Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Funds for your group

OK it's a long way away but the next deadline for applications for the Cressington Community First fund is 21st September.

We are setting up a new website but until that happens you can find the details, including the priorities for the fund and info about ward boundaries at

There are also Community First funds covering other parts of the City (not all) including Speke Garston and St Michaels so if your group isn't covered by Cressington you may well be covered by one of the others.

Waste plant hearing

I am just back from speaking at the final public hearing into the waste plant site at Garston Dock (Stalbridge).  This is not into any planning application but instead into the decision to designate Stalbridge as the official sub regional waste site for Liverpool.  The hearing was into the whole Merseyside (and Halton) plan which included the Liverpool site and several others. (If you want more history to this there are quite a few posts on this blog earlier with the background!)

The reason for being against the designation is that it effectively directs would be waste plant operators to Garston.

All the councils, including Liverpool, had done a joint statement about the plan and the site choices. 

Actually I thought the argument around the Garston site was pretty weak in the document and ignored lots of factors.  (It also claimed full elected member support which is particularly annoying to those of us who seem to have spent the last year or so objecting at meetings to this!)

I argued that now that Jack Allen had walked away the fact of their planning permission was less relevant.  I argued that to persist with designating Stalbridge would have several negative effects on Garston in general and the Cressington Heath and Grange estates in particular, that public opinion was still very much against this and that it was hard to see the point given the fact that Jack Allen walked away and no one else has filled that particular gap. (This last argument is about deliverability - the idea is to come up with sites that will happen and the evidence in this case is the other way)

Associated British Ports has come to an agreement with the Council which effectively says that they are OK if the land is designated as long as that doesn't actually stop them doing something else with the site.  At first I thought this was very bad news but I now realise this actually undercuts the argment for designation so I made that argument too.

I am providing a copy of the petition I collected (thanks to those who signed) as part of my evidence.

We now have quite a long wait as the Inspector will need to do a report.  I will post again with the timescales etc.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Yep.. the weeds are back.

The City Council's environment cabinet member has admitted the weedspraying programme so far has been less than good.  Well in some parts of the City we are yet again seeing waist high or higher weeds that have either been missed or ignored.

Richard and I are keen to flag up areas where the spraying either hasn't worked or hasn't happened.  Do let us know if your street needs some attention. You can e mail me at or Richard at

The picture shows weeds in the Long Lane area of Garston.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Friends of Garston Park - pictures

Friends of Garston Park now has a Flickr Photostream which includes pictures from the Fun Day this year and from previous events.  We are still adding to it but do have a look.  You will find it at this link

Garston Old Road - update on what's going on - 22 June

I regularly get queries about what's going to happen to the site near the end of Garston Old Road (the old municipal waste transfer station).  There was a planning application in some time ago for some sheltered/extra care housing but its out of time now.

Anyway, this morning I had a chat with the owner of the site, who wants to develop it, and his architect and Cllr Richard Oglethorpe. Richard and I had been pressing for this meet up for a while as the lack of news for local people was causing anxiety. The idea is to put in another planning application for sheltered/extra care housing but one which can be built in stages.  I am not sure how quickly this will happen but I get a strong feeling that this application will be in sooner rather than later. 

Nobody likes seeing this site unused and becoming a potential or actual problem for the area and Richard and I certainly want to see something there that benefits our area.  As soon as we have details of an application going in, we'll let people know about it and will publish the link so that everyone can see what's being suggested. 

We also discussed ways of acknowledging or celebrating the particular history of the remaining building and the site (not the waste history the other stuff).

There've been quite a few complaints about the state of the site or use of the site while it's been empty and it has been cleared up over the last week or so which hopefully will make it slighly easier on the eye for people living in Garston Old Road and Ivy Avenue.

Anyway, as I said, once we have more news we will post again.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Garston Fun Day

I've just got back from the Garston Fun Day which again this year took place on Garston Park.

I was helping on the Friends of Garston Park stall and not only did we manage to sell out on the tombola, we sold loads of plants too, as well as managing to talk to people about the work we do to protect and improve the park.

I took some photographs and will post any decent ones both on here and on the separate Friends of Garston Park blog.

Despite the rather threatening weather, it was great to see all the organisations' stalls doing so well and to see the skateboard campaign there with their equipment (I didn't have a go myself being prone to tripping over!)

Well done to the local churches for once again organising the event and big thanks also to Lord Mayor Sharon Sullivan for visiting and talking to all the stallholders.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Getting news about this area

I produce an e mail bulletin, which goes out roughly once a month, with news and information about Cressington ward and the wider area.

If you want to subscribe to it, please use this link or use the link in the side panel of this blog.

I am also always keen for bits of news to include, so if you have an event (say a church fete or a school open day) that could do with a mention, do let me know by e mailing

Friends of Garston Park - can you help?

Friends of Garston Park will be running a stall at the Garston Fun Day this weekend (16th June).  As part of this we will have a tombola.  It's an important part of our efforts to raise money for activities to improve and protect our park.

If you have any unwanted things that could be prizes on the tombola, do let us have them.  Obviously there is not a  lot of time as we need to get all the tickets stuck on, but if things can be dropped off at 80 Long Lane before Saturday that would be great.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Mather Avenue parking - progress made

Some months ago I went with some local residents to see the head of the police academy on Mather Avenue.  The problem was parking.  Visitors to the building were not always using the car park but were parking on Mather Avenue causing problems for residents there. 

As part of trying to get a solution, I agreed to speak to the Council traffic and highways people about any changes that could be made to free up some space not outside people's homes.  And it seems that there is a solution which will do just this.

Richard and I have written to the people living nearest the police academy to update them and the Council will probably do a bit of a consultation too.

Good news then for those who have been having problems with the parking here.

When any consultation is over and we have the exact details to publish, we will put them on this blog too.

Money for your local group

The Cressington Community First fund has money to give out to local groups or initiatives.  The Fund is cash from the Government which is to be spend on things going on in Cressington.  Decisions on what to fund are made by a panel of local people - who either live in the ward, work there, represent it or have a connection with it.  There is an organisation on the panel too - the Citizens Advice Bureau.

The deadline for applications for the first bit of money is fast approaching - 22 June.

There is a website for the scheme  which has information about the process and the priorities.

Do have a look if you are doing something in Cressington ward that you think could benefit from some help.

Garston Old Road - whats going on?

There is a bit of vacant land towards the end of Garston Old Road.  It used to be a waste transfer station but a few years ago a developer got planning permission to build sheltered housing/extra care housing. 

There were a few disagreements about parking and building height but on the whole the scheme was welcomed because it meant a bit of land that had been acting as an eyesore and potential environmental problems would be used.

Well sadly nothing happened.  Nothing was built and the land has been used for various bits of storage which hasn't pleased people living in that bit of Garston Old Road or the nearby Ivy Avenue.

And getting information about progress proved very tricky.

We have had a bit of a breakthrough though as we now have at least some information.

The planning permission has lapsed.  You get three years and if you don't do anything you need to apply again.  The developer is going to put new plans in, perhaps ones that can be done in two phases rather than all at once.  When there is anything ready we will post information on the blog.

And complaints about the use of the site to date have led to the Council saying it must be cleaned up.  It should be cleared by the end of this week.

Of course that doesn't answer the longer term question of when something will be built.  Richard and I will be speaking to the developer and are keen to hear about what he envisages doing.  Obviously we want to see something there that benefits the local residents and the community.  We will keep people informed so watch this space!

Monday, 4 June 2012

Arts festival at St Mary's Church

St Mary's Church, on St Mary's Road in Garston is holding an Olympic Flower and Arts Festival later this month.

Running from 21st June through to June 24th, the event includes exhibitions by the South Liverpool Arts Group, the Garston Historical Society and the Merseyside Woodturners Assocation.

The times are 10 am to 6 on 21st, 22nd and 23rd and 2pm to 4pm on the 24th.

On the 21st there is also a performance by the Liverpool Harmonic Gospel Choir at 7 30.

Litter picking in Garston

On Saturday just gone I joined in the annual "litter picking" event in Garston.

Despite the rain, a group of us picked up litter on Garston Park and in the Long Lane and Woolton Road areas.

This was made a bit easier by the breakfast provided by Long Lane Church.

Well done to everyone who helped organise the event.