different now.

This shot looks at the Bells Lane swing bridge from the other side. The breach is a few hundred yards behind the camera.

This shot looks at the Bells Lane swing bridge from the other side. The breach is a few hundred yards behind the camera.

This is where the breach happened. the flooded houses in Hickson Avenue being on the left of the photo.

This is where the breach happened. The flooded houses in Hickson Avenue being on the left of the photo.

Grounded canal boats

Grounded canal boats

The reason so much water escaped is that there are no locks between Stanley Dock in Liverpool and Burscough in West Lancashire, many miles away. In effect all the water between Liverpool and Burscough was trying to leave the canal via the breach which was roughly half way between the two.

I recall watching what was then British Waterways (now the Canal & River Trust) desperately trying to stop the flow by dumping rubble into the canal at Bells Lane and it being washed away by the force of the water.

My good friend Cllr. Bruce Hubbard was Mayor of Maghull back then and he launched a public appeal to help those whose houses were flooded.

Oddly, we now live in a house that backs onto the canal along this very stretch of water.

The photos are amongst my Flickr shots at:-
www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/