Saturday, 25 May 2013

Cycle Survey

Liverpool's planning to start a cycle hire scheme (a bit like the one in London).

As part of the planning there's a survey which includes questions about where people would prefer to collect the bikes from.  I had originally thought this was mainly about the City centre but the options in the survey include Speke and Garston.

You don't necessarily  have to be a cyclist to fill it in so please do have a look and respond.

The survey is at this link and its open until the end of July.

Get more news about South Liverpool

With my colleague Richard Oglethorpe, I send out an e mail bulletin roughly once a month with news about things going on in South Liverpool (mainly L19 and L18)

If you want to start getting these you can subscribe by clicking on this link

Friday, 24 May 2013

Garston Park needs painters!

The Friends of Garston Park are looking for people ready to wield a paintbrush next weekend.

On Sunday June 2nd volunteers will be varnishing some of the artwork around the sports pitches on the park  And some of the paintwork needs a bit of touching up too

If you can help and can spare a bit of time , please join us on 2 June at 10 am.  If you have a paintbrush you can bring, that will help.

The artwork is part of the Great Art project which involved local groups and schools working on boards illustrating aspects of Garston and health and wellbeing.  The project was "highly commended" in the recent Echo Environment awards, so we're keen to keep it spic and span

St George's Hall Trustees

This advert, pasted below, sounds like a great opportunity for anyone who loves Liverpool's history and has the right expertise.

Trustees sought for St George’s Hall

The St. George’s Hall Charitable Trust is looking to recruit two new trustees to help raise funds for the Hall’s development.

The Trust has two vacancies on its Board of Trustees and is hoping to find individuals with the right experience who have a genuine desire to help improve the Hall and who would act on a voluntary basis.

Professor Steven Broomhead, Chair of the Trustees, said: “The Trustees’ role is to identify donors who may be prepared to offer funding towards the Hall’s continuing development and restoration.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

“We would encourage applications from anyone with an interest in St. George’s Hall who think they would be able to assist us in this task. We would be particularly interested to hear from people with experience in the financial, heritage or regeneration sectors.”

Anyone seeking further information about how to apply should contact Robin Thomaides, Liverpool City Council, Room 220, Municipal Buildings, Dale Street L2 2DH (Tel 0151 225 2405) or email

St. George’s Hall Charitable Trust is a registered charity established in 1995 to assist in fundraising for the preservation, restoration and development of the Hall. It has no ownership or management responsibilities for the Hall, these lie with Liverpool City Council.

Neighbours day in Garston - 31 May

Next Friday (31 May) sees a Neighbours Day event at ESLA on Horrocks Avenue.  I decided I wanted to go when I saw the "take away your own cup cake" but that's not all that'll be happening.

Running from 10 to 4 there are activities including zumba, tap dancing classes, cookery demonstrations, family sports competitions and face painting  It's all free and sounds like it'll be great fun.

Organisations including LHT and SLH are behind the event.

And they stress that it'll take place EVEN IF IT RAINS as there is space indoors.

There is an equivalent event taking place at Parklands in Speke.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Social Liberal Forum conference - 2013

I'm working with colleagues on this year's Social Liberal Forum conference.  It's an annual event but this year it's in Manchester rather than in London.

It's on 13th July at Friends House in Central Manchester (near the Town Hall)

We've got an amazing line up of speakers.  Vince Cable is on first in the morning but later in the day we'll also hear from Steve Webb who is giving the William Beveridge memorial lecture and from Norman Lamb.  And that's before we get into the workshops and panel sessions. (The one I'm particularly looking forward to is about ownership of information.  Hopefully there'll be some really good stuff about Freedom of Information in there)

It's a really good chance to discuss policy areas and hear from experts.  I'm only sad that I'll miss a bit of it as I am responsible for the stewards which means a bit of a spell on the front desk!

Anyway, if you want to find out more, or book a ticket, the website is (which also has some pretty good articles on it)

Garston writing competition

The Friends of Garston Library are organising a writing competition for children and young people to demonstrate their love of books.

The organisation is looking for book reviews.  It can be of any book as long as it exists in the Liverpool Library catalogue.  Writers don't need to borrow the book from the library to take part.  They merely need to check that it is in the collection (the easiest way to do this is on line using

Winning entries will be published and there'll be a presentation in the Autumn, either at the winner's school or at one of the Friends of Garston Library literary events (of which more later!)

There are very few rules.  Reviews have to be at least 100 words long and sent or e mailed in by 31 July.

There'll be a collection box for entries in the library and on the stall at the Garston Fun Day on 22 June.  Entries can also be sent in to 75 Canterbury Street, L19 8LQ or e mailed to as a word attachment.

The upper age limit for entrants is 18.

If you want more information, please e mail me at  or look out for the information we are sending to schools in South Liverpool.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Booker Avenue planning update

The Council is now ready to take in comments on the application for new  housing at the junction of Greenhill Road and Booker Avenue (L18)

The link for comments and other details are here.

Most of the relevant information is in the "related documents" section which you'll find at the bottom of the page.

The deadline for on line comments is shown as 6th June.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Cressington Community First Fund

The Cressington Community First fund is again asking local groups with projects that fit our priorities to get in touch and apply for money.  The deadline for this lot of grants is 31 May.

Because of a glitch on our official website, you may not be able to download forms for a week or so but if you need information urgently in the meanwhile, just drop me an e mail and I will e mail you back copies of the various forms.  I am at

Is the smell back?

Some time ago people in parts of Garston complained about a TCP type smell in the area.  Several people, including me, reported this to the Council's environmental health department and it was traced to a particular company which did promise to prevent it happening again.

I didn't notice anything this morning, but apparently some residents have again noticed a strong smell and have been in touch with the company.  My colleague Richard Oglethorpe has also been in touch with the environmental health department again.

If you have noticed it, but haven't raised it with anyone yet, can you let us know (including when you noticed it) so we can make sure that all the information gets passed on.

Rather than write in the comments section here, you can e mail us at

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Congratulations to local volunteers

I'm just back from a morning which included some litter picking on Garston Park and nearby. 

I suspect some people driving past will have seen litter pickers in high vis jackets and thought nothing more of it.

But this is an annual initiative which local church members and volunteers take part in to help make our community cleaner.

And it occurs to me that we ought to be better at recognising them and thanking them for this.

The event was, as usual, fuelled by a breakfast provided at Long Lane Church.  We then all picked up our litter pickers, bags and gloves and made for the street.

As someone from Friends of Garston Park I was particularly keen to help clear litter from the park so hopefully it looks a bit better now.  But so too will Long Lane as quite a bit of stuff was shifted from there by the volunteers.

It is of course only one day and people drop litter round the clock.  But it's great to see the commitment of these volunteers to supporting the local community.  And hopefully the sight of the work going on will have made at least some people think twice before dropping litter in future.

Mersey Road planning update

The application to turn the building on the corner of Aigburth Road and Mersey Road into a restaurant has been agreed by the Council.

The details are at this link.

(you may need to scroll down for the decision letter and committee report).

Campaign to save Sefton Meadows

There's a new website for the campaign to save the Meadowlands (the bit of land the Council is trying to flog off).

You can find the website at this link.

There'll be another "picnic" event as part of the campaign on May 27th and there's also an e petition to sign if you think the Council is wrong to get rid of this open space.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Gardening competition

South Liverpool Housing is helping to promote a gardening competition with categories that even include houses without gardens ( containers in back yards and window boxes stand a chance).  Housing organisations all over the City are involved and there'll be a bit prizegiving in October.

It'll soon be time to get the entry forms in though. You can find the details at this link.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Raising cash for Friends of Garston Park

Friends of Garston Park will be running a stall again this year at the Garston Fun Day.

We are looking for unwanted books or DVDs to sell or put into a tombola on our stall.

If you have anything to give away we'd be really grateful.

You can drop things off at 80 Long Lane or e mail me and I will make sure we arrange to get the stuff from you. I am at

The fun day is 22 June so obviously we'd need things before then!

Greenhill road planning update

The Council's decided to turn down the annexe planning application from the West Farm hotel on Greenhill Road (near the junction with Heath Road)

You can see the details at this link.  The key information will be in the related documents section.