Maghull – That new bandstand the community is getting

Now call me a kill-joy and an old misery guts if you wish but my issue over this bandstand business, apart from there being little if any call for one amongst the community, is that Maghull’s KGV Park is reasonably small and in effect surrounded by residential properties on 3 sides – Brendale Avenue, Liverpool Road South and Bailey Way off Hall Lane.

The other day I had a look at the traditional bandstand that sits in Ormskirk’s Coronation Park – I appreciate that the one Maghull Town Council is to construct is likely to be far more modern in appearance and probably/possibly much larger.

What struck me about the Ormskirk park is that it is much larger and that residential property is quite some distance away.

Yes I know that Maghull TC has issued all kinds of assurances about the Police being on hand to deal with issues but bearing in mind how stretched the Police are these days, how realistic are these assurances?

Sorry I see trouble brewing here but I certainly hope that I am wrong.

Maghull – I keep getting asked why Maghull TC does not cut its hedges

MTC's KGV hedge 22 08 15

I have covered this rather odd matter before on this blog site but to recap the issue is this.

Along Eastway there are hedges both sides of the road that belong to Maghull Town Council. The hedges bound Whinneybrook Field on one side and Glenn Park on the other. Also along the A59 (Northway) The Town Council has a hedge that bounds KGV Park where Maghull Town Hall is sited.

MTC's Whinney Brook Field hedge 22 08 15

Both of these sites have not been getting their hedges cut over the last couple of years and by that I mean regularly cut. They have both had an end of growing season cut very recently (early November) but up until then the hedges have been significantly over grown and almost wild.

In 2015 I related a story about a partially sighted chap who lives in Eastway who walked into the barbs of the overgrown hawthorn hedging along that road. He had to contact the Town Council to ask them to cut the hedges back I understand. He raised the matter with me as well at the time and again this year.

I was a member of Maghull Town Council for 30 years (until May 2015) so some folks must still think that I am because I have also been contacted by a lady asking if I could assist her in getting hedges cut back in Maghull. As you may have noticed from the text above this has finally now happened.

BUT why does this problem keep manifesting itself each summer? I recall that during my time on the Town Council a tractor was purchased (and a hedge cutting flail arm for it too) so that the Council’s many hundreds of yards of hedging across the Town could be effectively and efficiently cut. That machinery could do the job quickly and my recollection is it took just 2 groundsman to operate it i.e. one driving the tractor and a second one acting as banksman to keep people and animals away from the cutting.

The kind of equipment Maghull Town Council acquired to cuts its many hundreds of yards of hedging across the Town.

The kind of equipment Maghull Town Council acquired to cuts its many hundreds of yards of hedging across the Town.

I say all this because the lady who contacted me recently said that she had been told by the Council that there were effectively three reasons why the hedges are no longer being cut i.e. that legislation won’t allow hedges to be cut before 31 July, a lack of man power and antiquated machinery.

Well as you can read above the Town Council did have the machinery to cut the hedges and it was far from being antiquated so what has it done with it?

A lack of manpower (and womanpower too)? I know that the Town Council now takes on grounds maintenance jobs as it is trying to operate as a business on top of looking after the Town’s 75+ acres of parks, gardens and play areas. This was starting to happen during my last couple of years on the Council and I recall saying back then that it should not be allowed to impact on the standard of parks maintenance. Are we to assume that it has and that commercial activities of the Council are taking a preference to maintenance of the Towns parks and gardens?

And what about that nesting birds issue? It is true that the advice given to us all is that we should refrain from cutting hedges from 1st March until 31st July (some advice says 31st August) due to nesting birds. If I understand the legislation correctly, if you knowingly cut a hedge where there are nesting birds in this period you are breaking the law.

There are of course caveats to the law such as if the hedge is next to a public highway and not cutting it will create health and safety issues. In such circumstances ways should be found to cut the hedge. The hedges I am aware of in Maghull which folk are most concerned about are all next to pavements and it should surely not need a partially blind chap to protest to the Council before it addresses such hedges in my view.

So there you have it. I don’t know all the ins and outs as I am no longer a Maghull Town Councillor but should the Town Council wish to tell Maghull residents about its hedge cutting policy/problems then I am sure such information would be welcomed.

Maghull & Prescot – The sad consequence of vandalism

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/angry-prescot-residents-speak-out-11928468

The Liverpool Echo has the Prescot story on its web site – see link above

And in Maghull another sad vandalism story being played out on Liverpool Road South, adjacent to KGV Park, Meadows Leisure Centre and Maghull Town Hall:-

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Both these examples show how mindless destruction can blight a community; in Prescot a beautiful piece of street artwork in Maghull the all too familiar smashing up of a bus shelter. I wonder how many bus shelters across Merseyside are smashed up every week? We probably do not want to know the answer as it would be too depressing to hear.

Of course the area around Meadows Leisure Centre and Maghull Town Hall seems to have been a magnet for anti-social behaviour for a while now, an issue I have commented on not so long ago:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2016/08/28/maghull-asb-trouble-at-kgv-park/

Maghull – In Bloom Volunteers tidy up the flower beds around Meadows Leisure Centre

Meadows Flower Beds 10 09 16 (2)

One of the areas of the Town that the ‘In Bloom’ volunteers have taken over in recent years are the flower beds at the front of Sefton Council’s Meadows Leisure Centre in KGV Park.

Meadows flower beds 10 09 16

Last Saturday was time to fettle out weeds and do some dead-heading as well as a general tidy up. Around a dozen volunteers turned out and the job was done in not much more than an hour.

And after the work a chat with friends over coffee in the Leisure Centre.

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Maghull – ASB Trouble at KGV Park

I got a call yesterday from a Maghull resident whom I have know for years, indeed he was once a councillor himself. He told me that his daughter had taken her children to KGV Park yesterday afternoon but was concerned about the behaviour of a large group of lads.

Maghull's KGV Park and Meadows Leisure Centre

Maghull’s KGV Park and Meadows Leisure Centre

I was told that they were smoking some substance and generally behaving in an threatening and anti-social way. The lady went into Meadows Leisure Centre to raise concerns but I am told that she was told that the Police would not be interested/would not turn out to deal with the incident.

On returning home she was so concerned that she spoke to her Dad who in turn called me for some advice. I have raised the matter with a local Sefton Councillor (Pat O’Hanlon) for two reasons. Firstly, I think that staff in the Meadows Leisure Centre should report all such incidents to the Police no matter how they feel the Police will react to them because doing so builds up a picture of the problems. Not reporting them means the Police don’t even know about them.

Secondly the Sefton Councillor will raise the concerns directly with the local Police Inspector and will be seeking knowledge of how the Police are dealing with ASB issues around that part of Maghull.

Sadly, I then drove past the park this morning and I noticed that hazard tape was across the bus shelter that backs onto the park. Shattered glass panels seem to be the problem and were they related to the unreported ASB issues? We will probably never know the answer to this but clearly Maghull’s KGV Park needs some attention from Merseyside Police.

And another thing. How bright was it of Maghull Town Council to close the last significant public youth facility in the Town when they shut the doors on Maghull’s unique Youth Coffee Bar (on KGV Park) for the last time recently to offer tennis coaching as an alternative?