Maghull – So Labour closed the Youth Coffee Bar because tennis lessons are a better alternative facility? Now just run that logic past me again!

Readers of this blog site will know how angry I am about the closure of Maghull’s unique Youth Coffee at Maghull Town Hall, but I was certainly not prepared for the reasons Labour have given for the closure.

Maghull TH Youth Coffee Bar

To be honest I thought they would try to blame it on cuts to Council grants from Government etc. even though as a Parish Council Maghull Town Council does not get any such grants. Certainly that’s a line Labour have used before i.e. playing on the fact that Joe and Jane Public will not know what’s really going on. But hey, no such defence this time and they went for the utterly ludicrous ‘explanation’ instead!

When I read the Aintree & Maghull Champion last week my first thought was how did reporter Jim Sharpe keep his face straight when Labour told him they were replacing an all year round indoor youth facility with tennis coaching lessons? OK, this is not funny, but it is certainly very peculiar!

But what’s this about the numbers dropping at the Coffee Bar? Well they would because Labour has had a habit of randomly closing it in recent years. And then there’s some talk about anti-social behaviour but hang on a minute that is exactly what the facility was attempting to combat. The adults who used to help out at the Coffee Bar were all capable of helping youngsters who were troublesome due to poor family backgrounds etc. And yes there had been successes, I am told, in helping local youngsters with their problems. But this sort of thing needs dedication and working at. Where on earth are the youngsters needing such help in Maghull going to go now?

Sorry, in my view, this is abandoning young people who need help and offering tennis coaching and a Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme as an alternative. That’s not the way forward for a progressive community that looks after it youngsters, it’s tuning your back on them.

Having sat on Maghull Town Council for 30 years until I stood down in May 2015 (because I had moved to Lydiate) I must say that I never thought I would see a day like this. After all the years of dedicated input into local youth by people such as Nickie Smith, Nova Rimmer and many others who would have thought that this unique and successful project would be tossed on the scrapheap.

Maghull – Why has the Town Council not been cutting its hedges and a littering of other sins

The lack of hedge cutting around Maghull’s parks has of course been raised before on this blog site. My previous post refers at:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/08/23/maghull-hedges-has-anyone-at-the-council-noticed-how-desperately-they-need-cutting/

But look at this, an advert for hiring out the Town Council’s Grounds Maintenance staff, seen on the Town Hall internal notice board on 22nd October:-

WP_20151022_19_34_24_Pro

Click on the photo to enlarge it.

When Labour took control of the Town Council in 2011 they said they were reducing what they called the ‘Rolls Royce’ standard of maintenance that the Lib Dems had promoted for Maghull’s parks, gardens and playing fields. Little did we know that they were seemingly moving towards a ‘Trabant’ standard as the alternative!

There have been complaints of hedges not being cut this year at Whinney Brook Field and Glenn Park along both sides of Eastway and at KGV Park along the A59/Northway. Also, concerns about litter piling up at Dodds and KGV Parks has come to our attention this summer and autumn via Facebook and the latest edition (28th October) of the Aintree & Maghull Champion newspaper. The lack of hedge cutting refers back to my previous posting about the blind chap walking into and getting a face full of Hawthorne from the uncut hedges on Eastway.

Would it be too much of a leap to wonder if the lack of maintenance of the parks and gardens in Maghull is due, at least in part, to the Grounds Maintenance staff seemingly being out for hire on private contracts?

It was also interesting to note that the Champion article whilst being critical of the Council, via the comments of a local resident, carried a response from a ‘Council spokesperson’. It seems Maghull’s Labour rulers were not too keen on being seen to be a part of an article like this. Surprising really as they would normally be all smiles for the media’s camera at the opening of a packet of crisps but not it seems at the litter caused by discarded packets of crisps etc.

Of course the Council is as much the victim of the litters and rubbish dumpers as the wider community. However, experience tells us that if litter and rubbish is not cleared away quickly it, by default, gives the impression that the community/Council do not care for the area and more littering and dumping takes place.

Will Maghull Town Council address these maintenance issues or not?