Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Interested in Friends of Garston Park?

The Friends of Garston Park have  a meeting coming up this week.  If you want to get involved, or find out more, do pop along.  It's 6 30 in the Garston Leisure Centre on Friday 21st.  (We usually use a table in the women's gym bit which is closed then)

Garston Carnival committee setting up

I went to a meeting tonight to make some progress on bringing back the Garston Carnival.  Our idea is to have a procession which finishes at the Garston Fun Day.  It's not till June but there's quite a lot of planning to do before then.

Anyway, we got a committee group and sorted out some planning.  It's hard to picture a summer carnival when we are going into winter, but I am sure come June it'll all pay off with a great day.

We'll be setting up a separate Facebook Group so do watch out for it. Meanwhile, if you want to get involved and missed tonight's meeting, drop me an e mail so I can make sure someone gets in touch.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Planning applications in our area - updated Nov 18th 2014

The Council looks set to approve the plans for a skatepark at Dingle Bank in Garston.  The decision has not been published yet but the report at this link is recommending approval without any planning committee discussion.  (You need to look at the case officer report)

The National Trust is applying to make some changes to the opening hours at 20 Forthlin Road.  The full details aren't published yet, which means the comments function isn't enabled, but the info will be at this link (scroll down and click on Related Documents for the bulk of the info)

Comments are now open on the plans for a few flats on Beechwood Road. Once again the bulk of hte info is in Related Documents.  Here is the link to the first page.

ASDA at Hunts Cross is applying to change its licensing agreement to sell alcohol round the clock.  Very brief details, plus a feedback form, are on the Council website here.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

More flowers for St Mary's Road

The Pocket Places people are going to be in St Mary's Road planting some bulbs on the bit of empty ground by James Street.

They'll be there this Friday (14th) between 10 and 2 and would welcome any company or help.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Planning applications in our area

There've been some changes to the plans for the proposed new shop building on the corner of Booker Avenue and Greenhill Road (where the petrol station used to be).  This means comments are open again with a deadline of 13 Nov.  The details are here (most of these are in the bit called Related Documents - scroll down and click!)

An application's come in for more houses on the former New Heys School site.  At the time of writing the details aren't on, but if you are interested in this you might like to bookmark the page and pop back later.  The page is at  this link.

A few flats for Beechwood Road.  Again the details aren't fully on but the link is here.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Bus lanes

The Council's Cabinet will now discuss, and decide on, the issue of bus lanes on 24th October.

They were meant to do so last week although the item didn't appear on the agenda.  Perhaps there was a delay with a report.

The paperwork for the meeting should be published by 9 am on Friday (17th) at the latest.

Update:  The paperwork is now published as part of the Cabinet Agenda.  You can link to it (its about half way down the list) .here

Monday, 13 October 2014

Carnival meeting - 19 November

Some time ago it became clear that there was a demand for bringing back part of the Garston Carnival.

Obviously we already have the Garston Fun Day in June, but we don't have the parade/procession element.

A small group of us have been looking at what needs to be done if this is to come back.  There is lots of tedious organisational stuff, and money also needs to be raised.

But most importantly at this stage, we need to know if there are enough people out there who are not just prepared to say they want it, but to take on jobs between now and June to make it a reality.

We still have some official hoops to jump through re permissions etc, but we are keen to gague enthusiasm and get more people on board in an organising/helping way.

The idea is for a procession to be on the same day as the Fun Day on Garston Park and to link up with it.  (We still however have to go through permissions etc with police and Council so a lot is up in the air right now).

So, if you want to get involved, particularly in doing stuff before the day, do come along to our meeting.

We've booked the big room at the Garston Urban Village Hall on 19th November at 7pm.  There we'll be looking to discuss ideas and progress so far, and sign people up for things.  We need thoughts, and committee members, and creative people and.. well everyone really.  Big thanks so far to Tina Ford who has been chatting to huge numbers of people and getting the interest going.

We will at some point set up a separate Facebook Group for the organisational/build up side of things.  But for now, we have an e mail list and if you want to go on it, please e mail with your details.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Planning applications in our area - October 2

I put details of planning applications in my e mail bulletins ( let me know if you want to get these by e mailing me at  However there are a couple that are very new or have changed recently , so I am highlighting them here too.

The first is an application to demolish the Garston Gas holders.  This popped up on line a while ago but today the details are all available on line and you can comment there too.  The material does not include any proposals of what could go on that land once the gasholders are gone.  It does make the point though that they have to be gone before anything can be considered.  Details are at this link.  The bulk of the stuff is in the Related Documents section (near bottom of the front page).

The second is a proposal to use Dingle Bank for a skatepark.  I have mentioned this before so this mention is really by way of reminder that the comment deadline is 16th October. Details are .here  Again its the Related Documents you need to look at.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

St Mary's Road - Pocket Places event this week

The Pocket Places team are holding a "Design Workshop" on St Mary's Road on Friday (26th) It's part of them getting out and about talking to local people about what could be done to improve the shared space on St Mary's Road.  As luck would have it,Friday is market day so there should be a fair few people around.

The event takes place outside the Co op between 10 and 2 so do pop along if you are free.

There will be other events, not just later this year but into next year so don't worry if you can't make it to this one.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Decision coming on bus lanes

The City Council's Cabinet is due to decide what to do about Liverpool's bus lanes when it meets on 10 October.

Before then there'll be a meeting for further comments and discussion.  You can see the paperwork for the earlier meeting , which takes place on 22 Sept, at this link.

I sent in a comment about the bus lane suspension when it first happened.  I felt, and still do, that some bus lanes are needed to make sure that those relying on public transport can get around as quickly as possible.  Clearly some lanes were pointless.  The one at Horrocks Avenue springs to mind.  But others were doing a job.  I felt that the Council should have looked at bus lanes in groups rather than closing the lot of them down all at once like that.  However we are where we are.

Two things spring to mind from reading the papers available.  Firstly, the officers writing the paper seem very keen to rebut points made by some.  Their response to points made about cycling is a good example of this.  Cyclists know the bus lanes were not ideal, but there is no guarantee that better provision is near and with cycling being encouraged more in Liverpool, the bus lanes at least would have provided some feeling of protection. (I have, I will admit, gone onto the pavement in a couple of places recently because of the level of traffic in what was the bus lane). The report talks about the width of the bus lanes not meeting the Council's aspirations for cyclists.  Fair enough but this is only meaningful if those aspirations are about to become a reality and it is the bus lanes preventing them doing that.

Secondly, there has been some work done which will result in a second report.  For some bizarre reason this report is secret until October (ie until after people have a chance to speak at the 22 September meeting).  The reason for this secrecy revolves around people making up their mind before the Cabinet meets.  I will be amazed if many of the Cabinet haven't already made up their mind but it seems very odd for a report paid for by the public purse and as part of a decision making process is withheld from part of that process.  It will be interesting to see if anyone challenges this.

Looking at the paperwork, more comments were received complaining about the removal of bus lanes than saying it was a good idea.  Because names and addresses are blanked out though it's impossible to see how many of these comments are from organisations (and therefore representing more people) and how many are from individuals.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Planning applications in our area - update 11 September

There's a proposal to create two skateparks in South Liverpool - one at Otterspool and one at Dingle Bank in Garston.

The Otterspool application is now open for comments with all the plans and other paperwork on line  The deadline is 1 October and you can see the info at this link.  (Please bear in mind that the bulk of the info is in a bit called Related Documents - scroll down and click)

The Dingle Bank paperwork isn't on line yet.  When it is, you should find it at this link.

UPDATE: Dingle Bank paperwork is now in and the comments section is open.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Let us have your words!

The nice people at Pocket Places, the project looking at how we can impove St Mary's Road, are doing a temporary art activity this weekend (13th).

This will include stencilling some parts of poetry or quotes about Garston and/.or St Mary's Road (I want to stress the word temporary at this point!!)

They are busy contacting local poets and looking at things already written, but are keen for some other sentences.

So, if you know Garston and/or St Mary's Road and want to send a sentence in , please do.

I said I would collect in some and pass them on.  All you need to do is let me have a sentence about your thoughts about Garston, an aspect of Garston or St Mary's Road.  Tell me your name too (and tell me if you prefer anonymity).  And then e mail this to me at by Thursday (11th).

I can't guarantee which ones will be used, but it would be great to give the artists lots of material.

And if you want to go along to the event... it's outside the TSB from 10 till 2.  Annoyingly I can't go but hopefully the sun will shine!

Planning applications in our area

I blogged ages ago about a plan to turn the unused building on Wellington Street in Garston into flats.This is the building that was used for the "Garston Embassy" and was the Tochy Tech a long time before that.  After a huge delay the plans are now about to go to the planning committee for a decision.  The committee meets on 16th September .  You'll find the details at this link (scroll down for the agenda item, it's towards the bottom). 

16th September also sees a licensing committee meeting.  This will make a decision on whether to let the proposed new Tesco on Booker Avenue sell alcohol.  (This isn't the same as a decision on whether a shop can be built there in the first place - legally these alcohol sales decisions are separate).  You can see the agenda at this link.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Greenhill nursery planning application - comments now open

The planning application for housing on the old Greenhill nursery site is on the Council website and the comments function is now on.  The on line comment deadline is 2 October.  All the info, including plans, is in a bit of the section called Related documents.  You can link to the info here

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Short survey on St Mary's Road

You may already know that a project called Pocket Places, run by Sustrans, is looking at how we can brighten up and improve the shared space on St Mary's Road.  They've already organised some consultations, and there's another event coming up on 13th September.

But they're also keen to make sure that as many people as possible have a chance to have a say and get involved.

So if you live near, work on or near or use St Mary's Road, do please fill in the survey  here

The deadline is 30th September.

New planning applications in our area - L19.

There are a couple of planning applications in our area which residents might like to look at.  Both will be open for comments (one currently is, the other isn't yet)

The first is for more than 80 new properties on the old Greenhill nursery site.  The link is here

This second one is for changes to a house in Long Lane - no 15 - to a HMO (bedsits)

When you look at these planning pages, you'll find all the detail (layouts etc) in a bit called Related Documents which is right at the bottom of the page.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Booker Avenue - new shop licence

This is a reminder to anyone who wants to send in a comment on the application from the Co op to sell alcohol from their new store (if they get planning permission for a stop there) on Booker Avenue (at the Greenhill road junction)

The deadline for comments is a bit later this month (August).

You can find brief details of the application, plus a handy form for comments, at this link.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Heydean Road Gardens

These are before and after pictures of the communal garden at Heydean Road flats.  The garden has been tended by residents and has won prizes in the past.  However tree removal by landlord Liverpool Mutual Homes has left a tree root not properly removed making part of the garden not useable and a it of an eyesore.

One of the residents has tried to get LMH to remedy this to no avail.  It's a shame that a garden that was a source of occupation, and pleasure, to some elderly residents has been left this way. (Admittedly these pictures don't show it as clearly as they could but the give an indication)

I've written to LMH to ask them to remove the tree root so the gardeners can get to work on that spot.

Get local news directly

I research and produce regular e mails with news and information about South Liverpool (mainly L19 and L18).  If you want to start getting these, you can sign up at this link.

They used to be once a month but they are now twice a month. 

It's a good way of getting early information about what's planned or suggested in our area.

Booker Avenue planning = new shop unit?

I blogged earlier about the planning application for a shop unit, plus a  couple of houses, and some parking at the junction of Booker Avenue and Greenhill Road. (We now know that the intention is for the shop to be one of the Co op local stores) The deadline for comments passed yesterday.  When I have a date for planning committee, or any other info, I'll blog again.  Meanwhile, here are the comments I sent in.

Comments on planning application  14F/1140
Booker Avenue.

 I am a former City Councillor for this area and so know the issues at this location well.  In addition I have been recently contacted by residents about this.

This plot of land has been a blight on the area for some time with a general failure by landowner to keep it clean and by the council to ensure cleansing around the perimeter.  It is good news  that there are proposals to stop this being the local potential dumping ground.

However, this location is at a junction which already has problems which could be exacerbated by this development.  These are mainly traffic related and are around parking, road safety and the difficulties of negotiating the junction at times.

Already selfish parking linked to use of existing retail is a major problem, with narrow roads being dangerous to turn out of and pavement and driveways blocked.  Should this development go ahead, the developer should fund H markings outside those properties most likely to be affected and the council should look at measures at junctions with nearby narrow roads. I am aware that the development includes parking spaces, but if staff parking needs are considered, these spaces may not be sufficient.

The junction at Greenhill Road and Booker Avenue can be difficult and potentially dangerous for drivers and pedestrians.  More traffic here can only make this worse.  Should this development go ahead, a condition should be the funding of traffic lights or other measures at the junction that will make both crossing the road and turning into and out of Greenhill Road easier.

There are complaints about litter near this junction and a condition about the provision of litter bins should be included in any planning agreement.


Tuesday, 22 July 2014

St Mary's Road event coming up

The people from Pocket Places have another event coming up on St Mary's Road next week.

Pocket Places is run by Sustrans and funded through he Health Lottery.  In Garston Pocket Places are looking at what we can do to improve the shared space on St Mary's Road (mainly the bit from the old Co op up towards the library)

The team have had a few pop up consultation events and are now organising a report back on 26th July (Saturday).

From 11 till 2 they'll be on the pavement outside the old Co op with feedback and another chance to have a say.  There'll also be bike advice, cold drinks and cake.

Garston Carnival - are you up for it?

I'm working with a small group to explore whether or not we can reinstate part of the old Garston carnival.

We are looking at the parade element with floats etc.

I know lots of people miss this.

I also know just how much organisation and work will be needed if we are to see a parade again.

If you are someone who is happy to take on a role in planning, we would love to hear from you.

Please drop me an e mail at

Is the noise driving you mad?

I've been contacted by people living near the building site on the old New Heys school site.  I'm told that people are struggling with constant noise, dust and inconsiderate behaviour from the builders.

When planning decisions are made for sites like this there are conditions.  And those include things to protect people living nearby.

I wonder how many of these conditions the builders, who are working for Redrow, actually follow?

I'll be looking into this with colleagues, but meanwhile if you have concerns please do e mail me at

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Planning applications in our area

An application's come in for the old petrol station site on Booker Avenue/Greenhill Road .  You can see the stuff on the Council website at this link.  By the looks of things there is still a bit of info missing so the comments function isn't on yet.

There's an application to turn a warehouse in Woodhey Road into housing.  You can comment on this one with a deadline later in July.  The info is .here

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Latest planning applications in our area

Here are the latest planning applications in the Cressington ward area (L19 and L18)

If you want details of these sent to you directly in future, e mail me at and I'll put you on the list for my bulletins.

When you look at any of these, bear in mind that most of the info is in a section called Related Documents - so scroll down and click.

West Farm B and B on Greenhill Road wants to change to  housing. Info here

Shop/office on St Mary's Road to be changed to flat? Info here

House on Broughton Drive - proposed change to bed sits.

You can comment on these on line.

License decision on new Indian Restaurant - St Mary's Road

The new indian restaurant - Indian Valley - on St Mary's Road has an application in for the hours it can be open and serve alcohol.  The restaurant is where the old Sports Bar used to be.

The Council's licensing committee meets next week (16th June) to make a decision.  There have been some objections/comments from neighbours (although not from local councillors)

The paperwork for the committee is at this link.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Blogging interruption - and answers

I've been having major problems logging in to blog, so apols to those who I know posted comments which were also questions.  Not sure what the techy problem is.

I was asked about the Garston Masterplan and if there is an update on this.  There is sort of.  The plan was signed off by the City Council and there is a project being started through the organisation Sustrans called Pocket Places which is about potential improvements to the pavement/shared space on St Mary's Road.  It's funded by money from the Health Lottery.  At the moment literally all that's happened is the announcement that there is the project, and there will be some meetings/consultations etc.  I am on the mailing list for this so will blog etc to let people know when things move.

Obviously there were other things in the Masterplan so what I'll be doing is as and when I get info about the various bits, I'll post stuff on here and put info in my e mails.  If you want to get regular e mails of news about the area (mainly L19 and L18) e mail me at and I will put you on the list.

I was also asked re the Co op.  I do know that there is an organisation talking to the Co op right now about using the building.  Nothing is confirmed though,  It is something we keep checking on so again as soon as I have some more useful news, will post.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Just one week to help your local library

The Council has said it will cut half the community libraries in Liverpool.

As part of a run up to the decision on which to target, there is a consultation to find out which libraries people use and how they use them.

The consultation has to happen by law but it's still important that anyone who loves their local library makes that clear.

There are forms in libraries, but you can also take part on-line.  The form doesn't ask for a name and address.  The deadline is next Friday (16th).

If you haven't already filled in a form, please do so.  The link is

Gilmour schools expansion decision

I blogged earlier about the final decision re whether or not to expand Gilmour Infants School and Gilmour Juniors.  The City Council's Cabinet is due to decide next week (16th May)

The committee papers are at this link.

The comments from various people and organisations are in one of the appendices towards the end of the appendix list.

The comments are anonymised.  I can see mine there and Cllr Richard Oglethorpe's but nothing from the other local councillors for the area.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Final decision on Gilmour infants and junior schools expansion

The City Council's due to take the final decision on the planned expansion of Gilmour Infants and Junior Schools later this month.

It's already agreed once, but under the law the proposals then have to go through a process to see if there are any objections.

So in effect these decisions have to be taken twice.

A petition about one of the expansions  has come in, so the Cabinet will take another decision at its meeting on 16 May.

The relevant paperwork for the 16th May meeting isn't available yet but the brief details are at this link.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Get local news about South Liverpool

I produce an e mail bulletin focusing on L19 and L18.  This goes out roughly twice a month and carries information on local events, decisions, planning applications, developments, news and so on.

If you want to start getting this, you can subscribe by using this link.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Changes to Austin Rawlinson pool and centre at Speke?

The Council's proposals to  close swimming pools at Park Road and Everton have received quite a bit of attention.

I wonder however how much people know about the proposals for Speke.

The Council is talking about running the centre on a "caretaker" basis.  That'll mean that organised groups can book in but residents won't be able to just turn up and use it.  I've seen no coverage of this idea but it appears on a page on the Council's website where a "consultation" is taking place.

If you want to comment, or find out more, the page is at this link.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Do you want to comment on Liverpool's bus lanes?

If you want to comment on the effects of the suspension of bus lanes in Liverpool, you've only got a few more days to do it.

The deadline is 28th April.

You can send in comments by letter or e mail.  Here are the key details taken from the City Council website .

By Post to:- Jeanette McLoughlin, City Solicitor, Legal Services, Municipal Buildings, Dale Street, Liverpool L2 2DH

By email to:-
Please quote reference LS/P&EU/NRB/ETRO 8087B/TM 3149/2052.1268 in all correspondence.

St Mary's Road update.

The state of St Mary's Road is one of the things people raise with us most often.  It's been great to see the bits of individual enterprise that look to bring unused shops back into use.  But there are still problems which the Council seems to view as "not a lot to do with us guv".

So here's an update on various bits and pieces.

People who know Garston will know that the Sports Bar is in the process of changing into a restaurant and take away.  The sign is up and passers by can spot quite a bit of work going on inside.  The next step's been taken now with an application for a license which includes the proposed hours.  You can see brief details at this link (you'll need to scroll down quite a bit).  It's the Indian Valley entry.

Further up St Mary's Road is the former Ethel Austin shop.  There are plans to re open this as a convenience store.  The Council's licensing committee are meeting this week to decide on the application for the off license bit of that plan.  You can see the details at this link.

Of course the biggest source of complaints are buildings which are not only empty but derelict and dangerous.  And the one with the longest saga must be the corner of James Street.  This,according to the Council, has been due for demolition for ages  In fact they originally said it would come down in Autumn 2013.  Since then two new dates have been given, and both missed.  My colleague Cllr Richard Oglethorpe asked a question about this at the Council.  The answer (which seems to translate as "it's someone elses fault") is at this link

Richard also asked about the former Interchill building.  The question and answer is at this link.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

10 years of the Speke Garston coastal reserve

It's ten years since the Speke Garston coastal reserve was set up (although obviously people used to walk there before) and there'll be events in early May to celebrate the birthday.

The reserve is a great place to walk.  I often pop down along Brunswick Street and then walk along to the Sailing Club.  But you can go further along, in fact to Speke Hall.

Anyway, to celebrate the birthday there are two days of activities.  One is a spring clean day and the other involves guided walks, talks and exhibitions.

On 2 May there's a clean up.  Organisers are looking for volunteers to join the Rangers and help litter pick or cut back overgrowth.  If you want to find out more,  is the person to ask.

On 3 May there are guided walks to Speke Hall meeting at 10 30 am and 1 30 pm at the Garston Urban Village Hall on Banks Road.  Walks will be led by the ramblers association and include  break for refreshments at the Liverpool Sailing Club.

There'll also be talks and demonstrations throughout the day at the club involving organisations like the RSPB and the Garston and District Historical Society.

Money on offer for local groups - L18 and L19

The Cressington Community First Fund has just advertised another round of grants for local groups or activities in the Cressington ward bit of L19 and L18.

The deadline for applying for this round is 6 May.

You can find a form, as well as info about the area covered, at this link.

The Fund involves a committee of local people  making decisions about the spending.  The money comes from the Government.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Get involved in Friends of Garston Park

The Friends of Garston Park are holding their AGM later this month.  It's on 25th April at 6 30pm at Garston Leisure Centre.  We usually use the cafĂ© area to meet as it's closed then.

Members should get an e mail or note to alert them but this is also a good chance for people who've not been before to come along and find out more.

Recent Friends projects include tree planting, the art project, litter picks and meetings with Council officers about future plans.  The Friends have also adopted some of the planters in L19 and are maintaining them (the Council not being able to do this)

Monday, 7 April 2014

Saving the Library

Some time ago I blogged about the Council's announcement that half the community libraries in Liverpool may have to close.

Obviously many communities love and value their local libraries and want to keep them.  In Garston we've set up a Save Garston Library Facebook group so that interested people can keep in touch, and we've done some preparations in case we have a fight on our hand. We have a Friends of Garston Library group so we do have a structure if we need to take any action.

The Council isn't announcing which libraries it's targeting yet.  In fact this might not happen until the summer.

However, as the library service is statutory, the Council is obliged to run a "consultation" ahead of any proposed changes.

As part of this consultation, there's a questionnaire which is available from libraries as hard copy but also on line at this link

If you care about your local library, or indeed about the library service generally, do please fill it in.  the deadline is 16 May.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Liverpool Local Plan - not long left to have your say

The City Councils drawing up a "local plan" which is about land use and other planning type issues for the City for the next 15 years.

Local people are being invited to comment, with info available on line.

There's not long to go though as the deadline is 30 April.

You can find the information, at this link.

Friday, 28 March 2014

New event added to Friends of Garston Library programme

The Friends of Garston Library literary evenings series will include a chance for budding writers to read out their own poetry and prose.

An extra evening event's been added on 10 July.

More details will be posted soon but do make a note of the date.

The evening will also include readings from existing local poets.

Our 2014 literary events take place at ESLA on Horrocks Avenue with a 6 30 for 7pm start.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Gilmour infants consultation meeting

Liverpool City Council is organising  a drop in consultation at Gilmour Infants for people who live nearby.

It takes place next week (25th March) at the school from 3 30.

It's to give more info and discuss plans around the potential expansion of the school.

The Council should deliver leaflets about this consultation to houses nearby, but I am posting it here as an extra way of letting people know.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Update on Garston plan consultation

UPDATE:  Here's the link to the Cabinet meeting stuff as mentioned.

I blogged last year about meetings organised by Urbed ( a consultancy) as part of drawing up a "masterplan" for Garston.

The consultancy was working on behalf of the Council.

Anyway, a report was published and we knew the Council had to decide whether or not to adopt it before any of the recommendations could be put into action deliberately.

It all went a bit quiet and in fact we asked just last week about what was happening.

The latest news is that the report will be discussed/adopted at the Council's Cabinet meeting on 21 March.  The paperwork isn't on the web yet but the most recent bit of information is here

There've been some developments which supersede some of it (for example the Council deciding it wants the skate park at Otterspool and the activity at some of the empty shops on St Marys Road bringing buildings back into use with no intervention from anyone else).   However most of whats suggested is still current.

I'll blog again with the link to the Cabinet meeting material when it's available.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Garston Cat Rescue

The Garston Cat Rescue had some problems with Royal Mail last month so people may think it's no longer there.

Well the news is it is..... and it has plenty of cats (and some kittens) looking for new homes.

Here's a link to the organisation's website.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Friends of Garston Library - 2014 literary evenings

The Friends of Garston Library have another series of literary evenings coming up this Spring and Summer.

They start again in March with an evening devoted to Literature of the First World War.

The date is 20th March and the venue is the Enterprise South Liverpool Academy.  The talk starts at 7 but we'll be there with drinks from 6 30.

Our speaker is Dr Guy Cuthbertson who is the author of a very recently (Feb 2014) published new biography of Wilfred Owen.

Dr Cuthbertson is a lecturer at Liverpool Hope University and Literature of the First World War is one of his specialist areas.

Do come and join us. We'll be making a small charge (£1 per person) to help us with our room hire and other costs.

The venue has plenty of parking but it's also near Liverpool South Parkway Station and the 86a and 82 bus routes.  The entrance is on Horrocks Avenue.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Funding deadline coming up for groups in Garston

I've blogged before about the Cressington Community First Fund, which gives grants to projects in the Cressington ward of Liverpool.  Decisions are made by a panel of local people - one of them is me.

The money comes from the Government and Cressington is not the only bit of Liverpool to benefit.

If your organisation is in Garston, you may well be covered by the Speke/Garston Community First Fund.

Anyway, this fund (Speke Garston) has a deadline coming up for the next lot of applications.  It's 3 March. 

You can get info, and a form, from the Council rep by e mailing

Each fund sets its own priorities so it's worth checking what the Speke Garston ones are if you are applying.

The next round for the Cressington Fund should be soon.  When we have dates for that I'll post here.

Event on jobs and housing - Liverpool - 27 Feb.

 I've just come across some information about an event at Liverpool Town Hall which might be helpful if you are looking for work or an apprenticeship or need to find somewhere to live.  I've pasted the info below:

A jobs homes and enterprise fair – ‘Living Local Working Local’ – takes place at Liverpool Town Hall on February 27, offering hundreds of job opportunities for people across Merseyside, as well as the opportunity to view a wide range of homes available to rent and buy.
Hosted by Neighbourhood investor, Plus Dane Group, the event provides attendees with the chance to meet with businesses and developers offering vacancies and apprenticeships and view vacant Plus Dane properties in the Liverpool city region that are available for rent and sale.
Many major employers have signed up to the event and will be advertising a wide range of employment and training opportunities. There will also be an Enterprise Hub on the day, offering support for those who are considering self-employment, starting a business or want help growing their existing business.
In addition there will be agencies on hand to offer support and advice on securing employment, welfare reform changes and managing debt and staff will also be on hand to help people with completing housing and Property Pool Plus applications.
Erika Rushton, Neighbourhoods Director at Plus Dane Group, said: “Plus Dane is committed to supporting the creation of local jobs and providing the practical advice and help that is often needed to ensure that residents have access to these opportunities.
“The ‘Living Local-Working Local’ event brings all this support together under one roof, along with the chance to find out more about renting or buying a home with Plus Dane and the homes available across the city, and so provides a valuable opportunity for anyone seeking employment or a home to find out more about what’s on offer.”

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Women's event - 12 Feb - Ambergate Road

The Guide Hut on Ambergate Road, L19, is hosting an event this week which brings together a group of women running local businesses.

The Let Yourself Glow evening is on Wednesday 12th Feb and runs from 6 30 to 8 30.

It's a mixture of health advice, free massages, travel advice and hair consultations.

It's a free event.

The Guide Hut is at the end of Ambergate Road ( if you live locally you'll also know it as a polling station in the elections)

Friday, 31 January 2014

Gilmour infants and juniors expansion?

The City Council's Cabinet is next week (7 Feb) to decide on plans to expand Gilmour Infants school and Gilmour Junior school in L19.

The paperwork for the meeting is at this link.

Parklands school in Speke to close?

Liverpool City Council has started a consultation on whether or not to close Parklands High School in Speke.

If the school does close this year, pupils will be directed to the Enterprise South Liverpool Academy.

It would mean no secondary school provision in the Speke area.

The consultation runs until late Feb.  You can see the details at this link.

It's certainly true that the number of secondary school pupils is down at the moment nationally.  However the need to expand primary provision implies that there will be demand for secondary places in future.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

How to comment on the bus lane experiment

Back in October Liverpool's Mayor decided that we shouldn't have bus lanes in Liverpool.

Or rather he announced a nine month experiment during which the bus lanes would be suspended and the Council would see if that made things better or worse.

At the time there was quite a bit of controversy - not least because it became clear that the Council had no real data on traffic movement and passenger  numbers in bus lane areas. 

The Council however said that it was a real experiment and there was a consultation to get feedback on whether the suspension of bus lanes was a good or bad idea. 

So you'd expect it to be very obvious how to comment on this.

Err no!

The Council has a section on its website for on going consultations.  It also has a news section at the very front. Neither of these highlight this opportunity, and in fact the "consultation page" doesn't mention it at all.

If you do have points to make about bus lanes however, you can do so by either writing in or sending an e mail by the deadline in April.  You might want to talk about the effects in a particular area or about the lanes overall.  Here are the contact details

The deadline is 28 April.

By Post to:- Jeanette McLoughlin, City Solicitor, Legal Services, Municipal Buildings, Dale Street, Liverpool L2 2DH

By email to:-

Please quote reference LS/P&EU/NRB/ETRO 8087B/TM 3149/2052.1268 in all correspondence.


Friday, 24 January 2014

Gilmour school(s) expansion update

I blogged a while ago about  a proposal to expand Gilmour Infants and Gilmour Junior Schools both in L19.

There was a consultation, involving parents, teachers, community members and so on.  As a governor of the infants I sent in comments myself.

The decision is due to be taken by the Council's cabinet on 7th February.  A bit nearer the time there'll be a report and paperwork for the meeting which will be on line.  The latest outline details however have just been published and you can see them at this link.

I'll post the link to the Cabinet materials when I have them. 

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Garston Old Road - off licence up date

The licensing committee is due to make a decision next month (5th Feb) on the application to increase the hours alcohol is sold from the convenience store at 81 Garston Old Road.  This is the one on the corner by the part at which Garston Old Road joins Darby Road.

My colleague Richard Oglethorpe wrote to local people recently to let them know about the application.

Information about what's planned and about the meeting is at this link.

Monday, 20 January 2014

New housing development in Speke planned.

The Council's planning committee will next week (28th Jan) decide on a plan to build houses, and a couple of shop units, at the Crescent in Speke (this is by Speke Town Lane)

The agenda and report are at this link (you need to scroll down a bit)

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Residents' association meeting reminder

The  next meeting of the Beechwood Road/Grassendale Road area residents association is next week (Tuesday 21st).

If you live in the area you are very welcome to come along. If you've had a letter or a note through your door about the association (either about this meeting or the last one), your street is definitely included. 

We've set up an e mail group to send out notifications etc for our meetings so do let me know if you want your name added to this.

You can e mail me at  Feel free to e mail with any queries too.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Extra cash for schools if children have been adopted

The Government's putting more cash into the Pupil Premium scheme which means some Liverpool schools could be due some more cash.

But the money is dependent on parents taking action.

Up to now the Pupil Premium has given extra money to schools for each pupil who has had free school meals at any point during the last six years, is a son or daughter of a service family or is a looked after child.

Now the eligibility is extended to cover another group of children, which includes some who have been adopted. 

For the school to qualify though, the parents have to confirm that this is the case.

The exact extra eligibility is:

Schools are eligible if they educate a child who:
• Was adopted from care on or after 30th December 2005 (under the Adoption and Children Act 2002)
• Left care under a Special Guardianship Order on or after 30th December 2005 (under the Children Act 1989)
• Left care under a Residential Order on or after 14th October 1991 (under the Children Act 1989)

Schools or the Council should have been in touch to prompt parents to confirm that this is the case, but if this affects your child it's important you proactively contact the school.

The extra money that schools get under the Pupil Premium goes directly to the school for use on initiatives to deal with the effects of deprivation and differences in attainment.  It can include things like one to one teaching or special sessions.  Schools have to publish on line how each year's money is spent.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Convenience store in Speke Post Office

Speke Post Office, which is in the centre of Speke, could partly become a convenience store.

A planning application's come in to make the change.

You can see the details at this link.  The actual detailed info is in a section called Related Documents which is at the bottom of the page.  If you click there you can get access to plans and application forms and so on

It's not clear from this material when the Council's comments deadline is.  Sometimes it takes a while for the date to be adjusted and the comments link to appear. However there's nothing to stop anyone interested having a look at the info now.

What's happening on Wellington Street?

Ages ago (well in 2012 actually) a planning application came in to turn the former community centre on Wellington Street in Garston into flats.  This is the building that was the Garston Embassy for a while and before that was used for education.  Garstonians call it the Tochy Tech (hope that's spelled right!!!)

Anyway, it looked as if a decision was imminent... and then a delay.

I've checked up on this and it turns out that there's some info missing from the application and without the full load of info there can't be a decision either way.

Anyone who sent in comments will still have their comments considered.

Once the info is all in, the whole thing is likely to go to a planning committee.  We don't have a date for this yet but once we know I'll post the details on this blog (and also include it in my e mail bulletins).

If you don't get my e mail bulletins,but want to, there's a link at the side of this blog and you can sign up. If that doesn't work, drop me an e mail.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Garston old road off license sales

There's an application in for a change in the hours that alcohol can be sold from the convenience shop at 81 Garston Old Road.

My colleague Richard Oglethorpe has written to addresses very near the shop to see if they want to comment but even if you didn't get a letter you are still entitled to send a view in.

The deadline is the middle of next week though.

You can see the proposed hours at this link (scroll down).  There is also a handy word document form here for people who do want to comment and would rather use a form.

Get local news

I publish an e mail bulletin roughly once a fortnight.  This includes news about L19 and L18 (as well as some info from a bit furthe afield).  While the blog covers some local news, the e bulletin can be a lot more detailed.

If you want to start getting these, do fill in your e mail on the form at this link.

And if you have news for us to pass on (perhaps you are involved in a charity running an event for example) do let me know at

Garston Library - have your say on what we should do

The Friends of Garston Library are having a General Meeting later this month (January) to give people a chance to have their say about this years, and next years, plans and activities.

So far the Friends have organised a series of literary evenings and a writing competion.

But we are very keen to hear from local people who have thoughts and ideas.

The meeting is on 23 Jan at 7pm at the Enterprise South Liverpool Academy.

Coming along doesn't commit you to a role, although you might find you want to take something on!

If you can't be there, but have ideas or comments, do please drop me a line at  I am the Chair of the organisation.

I do hope we'll see you.