Southport – New Tory MP in hot seat over leaflet

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/merseysides-only-tory-mp-accused-14561067

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

I saw a copy of the controversial leaflet last Sunday and what actually stood out to me about it was the fact that local head teachers were pictured in it. I know I would be having a word with any head teacher of a school I was a governor of if they appeared in a political publication – indeed I had to tackle a head teacher over this very type of thing a few years back. Of course they will all quite properly have their own political views but from my perspective head teachers need to be seen to be politically independent.

But yes a green (as in colour, not politics) leaflet from a true blue Tory is odd, maybe the Conservative brand is more than a little ‘damaged goods’ at present because of the May/Corbyn appalling Brexit and the equally appalling Windrush scandal.

And as another thought who paid for the leaflet, the Tory Party or Parliament? Odd that it has been delivered during the election period for Sefton Borough?

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting.

Southport – Lakeside Miniature Railway

I could do with a bit of help here to nail down whether the miniature steam loco below, which I understand to have been named ‘George the Fifth’, is in fact one that originally came from the Lakeside Miniature Railway.

I photographed it at Steam Town Carnforth around 1983 and have recently been trying to track down what happened to it. In doing so I found a reference to it potentially being a former Lakeside Miniature Railway loco from Southport prior to it being at Carnforth.

If, and its a big if, I have this right the loco is now in the USA as part of a private collection.

Information, corrections and comments gratefully received.

The top photograph is amongst my Flickr shots at:

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Southport – That fascinating round house

I took the photo above back in September 2014 and the round house can be seen on the left of the shot.

Recently the Southport Visiter newspaper ran a series of 3 excellent articles plotting the history of the house. The links below take you to those fascinating articles:-

www.southportvisiter.co.uk/news/history/southport-landmark-round-house-fascinating-14062108

www.southportvisiter.co.uk/news/history/gallery/southport-landmark-the-round-house-14062976

www.southportvisiter.co.uk/news/history/southports-round-house-concluding-chapter-14111082

My thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting.

Sefton Housing Plans Fail New Government Test – Pugh turns screw on Council’s building plans

The vast Maghull East site seen from Poverty Lane presently used for growing crops but under Sefton Council’s Local Plan it will be concreted over.

The Liberal Democrat leader on Sefton Council, Cllr. John Pugh is calling on Sefton to review its housing plans following a new government statement toughening up environmental requirements.

In launching the new environmental policy last week, the Prime Minister and the government called for the principle of environmental net gain to be embedded in the planning system.

What this means according to Cllr. Pugh is that any development must enhance and improve the environment. “It is clear that Sefton’s current plans do not meet this test. The government policy document specifically mentions “flooding” and there is no doubt that many of Sefton’s housing projects increase rather than decrease pressure on our ancient drainage system.

A flooded Bridges Lane between Dovers Brook and the River Alt – when it all got too much in December 2015

This new policy raises the threshold for what we expect of new development in order to give more sustainable outcomes.

The Council repeatedly state that they must observe government policy and here is an opportunity to run a new slide rule over proposed developments in Southport, Maghull and all parts of Sefton.

My instinct is that many proposed current developments would fail the new test. That’s scarcely surprising when the council previous policy relied on consultants who also work for the big house building firms. Opposition councillors will be seeking an early opportunity to force a council re-think in the light of the new policy.”

ENDS

Quote from “Our Green Future” HM Government www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/673203/25-year-environment-plan.pdf

P5
We will ensure that we support development and the environment by embedding the principle that new development should result in net environmental gain

P33 We will seek to embed a ‘net environmental gain’ principle for development to deliver environmental improvements locally and nationally. …………. We want to establish strategic, flexible and locally tailored approaches that recognise the relationship between the quality of the environment and development. That will enable us to achieve measurable improvements for the environment – ‘environmental net gains’ – while ensuring economic growth and reducing costs, complexity and delays for developers.

NB Current policy is simply permissive that planners should provide environmental gains where possible.

Financial Times 11th January

‘Developers will have to deliver a “net environmental gain” when they build new housing estates and infrastructure projects under Theresa May’s new 25-year environment plan.’

Southport – School House on Talbot Street

I came across this lovely building dating from 1864 recently whilst walking around Southport town center with old chum Roy Connell and thought it must have an interesting history. Internet searches commenced:-

I soon found an article on the Southport Visiter newspaper web site (originally from 2008) which gives an insight into this unique building and its history. Here’s the article:-

www.southportvisiter.co.uk/news/nostalgia/southport-writers-book-explores-old-6627027

A quote from the Visiter article says:- ‘John Ruskin, the esteemed Victorian essayist, once described Trinity Chapel [which stood next to the School House] as “the most beautiful church in Methodism”.’ Well certainly the surviving School House must be one of the most beautiful houses in Southport or anywhere else for that matter.

The photo is amongst my Flickr photos at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Southport – John Pugh takes 55% of votes cast to win Dukes ward by-election

Lib Dem (John Pugh) 1680 55.96%
Conservative 790 26.32%
Labour 417 13.89%
UKIP 69 2.30%
Green 45 1.50%

Lib Dem gain from Conservative

Wow this was some result indeed last night, especially because of the collapse of the Conservative vote and Labour’s really poor showing.

This old political warhorse went to assist John and what was really noticeable was the number of young people involved in the campaign to get John elected. So often middle aged and old folk are involved in politics so it was great to see a new generation of Lib Dem campaigners pounding the streets.

As for John, I have known him for many years as a Sefton Councillor (for of course he has previously been one in the time before he became an MP), as a really effective MP for Southport, and now back on the council again.

My guess is that Labour-run Sefton Council will have wanted John back like a hole in the head. He’s already exposed Labour to some publicity they would rather not have had with regard to the them buying Bootle Strand Shopping Centre and there’s probably more to come on that front before he gets his teeth into other things Sefton’s Labour leaders would rather he did not.

Well done John, happy to have done my small bit to help you get back on Sefton Council.

John and his supporters celebrate after the count