Maghull Nostalgia – KGV Park before Meadows Leisure Centre & Library

I came across a couple of photos of a fairly recent piece of Maghull’s history the other day – the building of Meadows Leisure Centre, which opened in early 2010.

BEFORE - Work just starting with former Maghull & Sefton councillor Andrew Blackburn taking a look. The state of the roof of Maghull Town Hall (tin sheets covering broken tiles) can clearly be seen. Of course it was subsequently replaced.

BEFORE – Work just starting with former Maghull & Sefton councillor Andrew Blackburn taking a look. The state of the roof of Maghull Town Hall (tin sheets covering broken tiles) can clearly be seen. Of course it was subsequently replaced.

It was interesting to find out that the Allen Build site manager throughout the construction of the Leisure Centre was in fact a Maghull chap. That can’t happen often on such a big project, constructing a large building in your own home town.

What was to come

What was to come

Happily the new Leisure Centre, incorporating the relocated Maghull library, has been a big success although as I have mentioned before via this blog site the planned integration with the facilities in Maghull Town Hall has sadly never really happened.

Click on the photos to enlarge them.

Maghull – Public exhibition about the new Maghull North Station – 24th November, Maghull Town Hall, 2pm to 8pm

Glad to see things are moving forward here following the Coalition Government giving Merseytravel around 90% of the money to build this long campaigned for new station.

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Please click on the image to enlarge it

I wonder how long it will be before Labour tries, yet again, to make out they are getting this station built? They tried something similar over the Switch Island – Thornton link Road (Brooms Cross Road) which was, like Maghull North Station funding, given the green light by the Coalition Government (NOT by Labour) and was campaigned for by the people and Parish Council of Thornton. Await the Labour photo opportunity, it will be coming!

Maghull – So what’s happened to the Town’s innovative Youth Coffee Bar this time?

Maghull’s innovative Youth Coffee Bar in the Town Hall has now been closed again and for quite some weeks; since August I understand. What’s going on?

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

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

I have blogged before about Maghull Youth Coffee Bar as it was an important step forward in youth provision when it was launched all those years ago. It’s aim was to put young people in control of their own facility and for that facility to be at the heart of the Town – in the Town Hall.

My previous posts are accessible below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/11/03/maghull-youth-council-nickie-smith-a-big-thank-you-and-a-nagging-sadness/

Yes, some folks opposed it when it was launched saying things like we don’t want unruly youngsters in the Town Hall, put them somewhere where they can make their noise well away from us etc. etc. But the then Lib Dem run Town Council was determined to take the project forward because it was right and because it had been devised and progressed by young people themselves. It was meant to challenge the view that young people should be neither seen or heard by older generations.

Nickie Smith was President of Maghull & District Youth Council and was one of the original campaigners for the Youth Coffee Bar who subsequently became a Maghull Town Councillor

Nickie Smith was President of Maghull & District Youth Council and was one of the original campaigners for the Youth Coffee Bar who subsequently became a Maghull Town Councillor

It worked very well for many years and was often the most successful youth facility in the whole of Sefton Borough, in terms of the throughput of youngsters, despite Sefton’s Youth Service being very sniffy about it. They were sniffy as they were only asked to/meant to support it, not run it and this went against the controlling attitudes of the Youth Service in my view. Having said that some of the individual youth workers certainly did buy into the project even if Sefton Council did not.

The Coffee Bar room could not be booked by an adult group without young people being OK with that; it was meant to empower young people and help them grow into citizens they and we could be proud of.

When Labour took control of the Town Council in 2011 you could see their disbelief about how the facility was run. After all Labour are all about control not giving power away. There have been a number run-ins with Labour since then and they have imposed closures before – my previous postings accessible via the link above refer. However, what is the Labour-run Town Council up to now? Is it that hard to put young people first without them having to be controlled by Labour?

So very, very sad.

Maghull in Bloom – Volunteer task force hits Meadows

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No sooner had I posted about the volunteers of Maghull in Bloom taking over the plant maintenance in the courtyard between Meadows Leisure Centre and Maghull Town Hall – my previous post refers at:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/10/02/maghull-meadows-courtyard-in-volunteers-sights/

than a task force of over a dozen volunteers, which Sheila and I had been drafted into, descended on the area and within a couple of hours it was looking much better.

The photo above is a ‘before’ shot and I need to gain an ‘after’ shot as quite a few of the dead plants have now been removed and the weeds tackled.

Here are the happy bunch after the session:-

In Bloomers at Meadows Leisure Centre 10 15

Maghull – Meadows courtyard in volunteers sights

The courtyard that was created when Maghull’s Meadows Leisure Centre was constructed behind Maghull Town Hall is rather nice although sadly only rarely used. Here are 3 photos:-

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When the Leisure Centre was built after 20 or more years of campaigning, which had the privilege to lead, the idea was that the Town Hall (run by Maghull Town Council) and Meadows Leisure Centre would be jointly run but from the public’s perception it would be a seamless joined up indoor Leisure facility. Sadly that vision has yet to be realised and the two buildings, despite being connected at both levels, often have the feel of being awkward neighbours – engaged but not willing to set the date you might say.

One thing that I thought was very clear from day one was that Maghull Town Council would do all the grounds maintenance work around the Leisure Centre, after all it is their land that is leased to Sefton Council for Meadows and its car park. But for reasons unknown this plan never really came together and the planting in the courtyard is, you could say, a victim of this lack of clarity.

Yes Sefton Council’s staff have had the odd prod at maintaining it but it clearly needs a little more attention than that. Step in Maghull in Bloom Volunteers who have agreed to try to look after the area on behalf of Sefton or is Maghull Town Council? Well whomever it is behalf of the work of the volunteers has already started.

The day I took these photos in September it was a delightful place to sit with a cup of coffee yet the door to it from Meadows is rarely if ever opened, even on nice days. I do hope Sefton Council gives some consideration to welcoming Leisure Centre and Town Hall users to visit it after all that’s what it was created for.

Sefton Borough – Put solar panels on the roof tops of public buildings

Well you don’t need to tell me Peter as Sheila and I put them on our own house roof in 2011 and I was also involved in them being installed on Maghull Town Hall and Lydiate Village Centre with my Lib Dem colleagues who used to run Maghull Town Council & Lydiate Parish Council.

Lydiate resident Peter Greener is now trying to get the powers that be in Sefton Borough to seriously match and improve on what has already happened in Maghull & Lydiate. This is what Peter says:-

Solar panels meter at Lydiate Village Centre r

See the meter reading for Lydiate Village Centre which has solar panels on its roof.

I’ve been making enquiries about putting panels on all of Sefton’s Official Buildings. As you can see the readings are significant and show the gains made from one building. Maghull Town Hall also has solar on its roof.

These are the solar panels on Maghull Town Hall roof.

These are the solar panels on Maghull Town Hall roof.

I believe this is an extremely important subject that calls for action across party lines.

Given the recent news around wind turbines, fracking and fields of solar panels, I’m sure you will be interested in solar and water panels on roofs. After all Sefton has very little ‘’spare’’ land that is not close to settlements.

I think it is time putting solar on new housing received real attention.

Anyone who says they don’t like the look of panels on roofs should consider the effects of a drilling rig or wind turbine in their neighbourhood!