Saturday, 30 July 2011

Off Licence application - Garston Old Road

An application's come in to the City Council for an off licence at 180/184 Garston Old Road.  That's the building on the corner with Stormont. Actually if you live near there you may have noticed the blue sign on the wall with some of the details.

Anyway, people who want to comment have until 14th August.

The application is for off sales from 7 am to 10 pm Monday to Sunday.

Licensing is a legal process so decisions have to be made on licensing grounds.  If you want to comment on this, and have never done a licensing comment before, the easiest thing to do is to use the form on the Council's website.  You may need to scroll down a bit.

I'll be sending in comments as a local councillor so if you would prefer to send things to me that is fine.  My e mail is

Another Fun Day on the Park

There's a Fun Day at Garston Park this Tuesday (2nd).  Its from 12 till 4 and the organisers say there are plenty of activities for both children and adults.

Fingers crossed for sunshine!

Polling station review

Liverpool City Council is reviewing the polling stations it uses for elections.  Councils are supposed to do this on a regular basis and it's a good chance to check whether there is feedback on accessibility etc.

This May just gone we had some changes to the polling stations in Cressington.  They didn't move but some of the people who usually went to one, went to another instead.  This was because in the past far too many people had to go to the Guide Hut on Ambergate Road (in 2010 there were people who couldn't get in to vote and it was quite tense)

It's important that polling stations are right - that they have disabled access, are large enough, are light enough etc.

If you've got any comments about the ones in Cressington, or if you live elsewhere about the ones elsewhere, do send them to me at or directly to the Electoral Services Unit at the Council (Dale Street, L2 2DH).  The deadline is 19th August.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Movement on Bankfield House site

I blogged a while ago about plans for housing on the bit of land on the corner of Brunswick Street and Banks Road where Bankfield House used to be.

There's been quite a bit of concern about this site with dumping and graffiti and it has been making the area look run down at times.

Anyway, the good news is that the plans have moved forward and they are on the agenda for the City Council's planning committee later this month (July).

Here is the link.  You need to scroll down a bit to find the relevant section.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Dearling with derelict pubs - council motion for 20 July

As opposition leader I get a slot for a motion at Liverpool City Council meetings.  I decided to go on derelict pubs as these buildings are really blighting some of our communities.  The meeting is on 20th July.  I've pased the text of the motion below:

Liverpool Derelict Public Houses by Councillor Paula Keaveney

Council recognises that public houses serve as significant community hubs in many areas of the city, often in impressive buildings, and have developed roles beyond simply being places for the consumption of alcohol.

Council recognises that the closure of Public Houses has left many neighbourhoods across Liverpool not only with fewer community hubs but also with empty and derelict buildings that add to the general degeneration of an area.

Council notes that in many cases, Public House Buildings are part of the historic fabric of a district and can cause feelings of strong local loyalty and identification.

Council notes that recent figures (from CAMRA- 2008) for national pub closures show nearly 40 pubs per week closing. This is an increase on a survey in 2004 which showed the rate of closures as eight a week. More recent research (by CR Consulting) has highlighted closures between 2007 and 2010 with 45 closures in Liverpool Riverside constituency and 27 in Liverpool Wavertree. The reasons for closures are many and can be complex. The results however are the same.

Council notes that there are examples of empty and/or derelict pub buildings in most wards across the City, for example Kitty Macs in Garston and the Newsham Park on Lower Breck Road/West Derby Road.

Council notes that work was undertaken to try to deal with this problem both in 2002 and in 2007. As part of this work, through the Regeneration Portfolio, enforcement/intervention action was taken in some cases.

However the number and rate of pub closures has increased.

Council believes that a strategy is needed across the City which

· identifies key empty Public House Buildings

· where these buildings are not too damaged to be of use, ascertains what could be done, with partners and the private sector, to either bring them back into use as a Public House or other trading outlet or find other uses to help the community

· enforces conditions on owners who are neglecting their buildings

· works with organisations such as CAMRA and the All Party Beer Group to lobby for government measures which would make the protection and re use of Public House Buildings easier.

Council therefore calls on the Cabinet Members for Regeneration and Transport, Environment and Climate Change, Neighbourhoods and Employment, Enterprise and Skills to produce a report identifying the full extent of the problem within Liverpool and working with partners including in the business sector to draw up a strategy to re invigorate some of our crumbling pub buildings.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Some theatre in the park

A plug for these Shakespeare performances coming up later this month.  Venues include Reynolds Park in Woolton and Sudley House.  Sounds like a great way to spend an evening.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Weedspraying - still not happening is it

Hmm.  We were told extra effort was going into weedspraying. It's now nearly the middle of July and yet there are still waist and shoulder high weeds all over the place.  These two pictures are in the same tiny part of L16.


A good evening's doorknocking tonight.  Here's part of the team getting ready to start.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

The week just gone

I've had a real mix of things to do this week. Actually I'm very lucky to have such a combination of job and politics that gives such a variety.

Along with quite a few doorstep conversations with constituents, some meetings on local issues (some of which I'll blog about separately) and a load of writing and research, I shared a bill with Ken Dodd.

Tuesday was the Freedom Roll ceremony for the Liverpool Post and Echo.  As opposition leader I am asked to speak at these and it was a great pleasure (although speaking last you always find you are having to rely on your wits as most of the factual information has already been used up by the others).  Ken Dodd wasn't originally scheduled to speak at this but he agreed to be added in at the last moment.  The ceremony was in the atrium of the newspapers' building (they are usually in the Town Hall). It's the first time I've seen an event done there but it's clearly a good space to use.

Yesterday following a street surgery in Cressington I popped over to Woolton to help colleagues deliver a last minute leaflet.  It seems that a local bus service won't be running next week (Merseytravel's new company not being able to start straight away) and the Councillors wanted to make sure that people along the route knew not to be standing at a bus stop in vain.  The services in Woolton affected are the 173 and 174 although there are other South Liverpool routes with similar problems.  should have the details.

Last night was a regional Lib Dem dinner with Chris Huhne MP (energy and climate change secretary of state) as the speaker.  He was very good about the Green Deal but also about the whole issue of media ethics and the News International investigation. He pointed out that, unlike Labour and the Tories, the Lib Dems had not been "canoodling" with Rupert Murdoch.

And this morning I was out with Gill from the Cricket Club working on a local parking problem (details in my earlier blog)

Trying to solve parking problems

I've been out this morning with the charming Gill from Liverpool Cricket Club trying to solve some parking problems in our area.

The cricket club plays host to car boot sales on a Sunday.  It has a free car park for visitors to the sales.  However these Sundays are also marked by quite a lot of indiscriminate parking in some of the residential streets near the club and quite a few complaints from residents who can't get into and out of their own drive.

It's not an easy one to solve but we thought we'd do some work to draw visitors' attention to the free car par and try to persuade them to park in a way that doesn't cause problems for residents.

We jointly wrote a leaflet which this morning Gill and I put under windscreen wipers as we walked round the neighbouring streets.  We chatted to some people and it was clear that some didn't even know there was a car park they could be using (this might be an issue around signage and publicity).

Obviously if people are parking in an illegal way then more forceful action needs to be taken but we decided to use persuasion at first.

We're hoping to do a repeat performance in a couple of weeks time so it'll be interesting to see if there are fewer cars.