The other day Sheila and I had the opportunity to visit and have a guided tour of St Cuthbert’s Church in Halsall, which is over 700 years old and in the same historic league as nearby Sefton Church in Sefton Village which, if I recall correctly, is a little bit older being over 800 years.
Modern stained glass in St Cuthbert’s – Halsall
We heard about Cromwell’s troops being billeted there and the damage that was seemingly done by them to stone carvings – knocking off noses and carving their initials on carved Knights gave slabs!
But what we found fascinating was that there is a close connection between St Cuthbert’s and Lydiate’s own St. Catherine’s Chapel, otherwise know as Lydiate Abbey. This connection is via the Ireland family.
St Catherine’s also known as Lydiate Abbey
St. Cuthbert’s is pre-reformation so whilst a C of E Parish Church now it was originally a Roman Catholic place of worship. We were told that folks living in Maghull & Lydiate would have travelled all the way to St Cuthbert’s on a Sunday, despite St. Helen’s Church in Sefton Village and Christ Church in Aughton being nearer for them. Seems in those days you had to and were expected to attend what was designated to be your parish church – no issue of choice back then for the poor in particular.
The stained glass photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:- www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/
Drivers through the pretty West Lancashire village of Halsall will know, some to their great cost, that speeding through the village is not a cleaver thing to do at all as there are often police speed traps lurking to catch the unwary.
But budget cuts are hitting Lancashire Police very hard, to the extent that the village bobby in Halsall is now – well a man of straw quite literally:-
Another in my series of tributes in the 100th year since the start of WW1.
This memorial is on the busy main road, outside Halsall Parish Church, from Maghull to Southport and will be seen by many motorists each day.
Around it are 3 plaques with the names of Halsall people who fell in the 1st and 2nd World Wars. The sobering fact is that many more fell in WW1 than in WW2 as 2 of the 3 plaques cover the dead of the Great War.
This photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-
A couple of days ago I highlighted the unfortunate consequences upon Southport of the West Lancashire Local Plan being approved by a Planning Inspector. The matter has now been taken up by the MP for Southport Dr John Pugh.
Dr. John Pugh Lib Dem MP for Southport
Sir Michael Pitt,
The Planning Inspectorate
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
BRISTOL BS1 6PN
Date: 16 November 2013
Dear Sir Michael,
It has been reported to me that a Planning Inspector recently gave the ‘all clear’ to West Lancashire District Council’s Draft Local Plan in particular as it related to plans to build new houses on the local Green Belt around New Cut Lane, Halsall, an area which is regarded by most of its residents as being part of Birkdale which it abuts.
While the Inspector has, quite correctly, recognised that there is travel to work and shop between Southport (Seton MBC) and West Lancashire, in determining that this new housing can be treated as meeting West Lancashire’s Housing need, rather than Sefton’s I find this argument to have significant and worrying weaknesses. Draft Local Plans need to look not just simplistically at Housing need but also at the infrastructure which is necessary to accompany and support any new housing and indeed the present housing, industry etc. There is no evidence that I have yet seen to show that West Lancashire District Council has in any way considered the extra stress on an already-overburdened and tightly-enveloped Southport which will be associated with the building of and occupation of these substantial number of new houses. Nor is there any obvious evidence of West Lancashire District Council having co-operated with Sefton MBC in terms of assessing the possibility of development in boundary areas between the two authorities in general and the New Cut Lane area in particular. There may have been some information, which might be stretched to ‘consultation’ but these processes do not amount to ‘co-operation’ which involves working together. The decision to choose this particular area to expand into would seem to be a rather cynical determination that there will be no substantial group of residents/electors who will be particularly objecting to this proposal compared to any proposal closer to one of the West Lancashire current population centres.
I should be interested to receive your response to the above points.
Dr John Pugh MP
News that West Lancashire Council’s Local Plan has been approved by a Planning Inspector has been met with dismay by Sefton and Southport Lib Dems because some last minute additions to land to be released to be built on in Halsall Parish will clearly mean that the new West Lancashire Council tax payers will in fact be relying on Southport’s GP’s, Dentists and schools.
West Lancs plans to allow houses to be built on what is presently Green Belt land bang up against the boundary with Southport. The new housing will be significantly detached from other population centres and community facilities in West Lancashire meaning that the people who move into the houses will be dependent on services within Sefton such as GP’s, Dentists, schools etc.
It’s a cleaver move by West Lancs to pick sites far enough away from their own residents so there will be little protest about the loss of Green Belt land but the consequences of this last minute idea, which was endorsed by the Planning Inspector who approved the West Lancs Local Plan, will fall upon Sefton and Southport!
As part of the Local Plan process Councils are expected to work together and have a ‘duty to consult’ with each other. But when last minute changes were being made by West Lancs to their Plan via the release land bang up against the Sefton boundary the consultation process fell woefully short. What’s more by endorsing the West Lancs Local Plan the Planning Inspectorate, who we expect to referee a fair game, allowed West Lancs Council to get away with dumping housing on the boundary with Sefton that Southport’s schools, GP’s and dentists will have to pick up the consequences of.
The Planning Inspector should have seen the stunt that West Lancs was pulling and stopped it rather than allowing it stand in added on time.