Private rented housing in Sefton Borough – Some stats from the BBC

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-43881389

According to the BBC article on its web site – see link above – in Sefton someone with a full-time job works until 20 April to pay the rent for the year. That’s 13 working days less than in 2011.

Average wage: £ 21,747 a year after tax.

Average rent: £ 6,600 a year, the same as in 2011.

Editor’s Note – Sefton is of course a very diverse Borough with much low end private rented housing in places such as parts of Southport and Bootle, whilst at the same time a lot of high end private rental housing in other parts of Southport, in Lydiate, Maghull, Formby etc. So averages can be deceptive.

Housing ‘Viability Assessments’ the developers tool to back out of affordable housing

www.cpre.org.uk/media-centre/latest-news-releases/item/4785-Rural-communities-denied-affordable-housing-as-developers-exploit-loophole?utm_source=cpre&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=viable_villages&utm_medium=email&utm_source=engagingnetworks&utm_campaign=2018-viability-report-email&utm_content=2018+viability+campaigns+email

This is a serious problem and I recall seeing builders trying to back out of building the ‘required’ number of affordable homes on development sites during my time on Sefton Council’s Planning Committee. Oh and yes the term ‘affordable homes’ is vague and open to differing interpretations itself.

So have a look at the link above from CPRE (Council for the Protection of Rural England) as their video captures one route developers use to maximise their profit at the expense of the kind of homes communities actually need.

Yes I know, regular readers may recall that I have had my issues with CPRE’s approach to housing matters in Sefton Borough in the past but this campaign is spot on.

England Coast Path – Coming to a Borough like Sefton soon

Hightown Beach

I have been aware of this project to create a coastal path along the whole of the English coast for some time but had not looked at it in any detail for a while. However, at a recent meeting of the Sefton Rights of Way Liaison Group the project came up and I decided to delve into it again.

I’m told by those in the know that the whole project is due to be completed by 2020, so that’s not long at all is it. I also understand that details of the proposed north west stretch of the path will be out for consultation very soon. Our section covers the coast from Cleveleys down to Liverpool Pier Head – See map linked below:-

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/602831/cleveleys-pier-head-stretch-map.pdf

It will indeed be interesting to see what the proposals for the section of path through Sefton Borough will look like. Watch this space……

Here’s a link to the .gov.uk pages about the project:-

www.gov.uk/government/collections/england-coast-path-improving-public-access-to-the-coast

Sinonswood – Cycling and Fly-tipping

A nice lane to cycle is Outlet Lane which turns off Prescot Road by Carla Lane Animals in Need. Starting off in the Civil Parish of Melling it soon leaves Sefton Borough and goes into West Lancs Borough and the Civil Parish of Simonswood.

It’s a single track road so you have to watch out for farm vehicles but sadly you can also watch out for the consequences of those in our society who care nothing for the environment – the fly-tippers.

And you know much of what I saw dumped in ditches alongside the road could easily be disposed of at a waste disposal site, for goodness sake there’s such a site within a couple of miles at Sefton Meadows! So why go out to a country lane to dump when you can do so without any issues at a local recycling centre?

Yes I now some of the dumping is old tyres, asbestos, builders rubble etc. from companies and contractors who are deliberately trying to evade the legal processes to safely dispose of such waste and that this is becoming a national scandal.

Here in Outlet Lane Simonswood Parish Council are trying to do their bit to stop the fly-tipping:-

But surely this lane could easily be protected from the activities of the anti-social element of our society and indeed we could have the pleasure of catching them too! All that is needed would be a couple of covert surveillance cameras at each end of the lane. Why can’t West Lancs and Sefton Borough Councils do this?

The Sefton Coast – Cycling it from Ainsdale to Crosby

Yesterday, together with Roy Connell (who is often credited on this blog site for unearthing interesting subjects) I cycled from Ainsdale to Crosby (and the Iron Men) along the Sefton Coast through Formby, Hightown and Altcar Riffle Range.

Despite having lived in Sefton all my adult life I had not previously done this route either walking of cycling.

The stretch from Formby through Hightown and onto Crosby is very interesting and the cycle/footpaths are in great condition.

Well worth tackling this stretch of the Sefton Coast if you have access to a bike or like a long walk.

The photo above is sadly of me (or is that of a sad me?) and was taken by Roy and dubbed the ‘Yellow Peril’ – I wonder why?

I may well start to blog about cycling trips in the future if readers are unlucky!

West Lancs – Green Infrastructure & Cycling strategy

Wow this sounds very worthy but potentially boring, but hey give it a chance its actually quite interesting.

Here’s a link to it:-

www.westlancs.gov.uk/gicstrategy

Yes I know, this is the kind of document so beloved by planning officers. But such documents do serve a wider purpose and this one is about the green infrastructure of West Lancashire which surrounds my Lydiate hometown on 3 sides. I have often thought it is odd that Lydiate’s only land connection with Sefton Borough (to which it was allocated – some would say misappropriated – in 1974’s local government reorganisation) is via a short boundary with Maghull. All the rest of Lydiate has boundaries with Aughton, Downholland and Great Altcar Civil Parishes which are of course all in West Lancs.

Here’s a map from the West Lancs document which illustrates what I am on about – or maybe it does not?:-

Map of the Borough of West Lancashire.

Map of the Borough of West Lancashire.

Now hang on a minute – firstly please enlarge the map by clicking on it – there’s something not quite right here is there not? Crosby has seemingly moved inland and is where Great Altcar was last time I checked. And Bootle has also moved inland and north eastwards to replace Lydiate! Me thinks something has gone wrong with the map’s community labels.

But ignoring this labeling error the map really does show that Lydiate is out on a limb, akin to a thumb sticking up into West Lancs. On that basis what goes on in West Lancs is of importance to Lydiate. So have a read if you have the time it’s all about the countryside that you probably use for leisure.