Maghull – Whatever happened to the £250,000 that Maghull Town Council was sat on?

First, a bit of history to put this matter in its correct historical context. My posting of 7th December 2014 refers – see link below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/12/07/maghull-town-council-now-what-about-that-new-play-equipment/

Well we have moved on to February 2016 since then and little or nothing has seemingly happened despite the big promises of 2014. No bandstand (but folks living in Liverpool Road South and Brendale Avenue are probably grateful for that I guess), no big investment is new play equipment across Maghull’s parks and no progress on the plant heritage centre.

Maghull Town Hall

This latter project, when I got to the bottom of it, always struck me as being of some considerable merit. It was being put forward by a local resident who is an award winning plant expert. I understand that, some 18 months or more on, the chap was still awaiting a definitive answer as to whether his proposals will be supported or not.

As a bit more context the cash, just shy of £250,000, is called Section 106 money and you have probably picked up from the link to my previous posting above that it came from those ‘planning gain’ negotiations going back to 2008.

So the £250,000 question is, why has this large pot of money, meant for environmental improvements in Maghull seemingly been all but forgotten about? Yes, projects like the proposed KGV Park bandstand are controversial and potentially unwelcome but my point is, why has the money been sat in the bank when big promises were made by Labour-run Maghull Town Council about what it would be spent on back in 2014?

When will we hear of this money again?

Incredible Edible reaches Maghull

Readers with a longish memory will recall that I posted quite some time ago about a visit to Todmorden in Lancashire where I, together with 3 chums from the Maghull in Bloom Volunteers, went to have a look at a community-wide project to grow fruit and vegetables in public places.

Well that visit inspired the M in B Volunteers to get something similar going in Maghull. A successful lottery grant and a couple of years later and Maghull’s first edible fruit plants and trees etc. have been planted in specially prepared beds outside Meadows Leisure Centre on land owned by Maghull Town Council.

The volunteers have engaged expert grower and RHS award winner Don Billington to mastermind the project and a lot of the work that has been done and indeed will continue to be done in terms of maintaining the plants and trees is courtesy of rehabilitating offenders from HMP Kennet in Melling.

The planting beds being worked on 18th December

The planting beds being worked on 18th December

Don Billington, Doreen Prescot and local' news hound' Jim Sharpe of the Maghull Champion

Don Billington, Doreen Prescot and local’ news hound’ Jim Sharpe of the Maghull Champion

As the trees and plants establish the community will be invited to harvest the fruits etc. but that’s a little way off yet.

As I have said many times before working with the Maghull in Bloom Volunteers must be the most enjoyable thing I do as a local councillor; we have fun, they do a great deal of hard work and the community benefits from their efforts. Where would we be without them?