Liverpool’s ‘Bucket’ fountain’ – move proposal sparks protests

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

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/people-dont-want-liverpools-bucket-15801178

I recall going to watch the bucket fountain as a young lad and yes it can be mesmerising as described in the Echo article. I also agree that it’s almost hidden location is a part of its charm.

I’ve signed the petition and would urge others to do so as well. Here’s a link to it:-

www.change.org/p/liverpool-city-council-save-the-bucket-fountain?recruiter=45146312&utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition

Sefton Council – Chief Exec’ Carney to retire

The Liverpool Echo has the article on its web site – see link below

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/sefton-councils-chief-executive-margaret-15767682

Goodness me is it really 10 years since I sat on the recruitment panel which selected Margaret Carney as the new Chief Executive of Sefton Council to replace Graham Haywood? My recollection is that Margaret was head and shoulders above all the other applicants for the job and that it was a unanimous decision to appoint her.

If memory serves Margaret started out at Knowsley Council in an ordinary clerical role and through hard graft worked herself up to an Executive position at Rochdale Council from where she came to Sefton Council.

Straight forward, incredibly hard-working and a pleasure to work with is how I’d describe her from my former position as Leader of the Council and then Cabinet member perspective. I wish her well and hope she enjoys life after Sefton Council.

Liverpool – Its former St. James Station – Will it ever reopen?

The Liverpool Echo has the article (with the rather over-optimistic headline?) on its website – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/business/inside-abandoned-st-james-station-15732458

I’ve posted about this long talked about reopening project before – here’s a link to my previous blog:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/09/08/liverpool-st-james-station/

The trouble with railway wish list projects like this is that they rarely move forward and what about the price tag – est £50m – for the new station! How on earth do we manage to get such a huge price tag for a new railway station? There must be something wrong with how railway infrastructure is procured in the UK?

Sefton High Schools – DfE reveal schools that are failing to meet government performance standards at GCSE

The Liverpool Echo has the article on its web site – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/merseyside-schools-were-named-amongst-15727697

I’ll start this posting by saying that I’ve never been particularly enamored of school league tables as they are only one aspect of what we all hope schools are trying to achieve with our young people. However, they’re a reality no matter how blunt an instrument they are and of course, many parents will use such performance standards at GCSE to decide which school to send their youngsters to.

Schools on lists such as these will surely be under pressure to improve their results and performance, indeed some could be dealt very heavy blows by the stats.

There are 3 Sefton High Schools on the list of schools across Merseyside/Liverpool City Region. And on a second list (within the Echo article) of Merseyside schools that are coasting, there are a further 3 although two of them duplicate schools on the former list.

Bus Lanes – Ditched in Liverpool for political brownie points – Well that’s my view

The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/mayor-joe-andersons-decision-scrap-15699959

I’ve always thought that taking out 22 of Liverpool’s 26 bus lanes was a backwards step which would inevitably mean later running and more unreliable buses plus it was certainly a poke in the eye to all who hold environmental issues close to their hearts.

Yes, it was popular with many car and van drivers; well it would be wouldn’t it! My guess is that it was done to make it look like having an elected Mayor for Liverpool City meant that decisive policy changes could be easily and popularly be made. In other words, it was a political decision with little thought towards the need to challenge how the majority of us need to change our travelling habits.

That Nottingham is mentioned in the Echo article is very much to the point because that city is one that’s leading the charge to change the way its citizens move around and make those movements more sustainable. It’s a long-term process for change but if Nottingham’s trams are anything to go by the changes are all for the better.

A Nottingham NET Tram at the Phoenix Park terminus.

And Nottingham’s buses are pretty good too and seemingly reasonably reliable because of bus priority lanes and accurate on-time information about them.

Display on No.58 Nottingham bus

The bottom line is that since the failed Merseytram project Liverpool has not had a plan to make its public transport and particularly its bus network 1st class for modern day use and indeed expectations. Yes we can have a complete restructure of our bus network akin to re-regulating it (as Merseytravel are inching towards and I agree with) but if the infrastructure is not there to produce fast, reliable buses that go where people want them to go then those that can afford to will continue to use their polluting cars and accept that sitting in traffic jams is just the way that it is. Those who can’t afford to run cars or don’t wish to run cars then have no choice and are saddled with a dysfunctional bus network to get them around the city.

No, backing out of bus priority lanes was a backwards step. It got some short-term political gain but for long-term congestion and poorer transportation in the city. Not clean, not green, no fast efficient buses, no vision for transportation in a thriving city. Now go look at Nottingham and see how things can be done……..

Crime on Merseyside’s railway stations

Liverpool Lime Street Station at night.

The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/revealed-merseyside-railway-stations-youre-15699984

A Virgin Trains Pendolino train at Liverpool Lime Street Station.

There’s every danger with looking at crime stats and trying to interpret them that folk become more fearful of crime than they need to be. But the positive side of talking about railway stations where crime is an issue is to make travellers more aware of what is going on around them on busy stations. It’s a question of balance as with most things of course.

Southport Station.