Lydiate – Sandy Lane Park Tennis Courts – To resurface or close and landscape?

This is the present condition of the Sandy Lane Park tennis courts surface.

This is the present condition of the Sandy Lane Park tennis courts surface.

We had a discussion at the September Parish Council meeting about how or even if we should to take forward the long talked about project to upgrade the rather down at heel tennis courts at Lydiate’s Sandy Lane Park.

I have blogged about this matter before and the link to that posting is here:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2016/04/09/lydiate-sandy-lane-playing-field-facilities-to-be-improved/

The issue is the cost of the surfacing – it is in the many thousands of Pounds.

Personally, I still favour getting on with the job but accept that opinion is clearly divided amongst my fellow Parish Councillors. It is a rock and hard place type decision without doubt.

I think the issue is, are the tennis courts not used much at present because they are in poor condition and would they be used far more if they are resurfaced to a high standard?

The answer to this conundrum will not be known until the work is done of course and there’s the rub. If they get well used it will be a good investment, if they don’t the Parish Council will feel that maybe they should have invested the money elsewhere.

If any Lydiate residents have a view on this project please respond to this posting via the comment facility.

More detailed costings will come before the Parish Council at its next meeting in late October.

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Lydiate – Sandy Lane Playing Field facilities to be improved

We had a good discussion about potential improvements to the tennis courts and changing pavilion on this park at the March Parish Council meeting.

Yes, I know I mentioned these tennis courts a few days ago but that was in relation to Labour claims that they had got the fencing around them renewed, despite the fact that opposition Lib Dems on the Council supported the work being undertaken. However, the new fencing is one thing but the fact is that the surface of the courts is poor and I suggested at the Council meeting that it is potentially now dangerous to users. Indeed, Sefton Council’s assessment of the courts is ‘Three courts assessed as poor quality’.

This is the present condition of the Sandy Lane Park tennis courts surface. The new fencing is visible in the background.

This is the present condition of the Sandy Lane Park tennis courts surface. The new fencing is visible in the background.

The consensus of opinion after the debate at the Parish Council meeting was that we need to turn the 3 courts into a multi-use sports facility so that say tennis, five-a-side football and basket ball can all be played on them. Of course this would need a brand new safe surface marked out for all the possible sporting uses. Personally, I consider this to be a project that needs to pursued without delay so that any potential danger to users can be minimised. I hope that details and funding streams will be identified soon.

Sandy Lane Park changing pavilion

Sandy Lane Park changing pavilion

Separately we discussed the refurbishment or rebuilding of the sports changing rooms on this park. There are no separate female changing facilities/toilets and the building is not much different to its original state. Again, a project needs working up here and potential funding streams found.

I am sure we will hear more about these projects over the coming months.

Lydiate – It’s parks and gardens seem to be appreciated

Lydiate has long had decent quality parks and gardens but at the end of 2015 I saw a couple of pieces of evidence that folks really do appreciate the work that goes into them by the small team of grounds staff that the Parish Council employs. Here are a couple of examples of how locals feel:-

e-mail to Parish Council dated 3rd November – ‘Lydiate Parish Council should be congratulated because of the way it keeps our area clean, tidy and nice to look at. I’m talking particularly of the ares by the bus shelters in Southport Road. I would like to highly commend the staff for their hard work.’ The area referred to here is the garden around the Nedens Lane bus stop.

e-mail to the Parish Council dated 15th November – ‘I would just like to thank you for the fantastic job that is being carried out refurbishing the tennis courts on Sandy lane Playing Field.’

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It’s always nice to know when folks appreciate the efforts of the Parish Council and yes I say that as an opposition member of the Council. I don’t think neighbouring Maghull Town Council can be getting many thumbs-up these days based on the complaints I have seen on Facebook about them not cutting the hedges around their parks and litter/rubbish problems in those parks.

Lydiate Parish Council – A report of its September meeting

September’s meeting went on for over 2 hours but that seems to be par for the course these days.

We had a presentation from Protect Aughton Landscape Together who are campaigning against high grade agricultural land in their Parish being potentially taken out of crop growing use only to be replaced by solar panels. Aughton is to the north of Lydiate so the issue is of interest and concern to Lydiate residents. Here’s a link to the campaign group’s facebook page:-

www.facebook.com/Protect-Aughtons-Landscape-Together-1612117782378796/timeline/

Lydiate Parish Council had already sent in an objection to West Lancs Borough Council to the proposals on the similar basis as the one we sent in about the wind turbine plan for Altcar Parish to the west of Lydiate. This was a unanimous view of the Parish Council i.e. Labour rulers and us Lib Dems in opposition. And it’s not because we Lib Dems oppose renewable sources of energy, quite the opposite in fact, but it’s because of that old chestnut in this area of the high grade agricultural land. Building anything on it either in Sefton or the surrounding parts of West Lancs that have the same quality of land is just not on when only 2% of England has such high quality food/crop growing land. I do wonder though about Labour as their troops on Sefton Council have consistently voted to build on Sefton’s high grade agricultural land yet Labour oppose it happening on West Lancs land surrounding Sefton. Very odd.

We had a discussion about doing a Neighbourhood Plan for Lydiate and this forms a separate posting to follow soon.

Tennis Courts and caged play areas – We approved some significant expenditure on the tennis courts at Sandy Lane Park and the other caged ball areas at Coronation Park. We are talking quite a few thousands of Pounds but patching up the fencing around these areas is no longer cost-effective. Best to bite the bullet and do a major job. The tennis courts will probably need resurfacing in the not too distant future too but that’s a worry for another day. Lydiate has had quality parks in recent years and I hope we all want to retain such standards.

The Leeds Liverpool Canal is celebrating its 200 year old birthday (Bicentenary) next year (2016) and we agreed that as the canal is a significant feature and leisure facility in our community that we should take part. Hopefully Mersey Motor Boat Club who operate out of Lydiate will be keen to promote celebrations as well.

A blast from the past a former Ribble Lydiate bound 321 bus in model form. Obviously not the 311 but sadly it's another lost route for Lydiate residents.

A blast from the past a former Ribble Lydiate bound 321 bus in model form. Obviously not the 311 but sadly it’s another lost route for Lydiate residents.

311 Bus – We also discussed the sad demise of the 311 bus route previously run by Arriva and before them Ribble Buses for many years. It ceased on 31st August, because Arriva said they could no longer make any money out of it. I asked that we write to Pat Breckell who ran the community campaign to try to save the bus. She deserves some recognition for her efforts and I am glad the Parish Council agreed.

These were the highlights for me anyway.