Maghull Green Belt – More pressure being heaped on Labour councillors

Below is the text of an e-mail sent to Labour members of Sefton Council by a clearly well informed Maghull resident following the Overview & Scrutiny meeting on Sefton’s draft Local Plan which I commented on recently on this blog site:-


I attended last nights meeting, a debut for me, and was surprised by the orderly nature of the evening, considering the content. Whilst it is fair to say that Labour councillors are not on my Christmas present shopping list, (though Bill Esterson may get a surprise under his tree after his recent outburst) I must congratulate you on managing to get the planners,”on the ropes” a few times, particularly regarding roads and schools on the School Lane site, MN 338andMN246,( I assume M.N. stands for Maghull Newtown).

To admit that the cornerstone of the whole plan, 1400 houses etc. was still awaiting a traffic assessment and no “tipping point” would matter in terms of traffic volume, was quite frankly mind blowing. Should this not have been done BEFORE the site was put in the plan?

Lib Dem MP Simon Hughes surveys the present high grade agricultural land/Green Belt to the east of Maghull where a massive urban extension is being proposed by Labour-run Sefton Council

Simon Hughes MP and local Lib Dem Green Belt campaigners survey the present high grade agricultural land/Green Belt to the east of Maghull where a massive urban extension (‘Newtown’) is being proposed by Labour-run Sefton Council

Then in answer to your question about a catholic primary school, something they [Sefton Planning Dept.] had obviously not considered, to suggest they could go to St Georges would create even more traffic, have you ever seen the school run there.

This only confirmed my suspicions that someone from planning looked at a map, saw a big field and said, we’ll build here .

A quick point on figures discussed. The O.N.S [Office of National Statistics] project a population increase of 5,000 in the 16 years to 2031 and 6,000 in the 22 years to 2037.

The plan wants to build an average of 615 homes per year. Assuming a 2.2 [person] occupancy rate it means each year 1353 (615 X2.2) of the new population are housed, therefore it will take just over 3.5 years to house the 5,000 people in the 15 year plan period and just under 4.5 years to house the 6,000 in the 22 year period (5,000 divided by 1353 and 6,000 divided by 1353).

This means during the plan time 11.5 years worth of houses out of 15 years, 7072 houses to be exact, are not for the population increase as predicted but just to cover things like backlog, second homes, (come to sunny Maghull for your hols) etc. You must admit it is daft.

So come and join the Esterson camp you know it makes sense.

Your comments would be appreciated.


There can be little doubt that environmental campaigners around Sefton are putting together a strong case to challenge Labour-led Sefton Council’s draft Local Plan and that their campaigning is gathering pace and supporters. If only Maghull Town Council (also Labour run) had found the courage to fight the Planners proposals for the huge urban extension, or ‘Newtown‘ as referred to above, rather than allowing it all to wash over them. In the last round of what was then called the Unitary Development Plan in 1998 the Town Council (then Lib Dem-run) stood up and took on all comers to defend Maghull’s Green Belt and it won the day. If you don’t fight you can’t win and this time Maghull TC (now Labour-run) did not fight!

Hughes: Knife law may increase crime

Liberal Democrat Justice minister Simon Hughes has warned that mandatory jail sentences for carrying a knife could make young people more likely to commit crime. Mr Hughes said the proposals could lead to younger teenagers ending up in jail after being pressurised by older youths to carry knives for them. The Economist notes that mandatory sentences are being repealed in the US as the rules further fill overcrowded prisons.

Simon Hughes MP on a recent visit to Maghull with Lib Dem Cllrs. Bruce Hubbard, Jen Robertson and Wyn Maher.

Simon Hughes MP on a recent visit to Maghull with Lib Dem Cllrs. Bruce Hubbard, Jen Robertson and Wyn Maher.

In Today’s Independent i, Page: 25 The Daily Telegraph, Page: 13 The Economist, Page: 31

Nice to see Simon bringing a little sense to this debate. Dealing with the consequences of crime and the causes of it are rarely simple. The present and often simplistic debate in parts of the national press over knife crime required a sober contribution.

With thanks to the LGiU for this story.

Lib Dem Deputy Leader Simon Hughes visits Maghull

Simon Hughes the Lib Dem Deputy Leader was in Maghull last Saturday discussing with campaigners how local communities are coping with the consequences of Labour’s massive overspending whilst in government. He also wanted to know about how Lib Dems are fighting developments on Green Belt land.

Simon heard how Labour run Sefton Borough Council had targeted local libraries and public toilets for closure and how campaigns had been launched to save them both. He also heard about Labour voting to build on Green Belt land in Lydiate whilst at the same time saying they wanted to save Green Belt.

We told Simon about our campaigning across the Borough to save libraries from Labour’s closure plans whilst working with groups such as Aintree Ratepayers and other special interest groups. He was concerned that despite huge pressure from concerned residents Labour was still pushing for closure of more than half the Borough’s libraries.

He was however pleased to hear that a Lib Dem campaign to stop Labour closing all the Borough’s public toilets had been a success with the comrades sounding the retreat on their closure plans in the face of campaigns like the one launched by the Lib Dems to save the toilets at Maghull Square.

The team who fought to keep our public toilets in Sefton

It was the Lib Dems who fought to keep our public toilets open in Sefton

Cllr. Bruce Hubbard says “We took Simon to a Green Belt site off Maghull’s School Lane which has previously been under pressure from developers to let him know how concerned we are to see high grade agricultural land coming under threat of being concreted over. As a keen environmentalist Simon understood our concerns.”

Fighting for our Green Belt

Fighting for our Green Belt

The Saturday afternoon visit ended with Simon taking a look at Maghull’s Central Square shopping area where we discussed issues around charging for car parking and how it can discourage shoppers to use local shops.

At Maghull Square discussing car parking charges

At Maghull Square discussing car parking charges