Work has now started on remodeling the former youth facility in Maghull Town Hall to turn it into a Police Station and Maghull Town Council seems to think this is worth celebrating. But is it? My letter to the Champion newspaper puts the matter in context:-
Is there really much to celebrate because part of Maghull Town Hall is to become a Police Station soon?
In my view what we have lost far outweighs what we are going to gain. The accommodation that the Police are moving into was specifically remodeled into a youth facility from its original use as a sports changing room not so many years ago. What’s more that accommodation was shared with the Citizens Advice (CAB). So whilst gaining a Police Station within the Town Hall we have lost the last publicly funded youth facility in the area and the CAB.
What’s to celebrate, the match has sadly been lost 2-1.
Poster on Maghull Town Hall noticeboard recently
Having campaigned to bring a CAB facility to Maghull and backed the establishment of the innovative Youth Coffee Bar I am rather saddened by this turn of events, indeed it angers me.
These are the plans (above) that ensure that the youth facility can never be reopened. Surely using this space for a Police Station to serve the Sefton East Parishes part of the Borough (Lydiate, Maghull, Melling and Aintree Village) is a wrong-headed priority. Of course the area needs a Police Station but we also need a youth facility and a CAB.
There are plenty of vacant shop/retail units locally so why take the space that had been specifically converted as youth facility and occupied for that use until recently – it could have and should have been revived.
And to put the tin lid on it we are told that there are concerns about the rise in anti-social behaviour as though having a active attractive youth offering would not be part of the solution to that problem!
Click on the photos and the plan to enlarge them
News that Sefton Council is reviewing its Area Committee’s, their usefulness and purpose is welcome news. Indeed, on a fleeting visit to the Bootle One Stop Shop last week I was personally surveyed by a young lady about my views on the matter.
This photo was taken at a meeting of the Sefton Central Area Committee in June 2013. It only shows about two thirds of the participants!
Click on the photo to see a larger size photo
Regular readers of this blog will know how much I have moaned about the present Sefton Central Area Committee which when it meets is like a small conference which is of no use to Joe and Jane Public what so ever. For example if you have a highways problem in Formby and the next meeting of the Area Committee is in Maghull you have to travel all the way over to Maghull to address Formby’s councillors in public. But two thirds of the councillors at the meeting will represent other communities yet they have to be addressed as well! What a nonsense.
Only a few years ago we had 3 Area Committees in the central part of the Borough – Crosby, Formby and the East Parishes. They worked pretty well and had been designed to bring together communities with reasonably common interests. But, as soon as Labour took control of the Borough they abolished these 3 Area Committees, supposedly on the grounds of saving money, and set up a totally useless single area committee to replace them.
On a number of occasions we Lib Dems tried to push Labour into admitting it had been a mistake to fiddle with the original Area Committees and to go back to them. Each time they refused.
Lydiate Labour tells Sefton Labour to reverse policy
But here we have an opportunity to put things to rights at last and what’s more Labour-run Lydiate Parish Council is backing a reversal of Sefton Labour’s daft amalgamation into one huge mega committee. Of course we Lib Dems backed the Lydiate call to revert back to 3 Area Committees.
We can only but hope that common sense will prevail.
Maghull resident Malcolm Gore wrote this letter to the Champion newspaper
I found Bill Esterson’s pledge of 100% support for Jeremy Corbyn in last week’s Champion rather alarming.
Corbyn’s extremist views have been well documented recently in the press, his opposition to the monarchy, his willingness to share a platform with terrorist friends, his desire to axe our nuclear capability and probably the army as well, his stance on immigration and his ideas that the solution to any economic problems is to print money, which any A level economics student will tell you, leads to hyper-inflation, are disturbing. Even worse is the desire of his Shadow Chancellor to return to those “halcyon days ” of the 1970’s. Does this mean Bill now shares these views and would vote for them?
Like myself, Mr Esterson has publicly criticised our local councillors, who once elected, toe the party line to the determent of their own electorate, yet when he finds himself in similar circumstances he can’t wait to jump into the “party tent”. I feel sure the majority of hard working, long standing, Labour supporters in Sefton East, do not share these views. Surely it would do his credibility far more good ,to resign the party whip and fight for the mandate on which he was elected.
I fear he has spent too much time in Andy Burnham’s company, borrowing someone else’s “flip- flops” is unhealthy.
It was not published in the following edition of 23rd September