Bootle New Strand shopping centre
In what can only be seen as a surprise move last year Sefton Council splashed out over £30m of public money to buy The Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle, a move that shocked many in these times of austerity for local authorities.
But it seems that buying shopping centres is quite the fashion for local councils these days as the article below details from the BBC website:-
I’m the first to say that I’m highly sceptical of such moves by cash-strapped councils – it’s a massive gamble that could go horribly wrong. I had not realised that Wigan Council had purchased The Galleries but having walked around it’s all but deserted upper floor before Christmas you really do wonder what that council can do to bring back the lost retail outlets.
Of course, Sefton Council’s previous big move into retail property development was to take on the rebuild and running of Southport Indoor Market a few years back. This was another hugely controversial investment which I and others on the Council at the time opposed.
But as Sefton and indeed other councils are now firmly into retail property development will this mean other shopping centres locally will be snapped up at lowish prices using borrowed public money? Makes you wonder, especially when private sector owners seem to struggle to find the resources to upgrade down at heel shopping centres such as Maghull Square.
I’m not advocating that Sefton buys up more retail property, because I think it has too much risk attached to it, but if the Council’s Labour rulers really do think that acquiring shopping centres is the next big thing for municipal socialism why stop at Southport Market and Bootle Strand?
Thanks to both Roy Connell and Keith Page for the leads to this posting
I’ve always been a fan of soul and smooth jazz music but not particularly of Christmas music, until that is I heard Luther Vandross sing this:-
What a voice!
Note:- The lead photo is of Maghull Square Shopping Centre – Christmas 2009
I must admit to being shocked when I saw the felled trees yesterday at the junction of Liverpool Road Noth/Westway as they were a useful screen to the car park and buildings behind them. This is the scene I happened upon:-
Of course, it could be that the reason for the felling has passed me by and others know what it’s all about; I just happened to walk up Liverpool Road Road North on Sunday afternoon and saw this scene.
Thinking back to my days as a Sefton Councillor representing Maghull my memory is that when the previous owners of the Square created the car park on the land at the side of the former HSBC Bank that the trees which have now been felled were deliberately left in place to provide screening. It may even be the case that this was all part of the planning application/approval for the site to become a car park.
I’m a fully paid up tree hugger so any trees being felled upsets me. I would love to know what the felling is all about and why it was considered necessary. Presently, I look upon the scene as environmental vandalism!
Rear view of Bootle New Strand shopping centre
The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link above
So on top of an alleged £32.5m purchase price, financed via a loan, Sefton Council is now going to spend another £3.15m on this shopping center. And we all thought Sefton Council was short of a few bob! Not short of money for pet Bootle projects it seems.
Just when are communities like Formby, Maghull etc. going to see this level of investment in their retail facilities from Sefton Council? Maghull Square for example is down at heal and never seems to get the upgrade that it needs to smarten up its tired 1960’s exterior.
I ask these questions yet again. Why buy a Bootle shopping center but not shopping centers elsewhere in the Borough of Sefton? Why is Bootle’s shopping center a bigger priority than those elsewhere? You could also ask why a cash strapped Council thinks investing public money in shopping centers is such a high priority in any circumstances?
With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting
I’ve had an update on the sign/noticeboard/bus map display case at The Square from Merseytravel. This is what it says:-
Thank you for your comments regarding the local area information frames at Maghull Square.
Unfortunately, the repairs to these frames are not covered under the standard maintenance agreement. We are currently waiting for some external agencies to return quotes for this repair and we will action this as soon as possible. Once we have been informed that the repair has been completed we will print and display replacement notices as soon as possible.
Thank you for taking the time to contact us and I apologise for any inconvenience caused.
I’ve been noticing the state of this Merseytravel local map/information board on Westway for a while now and nothing seemed to being done to sort it out. Time to stop wondering and do something about it.
I’ve now e-mailed the photo above to Merseytravel, via Cllr. John Dodd who sits on the Merseytravel Committee. Let’s see what they have got to say about the state of it and what’s to be done about it.