Could Heathrow Climate Change victory cause a Rimrose rethink?

Friends of the Earth has the article on its website – see link below

friendsoftheearth.uk/climate-change/heathrow-third-runway-uk-government-actions-ruled-illegal

Rimrose Valley Country Park.

The FotE court victory is very welcome news indeed but it immediately got me thinking about the potential knock-on effects of the ruling for other transport projects in the pipeline which need to be rethought because of the Climate Emergency that has been declared.

Unsurprisingly my thoughts have turned to the Highways England plan to build a road right down the Rimrose Valley Country Park to create better freight access to the Port of Liverpool and I’m sure I’m not the only one having such thoughts.

It also makes you realise that Sefton Council’s Judicial Review of Highways England’s Port of Liverpool Access Road was utterly on the wrong grounds. If they’d made the challenge on basis of climate change as opposed to wanting a road tunnel they could well have won!

Maghull – Heavy rain reminds us of the potential peril of building on agricultural land locally

The recent heavy rain got me thinking about the soon to be built and vast urban extension to Maghull of @1700 houses. I went to have a look at the site on Sunday 23rd February. The photos below really speak for themselves as they start with the waterlogged site as I saw it followed by where the water eventually drains to i.e. Dovers Brook and the River Alt.

Maghull East Site from Ashworth Motorway junction 23 02 20

Maghull East Site from Poverty Lane 23 02 20

Dovers Brook at Sefton Lane looking north 23 02 20

Dovers Brook at Sefton Lane 23 02 20 – the bridge is all but lost under the floodwater.

River Alt 23 02 20 looking south from Bridges Lane.

Having lived locally for over 50 years I can’t say I’m surprised by this situation as our low-lying land has always been liable to flood after heavy rain. Of course climate change is making those floods more regular and at times worse than they have been in the past.

What has not, in my opinion, been effectively resolved is how the floodwater is dealt with as flooding of Sefton Lane is far from unusual each year these days. What worries me is how the local drainage network is going to cope after a vast area of presently agricultural land (the Maghull East Site) is put under concrete, brick and tarmac. The implications will not be just on that site, if the drainage issues are not fully addressed, but potentially to the west of it to the River Alt which takes a great deal of Maghull’s surface water run-off.

That the Maghull East Site site will be developed is a given as Sefton Council’s Local Plan has already designated it for building on but, and it’s a very big but, what guarantees are going to be put in place that this building will not make a presently unresolved flooding problem even worse?

Sefton Council and the developers of the land have to get this right otherwise those of us who fought against the vast site being designated for building will be reminding the powers that be that they were warned about the consequences.

My thanks to Andrew Blackburn for the lead to this posting

Lydiate – Haigh Crescent post & shrubs cause controversy

I posted a few days ago about work commencing in Haigh Crescent to stop vehicles gaining access to the central green via Sefton Council installing posts and shrubs. My previous post (no pun intended) is accessible via this link:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2020/02/05/lydiate-haigh-crescent-posts-go-up-to-try-to-make-green-safer/

Well it seems that the project to try to protect the green is not one that commands widespread support at least that’s the view I am picking up. Here’s what I know about the issue.

Last June Independent Borough Councillor Pat O’Hanlon brought up concerns about vehicles accessing the green at a Lydiate Parish Council meeting – my recollection is that the worry was vehicles on the green when children were playing on it. The matter was subsequently raised at the July meeting when, if my understanding is correct, the Borough Councillors for Park Ward were looking to try to find a source of funding to enable them to address the problem. The next thing I knew I was cycling down Haigh Crescent and the work to install posts and shrubs had commenced a few days ago and I blogged about that work taking place.

Yesterday I had a conversation with a former Borough Councillor for Park Ward Robbie Fenton who has lived on Haigh Crescent for many years. She was clearly surprised by the works and was asking me what I knew of the project. Interestingly, she said that as far as she was aware there’d not been any consultation with the residents, at least not with the ones she’d spoken to since the works started. I can’t help but think that consultation should have taken place and wonder why it didn’t?

As Robbie said to me, in trying to solve one problem another has been created. With the carriageway being so narrow it’s often the case that passing vehicles have to mount the curb of the green to pass each other, but the posts and shrubs have narrowed that passing ability.

So there you have it and it will be interesting to see if things settle down/work out or whether there will have to be a rethink by Sefton Council.

Sefton Borough of Culture Light Show – But not in the East Parishes

St. Helen’s Church, Sefton Village, where the Borough gets its name from.

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its website – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/whats-on/arts-culture-news/unique-light-extravaganza-illuminate-sefton-17721699

This sounds great but as a resident of one of Sefton’s East Parishes (Maghull, Lydiate, Aintree Village, Sefton & Lunt Villages & Melling) I had to have a sigh as unsurprisingly, at least from my perspective, there’s no light show planned for our part of the Borough.

It takes me back to my time as a Sefton Borough Councillor when I always felt I had to fight to gain recognition for my part of Sefton as you could almost guarantee that whatever was being planned it would only encompass the coastal communities of the Borough.

And it’s not as if the most historic building in the Borough, from which Sefton gains its name, is in the Borough’s coastal communities – It’s Sefton Church in Sefton Village and what a back drop to a light show that would make.

Bootle – Controversial property speculation by Sefton Council takes £5m hit

Bootle New Strand shopping centre

I’ve blogged about the hugely controversial purchase of the Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle by Sefton Council in 2018 previously. I’ve also questioned the role of our local Borough Council dabbling in the oh so volatile property market. Click on the article below, from Hannah Gee, for more detail:-

Sadly my fears, based on the valuation mentioned above, make this highly questionable purchase look like the poor deal for council tax payers of the Borough that I thought it could well turn out to be.

Sefton Council’s BIG earners

Bootle Town Hall

The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/six-members-staff-one-cash-17703787

How ever you look at it this situation is one where it’s an every which way but lose scenario for cash strapped Sefton Council and it’s Labour rulers.

Joe and Jane public will be horrified, especially as their ever increasing council tax bills will be landing on Sefton doorsteps very soon.

Cllr Leo Evans (Lib Dem) says that only his group of councillors voted against this at the last full council meeting.