Maghull – Weeds festooned around new Home Bargains Site

So we know that Home Bargains is going to occupy the new store on the old Maghull Library/former Stafford Moreton Youth Centre site but have you seen the weeds that are growing in the ‘landscaped’ parts of the site!

Click on the photo to enlarge it

Who is the land owner I wonder and when will their grounds maintenance regime kick in?

As a Maghull in Bloom volunteer my view is that we need the owner to step up and make the landscaped parts of the site a credit to Maghull and the sooner the better please.

Maghull – Two Home Bargains Stores!

Well so it seems with one moving from its present site on Westway into Maghull Square and a new one opening in August on the site of the former Maghull Library.

The floor area of the new store looks to be slightly bigger than the one to be relocated in the Square so a slightly larger range of products can be envisaged but this means that two quite similar stores will be being run within a few hundred yards of each other.

Are you, like me, wondering if there is a an interesting back-story to this situation or is just that Maghull can’t get enough of Home Bargains and only two stores will meet the demand?

Maghull – Old Library/Youth Centre site to become a Home & Bargain Store?

The closed Stafford Moreton Youth Centre and the old Maghull Library

The closed Stafford Moreton Youth Centre and the old Maghull Library

Well this is the word on the streets. The original planning application has been changed a bit (via a revised one) but the applicant is still Netto Ltd so no clue there. Indeed, the new plans do not show a retailer’s name on them at all.

However, my understanding is that it is actually going to be a Home Bargains store. Or is that a Home & Bargain Store to us locals?

The site after the old library and youth centre had been demolished

The site after the old library and youth centre had been demolished

In some ways this is odd as we were under the impression that Home Bargains were just moving within Maghull Square Shopping Centre to a larger unit. It seems, however, that may not now be the case.

Watch this space for confirmation, I could be wrong.

Maghull – Beechcroft retirement flats – To be sandwiched between two supermarkets and other related thoughts.

Beechcroft Retirement Flats

Beechcroft Retirement Flats

If plans submitted to Sefton Council to build on the former Maghull Library and Stafford Moreton Youth Club sites are approved and the building actually goes ahead the residents of Beechcroft will have a supermarket on either side of them i.e. Morrisons and the yet to be approved/built Netto store. I say actually goes ahead as plans to develop Maghull’s shopping centre always seem to fall by the way side for some odd reason.

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Remember the former owners of the Square shopping Centre getting planning permission to redevelop the shops north of Westway some years ago? Well it didn’t happen. Remember the promised rebuild of Maghull Health Centre to include an NHS drop-in facility of a few years ago? That did not happen either. Oh, and what about Morrisons expanding? Yes you’ve guessed it, that also bit the dust.

The former Stafford Moreton Youth Centre and old Maghull Library in the heart of Maghull's shopping area.

The former Stafford Moreton Youth Centre and old Maghull Library in the heart of Maghull’s shopping area.

Bearing in mind the Beechcroft flats, in Stafford Moreton Way, are for retired folk there seems to be every possibility of too much noise from deliveries and the like.

I do hope that the concerns of Beechcroft residents are taken into account by planners, the planning committee and indeed the two supermarkets.

Also, there have long been plans amongst Sefton Council’s Highway Engineers to put traffic lights at the junction of Liverpool Road North and Stafford Moreton Way, when the shopping centre is finally redeveloped. It can be a devil of a job exiting onto Liverpool Road North particularly at busy times when needing to turn right. Will this traffic light project now see the light of day?

MY REVIEW OF 2015 – Some Maghull & Lydiate events

Its always difficult to know where to start and what to leave out of a review of a year just past but here goes with 5 memorable issues for me in 2015.

Loss of the 311 Bus – Thanks Arriva! – This was a big issue for Lydiate in particular and it now means that Lydiate folk can only get to Ormskirk, if they don’t have a car, by getting the 231 bus to Maghull station and then a train to our local market town.

This is me with the Lydiate & Maghull resident's petition earlier this year at a 311 bus stop in Lydiate. The petition was not collected by me I would add but by the hard work of locals concerned about the loss of this Arriva route to Ormskirk.

This is me with the Lydiate & Maghull resident’s petition earlier this year at a 311 bus stop in Lydiate. The petition was not collected by me I would add but by the hard work of locals concerned about the loss of this Arriva route to Ormskirk.

I worked alongside local residents during the summer who raised a petition to try to save the 311 but Arriva were not for turning to quote the Iron Lady and the bus was lost at the end of August. By the way the Bus Deregulation Act that brought in private company control of most bus routes was a Thatcher era move.

Boxing Day Floods – Well they are fresh in memory and the subject of recent postings on this blog site so just to say that I hope those affected by them are recovering from them.

Hall Lane, Maghull with a Merseyside Fire & Rescue worker trying to clear debris from Whinney Brook.

Hall Lane, Maghull with a Merseyside Fire & Rescue worker trying to clear debris from Whinney Brook.

Building on Green Belt & high grade agricultural land – Sadly, Sefton Council continued in 2015 to plough ahead with its proposals to concrete over vast swathes of land especially in the East Parishes part of the Borough. They are looking to allow massive urban extensions to be built around Maghull and Lydiate together with other significant Green Belt building sites being identified across the Borough.

Campaigners, outside Maghull Town Hall trying to save Sefton Borough's high grade agricultural land from development.

Campaigners, outside Maghull Town Hall trying to save Sefton Borough’s high grade agricultural land from development.

As 2015 closed a planning inspector was reviewing Sefton’s Local Plan which details the Labour-run Council’s environmental destruction. So frustrating that few local decision makers seem to value our exceptionally high grade agricultural land which grows the food that we eat. Where will our children grow their food?

Maghull’s Stafford Moreton Youth Centre & former Maghull Library sites – This must surely be a candidate for farce of the year as it tangled Labour up in knots all of their own making. To recap, Labour-run Sefton Council put the side by side sites out for sale by tender. When the bids came in the Council’s all-Labour Cabinet took the highest bid. Labour back bench councillors protested (well after the horse had bolted) saying they wanted a pause in the process to see what the community wanted to do with the site or words to that effect. Their Labour Cabinet bosses said no we are selling it, tough. But the day before the Cabinet confirmed its original decision Labour back benchers launched a community consultation via the Champion Newspaper! The consultation lasted less than 24 hours and was pointless anyway as their Labour bosses were determined to sell the site. Later we found that Netto are likely to build a supermarket on the site. What a carry on.

The former Stafford Moreton Youth Centre and old Maghull Library in the heart of Maghull's shopping area.

The former Stafford Moreton Youth Centre and old Maghull Library in the heart of Maghull’s shopping area.

But then as December crept up on us all too quickly I was told that a former local chap called Henry Stafford Moreton had either donated the land and or money to have the Stafford Moreton Youth Centre built in the 1960’s. This being the case (and I am trying to verify it) then surely our Labour councillors should not be selling the land off and stuffing the money in Sefton Council’s back pocket but they should be investing the proceeds of the sale of the Youth Centre part of the site in youth facilities in Maghull. 2016 will determine whether or not Henry Stafford Moreton’s donation of land or money (assuming that it did indeed happen) will be wisely reinvested in Maghull’s youth or otherwise. Watch this space.

The demise of Maghull’s unique Youth Coffee Bar – In August it shut its doors and I am not aware of them reopening. How sad and how ironic that later in 2015 we encountered the sale of Stafford Moreton Youth Centre for a Netto to be built. Youth facilities have certainly taken a bashing in Maghull.

Nickie Smith was a former Chairperson of Maghull & District Youth Council and was one of the original campaigners for the Youth Coffee Bar who subsequently became a Maghull Town Councillor

Nickie Smith was a former Chairperson of Maghull & District Youth Council and was one of the original campaigners for the Youth Coffee Bar who subsequently became a Maghull Town Councillor

When Nickie Smith had to pack in helping to run the the Maghull Town Hall Coffee Bar earlier this year she did so because she realised that Maghull Council’s heart was no longer in project. In all my wildest dreams I did not see Labour’s disinterest in youth facilities coming when they took control of Maghull Town Council in 2011. Ironically, the facility had previously been visited by Burscough Parish Council and Knowsley Parish Council (both Labour -run) as they wanted to see what it was all about and because they also had an interest in youth facilities like the then Lib Dem-run Maghull Town Council.

Well that’s probably enough grumbling about 2015 and let’s hope that 2016 holds better hopes out for our environment, our young people and local transport amongst other things.

Maghull – Henry Stafford-Moreton – The Youth Centre and his wife’s dress?

What do we know about this former Maghull Councillor who had both a Youth Centre (now sadly closed and about to be demolished and replaced by a Netto store) and a road named after him?

I ask as his name has popped up twice in the last week or so. Firstly, a query came my way with regard to a dress that his wife Jane wore and which I am told is presently displayed in the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight. Secondly, I have been asked whether I know any detail about his connection with the former Stafford-Moreton Youth Centre in terms of whether he donated land and/or money to it.

Well a little Googling and I came across this link to the dress care off National Museums Liverpool web site:-

www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/ladylever/exhibitions/glitz/item-539900.aspx

A little bit more poking around on the internet and I found a photo of Maghull Parish Council (it only became a Town Council in 1974) on the ‘I grew up in Maghull’ facebook page:-

www.facebook.com/351665988312149/photos/a.353773251434756.1073741829.351665988312149/493114784167268/?type=1&theater

There is speculation on this facebook page from one lady that Stafford-Moreton gave the land for the youth centre to be built on and separately I have had a query about this from another resident who feels that the money from the sale of the land should be ploughed back into youth facilities in Maghull. Regular readers of this blog site will be aware that Sefton Council has just sold the site (together with the adjacent former Maghull Library site) and that a Netto store is due to be built there if planning permission is obtained from Sefton Council.

If the speculation is right i.e. that Stafford-Moreton did give land or money to help get the youth centre built then yes the proceeds of the sale of that part of the site should indeed go to local youth facilities. I would be pleased to know if anyone can shine any further light on this youth centre matter.

Anything more about this former Maghull resident and councillor that folks know about would also be of interest to me. Please get in touch.