Green Belt – Maghull Town Council – On the really big issue of the day Labour has failed Maghull

Labour is in the dock over their Green Belt building plan, as we saw only too well in their by-election losses of last Thursday, but when they won control of Maghull Town Council in May 2011 they knew this juggernaut was hurtling towards them, yet they did nothing.

If the Council had remained Lib Dem run the clear plan was to launch another campaign to save the local Green Belt around the Town just as had been successfully done in 1998. But Labour did nothing; they did not even make a submission to Sefton Council in the summer of 2011 in defence of the Green Belt when all the other parish councils in the Borough did.

Why did the Town Council offer no leadership? Where was the Town Council when in 2011 the community was saying just what it did in 1998 – No Green Belt building?

What Labour doesn’t seem to be able to grasp is that they are running the Council that represents the people of Maghull and it is not just another committee of Sefton Central Labour Party. It is their responsibility to stand up for the Town against all-comers. Just because Labour also happens to run Sefton Council does not mean that they have to agree with what Bootle Town Hall does or indeed tells them to do! Just because Peter Dowd, the Labour Leader of Sefton, also sits on Maghull Town Council does not mean they can’t challenge him; surely they should be challenging him if his policies do not fit with what Maghull folk want to see happening.

When I was Leader of Sefton Council I wanted and indeed saw strong independently minded Parish and Town Councils robustly promoting and defending their communities. I did not ask for nor did I want them to sit back and say ‘OK Big Brother Sefton we will stay quiet or do your bidding’.

When Peter Dowd and indeed his two fellow Bootle Labour Sefton Cabinet member colleagues attend a Maghull Town Council meeting their only interest is the people and town of Maghull. Why else would they have stood to be elected to Maghull Town Council in 2011 but to put Maghull first?

Sadly, Maghull has been let down by Labour because they have not stood up for the Town against Sefton Council and this sit back and watch stance has led to Sefton thinking Maghull is not bothered. On that basis it is no surprise that Sefton Council has proposed the biggest Green Belt housing development for Maghull!

Simon Shaw number crunches the results of Maghull’s 3 by-elections and clearly his work shows a rather remarkable turn around indeed!

Cllr. Simon Shaw who exposed Labour run Sefton Council's Green Bin tax

Cllr. Simon Shaw who exposed Labour run Sefton Council’s Green Bin tax

Winning a council seat in Merseyside off Labour would be a significant achievement. Winning two on the same day would be virtually unheard of.

Yesterday, in Maghull, Sefton MBC, Merseyside, Lib Dems won two seats off Labour and came within 9 votes of winning a third. The by-elections concerned took place in three adjacent seats on Maghull Town Council.

Maghull Town Council, 8 miles to the North West of Liverpool City Centre, is one of the largest civil parishes in the country and levies a Band D council tax precept of nearly £90.

Labour Town councillors in three adjacent wards, Maghull North, Maghull East and Maghull South resigned in June. North and East wards, each with electorates of around 5000, together combine to form the Sefton MBC ward of Sudell which Labour won in May 2012 by a 59% to 23% margin over the Lib Dems,

Yesterday Lib Dems notionally gained Sudell Ward with 49% of the vote against 44% for Labour, a swing of 20.3% from Labour to Lib Dems since the last Sefton Borough elections in 2012.

In terms of the three individual Maghull Town Council wards, as compared to the last town council elections in 2011, swings of 10.5% from Labour to Lib Dems were achieved in North and East Wards, and a swing of 9% in South Ward.

Maghull Town Council by-elections – 2 lib Dem wins and an oh so close!

Following years of almost complete Labour domination of the electoral scene across not only Maghull but Sefton Borough (except Southport), last night showed what many may find surprising, Labour losses.

There were 3 by-elections held in Maghull across 3 separate Town Council wards – East, North and South. The Lib Dems took a seat from Labour in both East and North wards and came within 9 votes of doing the same in South ward.

Jen Robertson (2nd from left), Bruce Hubbard (3rd from left) and their team celebrate the Lib Dem wins at Maghull Town Hall.

Jen Robertson (2nd from left), Bruce Hubbard (3rd from left) and their team celebrate the Lib Dem wins at Maghull Town Hall.

Interestingly, the UKIP flame did not burn bright despite recent national indications that they may be on the up.

Why did Labour come unstuck? Very public internal squabbles that caused the 3 Labour councillors to resign, a hugely unpopular Green Bin tax proposal and their voting to build on Maghull’s Green Belt.

The results:-

Maghull East
Lib Dem – Bruce Hubbard 621 ELECTED
Labour 557
UKIP 165

Maghull North

Lib Dem – Jen Robertson 546 ELECTED
Labour 504

Maghull South

Labour 180 ELECTED
Lib Dem 171

Maghull East and North wards form Sefton Council’s Sudell ward where Labour have been dominant in recent times so with a good electoral turn out last night Labour’s hold on things certainly cracked. And this on top on a Lib Dem win against Labour a few weeks ago on Prescot Town Council in Knowsley Borough.

Maghull Town Council – Will it challenge big brother Sefton?

Lydiate Parish Council, as I posted recently and as many folks also read about in a recent edition of the Aintree & Maghull Champion, has challenged Sefton Council’s plan to stop making ‘Double Rating’ payments to the 4 Parish Councils in the Borough that maintain their own parks and gardens.

Residents should not be paying twice

The challenge is of course right because if Sefton Council goes ahead with its plan Lydiate, Maghull and Aintree Village residents (and to a lesser extent Melling) will find that they are paying Sefton Council to do a job in their community (maintain parks and gardens) only for that money to be spent by the Borough Council elsewhere in Sefton! This will happen because the 4 Parish Councils covering these communities legitimately raise Council tax money to maintain their park and gardens.

Lib Dem Lydiate leads the fight for fairness

Lydiate is leading the charge for fairness but what will Maghull Town Council do? Will they fight for the money that should be fairly paid to their community or will they follow Bootle Labour Party orders and keep their heads down saying nothing?

Will Labour Maghull put its community first or keep taking orders from Bootle?

It’s a big challenge for Maghull Labour who are used to being told what to do by either Bootle Labour or MP Bill Esterson’s office.