Lydiate and its Great War 1914 – 1918 – A lovely remembrance booklet

I think I mentioned a while back that Lydiate Parish Council had put some money towards this booklet which was produced to look at the impact of WW1 on the farming village of Lydiate, and how children today are remembering the young men from their community who gave their lives.

Local author and historian Pam Russell was the guiding light together with Kath Coyle – WW1 Lydiate project coordinator.

24 young Lydiate men died while serving in WW1

24 young men from Lydiate (or with strong links to it) died while serving in WW1 and the booklet celebrates the life of each one with individual write-ups. I was interested to have confirmed something which another well known local historian (Bruce Hubbard) had told me some time ago i.e. that one of Lydiate’s fallen is not on either war memorial in the community – Herbert Finch who was killed on 19th October 1917. It seems he lived near the Lydiate/Maghull boundary so may have unfortunately been overlooked by both villages. He is however commemorated at Tyne Cot memorial in Belgium. Wouldn’t it be fitting for his name to added now to either the memorial at Our Lady’s Catholic Church or the one at St. Thomas’ CofE Church?

There’s also a brief history of Lydiate through the ages and of Lydiate life in 1914 within the booklet.

As well as the booklet there’s a website about the project at ww1lydiate.org.uk which you can access via this link:-

madcos.org.uk/project/ww1-lydiate/

I think many primary school children from Lydiate’s 3 schools may have a copy of the booklet and you just might be lucky in tracking a copy down if you call in at Lydiate Village Center on Lambshear Lane.

A great tribute to the fallen, congratulations to all involved.

Lydiate – Some notes from the February Parish Council meeting – Donations and Dogs


We agreed to make donations to both Lydiate in Flower and Lydiate Village Festival.

Remember the trouble over dogs on Sandy Lane Playing Field and the dog walker getting fined* for their dog being on the football pitch from a few weeks back? Well since then the Parish Council has been creating and fencing off an area of the park where dogs can be walked without fear of fines. The fencing is now mainly in and it looks like this:-

We also discussed appropriate signage for the park so that dog walkers and indeed all park users know what the rules are surrounding dogs being banned from sports pitches. The rules are probably too involved for a simple notice so we discussed the possibility of a straight forward notice with the detail being available on the Parish Council’s web site.

* The fine was subsequently rescinded

Lydiate – So what about dogs running free on local parks?

Lydiate residents may recall recent newspaper headlines whereby a dog walker with a dog off its lead in a Lydiate park was given a ticket for a fine under a Public Space Protection Order.

That fine was subsequently rescinded following an appeal but the problem is still there because Sefton Council regulates dogs locally not Lydiate Parish Council.

After Parish Council discussion with Lydiate dog walkers, some of whom attended the Parish Council meeting last Tuesday, it’s been agreed that a part of Sandy Lane Playing Field will be fenced off where dog walkers can let their dogs off their leads. The work is to be carried out by the Parish Council in the near future.

Be careful where you let your dog off its lead on public parks as you could end up with a ticket. Best to consult Sefton Council’s website on the matter even if the park you are using is run by one of the Parish Councils in the Borough. Here’s a link that may help dog walkers:-

www.sefton.gov.uk/thegooddogcode

Lydiate – Residents protest against 3 storey block of flats for Saville Road

A large number of residents attended the public session of Lydiate Parish Council’s meeting last night in Lydiate Village Centre. They were there to raise concerns and objections to a recent planning application to build a 3 storey block of flats on the site of derelict garages off Saville Road to the rear of the row of shops on Liverpool Road.

Rear of the Liverpool Road shops on Saville Road. The proposed flats would be adjacent to them if Sefton gives planning permission.

The site is surrounded on 3 sides by bungalows and 2 storey houses so the fact that the application is for a 3 storey building means that overlooking of the neighbouring properties is a big concern.

Another concern is lack of adequate car parking facilities for the development in an area where on-road parking is hard to find at times due to the shops and commercial premises on Liverpool Road.

I must admit when I first became aware of the plan a few days ago my first thought was along the lines of you surely can’t shoehorn that many flats into that small space and anyway a 3 storey building is inappropriate for the site. My 2nd thought was I wonder if the applicant is applying for a 3 storey block thinking they are likely to be knocked back to 2 storeys via the planning process by Sefton Council Planners?

The Parish Council decided to recommend refusal of the application to Sefton Council’s Planning Committee. However, the Parish Council does NOT have the final say; that is in the hands of Sefton’s Planning Committee, so anyone wanting to raise concerns about the application needs to write into Sefton Council ASAP.

Here’s a link to the planning application on Sefton Council’s website:-

pa.sefton.gov.uk/online-applications/simpleSearchResults.do?action=firstPage

Fracking – So do you think it’s a good idea? It’s really NOT!

Fracking is on our doorstep but how many folks really appreciate that and indeed the troubles that it could well cause in mid-Sefton and West Lancashire?

The process is advancing in Great Altcar, West Lancashire and at some point, subject to further permissions etc. a green light could be given to start fracking under our communities. Lydiate, Formby, Ince Blundell, Little Crosby, Hightown, Crosby, Little Altcar, Great Altcar, Maghull, Downholland are all within range for the process to take place below them.

But, have a look at this Channel 4 News video which details what has happened in Holland and then turn around and tell me, those of you who back fracking, that you are still happy for it to take place under your community.

www.channel4.com/news/why-the-dutch-are-ditching-gas-extraction

You may want to consider backing the work of the Moss Alliance if you are not doing already, who are trying to fight off fracking locally:-

themossalliance.org/

Lydiate Parish Council, on which I sit, has allocated £500 to assist the Moss Alliance in any legal battles they may fight as I have mentioned before on this blog site.

The trouble with Parish Councils

This posting follows my reading a very interesting piece by Joanie Willett titled ‘Parish Councils are a vital space for participatory democracy – but they are in crisis’ on LSE web site – here’s a link to the article:-

blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/parish-councils-engagement/

Having continuously been a Parish Councillor since September 1985, firstly on Maghull Town Council (until 2015) and then on Lydiate Parish Council (to date) plus having been a Sefton Borough Councillor with Parish Councils in my wards this is a subject close to my heart. As well as being a member of 2 Parish Councils I’ve had varying degrees of interaction with the other 8 parishes in Sefton Borough – Melling, Aintree Village, Sefton, Thornton, Ince Blundell, Formby (which I had a small hand in setting up), Hightown and Little Altcar.

The interesting thing about this list of 10 Parish Councils within Sefton Borough is that they probably in their own way pretty much represent the wide range of Parish and Town Councils nationally in that Maghull is one of the largest in England, Lydiate, Formby and Aintree Village are medium sized with the other 6 being much smaller to differing degrees. When I talk about size I am particularly referring to the precept (amount of council tax) they charge and the services they are involved in delivering.

My view is that for parish councils (and I do take the trouble to seek out Parish Council noticeboards all over England) to continue to thrive they need to move with the times. Having been set up by Gladstone in 1894 I sometimes wonder whether some are still stuck in that era. Modern communities demand services being delivered to them and who better to deliver some of those services than your very local parish council, should you have one of course. Yes I know some parish councils are reluctant to take on powers and responsibilities but it is in my view the future. Parks, gardens, children’s play areas are an obvious thing they could/should be running in their communities but how about youth facilities, community halls/village halls, public toilets, street cleaning/litter picking etc. etc. Surely such essential community services are better managed and delivered at a very local level aren’t they? Of course there are parish councils across England delivering such services already and more.

But they need regular 4 yearly elections too not just have enough nominations so as not to have to hold an election. The churn of elections is good, it brings in new people, new ideas, helps things move along with the times. Oh and co-options for vacancies caused by resignations etc. need to be put a stop to as I’ve mentioned in a previous posting of not so long ago. Here’s that posting:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/09/18/co-options-onto-parish-councils/

Too many parish councils are below the radar with the same usually well meaning people on them for generations. Goodness me I was on Maghull Town Council (a Town Council is exactly the same as a Parish Council other than it has a Mayor rather than a Chairperson) for 30 years and I faced many elections in that time period. But, and I kid you not, there will be some parish councillors who have never faced the electorate because they were co-opted onto their parish council and at each 4 yearly round of elections there will have been just enough nominations (or sadly in some case too few) for there to be no need of an election. This in my view is not healthy democracy.

But don’t let my grumbling about parish councils mislead you, I love them in all their quirky and diverse ways. No two parish councils are alike because whilst they exist under the same legislation they have each grown or ventured in they own ways. Borough, District and County Councils (whomever controls them politically) are creatures that are 95% (at least) the same as each other because they deliver statutory services on behalf of government. Parish Councils don’t deliver statutory services unless of course something has been devolved to them by a big brother Council. They don’t get government grants either. They are truly free to do what they think their community wants and needs and to raise money from the Council tax payers to do that work. Many simply see their role as being the voice of their community and they seek no other role, others do all kinds of things to try to better their communities.

I’m keen on devolution of powers to the lowest level of government commensurate with delivering quality cost effective services so I want to see parish councils saying we can do that in our community, whatever that may be that their particular community requires or thinks can be delivered better by their very local council.

There are great opportunities out there for parish councils to grasp and in many communities that grasping is happening with dynamic parish councils leading the way but in others little is happening other than a monthly grumble meeting about troubles in their community and how the District, Borough or County Council is not solving these troubles. The best solutions are nearly always the ones delivered by the people closest to the challenge/problem and often that will be a parish council. Oh if only more parish councils had the confidence and ambition to really lead their communities they could then seriously call themselves the level of democracy closest and most in touch with their community.

My thanks to Cllr. Bill Honeyman for making me aware of the LSE paper mentioned above.