Maghull – Cheering on the new police station? No, remembering what we lost to rehouse the police!

The former Maghull Police Station in Westway, Maghull.

My letter to the Champion newspaper in response to all the cheering about the Town’s new Police Station

Dear Sir,

So Maghull has a brand new police station within Maghull Town Hall, but please forgive me if I don’t join in the cheering of Maghull Town Council and the local MP.

You see the Town lost a youth facility and a CAB help point to make way for the police to move into the Town Hall from Maghull Square.

Sorry I don’t see Maghull and district’s policing benefiting except that they will have lower overheads in their new premises. But where and when will the CAB facility be rehoused locally, many months after it was closed down in the Town Hall? And where are the youngsters now going that used to use the Youth facility?

This is at best a 2 – 1 defeat i.e. CAB and youth out – police in. You could even argue that it’s 3 – nil defeat as the police already had a home in Maghull and they were originally said to be downsizing to a shop unit.

I despair I really do.

Tony Robertson

Maghull – Latest newsletter to residents living around the new Maghull North Station site

This is the latest newsletter delivered to residents of the Mersey Avenue area who are significantly impacted on by the construction works:-

I note that there’s another opportunity for Mersey Avenue residents to meet the station construction team at Maghull Town Hall on 18th January at 6pm.

Click on the newsletter and photos to enlarge them

A review of 2017 – The meanderings of a Liberal Blogger

12 months in 12 blog postings – click on each link to read the posting

January – Loss of my dear friend ‘Uncle Albert’:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/01/11/goodbye-uncle-albert/

February – Not being the Tory Party:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/02/22/is-labour-just-an-alternative-tory-party-for-those-who-consider-themselves-to-be-working-class/

March – Developing land north of Maghull’s Turnbridge Road

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/03/24/lydiate-land-north-of-turnbridge-road-our-response-to-planning-application-for-34-dwellings/

April – Maghull’s parks, their maintenance and money

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/04/06/maghull-land-money-maintaining-old-hall-park/

May – Buying the Strand Shopping Centre in secretive deal

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/05/03/bootle-sefton-council-buys-back-the-strand-shopping-centre-for-how-much-thoughso-it-seems/

June – Bugger Moderation!

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/06/20/moderation-bugger-that-for-a-lark-im-too-angry-about-whats-happening-to-the-uk/

July – Youth Coffee Bar gone, CAB gone – Labour’s regressive policies!

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/07/29/maghull-youth-coffee-bar-gone-cab-gone-retired-bowlers-given-huge-price-hike-long-established-cricket-club-with-nowhere-to-play-just-whats-the-town-council-up-to/

August – Those who take land out of Green Belt then protest about its development!

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/08/19/maghulls-vast-urban-extension-labour-blasts-development-on-land-their-local-plan-identified-for-development-you-could-not-make-this-up/

September – Rimrose Valley Country Park and the Sefton Council’s part in it’s demise

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/09/30/rimrose-valley-what-does-sefton-council-want-and-that-could-well-be-a-very-different-answer-to-what-it-says-it-wants/

October – Police move into Maghull TH but at what a cost!

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/10/17/maghull-the-math-behind-the-police-station-move-to-maghull-town-hall/

November – Ex Southport MP John Pugh wins Sefton Council seat by an electoral landslide

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/11/03/southport-john-pugh-takes-55-of-votes-cast-to-win-dukes-ward-by-election/

December – Maghull North Station progress

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/12/19/maghull-north-station-construction-progress-over-4-months/

So another year comes to a close. Not a good one, indeed another poor one as the UK slips further into the Brexit mire or is that jumps over the Brexit cliff? Either way no good will come of it but a lot of bad most certainly will.

Personally I lost more good friends in 2017 which is always sad yet in looking back at my posting about ‘Uncle Albert’ I can only feel that whilst I lost him I gained so much from knowing him.

As for 2018 the omens are not good and they will remain poor so long as Jeremy Corbyn remains wedded to Teresa May’s Brexit.

Maghull – The math behind the Police station move to Maghull Town Hall

The present Maghull Police Station in Westway, Maghull.

The curious move by Merseyside Police out of their Maghull Police Station on Westway and into the former Youth Coffee Bar and CAB facility space in Maghull Town Hall has had folks head scratching.

Poster on Maghull Town Hall noticeboard recently

When Merseyside Police announced their new accommodation strategy in response to budget cuts it was clear that Police Stations across the County would be downsized and that they could well end up being in shop units in shopping centres.

Maghull TH being converted into a Police Station – Photo from Sept. 17

However, in Maghull things took a surprising turn in that its Town Council in effect invited the Police to rent space from them within Maghull Town Hall. Sadly, resurrecting the recently closed youth facility and Citizens Advice, both of which occupied the same space as the soon to be opened police station, would no longer be possible though. But it’s going to be a nice little earner for Maghull Town Council because it will get a yearly rental income of £11,000 from Merseyside Police.

The £11,000 includes all utilities bills thrown in I understand but then again the Town Council was paying them before as part of the overall utility bills for the Town Hall so in reality MTC is £11,000 better off per year.

The running cost of the present and soon to be closed Police Station on Westway per annum is £101,581, so its no surprise that Merseyside Police jumped at the chance to move into Maghull Town Hall thereby very substantially reducing what it would have cost them to rent a shop unit say in Maghull Square Shopping Centre.

So if my math is correct Merseyside Police has at a stoke reduced its annual running cost of having a Police building in Maghull by £90,581. And Maghull Town Council is a winner too as it has £11,000 coming in each year and no youth support staff to pay either as the youth facility is no more. If memory serves the CAB facility was provided by the Town Council at nil cost to Sefton CAB.

The cost of converting the youth facility into a police station? A budget of £60,000 has be allocated by Merseyside Police for the work.

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

So everyone’s a winner? Not quite as somehow in the public policy making process Maghull has lost its last publicly funded youth facility and a Citizens Advice facility as well.

The figures used in this posting were supplied to me by Merseyside Police following a Freedom of Information request that I made.

Maghull – Police in, youth and CAB out in Town Hall shake up

Work has now started on remodeling the former youth facility in Maghull Town Hall to turn it into a Police Station and Maghull Town Council seems to think this is worth celebrating. But is it? My letter to the Champion newspaper puts the matter in context:-

Dear Sir,

Is there really much to celebrate because part of Maghull Town Hall is to become a Police Station soon?

In my view what we have lost far outweighs what we are going to gain. The accommodation that the Police are moving into was specifically remodeled into a youth facility from its original use as a sports changing room not so many years ago. What’s more that accommodation was shared with the Citizens Advice (CAB). So whilst gaining a Police Station within the Town Hall we have lost the last publicly funded youth facility in the area and the CAB.

What’s to celebrate, the match has sadly been lost 2-1.

Yours sincerely

Tony Robertson

Poster on Maghull Town Hall noticeboard recently

Having campaigned to bring a CAB facility to Maghull and backed the establishment of the innovative Youth Coffee Bar I am rather saddened by this turn of events, indeed it angers me.

These are the plans (above) that ensure that the youth facility can never be reopened. Surely using this space for a Police Station to serve the Sefton East Parishes part of the Borough (Lydiate, Maghull, Melling and Aintree Village) is a wrong-headed priority. Of course the area needs a Police Station but we also need a youth facility and a CAB.

There are plenty of vacant shop/retail units locally so why take the space that had been specifically converted as youth facility and occupied for that use until recently – it could have and should have been revived.

And to put the tin lid on it we are told that there are concerns about the rise in anti-social behaviour as though having a active attractive youth offering would not be part of the solution to that problem!

Click on the photos and the plan to enlarge them

Maghull – So who were/are the people who have made a difference to the community and won the Town’s Civic Award?

Two honours boards in the Council Chamber of Maghull Town Hall tell part of the story about who has won the Town’s Civic Award since its inception in 1981. But for how many of those winners do I know the reason why they won the award (as the boards do not give such detail)? Here’s a couple of photos of the boards – Click on each board to see it enlarged:-

Well here goes with my recollections:-

Neil Burslem –
Anthony J Brooks –
Joseph Fay – For his long membership/service to Maghull Town Band
Mark Thompson –
Arthur Dwyer – heavily involved with the youth at St. Andrews Church – Sunday School and Scouting. Also a Burma Star Veteran *
Elizabeth Supple –
Patricia Minshull –
Joan Currall – for her Guiding work where she was County Commissioner *
Andrew Settle –
Mable Lone – For her work with the former Maghull Pensioners Association
Patricia Donnelly –
George Parker – For his volunteer work for Maghull Air Training Corps ATC
Stephen Quilliam – For his volunteer work with Maghull St. John Ambulance
David Fearn – For his volunteer work with Maghull British Legion
Eric Deacon – For his Lifesaving swimming tuition
Arthur Bailey – For his campaign to stop the demolition of the former Whinbrook House old peoples home
Jacqueline Whalley –
Nicola Smith – for her volunteer work with Maghull & District Youth Council and Maghull Youth Coffee Bar
Tim Ashley – For his volunteer work with the Scouts
Pamela Edwards – Helping to set up a nursery within Woodend Primary School
Dr. John Rowlands – For his work as a local historian publishing local history books
John Johnson – For his work as Chair of Governors at Deyes High & Lay Preacher at St. Andrews Church *
James T Baldwin – For his volunteer work with St. John Ambulance
Paul & Sue Clare – For their volunteer work with the Scouting movement *
Alan Bentley –
Mark Andrew Thomas –
George Baker – For is volunteer work with Maghull in Bloom
Nigel Winchester – For his work with Maghull Station Volunteers
Bill Howarth – For his volunteer work with Maghull University of the 3rd Age
Liam Cunningham – For his work with local youth
Steven Heron –
Alan Charnock – For his volunteer work with Maghull 7 Lydiate Homewatch
Lynn Billingham – For her many years volunteering in the swimming and lifesaving arena *
Anne & John Hill – For their volunteer work with Maghull in Bloom
Year 6 Pupils at At Andrews C of E Primary School –
David Hughes –

So the question is can you fill in the gaps i.e. tell me what good works the people did that I can’t personally recall the detail of? Any additional information I receive will lead to another blog posting as all these people certainly did more than their bit for my former home town of Maghull.

Comments can be left on this blog site or you can e-mail me at t3robertson@gmail.com

* Stop Press – Many thanks to Mary and Mike who have separately provided information which has enabled me to add to the list above in respect of Lynn Billingham and Sue and Paul Clare.

Thanks also to Eileen Pritchard for her information about Arthur Dwyer, Joan Currall and John Johnson.