No sooner had I posted about the results of the Forestry Commission’s investigations into the unlicensed tree felling on this site, which runs along the side of the Leeds Liverpool Canal, than something else happens. What exactly went on today is unclear though but local residents raised the alarm based on previous troubles with the felling.
What I know. This morning a JCB type vehicle arrived and some work was undertaken on the site. Cllr. Pat O’Hanlon went to check things out this morning and I have been this afternoon. There seem to be around 6 areas of the land where sand has been used to make rough circles on the ground. What purpose the sand circles serve I presently don’t know. Nothing else seems to have happened and as far as I could see no further trees have been removed.
I am aware of vermin issues on the site so could the sand circles be associated with that issue?
Questions will be asked and if I find out anything more I will let folks know.
Note:- The land is presently part of Lydiate’s Green Belt but Sefton Council controversially want it to be released for house building.
I hear from Maghull & Lydiate Action Group sources that they are of the view that the tree felling on the site at the end of Maghull’s Turnbridge Road was not licensed but that it should have been. This information comes, I am told, directly from the Forestry Commission.
This view of the site is from the Leeds Liverpool Canal towpath. Uprooted tree stumps can be seen on the far side of the site. Click on the photo to enlarge it.
Should this turn out to be the case, which is seems it does, then the Forestry Commission will have to decide what the come back will be on those responsible for the felling.
No news at present on whether Sefton Council should have acted when it first became aware of what looks like illegal felling.
I should add for clarity that the whole of the site is in fact in Lydiate and is only accessed from Maghull.
More news when I have it.
Do you think if we listened very quietly we may just hear an apology like this being muttered from Labour HQ on Maghull’s Industrial Estate?
We in the Sefton Labour Party took a bit of a pounding on 5th May in some Sefton wards and to be honest we brought it all on ourselves by not being straight with voters about the Green Belt.
Yes, we said we would defend the Green Belt and yes we put up posters saying this too. But we then voted to build on Borough’s Green Belt on Sefton Council. Indeed, we consistently voted to build on Sefton’s Green Belt.
And yes, we then blamed everyone else for us voting to release Green Belt and high grade agricultural land for development; the very land we had pledged to defend. We even attacked those who were fighting to save the Green Belt.
Well it’s time to apologise. The electors in Park, Sudell and Ravenmeols wards saw that we were saying one thing but doing another and turned to independent Green Belt campaigners as a consequence.
We in the Labour Party slagged off Nick Clegg unmercifully for his say one thing do another over Tuition Fees yet we, on a local level, found ourselves doing something similar. We are sorry for what we have done and hope the electorate will find a way to forgive us in the fullness of time.
Well sadly, it seems unlikely that Sefton Labour will acknowledge their failings. It takes a lot of guts in politics to say openly that you were wrong but Labour really does need to try to clear the air if it wants to rebuild it’s tattered environmental credentials with the electorate in Maghull, Lydiate and Formby.
Click on the chart to enlarge it
Across England the Lib Dems gained the most seats (37) – Lynne Thompson in Southport’s Ainsdale Ward of Sefton Council being one of those 37 net gains.
But look at the ‘Residents’ tag, it’s plus 4 and 3 of those gains by independent resident groups were from Labour in Sefton Central Constituency. A badge to wear proudly for Pat O’Hanlon, Matt Gannon and Bob McCann. A badge Sefton Central Labour Party will very much not be wearing though as they contributed to Labour’s net loss of 25 seats across England!
You can almost feel the tension rising between Ian Maher’s Bootle brethren and Bill Esterson’s comrades in Sefton Central. You can bet Bootle Labour, who rule the roost, will be highly unimpressed with their ‘colleagues’ losing seats to independents in Sefton Central.
Will update when final figures in.
Has the worm turned in Sefton Central? For years Labour has trained it’s voters to vote on national issues and to pretty much ignore local matters and for years it has worked. But in May 2016 things changed and voters started to look at local issues which did Labour no favours at all.
Labour had a terrible secret and it has certainly been outed. Well it was no secret really but voters attention turned to it; just what Labour did not want them to do.
The issue – THE GREEN BELT – which Labour said they would defend but then voted to build on. They got away with this say one thing, do another stance for a long time and then the electorate said hold on a minute, what’s going on here?
Labour poster displayed in Lydiate – October 2013 – how much must Labour be regretting put these posters up because they voted on Sefton Council to build on the Green Belt!
The result was 3 Labour Sefton Council seats getting dumped by the electorate in favour of Independent candidates who had fought to save the Green Belt.
In Formby this trend had been established a while ago but now Maghull & Lydiate electors have joined the environmental lobby and they backed independent Green Belt campaigners and kicked Labour out.
The seed for this change was sown in a by-election in Maghull a few months ago when the Green Belt campaigners came within 3 votes of taking a Labour Council seat. And it was this web site that publicised that result as the media were strangely not for reporting Labour nearly losing. Indeed the result is still not posted on Sefton Council’s web site! –
So congratulations to the winning environmental campaigners in 3 Sefton Central wards – Sudell, Park (Maghull & Lydiate) and Ravenmeols (Formby).
Labour locally have found out to their cost what Nick Clegg found out over Tuition fees. Saying one thing and then doing another will eventually catch up with you.
Below is my response to what I can only say was a most odd attack on me from a Labour Councillor which was published in the Aintree & Maghull Champion on 24th February.
Councillor John Sayers (Labour – Park Ward) seems to be criticising me for things I am very much guilty of.
Yes I have campaigned for the number of Sefton Councillors to be reduced from 3 to 2 per ward to save the public purse money and no I did not succeeded in that aim because Labour Sefton councillors refused to support that campaign.
Yes I am guilty of being an environmental campaigner who is utterly horrified that Labour-run Sefton Council proposes to build on vast swathes of the highest grade of agricultural land in England which also happens to be a part of Sefton’s Green Belt.
It was not I that voted against reducing the number of councillors in Sefton and it was not I that voted for building on the highest grade of agricultural land. However, in both cases it was the Labour Group on Sefton Council voting against reducing the number of councillors and for building on the Green Belt.
So yes accuse me of wanting to save council tax payers money and of campaigning to save the environment but all I can say in response is I am guilty as charged.
Cllr. Tony Robertson
Lib Dem member of Lydiate Parish Council
The Champion newspaper published my reply in their edition of 9th March