Maghull – Des Carter former Clerk to Town Council has passed away

Des Carter was Clerk to Maghull Town Council for around 7 years if memory serves. He retired in 1995 but lived in Maghull until he died.

Des was without doubt one of the nicest people I have ever met. He was old school and always wore a business suit and tie at work. He was a highly qualified accountant who came to work for the Town Council when financially it was in a right old mess. He sorted all that out working with a councillor of that time called Merrick Stott, who was a retired bank manager. Merrick also died earlier this year and his obituary can be found on this blog site.

After Des retired and Merrick stood down from the Council the pair became good friends and ended up living within a quarter of a mile of each other in Maghull.

Des was the Town Clerk when the Council opened its innovative Youth Coffee Bar in Maghull Town Hall and he is pictured here with others on the opening night in November 1994:-

Des is on the left side of this photo with Town Mayor of the time Cllr. Bruce Hubbard.

On one occasion I went to London with Des for a parish councils conference. We stayed overnight and went to see a play called ‘The Woman in Black’ in the evening. It was memorable because unknown to us there was a speaker under my seat and at the appropriate time a blood curdling scream came from it which nearly put Des and I on the ceiling we were so surprised.

I have no doubt that we have lost a good and decent public servant. In Andrew Blackburn’s words ‘he was a gentle man’ – RIP Des Carter

Notes – Please click on the photo to enlarge it

His funeral is at St. Andrew’s Church Maghull at 2.30pm on Wednesday 30th May – Unfortunately I can’t be there

The people in the photograph are from left to right, Des Carter – Town Clerk and Councillors Bruce Hubbard, Bill Chambers, Jim Byrne, Tony Robertson, Dot Wilson, Roy Connell, John Butterworth, Sheila Nelson, Audrey Beattie and Andrew Blackburn

With thanks to Andrew Blackburn for his help with this sad posting and providing the photograph

Maghull – Merrick Stott – A life well lived

Long time Maghull resident and former Maghull Town Mayor, Councillor Merrick Stott has sadly passed away at the ripe old age of 93.

Merrick had lived on Melling Lane in Maghull for as long as I had known him, he was a regular attender at St. George’s RC Church and had been a bank manager prior to his retirement I understand.

He was always smartly dressed and rarely seen without his suit on, you might call him an old fashioned gentleman.

He was elected to serve on Maghull Town Council in May 1987, was Town Mayor in 1990/91 and was Chair of the Policy and Resources Committee. It fell to Merrick to uncover a loss of money within the Council which ended up with the Police being involved back in the late 1980’s, but as a former bank manager it was no surprise that he picked up on the matter.

Whilst Merrick could look rather formal he actually had a rather good sense of humour and two incidents come to mind that make me smile when I recall them. On one occasion he was canvassing for the Lib Dems somewhere in Maghull and a door opened to reveal a young lady with a little towel covering her up and nothing else! Always the gentleman Merrick did not flinch and carried on with his doorstep conversation as though nothing had happened. On another occasion there was a slight misunderstanding between Merrick and I. I thought he had told me he was a naturist when in fact he had told me he was a naturalist. Well having commented on Merrick of all people being a naturist the misunderstanding got back to him. Fortunately he thought the misunderstanding was hilarious.

Merrick spent some time on the Management Committee of the former Stafford Moreton Youth Club and he was also involved in the running of Melling Tithe Barn. And with his environmental interests taking the lead he worked up the project to replant many trees within Balls Wood during the late 1980’s/early 1990’s. Those trees are now fully established and a tribute to Merrick.

A nice and decent man was Merrick Stott and my best wishes to his family at this difficult time.

And here are some additional comments from George Barnes paying a lovely tribute to Merrick:-

Thank you Tony, for the fitting and lovely personal tribute to the Late Merrick Stott, an ‘unsung hero’ of local & civic service. Merrick had many interests and supported many good causes; he was ever ready to give his time and professionalism for the benefit of others. Always self-effacing, he had an acute mind in matters financial as Tony points out. Very well-read – nothing ‘light’, and well-informed. Back in the day, he was involved in Scouting within St.George’s parish. He co-founded the Stroke Club which met at Christopher Taylor House, was for many years a Foundation Governor of St.George’s Primary School and very much involved with the Late John Hoople in the Melling Arts Association. He was a keen gardener, kept bees at one time, very interested in Environmental matters. We cannot mention Merrick without Marie to whom he was married for over 50 years; and well-known in Maghull in her own right. They were rightly proud of their three sons and 10 grand-children – always supportive and interested in their careers , achievements and travels. All who knew Merrick acknowledge their loss with deepest sympathy but with the conviction that Merrick contributed much without wanting fuss or praise. May he rest in peace.

Maghull – Stafford Moreton Youth Centre demolished

My previous posting about the the demolition of this and the old Maghull Library refers – see link below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2016/06/09/maghull-old-library-and-youth-centre-are-demolished/

Maghull's former Stafford Moreton Youth  Centre boarded up.

Maghull’s former Stafford Moreton Youth Centre boarded up.

The Youth Centre was a 1960’s building named after a prominent local councillor called Henry Stafford Moreton, indeed the adjacent Stafford Moreton Way is also named after him of course.

I did not know him as my time in local politics (starting in 1980) coincided roughly with him retiring from it. I do know his nephew Chris Bayliss though and Chris’s Uncle Frank Bayliss was also a local councillor during my early years on the council.

Many Maghull folk will have memories of attending the Youth Centre although I am not one of them. For some reason, despite the fact I came to live in Maghull in 1968 at the age of 10, I never set foot in the place as a youngster although I don’t know why.

I became aware of it though in my years as a Maghull councillor with various of my councillor friends being members of the Management Committee. Phil Watterson and Andrew Blackburn, Merrick Stott, and Cliff Mainey come to mind but I am sure there were others.

The Youth Centre bobbed along although the opening of the Youth Coffee Bar in Maghull Town Hall some 20 years ago, which became very popular, must have had an effect on the numbers of youngsters attending it. I also recall that Stafford Moreton YC had a local group for youngsters with disabilities meeting there each week for many years.

Then the recession hit us and Stafford Moreton was slated for closure, this must have been late 2010 or early 2011. Indeed, you may recall that Labour led a march around the Maghull to try to stop the closure from happening, which is quite ironic based on what actually happened later on.

My view was that the Youth Coffee Bar, a specifically developed (by young people) modern youth facility in Maghull Town Hall, could have been used more often and Stafford Moreton’s groups moved there but the powers that be seemed more concerned with just closing things down.

Youth facilities across Sefton Borough continued to decline with the Youth Coffee Bar being a beacon of hope in Maghull because the Town Council funded it rather than Sefton Borough Council.

Of course Labour then took control of Sefton Council and what did they subsequently do? They closed down Stafford Moreton Youth Club which they had marched young people around the streets of Maghull to stop the closure of!

And it has stood there rather forlornly for a number of years awaiting someone to buy the land. Readers who are close to local issues will recall that at the very time Labour-run Sefton Council was meeting to sell the Youth Centre and Old Library land to the highest bidder (which turned out to be Netto) Maghull’s Labour Party commenced a sham consultation exercise about the future of the site in community use via the Champion newspaper! Yes, you could not make it up but it happened. Of course the consultation was was never heard of again as it was just a Labour publicity stunt.

Stafford Moreton Youth Centre gone - June 2016

Stafford Moreton Youth Centre gone – June 2016

So here it is being demolished for a supermarket to take its place. What’s even more sad is that Labour has recently also shut the doors on the Youth Coffee Bar in Maghull Town Hall for the last time. Now which political party marched youngsters around Maghull to fight for local youth facilities? Oh yes, that’s right, the one that closed them all down!