Domestic Abuse – Behind many locked doors in Sefton Borough, indeed in every community across the land.

Norwood Lib Dems (Southport) have posted on their blog site with some useful information about domestic abuse – see the link above for the posting and some useful contacts/help lines.

Merseyside Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy visits Southport

My thanks to Cllr. Marianne Welsh for this report – my comments are in italics.

Cllr. Marianne Welsh

Cllr. Marianne Welsh

The event, held at the Atkinson (Previously known as Southport Arts Centre before the recent refurbishment), was not well attended – 6 members of the public, one policeman and 4 Southport councillors. It’s purpose seemed to be to help Jane Kennedy to engage with Southport residents but with so few attending………………………

She introduced herself and in doing so acknowledged that Police Commissioners had many doubters, including the Police, when they first were elected. Frankly, I remain a doubter as for the life of me I can’t see what they really add to effective accountable Policing.

Marianne says Jane referred to the huge Police commitment to help keep safe a NATO type summit to be held soon in Wales and the effect that it and sending Merseyside Police officers over to Northern Ireland for the ‘Marching Season’ will have on the local Merseyside Force. Her tone indicated this was something giving her cause for concern.

Marianne noted that in trying to explain how Police share information, via IT, across differing forces Jane seemed somewhat lost by the IT issues. Like many of us I assume but the public sector often falls down on grand plans because the IT is not as capable as it was promised to be.

When Marianne asked Jane (a former Liverpool Labour MP) what challenges she had come across in her new role she was given an example about Jane going to Marian Square (Netherton – Bootle Constituency), describing the deprivation around the shops and the local talk on the streets about drug dealing. Jane said she had engaged with various partners (an oft used public sector phase that could mean any or many other agencies) but that none were mentioned nor what plans had been drawn up to find solutions for that community.

Out in Maghull I have recently been pushing Jane Kennedy for assurances about the future of the Town’s Police Station but frankly I only got a vague response back after a long wait and having needed to send a reminder. I do worry that her office does not respond to letters promptly despite it costing us all significant amounts of money to run. Sorry Jane I remain to be convinced that you and indeed all the other Police Commissioners are making a difference.


Lib Dem Cllr. Marianne Welsh reports that at a recent briefing at Bootle Town Hall councillors in Southport heard that proposals are going forward for building a large scale housing development on green belt land in an area where there has already been strong public outrage to this. The area earmarked is off of Moss Lane in Norwood Ward, near to Souhtport Old Links Golf Course.

Says Marianne, one of the councillors for this ward ‘This development is totally unacceptable and should not be progressed. As well as building on the green belt the immediate area is already heavily populated and would put a heavy strain on this community’s amenities. Also Sefton Council’s assessment of this parcel of land said it was within 600m of a primary school and a GP/Health Centre, although true this will put an extra burden on both of these which it appears no one has thought about. It is also not near any rail networks, has no leisure centre nor does it have a cycle route. We will oppose this proposal.’

For added information at the Bootle briefing councillors although shown the plans for the various developments proposed in Sefton were told by officers they could not have copies to take away. This was a common concern expressed by Lib Dem councillors – Why were the proposals only to be looked at then taken away?

I will be publishing more on the Southport land development proposals from Sefton Council soon.