Formby – Locals push Bootle Town Hall bosses all the way in attempt to save steet trees

Formby folk are not ones to take decisions they don’t like or think may be wrong on the chin. And things have been hotting up in the village shopping centre in recent times where more beautiful mature trees are in line to be cut down by big brother Sefton Council in Chapel Lane – trees like this one:-

Formby Parish Council were amongst those leading the charge on behalf of angry local Formby folk and they even engaged their own tree expert to see if a more positive solution to keep and preserve the trees could be found.

I’m an environmental campaigner at heart so it’s probably no surprise to anyone that knows me that I see the cutting down of mature trees as a last resort after all other possibilities have been exhausted, especially trees that have been a part of the local street scene for decades.

As I type this posting it seems that all potentially viable options may indeed have been exhausted and sadly Sefton Council plans to remove the elderly street trees in October with Formby Parish Council providing funds for new trees to be planted.

Here’s a link to a page on Formby Parish Council’s web site about the trees:-

www.formbyparishcouncil.org.uk/index.php/latest-news/75-trees-on-chapel-lane

With thanks to Chris for the lead to this story.

Lydiate – That Coppull Road pavement or the lack of it

I blogged about the rather strange lack of a pavement on a part of Coppull Road in Lydiate not so long back. It’s opposite the junction with Barnes Drive and its been like this ever since the estate was built. My concern is pedestrian safety and you can access my original blog posting via this link:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/05/07/lydiate-why-this-short-stretch-of-coppull-road-with-no-pavement/

The response from Sefton Council’s Highways Dept. was that due to financial cut-backs they no long have a budget to undertake such remedial works to address this short section of missing pavement. An unsurprising response which is very much of our austerity times sadly. I do have sympathy with the Council here by the way, as I realise how short of money they are.

Well at least I’ve put it on Sefton Council’s radar and lets hope that there’s no accident at this location before the money does become available to right a long-term pedestrian wrong.

A59 Cycle Path – Switch Island to Robins Island

A59 Cycle path becomes narrow pavement at Robins Island.

I’ve mentioned before my desire to see a safe cycle route through Maghull and Lydiate from Switch Island to Robins Island and I took the matter up with Sefton Council Highways. This is what they had to say:-

‘We have actually identified this as an issue and are pursuing a proposal to develop a cycle route between Switch Island and Robbins Island as one of our priorities. We have secured funding for the initial section which will link Switch Island to the service roads to the north of the Dover Road/ Liverpool Rd junction through the local growth fund(LGF), this should be delivered over the next 18 months. We have a separate bid for funding which is currently on a reserve list for schemes to be funded through the LGF which would extend this further from Hall Lane to the Eastway/ Westway junction and once this has been secured will be seeking to extend the route up to Robbins Island, once funding opportunities arise.’

Cycle path under construction between Switch Island and the River Alt along the A59 – April 2018. This section now complete.

Some good news here and the first section, funded by Highways England (see second photo), is now complete but clearly it is likely to be some years before the whole missing section of cycle track alongside the A59/Northway through Maghull and Lydiate is completed. Let’s hope for as quick a construction period as possible in these most uncertain and cash strapped times.

Maghull’s massive urban extension site

I have photographed this (infamous)* site a number of times so that there’s a record of it as prime high grade, productive agricultural land before the bulldozers arrive at some point in the future. But it is a huge site bounded by Poverty Lane, the M58 Motorway, School Lane and The Liverpool – Ormskirk railway line so it’s hard to get a good shot of it all. Here’s my latest attempt:-

The photo was taken from the Ashworth Motorway Junction bridge and you can see the vastness of the site, which will soon be filled with around 1600 houses and an business park. Some welcome the houses, I morn the loss of high grade agricultural land that feeds us and would have fed future generations. I don’t see how you can celebrate building on such land when there is brownfield land across the county available to build on. Sorry I’m an environmentalist.

* infamous to those who fought to save it from the bulldozers that is.

Click on the photo to enlarge it

Bootle – Pugh lambasts Council over yet more money public being thrown at Strand Shopping Center

Bootle New Strand shopping centre

Following the recent news that Sefton Council intends to throw another £3m+ of public money at the Strand Shopping Center in Bootle the Leader of the opposition on the Council, Cllr. John Pugh has this to say:-

“Having burdened us with £32 M pounds of debt buying the asset, Sefton Council wants to spend another £3.I million pounds this year on their new toy to enable councillors to play “shops”.

The council should concentrate on its day job and stop pretending it’s a player in the risky retail market.

The fact that a year after the purchase of the Strand, it’s having to fix the roof shows how far its out of its depth.

We were told extensive checks were made prior to purchase. Looking at the roof might have been a good idea!

This is embarrassing for the council and wasting the money of hard-pressed, council tax payers.”

Bootle – Sefton Council to spend another £3.15m on Strand Shopping Center

Rear view of Bootle New Strand shopping centre

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/sefton-council-revealed-plans-spend-14791514

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link above

So on top of an alleged £32.5m purchase price, financed via a loan, Sefton Council is now going to spend another £3.15m on this shopping center. And we all thought Sefton Council was short of a few bob! Not short of money for pet Bootle projects it seems.

Just when are communities like Formby, Maghull etc. going to see this level of investment in their retail facilities from Sefton Council? Maghull Square for example is down at heal and never seems to get the upgrade that it needs to smarten up its tired 1960’s exterior.

I ask these questions yet again. Why buy a Bootle shopping center but not shopping centers elsewhere in the Borough of Sefton? Why is Bootle’s shopping center a bigger priority than those elsewhere? You could also ask why a cash strapped Council thinks investing public money in shopping centers is such a high priority in any circumstances?

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting