Friday, 30 March 2012

Police parking

I have had some complaints from people living near the police training college on Mather Avenue about parking.

It's not illegal parking they are talking about but parking that is causing problems for them and their neighbours.

As part of trying to sort this out I am meeting the head of the police training college on Monday next week.

If you live in that area and have any incidents you want me to mention, or any suggestions of how the training college can perhaps help make things better, please let me know.  I am at

Funds for groups in Cressington ward

The Cressington Community First Panel is now set up. 

That means we will soon be able to start asking local groups to apply for funds. 

The money is from the Government through something called the Office of Civil Society.  The scheme is administered by the Community Development Foundation and here in Cressington it will be run by a panel of local people and a local organisation (in our case the South Liverpool CAB).

The Cressington Panel has a separate website ( and we will soon be publishing details of the priorities for funding, how to apply and who we are.

The money is "matched funding" which means the organisation applying also has to be putting something in.  But because this is about encouraging involvement and volunteering, volunteer time counts for this as do things like Gifts in Kind.  In other words it is not all about having a sum of money to start with.

I have been leading the set up of the Cressington panel so I am delighted that we will be ready to go any day now.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Booker Avenue flats

I went along this evening to the open day organised by South Liverpool Housing so that people could see initial plans for the new shared ownership flats at the junction of Booker Avenue and Greenhill Road. 

When I got there about 25 people had already been in to find out more or make comments.

Once we have some more concrete information I will post it here.

As Councillor for the area my concern is making sure that what happens on this plot of land fits in with the area and is of benefit, not just for people buying flats but for others living locally.

We all want to see that land used and the designs I saw today look pretty impressive.... so watch this space.

New Library Hours

Some of the Library opening hours are changing from the beginning of April this year.

Here are the details of the ones nearest to us in this bit of South Liverpool

Garston Library  9 to 5 Monday to Saturday

Allerton Library 10 to 6 Monday to Wednesday, closed on Thursday, 10 to 6 on Friday and 10 to 4 on Saturday
Speke 9 to 5  Monday to Friday

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Booker Avenue update

I blogged earlier about potential home building at the junction of Booker Avenue and Greenhill Road.  This is the grassed bit, not the bit that used to be a petrol station.

Anyway, South Liverpool Housing, the organisation that plans to do the building, is having an open day so residents can get information. SLH is very keen to get people's views as obviously there are two groups interested.. those who might want to live there and those that already do live in the area!

This takes place on Wednesday 28th March from 3 to 7pm at the Bridge Chapel Centre on Heath Road.

There is an e mail for people wanting to get more information which is

Friday, 23 March 2012

Election imprint

There are rules about published stuff during election periods (and we are in the run up).  So to be on the safe side here is the stuff I need to make sure is on this blog (its also in the side panel)

Hosted by Published by R Oglethorpe promoting P Keaveney (Liberal Democrat) all at 509 Smithdown Road, L15.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

E mail bulletins about South Liverpool

I produce e mail bulletins roughly once a month with news about Cressington and the wider South Liverpool area.

You can subscribe to these by using this link.

Grants for heating and insulation.

The Governments Warm Front Scheme is designed to provide money to help people keep their homes warm.

It's focused on private homes (whether owned or rented) and people on certain benefits.

Letters are going out to people in parts of Garston about this but there is no need to wait for a letter before finding out more or applying.

The link to the information is

or here

Monday, 19 March 2012

Garston waste plant site update (March 2012)

There's going to be another Public Inquiry into the plans for a waste plant in Garston.

The City Council designated the Stalbridge Dock site last year but as it is part of a bigger plan the Planning Inspectorate will organise a hearing.

This is now provisionally set for mid June.

I am planning to go along to speak up for people in Garston.

Liverpool City Council may well be there arguing against the people in Garston.

I will blog again on this when I have more details/

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Cenotaph and Long Lane - brightening up our area

Yesterday I joined children from Garston C of E School as well as representatives from Rotters Community Composting and others to complete part of our initiative to brighten up part of our area.

Last year I got a group together to look at what we could do to improve the bit of Garston by the Cenotaph and the end of Long Lane.  We came up with some ideas and started with a community litter pick.

I managed to get some planters donated, which were then followed by some soil.  We found some money for plants Rotters worked hard to plan a fantastic planting day.

We now have bright flowers in the planters which greet people as they start at the end of Long Lane.  They look great.

We were also joined by a team from Community Payback who painted the benches and railings around the Cenotaph (these were pretty shabby looking).  It was great this morning to see how this relatively simple piece of work makes things look better.

I will post some more pictures in another post. A big thank you to everyone who helped make a difference here.

Garston Fun Day

Plans are underway now for the next Garston Fun Day (which takes place on Garston Park).

The date - 16th June.  The time 11 till 2.

This is the third of these annual events.  The last two were great.

There's a meeting in April for groups wanting to be involved.  If you group was involved last time you should have had an e mail.  If you haven't been involved before but want to, do let me know and I can pass your details on to the organisers.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Garston's sport relief mile

Garston will be playing host to a Sport Relief Mile later this month.

It takes place on Garston Park on 24th March, starting at 11 am.

There's no need to register in advance.  Just turn up on the day.  The starting point will be the Long Lane side of the park near the Lifestyles gym.

Congrats to Andrew Colmer for sorting it all out.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Speeding in L19 - action

One of the most common complaints we get as Councillors in Cressington ward is about speeding or dangerous traffic.

We have asked for speed checks on quite a few roads in the area.  Among those they've taken place in is South Mossley Hill Road, Aigburth Hall Road, Aigburth Road, St Mary's Road and Darby Road.

There were some checks this weekend just gone on Aigburth Road and Darby Road.

On Aigburth /Road 9 people got penalty notices for speeding.

On Darby Road there was one incident of speeding but nine of people using mobile phones while driving along.

While I was knocking on doors in Kintore Road this week I also discovered that parts of the area have become a motorcycle racing track so I have raised this with the police too.

Progress on honouring a Garston hero

Some time ago I, and some other Lib Dems, suggested to the City Council that we find an extra way of honouring Harold Newgass.

He was involved in dealing with a bomb that had got into the Garston Gas holders  during the war ( if it had exploded it might have been good bye to much of that area including my house I imagine)

Anyway, there is a plaque in St Mary's Church but several people felt we ought to do more.

We now have the chance to name a new street after him.

To do this I had to make sure we had permission from a relative.  With help from the Garston and District Historical Society I was able to speak to his daughter who was charming and very much in support.  Her sister was too.

So as long as there are no problems we could soon have a street in Garston named after Harold Newgass.

I'll blog again on this when I have any timescales, but I have this evening been looking at a plan of where the new street is.

Tescos traffic chaos continues.

More reports from residents about traffic and parking chaos around the new Tescos on Holmefield Road.

Along with Lib Dem Councillors Richard Oglethorpe and Tina Gould I met traffic officers and PCSOs last week to discuss what would help make the situation better.

I had earlier contacted Tesco and suggested they pay for some H markings and some bollards and the Council officers were following this up.  (H markings help prevent people parking across drives and so can potentially ease some of the problems)

However this won't be sorted until Tesco acts more like a good neighbour and less like someone who can do what he wants, when he wants.

These pictures are from a local resident who took them when a particularly large lorry (way larger than anything claimed when we met Tesco) was blocking the road.

Speeding on Seddon Road

I have had quite a few complaints from residents about speeding on Seddon Road in Garston. 

I have raised this with the police but also put down a motion about this to the City Council to try to get some action that way also. Hopefully the relevant Cabinet member will reply with some action.
Speeding on Seddon Road, L19 by Councillor Paula Keaveney

Residents on Seddon Road in Garston report frequent speeding along this road. The road is residential and includes several pensioners houses.

Residents believe that a speed indicator device at some point on this road could prevent some of the speeding.

Council requests the Cabinet member for regeneration and transport to consult with the relevant ward councillors and actively pursue measures that could make this road safer.

Cycling manifesto needed for Liverpool?

One of the motions I put in to Liverpool City Council, which sadly won't be debated tomorrow at Full Council, was one calling on the City to support the Times newspaper campaign to make the roads safer for cyclists.

As a cyclist I have had a few near misses and its always been because drivers either haven't spotted me or are a bit on the impatient side.

Anyway Liverpool Confidential has reported on my call (although I don't agree with everything written in their article). You can find it here

You can find my motion, which I am reliably informed will eventually be replied to by the City's cabinet member for regeneration, here  (You will need to scroll down quite a lot)

Monday, 12 March 2012

Brodie Avenue mast

I was alarmed today to discover vans and another vehicle on the central reservation on Brodie Avenue by the phone mast near Booker Avenue.

With no notice a whole load of people had turned up, parked on the grass and started work on the mast and cabinets.

I went along to talk to the workmen and it turns out they were doing some maintenance and upgrading.

They also told me however that the Council had known for three weeks that this was taking place.

Why then could the council not be bothered to tell local residents or Councillors?

I have complained about this . Frankly if the Council can't be bothered to communicate then it shouldn't be surprised at the flak about incidents like this.

Community Panel

The Cressington ward community panel is now set up!

We have more than 30,000 pounds to spend on community initiatives in our area.

I have put together a group of local residents and representatives, including the South Liverpool CAB and together we will develop a plan and look to fund local activities.

We are not ready to take applications just yet but I will let you know when we are ready.

This is really good news for our area and I look forward to using this money to boost the good things going on in L19 and L18.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

City Council budget meeting

The Liberal Democrats tried to change the City Council budget tonight.  We were outvoted so our suggestion didn't go ahead.

What we wanted to do was make three cuts.

The first - to abolish a special fund that only the Council Leader gets to spend (three quarters of a million pounds)

The second - to abolish City Magazine - a glossy publication that costs more than one hundred thousand pounds

The third - to reduce the allowances paid to senior councillors.

Taken together this would have found 1.1 million pounds a year over three years to spend on street cleansing and pothole repairs.

Labour, who have the majority on the Council, voted against us but I strongly believe that our suggestion would have meant cleaner streets and safer roads.

The whole amendment text, including some introductory stuff about Council Tax, is pasted below.

Maybe next time people see a pile of litter they may want to reflect on how this money would have helped clear it.

a)       Council Tax Freeze
This Council welcomes the decision to  accept the money from Central Government in order to freeze the City Council element of the Council tax this year.  Council believes that this was the right decision to make.
Council believes that it would be beneficial if Central Government were to continue this additional funding in future years so that the option to again freeze Council Tax could be pursued.  Council therefore requests the Chief Executive to write to  Ministers to seek to arrange an all party delegation to discuss the continuation of this additional funding to freeze Council Tax for future years.
b.  Balance of Savings
Council  welcomes the fact that more than 80 percent of the savings made this year fall into the category defined by the Interim Director of Finance as  "not directly affecting residents".  Council regrets the anxiety that was caused in many parts of the City by the trailing of particular proposed cuts.
c) Pothole repair and road maintenance
Council notes the grant of 1.1 million pounds by the Coalition Government for extra road repairs in Liverpool. This followed damage caused by a severe winter.
Council  however notes that the budget for dealing with potholes and road maintenance is over stretched and that road and pavement repair issues are a  signficant cause of complaint by residents across the City.  Council further notes that not repairing roads  and pavements now can cause extra needed expenditure in future years and so early repair is always preferable.
Council also  notes that the street cleansing budget is also over stretched and the quality of street cleansing is also a significant cause of complaint by residents across the City.
Council therefore resolves to put an extra  £1.1 million  into the budget line (s) for pothole treatment, road repairs and streeet cleansing for the next three years,  ( 2012/13 ; 2013/14; 2014/15) meaning a total of £3.3 million overall.   Council believes that this money should be split equally between cleansing and road repairs if possible.
This money is to be shared fairly across the City so that no part of the City is overly advantaged or disadvantaged.
This money is to be found for the next three years by adopting the following measures
i.  cancellation of the City Leader's Fund  - £750,000
ii.  cancellation of City Magazine  - £111,000
iii. the reduction of the amount of money paid in Special Responsibility Allowances to Councillors by - £239,000 . This is a reduction in the total available and will obviously involve some adjustments to individual payments.
As these items are all "in the base" of the budget these savings mean a saving each year.
Council believes work should be done as a matter or urgency on the Capital Programme  to look at a long term solution to  underfunding for highways and streetlights.

Talking Tesco - Holmefield Road

Residents on Holmefield Road, Aigburth Hall Avenue and nearby still report horrendous problems with the new Tesco store.  Frankly its not good enough. Tesco say they want to be a good neighbour but I really don't know what they mean.

As part of our work to deal with this, Richard and I and Tina Gould (councillor for the next door ward) are meeting traffic officers and police tomorrow.

We are also highlighting this at next week's environment committee. Tina and I have written a formal motion on the situation. The motion, which is on the agenda for the committee meeting on the 15th, is pasted below.

To consider the following Motion by Councillors Paula Keaveney and

Tina Gould;

Committee notes the problems of residents living near to Tesco on Holmefield Road of delivery trucks on a residential street.

Committee also notes that despite assurances from Tesco PLC, deliveries to this store are being made outside of the agreed 7am-9am & 7pm-9pm Monday-Saturday, and 9am - 12noon on Sundays and bank holidays. The earliest delivery being at 6.10 am over the weekend of 3rd and 4th of March.

Committee recognises the disruption and intrusion this is causing to the residents through noise pollution.

Committee calls for urgent action by the Member for Environment and Climate Change and Environmental Health to contact Tesco and their sub contractors to ensure they adhere to the delivery times to reduce the noise pollution and disruption to local residents.

Whithedge Road/Brodie Avenue junction - is change needed?

Richard and I have a motion to the City Council about the junction at Whitehedge Road, Brodie Avenue, Long Lane and Greenhill Road .

There've been quite a few accidents at this junction (residents report two in the last few days plus a near miss this morning)

When I was calling on people in Whitehedge Road recently some felt the junction design was causing the problem.  People also felt that speeding was an issue.

Anyway, Richard and I are keen to get this looked into - hence the motion.

It won't be debated (the Council rules only really allow seven motions to be discussed at each meeting) but now it is formally in the system it will get an answer and we hope to use this to get action.

The motion is pasted below. It has to be in this somewhat formal language in places.

"Road safety in L19 by Councillors Paula Keaveney and Richard Oglethorpe

The junction of Whitehedge Road, Brodie Avenue, Long Lane and Greenhill Road, L19 is a tiny roundabout.

Residents near the junction have reported that a series of accidents have taken place as motorists attempt to negotiate the roundabout. It seems that the design of the roundabout may be at fault.

Given these accidents and the likelihood of more, Council calls for an investigation into the design of the roundabout and a speed check on the roads approaching it.

Should the design prove faulty, Council requests the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport carry out any necessary alterations.

Should speeding be an obvious problem, Council requests the Cabinet member for Regeneration and Transport to consider the installation of a speed indicator device or devices to persuade motorists to slow down."

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Will there be no women candidates?

As we get more press coverage on the various mayoral candidates in Liverpool, both for political parties and independents, one unfortunate thing is becoming clear.

We may well have not a single female candidate.

Now I feel a bit guilty writing that as I could very well have made sure there was one.  I had to decide whether to try to be the Lib Dem candidate and I decided in the end to focus on my ward,Cressington.

I think this was the right decision for me.  I also think standing in two elections at once (unless its unavoidable) is wrong. 

That doesn't stop me worrying though about what we are saying about our City if the line up is completely male.

Don't get me wrong, there are some high calibre people already in the race and I will certainly be campaigning for the Lib Dem standard bearer Richard Kemp. He has already published some great stuff about the need to make Liverpool the Green Capital of Europe.  And he has launched a website at

But it doesn't help us encourage young women to think about politics as something that's "for them" if what they see is not "like them".

Now there may well be a woman somewhere who hasn't said anything yet but who is about to "declare".  But there are no signs of it yet.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Long Lane - about to bloom

The planters at the end of Long Lane are about to have plants in them!

Some time ago I got the planters donated (big thanks to Enterprise Liverpool) as part of trying to tidy up and brighten up that general area.

We've also found some money to get plants (sort of important for planters)

Now local environmental charity  Rotters and a group of volunteers are looking to start putting the plants in around the middle of this month.

Another way of recycling

A plug for the Liverpool Freegle group.

Freegle (which some may know as Freecycle) is a scheme which involves people who don't want things giving them to people who do.  So, for example, if I have a table which is reasonably OK I post details of it with group members and then someone who needs a table gets in touch and collects it.  It's another way of recycling and helps avoid things getting chucked away.

Anyway, the national Freegle lot have been shortlisted for the national climate week awards.  They'll hear whether they've won next week.

But this seems as good a time as any to give the Liverpool group a mention.

You can find out more about them here.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Subscribing to bulletins

I do a regular e mail bulletin of local news. Its mainly about the Cressington ward but it covers neighbouring areas too as people don't suddenly switch off when they cross an electoral boundary!

You can subscribe at this link.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Update on Tescos

Along with Mossley Hill Lib Dem Councillor Tina Gould I have been badgering both Tesco and the Council's highways and parking people about the problems caused by the massive lorries (see earlier post)

We have now had a reply from Tesco and the vehicles they use will get smaller and in fact should be 8 metre vans soon as opposed to articulated lorries. (Of course they did tell us all along that they would be using smaller vans so what is happening is really only them doing what they said)

They are also going to restrict the delivery times so that residents don't have lorries coming and going right through the day.

Personally I still think there's lots that needs to be done to sort out the various problems but at least it is a move in the right direction.