Wednesday, 31 October 2012

New bus to Springwood

One of the grumbles about getting around South Liverpool by bus has recently been the lack of options for anyone wanting to get to Springwood .

I've had a fair few elderly people raise this as they want to visit regularly to leave flowers or tidy graves but can't afford to go backwards and forwards by taxi.

The situation appeared to worsen a little while ago when the 801 bus, that made a few journeys from Liverpool South Parkway and other starting points to Springwood was cancelled.

I've done my fair share of writing in about this as have other people.

Anyway, there appears to be some good news.  Early next month a couple of the circulars are being re routed so that there are buses to Springwood.  It's not all good news as there are some timing changes as well and the re routing means there are some roads that now won't have the bus going along them.

But for those elderly people who worried about getting to and from Springwood, this has to be a bonus

You can see the new timetables, which kick in on 4 November, at this link

Garston waste plant update (October 2012)

Regular readers of the blog may remember I have repeatedly posted about the saga of whether or not there will be a waste plant on the ABP land next to Cressington Heath.  Here is the latest update (and apologies to those for whom this is repetitive)

For several years now, I, along with Lib Dem colleauges and others,  have been fighting the prospect of a waste plant on the ABP land next to Cressington Heath estate. We believed that not only did this have the potential to cause massive problems for nearby residents, it also had the potential to cause extra traffic, including big wagons, on the already busy Aigburth and St Mary's Roads. First there was a planning application , by Jack Allen Holdings.  This was turned down.  But Jack Allen won on appeal.  However the company then decided the economics didn't stack up so they walked away from the site.

You would think this was good news but meanwhile the Council had been looking for an official waste site as part of a Merseyside wide plan.

The bad news was that the City Council decided to designate that patch of land as the official sub regional waste facility site for Liverpool . . We opposed this on the Council but were outvoted by the Labour party.  There was then another public hearing, in St Helens , on the whole scheme. I went and spoke for residents. The ruling Labour party did not turn up or send in comments. Neither did the Labour MP or any other Labour representative.

As a result of the hearing and evidence the Planning Inspector has now made a series of changes to the scheme. The bad news is that the designation still goes ahead. The good news is that it goes ahead with a provision that means that if ABP decides to do something else with that land, like a port related warehouse for example,  it can. In other words another development,may well stop the waste plant plan in its tracks.

This new situation has now been rubberstamped by the Council's Cabinet and we expect the same thing to happen in a Full Council meeting in November.
We would have preferred to get the designation thrown out. The Council however has been hell bent on the scheme so we are pleased that some progress has been made. We will still be keeping an eye on this situation and will let you know of any developments. We want to say thank you to all those residents who led, and then supported, the various campaigns on this subject over the years.

We will (that's Richard and I) still be keeping an eye on developments here to see what we can do to get the best deal for residents.

Richard has written to people living near the site to update them on the latest.

If you have any queries though, please don't hestitate to post here or e mail me at

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Pollution on Cressington Heath?

People living on Cressington Heath complained recentl about dust or particles being blown across from the ABP site.  One little boy seemed to have more asthma than before.

When I looked there was at least one big pile just across the fence that could have been the source of the problem.

Anyway, my colleague Richard raised this at the City Council's environmental committee earlier this month.

The answer he got is long so I have pasted some of it below (although full minutes are available on

(Extract from minutes begins)
Questions submitted by Councillor Richard Oglethorpe

i. Associated British Ports Site (APB).

Can the Cabinet Member please state what action is being

taken by the council to protect the health of residents in the

Cressington Heath estate who are currently experiencing

problems caused by breathing in material blown from the

Associated British Ports site?


. It was explained that the

material in question was dust from the stockpiling of gravel by

Armitts who lease land from ABP.

The gravel dust is of a size that would not be ingested i.e. too big

in particle size that would be blocked by natural body defences

i.e. ears, nose and mouth. Only particles less than 10 micron in

diameter would be a concern i.e. invisible to the naked eye and

can be easily ingested, and they would not be associated with

this type of dust.

The District Officer had a further meeting with ABP and Armitts

and agreement was reached that Armitts would monitor the

situation. ABP manager asked the complainant to contact him

directly in future if any similar incidents occurred so that a swift

response could be given. The District Officer is happy with this

approach but has asked the ABP manager to keep him in the

loop if such events occurred.

Two complaints

were received in May 2011 and October 2011 from a different

source to the most recent complaint about dust, but this was

from the other side to the ABP site in Garston.

If there is a recurrence then the service will look at some dust

monitoring for a limited period to ascertain nature of the dust and

its possible health impacts

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Day care changes- meeting 30 October

The City Council is looking at changing the service it provides to get people to and from day care services.

It's thinking of providing transport only if people can't get there on public transport, in a motability vehicle and so on.

Before any changes there are some meetings to discuss this.  People who use the service should have had a letter but I'm posting this here to remind anyone who wants to go to the relevant meeting in South Liverpool that it is next week.

The date is 30th October.  The time is 2pm and the venue is the Bridge Chapel Centre on Heath Road.

The Council says that places at the meetings are limited, so if you want to go along you need to book a place by e mailing

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Greenhill Nursery - residents' views needed

We (that's Richard Oglethorpe and I) recently got in touch with people living near the Greenhill Nursery site to find out what they thought the land should be used for.

The Council has decided it's "surplus to requirements" and  there'll be a decision in the not too distant future about what it should be used for.

We were keen that people had a chance to have their say before any report was written.

There were quite a few replies to our letter.  Local people raised some problems with the site but also made suggestions as to future use.  Allotments was the most popular, although some wanted low density housing.

We want to make sure that everyone has had a chance to give their view so we've written again with a survey and a freepost envelope.  The paper survey is important because it gives us evidence of what local people think.

We do hope you'll return your survey if you get one (even if you did not contact us previously).  If you don't get a survey but still have an opinion, please e mail me at with your comments but also letting me know where you live.

The postal surveys should have arrived by tomorrow (Thursday)

Monday, 8 October 2012

St Mary's Road off licence update - dodgy indeed.

The City Council licensing committe this morning gave permission for alcohol to be sold 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at the petrol station by ASDA (the one where the road starts going down into he village)

I am very disappointed to have to report this.

However I am more disappointed in the way this was done.

Having "called" Richard and I for 11 am for our part of the meeting, the committee then decided on the day to change the order and deal with St Mary's Road first.  This is despite the Council's error in calling us for 11 and despite the fact that they knew we were coming.

All the objections were considered but frankly the council's behaviour on this issue means we were not able to add to the arguments already used.

Needless to say we are furious,mainly on residents behalf, and will be seeing what can be done to challenge the process.

If this s the way the  Council believes it is OK to behave then heaven help us.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Want to help accountability?

Along with the new Police and Crime Commissioners (I am the Lib Dem Candidate for Merseyside) there'll be police and crime panels being set up.  These have to contain a certain number of Councillors, but other people can be co opted on.  The one being set up in Merseyside is looking for two members of the public to join.  There is an advert looking for volunteers available here.

The deadline is 15th October.