To be a volunteer litter picker or not?

The other day I was in effect challenged to reconsider my actions by a local resident. My action? To have ‘adopted’ the public footpath which runs from Southport Road to Coppull Road and litter pick it/cut back over-hanging foliage now and again. Indeed, I’ve blogged about this previously – here’s a link back to a posting from October 2018:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/10/05/lydiate-coppull-road-southport-road-footpath/

I think I’ve tidied the path up 3 times now over the past year or so but the challenge is in effect to ask me not to do it as I’m giving Sefton Council the opportunity to get out of doing it. In other words we pay Sefton Council via our council tax so make them keep it clean and tidy. And from a slightly differing perspective but on the same kind of subject a Maghull resident, by coincidence, brought my attention to this recent article* in the Metro newspaper:-

Now I’m a trade unionist by instinct and I spent many years as a trade union officer in the civil service during my working years, so the last thing I would want to do is to compromise the jobs of council employees via my well intentioned volunteer litter picking activities. I hope such an approach would go for all the volunteer litter pickers across Lydiate and many other communities.

Of course we volunteers have started to litter pick because councils have not been doing the work as they once did and yes quite clearly austerity has been the underlying cause of reduced litter picking.

So there we have it. Do volunteer litter pickers stop what they are doing because a) the council is being paid via our council tax so should be forced to get on with the job or b) volunteers may be putting council workers jobs at risk? You could say that both these points could apply of course.

Like many things in life there’s no easy answer and for what it’s worth here’s my view. Sefton Council will not be able to keep this path in the condition that local residents would want to see it because it simply does not have the resources to do so. So on that basis it will only react to issues with footpaths like this when people complain and when the condition of the paths is well past acceptable to locals. It may not be how we want things to be but its how they are though.

Do I think I am putting council jobs art risk? No I don’t unless I see some evidence of this. Do I think the council will now step back in and make the work of litter picking volunteers unnecessary? No I don’t because they are struggling to pay for much bigger issues such as care for the elderly.

Click on the newspaper article to enlarge it

Note: There is a volunteer Lydiate litter picking group who travel across the Parish litter picking – I’m not a part of that group and my litter picking has been as an individual. I do support their work though.

* the article is about Leamington Spar volunteer litter pickers

My thanks to Kevin Duggan for his input into the posting

Lydiate – Haven Walk Hedging sorted

I posted a while back about the hedge which fronts Southport Road as it was overgrowing the pavement. My previous posting refers – see link below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/12/17/lydiate-haven-walk-hedging/

The hedge has now been thinned out by One Vision Housing’s contractor and all is well. Thanks One Vision for getting the work done.

Lydiate – Outdoor Leisure Park – No news yet

I keep getting asked if I know whether the planning application has gone in yet for the proposed outdoor leisure/water park that has been put forward for building on farm land at the junction of Southport Road and at the back of properties in Hall Lane Lydiate.

The last time I looked there was no sign of an application. My previous posting of 2nd March details the events at a Lydiate Parish Council meeting on the matter in late February this year.

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/03/02/lydiate-a-lot-of-folk-at-parish-council-meeting-to-hear-about-a-leisure-sporting-facility-being-proposed/

As soon as I become aware of any movement over this matter I will post again here.

Click on the photo to enlarge it

Lydiate – Busted street lamp and a fence

Firstly, thanks to Sefton Council for fixing the broken street lamp on the footpath that runs from Southport Road through to Coppull Road, it was really dark down there at night with only one of the two lamps working.

Now One Vision Housing need to have a look at their fence which separates the same footpath from the backs of the bungalows in Haven Walk. My photo illustrates the problem:-

I have alerted OVH to this matter.

Lydiate – ‘In Flower’ makes an impact

Lydiate in Flower is a relatively new volunteer community group which aims to try to brighten up Lydiate.

It’s first initiative is to put gateway planters on the roads leading into the community. The first two flower troughs are now up at both ends of Southport Road on the Maghull and Downholland Civil Parish boundaries.

The photos above were taken on Southport Road and the flowers are looking great. The sponsorship is very much appreciated and the sign shows one of the sponsoring companies.

More Lydiate in Flower initiatives to follow.

Lydiate – Soil blown by ‘Beast from the East’ on Southport Road pavements

During that storm a lot of top soil was taken up by the wind and dumped on Southport Road between the junction with Hall Lane and Church View Farm. Sefton Council got the soil off the road but there are great heaps of it blocking the pavements on either side of this busy road.

I fear the consequences of pedestrians being forced to walk in the road so have asked Sefton Council to remove the soil as soon as possible. Cllr. Edie Pope has been on this issue too I might add.

Stop Press – After I posted this Edie Pope called me to say that she had been speaking to Sefton Council Highway engineers this morning (Monday 12th March) and they were working with the land owner from whose land the soil came to get it cleared starting hopefully today. Edie also told me that she had seen folks waking in the road only yesterday because of the soil.

Stop Press 2 – Work has indeed been ongoing today and hopefully tomorrow