Maghull – In Bloom volunteers strike gold again at awards ceremony

Maghull was awarded another Gold at the North West in Bloom awards ceremony, held recently in Southport which was attended by hundreds of volunteers from all over the North West.

The award winning work of the Maghull Station Volunteers on display at Maghull Station.

The award winning work of the Maghull Station Volunteers on display at Maghull Station.

This is the fourth time in 6 years that the town has received a prestigious gold award in the large town category.

While this award recognises the efforts of both Maghull in Bloom and the Station Volunteers, it also takes account of the work of other organisations and groups that help brighten up the town with colourful displays.

Flowering barrier planters at Maghull Square help smarten up the down at heel shopping centre.

Flowering barrier planters at Maghull Square help smarten up the down at heel shopping centre.

The Maghull in Bloom Volunteers also won 5 Neighbourhood Awards

Station Road – Level 5 Outstanding – This included the displays at the Station and Mogul pub as well as Tree View Court

Central Square – Level 4 Thriving

Maghull Leisure Centre Car Park and Courtyard – Level 4 Thriving

Maghull Fruit Meadow – Level 4 Thriving

Canal Litterpickers – Level 4 Thriving

Beautiful award winning flower displays at Maghull Station

Beautiful award winning flower displays at Maghull Station

The Station Volunteers also won Best Station in the region again as well as an outstanding Neighbourhood Award.

A circular prize winning flower planter on Maghull's Westway.

A circular prize winning flower planter on Maghull’s Westway.

Congratulations to all those who have helped out over the past year and lets hope that we can repeat this success next year.

Maghull – Work actually starting to revamp Square shopping centre!

This is Maghull Square in the 1970's but the buildings are still as was in 2016. It was built in the 1960's. Photographer unknown.

This is Maghull Square in the 1970’s but the buildings are still as was in 2016. It was built in the 1960’s. Photographer unknown.

I suppose shock is the first word that comes to mind after years and years of promises, planning applications and false dawns it seems the latest owners of the Square are starting work on it. My last posting on this subject dated 7th September this year refers:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2016/09/07/maghull-big-changes-at-the-square-shopping-centre/

Work has indeed already started and a shop unit is opening this week, I am told, to promote the work that is planned. It looks like the works will take until next April.

How it will impact on shoppers, businesses and the car parks I don’t yet know.

Maghull Square in more recent times

Goodness me I hope this is going to be a big impact job as Maghull’s down at heel shopping centre desperately needs it. It looks the same now as when it was built in the 1960’s! It’s only been the efforts of the Maghull in Bloom volunteers that have kept it looking almost decent in recent years.

Contractor's machinery at the rear of the Square 31st October.

Contractor’s machinery at the rear of the Square 31st October.

I wonder if the new owners have twigged how cheesed off locals are with their declining shopping centre? But if they monitor Facebook they must know that expectations are high and patience is getting very low indeed. Let’s hope for some positive outcomes!

Maghull – Square Parking Fury – Which side is Town Council leader on?

With all the fuss, particularly on social media, about the parking fines that are being handed out by the private sector company which owns the Maghull Square shopper’s car parks I scratched my head a little over the stated position of Maghull’s Town Council Leader.

The Champion newspaper quotes him as saying – notices about the new arrangements are “strategically placed” around Central Square. He said “They are on the small side – but there are plenty of them.” But what does that mean, what is he trying to tell us?

I think our Labour Council Leader needs to be clearer so that locals understand his stance. Will he clarify?

Maghull – Home & Bargain and me

I read in the Champion newspaper (14th September edition) that I ‘believe’ that the Maghull branch of Home & Bargains will expand into the soon to be become vacant HSBC bank unit next door to it.

I think something got lost in the translation so to clarify, I already know that Home & Bargains is due to move itself off Westway and into the ‘Square’ itself. I am told this is planned for 12 to 18 months time and that they will take over some vacant units that will be knocked together.

However, on hearing the news about HSBC closing its Maghull Branch (which came out only days after H&B news popped out) I speculated that Home and Bargains may now not need to move as they could, as an alternative, simply expand into the HSBC units.

So it’s not that I ‘believe’ this alternative will happen, its just that it may be considered. Having said that no one really thinks much will happen at the Square anyway and the owners have a lot to do to convince locals that they really are going to do it up and bring in major national retailers.

Maghull – Parking tickets in ‘Square’ shopping car parks

Social media locally seems to be giving a big thumbs down to the parking tickets that are being handed out ‘like confetti’, to quote one dischuffed resident, at the now privately run Maghull Square car parks.

Maghull Square

And the issue is drawing other comments about the state of the shopping centre generally; they are far from complimentary.

For what it is worth, my view is that now is a poor time to reinstate parking restrictions. The promised refurbishment of the shops is yet to happen, the car parks are hardly in the best condition – ruts and potholes – and locals have heard far too many promises that have come to nothing over many years.

rsz_toilet_campaign_02_13_lab

The Sefton Council run public toilets are also getting a panning and I am old enough to recall when they were winning awards (no kidding they really did) and Sefton was flushed with success! Sorry could not help that one. Was it a golden chain the Council won? Sadly, those of us who fought to save the toilets from closure 2 or 3 years ago are now far from happy with the state of them.

My advice to the owners? Get the Square up to scratch otherwise all that’s being achieved is giving more grief to folks who it seems are not exactly queuing up to shop there at present.

Maghull – Big changes at The Square Shopping Centre

Oh, how many times have Maghull residents heard that in recent years and how many times has less than nothing positive happened at all?

The positive news – should it actually happen

I heard today that Home Bargains is moving into the Square on left hand side past Martins newsagents in 3 or more units that will be knocked into one large shop. The present Home & Bargains shop will become a Specsavers and a Holland & Barrett. This supposed to happen within a timescale 12 to 18 months, I am told.

The bad news – it will happen

HSBC are pulling out of Maghull in December and interestingly their unit is right next to the present Home & Bargains Store.

I think it fair to say that locals have got well past the point of believing anyone who promises a refurb/revamp for the run down Square, such promises have been made before and come to nothing.

Indeed, I heard someone the other day speculate on whether the property was in managed decline. We all hope not and that the new(ish) owners of the Square will really make it a place locals want to shop at.