Maghull – Weeds festooned around new Home Bargains Site

So we know that Home Bargains is going to occupy the new store on the old Maghull Library/former Stafford Moreton Youth Centre site but have you seen the weeds that are growing in the ‘landscaped’ parts of the site!

Click on the photo to enlarge it

Who is the land owner I wonder and when will their grounds maintenance regime kick in?

As a Maghull in Bloom volunteer my view is that we need the owner to step up and make the landscaped parts of the site a credit to Maghull and the sooner the better please.

Maghull – Rotary Club’s purple4polio campaign to eradicate Polio.

Maghull in Bloom volunteers are supporting Rotary’s purple4polio campaign which aims to eradicate polio worldwide. Rotary has joined forces with the Royal Horticultural Society to distribute 5 million bulbs to ‘In Bloom’ groups across Britain and Ireland to raise awareness about their campaign.

They gave Maghull in Bloom 5000 purple crocus bulbs which have been planted at various locations, including the circular planters and barrier baskets in Maghull Square/along Westway and in the Maghull boundary baskets such as the one on the Maghull/Lydiate boundary on Southport Road.

The first photo also is amongst my Flickr shots at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

2016 – A year to forget? Well yes, but there was the odd glimmer of hope

BAD NATIONAL & GLOBAL EVENTS

13511053_1614311592194015_4578317925991669418_n

* Given the biggest self-destruct button the UK electorate has probably ever been tempted by i.e the EU referendum – they pressed it!

* Sociopath Trump wins in America, seemingly with help from Putin in the Cremlin!

* We manage to get rid of a centrist (for a Conservative that is), if hardly competent, Tory Prime Minister (Cameron) for him to be replaced by someone who looks utterly lost, is in a job probably well above her pay grade and who is riding us off into a inglorious right wing sunset!

nhs-logo

* Our NHS and elderly social care system has been systematically neglected and left to wither on the vine by our clueless government whilst we chuck goodness knows how much money on a replacement for the Trident nuclear missile programme that will never be used. There are guilty people in all political parties over this.

AND GOOD NATIONAL & GLOBAL THINGS?

* Well Lib Dem anti-Brexit candidate Sarah Olney winning the Richmond Park Parliamentary by-election comes to mind.

* The beating the right took in the Austrian Presidential election was a pleasant if somewhat surprising turn of events.

13697258_1800176716867492_7695840931455289339_n

* Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shining a light for tolerant, inclusive and progressive politics from over the pond in Canada. Is there anyone else in power on the global stage who can match his progressive approach to running a country?

Cricket-notts-logo

* The low and high of Notts and England batsman James Taylor being struck down by an almost fatal undiagnosed heart condition and then him coming through it. Yes we have lost on brilliant batsman but so glad he is still alive. And yes I am an Notts supporter.

AND LOCAL LOWS AND HIGHS?

Inside the Youth Coffee Bar after a refurb' a few years ago

Inside the Youth Coffee Bar after a refurb’ a few years ago

* LOW – We had the depressing news that Labour-run Maghull Town Council was finally killing-off the innovative Youth Coffee Bar in Maghull Town Hall which local youngsters had started 20+ years ago. And hey what a surprise (NOT) anti-social behaviour is a problem in the area of Maghull where it once operated!

St Catherine's otherwise know as Lydiate Abbey

St Catherine’s otherwise know as Lydiate Abbey

* HIGH – The ‘Friends of the Abbey’ in Lydiate gaining a Lottery grant to start the process of trying to conserve and preserve the ruins of St Catherine’s Chapel for future generations.

Former Maghull/Lydiate Borough Councillor Robbie Fenton with the petition she raised to try to save the Leighton Ave toilets a few years ago. Sadly they are all but gone now via neglect and vandalism.

Former Maghull/Lydiate Borough Councillor Robbie Fenton with the petition she raised to try to save the Leighton Ave toilets a few years ago. Sadly they are all but gone now via neglect and vandalism.

* LOW – The running down of and then appalling vandalism to Maghull’s once award winning public toilets in Leighton Avenue.

The long view of 2016 winter planting down Westway looking from the Leighton Ave junction towards the A59 Northway.

The long view of 2016 winter planting down Westway looking from the Leighton Ave junction towards the A59 Northway.

* HIGH – The continuing success of the Maghull in Bloom and Maghull Station Volunteers as they try to improve Maghull’s environment.

A Maghull Town Council leaflet from 1998 - Strangely this time round the now Labour-run Town Council did not fight the Green Belt grab.

A Maghull Town Council leaflet from 1998 – Strangely this time round the now Labour-run Town Council did not fight the Green Belt grab.

* LOW – The rubber stamping of the Sefton Local Plan which will ruin Green Belt and kill off some of the 2% highest grade of agricultural land in England. A black cloud for for environmental campaigners indeed.

Canal Bicentenary

* HIGH – The Bicentenary celebrations of the completion of the Leeds Liverpool Canal

On a personal note the start of 2016 was grim as I attended 4 funerals of people I knew in the first 4 months – former Lib Dem Councillors Joan Blackburn, David Rimmer and Kath Jones together with Lib Dem activist Susan Ashton. It finished with a further death this time of a relative in December whose funeral I could not get to because of traffic jams on the M6. But of course there were personal highs as well –

img-20161210-wa0001

* Being invited to play Santa for a session to help Maghull & Aughton Rotary Club and Maghull in Bloom fund raise was great fun.

Me sat in my old choir stall  at Sefton Church. I recall sitting in this very seat - if memory serves at all of course - it was over 40 years ago!

Me sat in my old choir stall at Sefton Church. I recall sitting in this very seat – if memory serves at all of course – it was over 40 years ago!

* Being invited to rejoin the choir of St Helen’s Church in Sefton Village, where I had been a choirboy in 1970, despite being an atheist was lovely. Obviously I politely declined.

Carl Cashman for Mersey Metro Mayor Launch 08 16 - Credit Charlie Green

* Helping a great young man to be selected as Lib Dem candidate for the Liverpool City Region Mayoral election to be held in May 2017. Carl Cashman is that young man. I have known him for some years now and am delighted he will be on the ballot paper.

Iain Brodie Brown - Mayor of Sefton at the Leeds Liverpool Canal Bicentenary celebrations in Maghull

Iain Brodie Brown – Mayor of Sefton at the Leeds Liverpool Canal Bicentenary celebrations in Maghull

* My old chum Iain Brodie Browne becoming Mayor of Sefton. A Liberal down to his boots and one of the most radical, capable and compassionate politicians I have ever come across.

So sadly 2016 has been a year of some very significant lows indeed. Some of those lows we will be grappling with the consequences of for maybe 10 years or more. Fortunately the odd bit of good news did filter through but surely 2017 has to be better?

Lydiate Parish Councillor accused of impersonating Santa

Lydiate Parish Councillor Tony Robertson has found himself in deep water (or is that snow) for impersonating a Santa. He was rumbled by a little girl who came up to him this lunchtime outside Morrisons Store in Maghull and said ‘are you George’, no replied Santa I am Santa.

img-20161210-wa0001

But eventually Santa had to admit that George had been the previous Santa but that he had now gone back to Lapland. The little girl was seemingly unimpressed with that story and forced Santa to confirm that George had indeed just returned to his Maghull home.

But Santa’s embarrassment was all in a good cause though as funds were being raised for the good causes supported by Maghull & Aughton Rotary Club and the work of Maghull in Bloom’s volunteers.

Thanks to the generous folk of the locality for their contributions to the fund raising today and throughout the festive period.

Lydiate – Its volunteer litter pickers – An update – And is a 3rd local litter picking group about to be formed in Maghull?

Below is the text of a report/update e-mail sent to Lydiate Parish Council recently on behalf of Lydiate’s volunteer litter picking group.

Subject: Litter picking 28/11/16 – Lydiate.

Sorry to not have given feedback sooner…..in truth the above date was not
particularly effective, particularly as we faced a new challenge – it was an
icy day and it’s hard to pick litter frozen off the ground!!

That said, Southport Road and Lambshear Lane had been done the previous
week. We did manage Liverpool Road, Moss Lane, Sandy Lane and I am told,
Virginia Avenue.

The Parish Council [Lydiate] have given us litter sticks and these are great – thank you.

I think it is fair to say that this year we have collected in the region of
300 bags of litter. A huge achievement and frankly not the most onerous task
in the world. We have deep-cleaned areas where rubbish has clearly lain for
years. It means it is a lot easier to keep the momentum going now.

It seems a little unfair to cite the next litter pick on Saturday 31st
December and perhaps we deserve a little time off during the winter season.

May I propose the next date as Saturday 28 January 2017.

Thank you all so much for your dedication and hard work in trying to keep
Lydiate litter free.

A Maghull canal scene between the Green Lane and Westway road bridges.  A stretch of canal tow path regularly litter picked by Maghull in Bloom volunteers.

A Maghull canal scene between the Green Lane and Westway road bridges. A stretch of canal tow path regularly litter picked by Maghull in Bloom volunteers.

I am sure I will see some of you over the festive period, but those I do not
I wish you and your families a relaxing and festive Christmas and New Year.

Thank you again,

There is of course another group of volunteer litter pickers who work under the banner of Maghull in Bloom – they keep the Leeds Liverpool Canal tow path clear of litter through Maghull and up to Bells Lane in Lydiate.

I also heard the other day that there may well be steps being taken towards a new volunteer litter group being set up in Maghull. If and when I hear more about this I will post some information.

Note:- Just to be clear I am not a part of the Lydiate volunteer litter picking group and whilst I am a Maghull in Bloom volunteer I am not a part of the canal litter picking group.

Maghull in Bloom launches on Facebook

Maghull in Bloom News on Facebook

Maghull in Bloom was launched 9 years ago by a handful of volunteers who wanted to green-up/tidy up Maghull and its public places.

The long view of 2016 winter planting down Westway looking from the Leighton Ave junction towards the A59 Northway.

The long view of 2016 winter planting down Westway looking from the Leighton Ave junction towards the A59 Northway.

They have tackled many environmental projects since then working with various other official, business and voluntary organisations.

Taking a break - Volunteers in the courtyard of Meadows Leisure Centre which they help to maintain.

Taking a break – Volunteers in the courtyard of Meadows Leisure Centre which they help to maintain.

Now they are moving into social media to get their message across, to keep the community informed and to aid the recruitment of new generations of volunteers.

Beautiful award winning flower displays at Maghull Station by Maghull Station Volunteers.

Beautiful award winning flower displays at Maghull Station by Maghull Station Volunteers.

Their new Facebook Group can be found by searching for:-

Maghull in Bloom News