Formby – Footpath/Cycle path bridge collapsing

Word gets around that I sit on the Sefton Rights of Way Liaison Group and I have recently been asked to press Sefton Council to take action to repair the bridge just at the north end of Altcar Rifle Range, close to the Southport – Liverpool railway line where the path emerges from beside the Range and railway into open land before reaching the southern end of Formby at Andrews Lane.

The photos below show how damaged this bridge is:-

It’s been in a poor state for a number of weeks now and clearly there’s a potential for an accident so I hope Sefton can put things right ASAP.

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Southport – Children’s Play Area – Council want to close it!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=pe1PCseFDGQ&feature=player_embedded

That’s Lancashire has a video about the troubles of this Ovington Drive children’s play area on youtube – see link above.

Well known environmental campaigner and Southport (Kew Ward) Lib Dem Councillor Fred Weavers.

My good friend Cllr. Fred Weavers is backing the locals who are fighting Sefton Council’s removal of play equipment and the threat of closure of the play area.

Lydiate – The condition of Southport Road surface

The part of Southport Road in Lydiate from the junctions of Hickson Avenue to Highbanks is made up of concrete sections and just past Hickson Avenue and opposite Astor Court (more or less on the Maghull/Lydiate boundary) is a part of it that has been dug up a few times.

This digging of trenches, for utility works etc. over the years has ended up with the surface being uneven. What’s more concrete is not flexible like tarmac so when the filled in trenches settle and sink down the edges of the concrete do not ‘bend’. In turn this creates a lot of noise and vibrations for folks living close to these repaired sections.

Unsurprisingly the noise and vibrations have got too much for some residents and an approach was made to Lydiate Parish Councillor Edie Pope to see if she could assist. Edie had a site meeting and met with Sefton Council Highways to see what could be done.

After some consideration Sefton Council sent out a contractor to start to put matters right. Here’s a shot of them working on the road only a few days ago:-

Some work was clearly done but it was stopped; I understand this was because of the cost of it. Edie and indeed I thought that the solution would be to find a suitable way of filling in the ‘dropped’ trenches but it seems that either Sefton or their highway contractors thought the best way of doing it would be to to take out more of the concrete before filling it in.

So a small area has been completed but far more needs to be done. We hope that Sefton Council is simply trying to find a more cost effective way of finishing the job as opposed to just not doing any further work. Watch this space as Edie tries to get things moving again.

Maghull – Millbank Lane is unadopted says Sefton Council

I cycle around the Sefton East Parishes (Maghull, Lydiate, Aintree, Melling and Sefton & Lunt Villages) part of the Borough quite a lot and the other day I was stopped by a chap on Park Lane who said ‘hey you are a local councillor aren’t you? – can you get the pot holes in Millbank Lane filled in please?’.

Oddly I had just been down there on my bike and had noticed some large pot-holes myself so I was only too happy to get in touch with Sefton Highways to ask them to oblige.

Millbank Lane, I should add runs from the junction with Kenyons Ln, Park Ln and Dodds Ln through to Maghull’s boundary with West Lancs and Aughton Civil Parish. The final 50 yards of it (in Aughton) is a footpath, only the part in Maghull is tarmaced and it serves a part of the Maghull community known by some as The Small Holdings.

Sadly the response from Sefton was that the lane is not one that has been adopted by the Council so it is not their responsibility to repair the pot-holes. I had wondered if that would be the answer because although unadopted roads usually have a sign saying ‘Unadopted’ at their beginning (and Millbank Lane for some reason does not) I had a funny feeling that it may indeed be unadopted.

From the gate and stile to Butchers Lane (behind the camera) in Aughton is only a footpath.

But clearly over the years the lane has been patch repaired on numerous occasions as you can clearly see. So the question now is who does hold the repair and maintenance responsibilities for Millbank Lane. Any answers on a postcard (or by e-mail) to me would be appreciated.

Which brings me to a memory of my first political campaign as a candidate and when when I first won a seat on Maghull Town Council in September 1985 for the SDP/Liberal Alliance.

My agent for that election was none other than Bruce Hubbard and he sent me canvassing up Millbank Lane to the Small Holdings community. So door-knocking I went to be met at one house by a chap asking me about ‘pig subsidies’. Suffice to say that I was floored by that question and Bruce has been using my bewildered response in his after dinner speeches ever since. No wonder I had to leave Maghull in 2011 to move to Lydiate! I would add that I no longer represent Maghull as a councillor – I’m a Lydiate councillor these days.

Lydiate – Accessing (or not) the Leeds Liverpool Canal from Southport Rd/Lollies Bridge

Steps could be erected here but cost and land ownership issues will be factors.

It was recently suggested to me that there should be pedestrian access/steps down from Lollies Bridge on Southport Road to the Leeds Liverpool Canal tow path.

Presently the only access to the canal is on the opposite side to the tow path along a footpath that enables you to join the tow path at Lydiate Hill bridge (otherwise known as Billy’s Bridge), the next bridge north of Lollies Bridge.

The photo above is taken from the footpath which runs along the opposite bank to the tow path looking south towards Lollies Bridge and Southport Road. The problem being that to walk northwards along the canal is quite easy as you join the tow path at Lydiate Hill Bridge. However, if you want to walk southwards (towards Maghull) along the canal from Lollies Bridge you first have to walk north, along the parallel footpath, to Lydiate Hill Bridge then back again along the tow path. The only alternative is to join the tow path at Pilling Lane bridge which is the next bridge/access south of Lollies Bridge.

I raised this issue not so long ago at a Sefton Rights of Way Liaison Group meeting and was advised to contact a specific Sefton Council officer who holds regular meetings with the Canal & River Trust. This I have done with the help of the Clerk to Lydiate Parish Council. What will happen from here is presently unknown. Whether it is possible to build steps at Lollies Bridge I do not know. Clearly, land ownership and the cost of such works will be significant factors but the pebble has been thrown into the Canal & River Trust’s pond (or is that canal?) and we will see if progress is possible in due course.

Bootle – The things folks will do to find out what’s going on in Sefton Council’s bunker

Bootle Town Hall

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/boy-14-taken-hospital-after-13329753

What an odd story (see link to the Liverpool Echo’s web site above), with clearly more to come.

Bootle Town Hall is a really nice building although sadly having been bombed during WWII it not as grand as it once was because of a 1960’s refurbishment.

A previous posting of mine from 2014 about this significant building can be accessed via the link below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/06/07/bootle-town-hallrochdale-town-hall-buildings-of-victorian-civic-pride/