Maghull Police Station – Some flesh on the bones but answers needed about whether there’s a connection with Youth Coffee Bar

Following the recent news that Maghull Police Station is likely to move into Maghull Town Hall (and thereby Merseyside Police become a tenant of Maghull Town Council) I thought I would try to get to the bottom of what the new look Community Police Stations are expected to look like when they open. I say they as this model of Community Police Stations is to be rolled out across Merseyside I understand.

Who best to go to for the info’ than the Police themselves and this is what they have provided to me:-

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COMMUNITY POLICE STATIONS

The intention behind a Community Police Station is accessibility. “Community Police Stations will be at the heart of communities and each community served by a station will have access to officers on the beat.” This is planned to be achieved by:

· Having an identifiable police station consisting of an office, preferably within a shared location with partners, where officers can access Force systems and undertake any necessary paperwork, parade on and have their lockers, airwave and CS cabinets installed if required, with some parking facilities and bicycle storage, with out of hours access.

· Holding regular, advertised drop in surgeries for the public at the station.

· Allowing members of the public to book appointments with officers/PCSOs at the station.

· Having a private interview room available for private one to one meetings.

· Holding larger public meetings.

· Having TV screens visible externally but located within the building with rolling messages advertising surgery times and also any information that we might want to convey to the public.

. Having a yellow telephone external to the building that allows members of the public to contact the Force directly

In terms of timescales – “We will begin detailed planning and design work around the end of March/ April next year. The work will take a few months to complete, depending on any complications we might come across”.

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So now we know a little bit more but Maghull Town Hall is quite small compared to many traditional town halls so where will the Police accommodation be within it?

Maghull Town Hall

I still have fears that the innovative Youth Coffee Bar which the Town Council closed not so long ago could well be a part of the accommodation to be leased to Merseyside Police but it would be nice to hear from the Council that my fears are groundless. However, if the Youth Coffee Bar was closed simply to accommodate the Police I and many others who support youth facilities and in particular this previously highly successful one will be even more unhappy than were were to receive news that it was closing in the first place.

Can we have answers please Town Council? – Watch this space

Maghull Police Station to move to Maghull Town Hall?

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Like many people I read the high profile article in this week’s Aintree and Maghull Champion newspaper and wondered why it contained little or no detail about this announcement.

Maghull Police Station in Westway, Maghull.

Maghull Police Station in Westway, Maghull.

If the article had just said ‘Maghull Police Station may move to Maghull Town Hall’ and nothing else we would probably be just as well informed.

Maghull Town Hall

Prior to the article we all knew that Maghull Police Station was slated for closure and that it was likely that the Merseyside Police would in future operate from a shop unit or something similar. Such has been in the public domain for quite some time. My previous postings refer:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/10/23/merseyside-police-stations-closures-meeting-at-maghull-town-hall/

So we now know it is likely to be moving to Maghull Town Hall but we don’t know when this will take place, we don’t know where within the Town Hall, we don’t know whether it will be open to the public etc. etc. What’s more is there a financial arrangement whereby Merseyside Police will rent space off Maghull Town Council. Is the presently closed Youth Coffee Bar the space that will be occupied by the Police? (I certainly hope not). I am sure we can all think of other questions.

Maghull Police Station - Down to becoming disused soon according to Merseyside's Crime and Policing Commissioner.

Maghull Police Station – Down to becoming disused soon according to Merseyside’s Crime and Policing Commissioner.

Don’t get me wrong here I am not having a go at my old chum Jim Sharpe who wrote the Champion article because I am sure that if he had been given any detail he would have included it in the story. No, my issue is with those in power within the Town Council and Merseyside Police who seem to think that saying almost nothing beyond the headline which is of any use to the general public is acceptable – It’s not.

So please put some flesh on the bones and give us all some useful information.

Maghull & Prescot – The sad consequence of vandalism

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/angry-prescot-residents-speak-out-11928468

The Liverpool Echo has the Prescot story on its web site – see link above

And in Maghull another sad vandalism story being played out on Liverpool Road South, adjacent to KGV Park, Meadows Leisure Centre and Maghull Town Hall:-

WP_20160922_19_14_59_Pro

Both these examples show how mindless destruction can blight a community; in Prescot a beautiful piece of street artwork in Maghull the all too familiar smashing up of a bus shelter. I wonder how many bus shelters across Merseyside are smashed up every week? We probably do not want to know the answer as it would be too depressing to hear.

Of course the area around Meadows Leisure Centre and Maghull Town Hall seems to have been a magnet for anti-social behaviour for a while now, an issue I have commented on not so long ago:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2016/08/28/maghull-asb-trouble-at-kgv-park/

Maghull – So Labour closed the Youth Coffee Bar because tennis lessons are a better alternative facility? Now just run that logic past me again!

Readers of this blog site will know how angry I am about the closure of Maghull’s unique Youth Coffee at Maghull Town Hall, but I was certainly not prepared for the reasons Labour have given for the closure.

Maghull TH Youth Coffee Bar

To be honest I thought they would try to blame it on cuts to Council grants from Government etc. even though as a Parish Council Maghull Town Council does not get any such grants. Certainly that’s a line Labour have used before i.e. playing on the fact that Joe and Jane Public will not know what’s really going on. But hey, no such defence this time and they went for the utterly ludicrous ‘explanation’ instead!

When I read the Aintree & Maghull Champion last week my first thought was how did reporter Jim Sharpe keep his face straight when Labour told him they were replacing an all year round indoor youth facility with tennis coaching lessons? OK, this is not funny, but it is certainly very peculiar!

But what’s this about the numbers dropping at the Coffee Bar? Well they would because Labour has had a habit of randomly closing it in recent years. And then there’s some talk about anti-social behaviour but hang on a minute that is exactly what the facility was attempting to combat. The adults who used to help out at the Coffee Bar were all capable of helping youngsters who were troublesome due to poor family backgrounds etc. And yes there had been successes, I am told, in helping local youngsters with their problems. But this sort of thing needs dedication and working at. Where on earth are the youngsters needing such help in Maghull going to go now?

Sorry, in my view, this is abandoning young people who need help and offering tennis coaching and a Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme as an alternative. That’s not the way forward for a progressive community that looks after it youngsters, it’s tuning your back on them.

Having sat on Maghull Town Council for 30 years until I stood down in May 2015 (because I had moved to Lydiate) I must say that I never thought I would see a day like this. After all the years of dedicated input into local youth by people such as Nickie Smith, Nova Rimmer and many others who would have thought that this unique and successful project would be tossed on the scrapheap.

Maghull Photography Club – Why have they stopped displaying their works?

On my last few visits to Maghull Town Hall I have noted that the display case erected a few years ago to display the excellent photos of Maghull Photography Club has been empty. I wonder why?

Missing Photos

It was always a joy to see their work and it certainly brightened up the Town Hall Foyer area. I do hope that it’s just a temporary lull and not the end of the Club displaying their talents.

Double Trouble at Maghull Town Hall

The chaos in the car park of Maghull Town Hall and Meadows Leisure Centre around 7.15 tonight had to be seen to be believed. Grid lock was reached as far too many cars were trying to get in and indeed out.

Maghull Town Hall

The trouble was a double booking by Maghull Town Council of its Function Room involving Maghull Wind Orchestra and a Rotary Club dinner. The Wind Orchestra had to vacate the premises that they usually practice in each Tuesday evening hence the chaos. There are a lot of them with a lot of gear. 80 can turn up at each practice night with all their musical instruments! They decamped to Maghull Baptist Church on the other side of the A59 after a generous and quick opening up of the closed church hall. Maghull Baptist Church really got the Town Council out of a hole.

It itself it could be viewed as an unfortunate one-off event but anecdotal comment has been reaching me for a while to the effect that the Town Hall bookings system has been struggling. Seems that the bookings process needs a revamp as the chaos of tonight does not need to be repeated.

Come on Maghull Town Council, you can do better.