Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Goodnight and Goodbye

Councillor Sue McGuire is on the move - to keep updated with her blog posts and on-line
activity please click here to visit her new site.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Southport Lancashire - Yes Please

I must thank my colleagues in Birkdale for the following information:

Sign the Petition here

The Boundary Commission for England have issued draft proposals to make all Parliamentary constituencies roughly equal in size.  This requires Southport constituency to be expanded, which could be done in one of two ways.

One way would require adding on half of Formby, splitting Formby in two for the first time in its history.  Not surprisingly, the people of Formby seem generally to be unhappy with this idea.

The other idea would be to rejoin Southport with its historic Lancashire hinterland - the villages to the north and east of our town whose people mainly work and shop here and who have already been taken out of the West Lancashire constituency.  Southport newspapers circulate in this area and, not surprisingly, some residents of this area already initially contact the Southport MP, rather than the South Ribble MP.

Coupled with our SouthportLancs MP proposal is an idea to allow the whole of Formby to be re-united with the Ormskirk constituency in which it was placed for most of the past hundred years. Please note that having a shared MP would IN NO WAY affect the pattern of local government provision in the area.

Residents of Southport, Banks, Hesketh Bank, Tarleton etc, have until 5th December to make their views known. You can help us send a clear message to the Boundary Commission by signing our "SouthportLancs MP" petition either online or by downloading a printable copy.

The campaign to have a new Southport constituency including parts of Lancashire has been supported not only by the Liberal Democats and John Pugh MP, but also by the Southport Area Committee and the Southport Party. Parish Councils throughout the neighbouring areas are also being asked to consider supporting the proposals.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Southport Schools to get £677,000 as Pupil Premium

I was delighted today when an email from Sarah Teather MP dropped into my inbox.  Now Liberal Democrat members do get a number of emails from Lib Dem ministers however today's announcement was really well done in terms of communication and content,

The email gave specific information about the schools in Southport which are set to get an extra £677,000 from the Pupil Premium to improve the education of the most disadvantaged children.   This basically translates to an extra £488 for each child on free school meals in the town. 

You can find out what each school in Sefton is getting by clicking here.

As the email from Sarah says this is a real milestone for our party. The Pupil Premium is a policy we devised and campaigned for, and put at the heart of our Coalition negotiations. Now it is more than good policy, it is a reality making a difference to the school down your road. It goes directly into classrooms and will benefit all pupils.

And as chair of the Finance Committee at Marshside Primary School I have to say I am delighted with the increase.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

When going to the gym is a walk in the park

I am delighted to report on the new initiative taken by Sefton Council and NHS Sefton to install gym equipment in a number of its parks with the aim to get more people exercising.  My local park has benefited from 7 different exercise machines including an exercise bike, a rowing machine and a couple of other stretching/lifting contraptions.  The great thing in Hesketh Park is the way these machines have been installed around the park at various discrete locations creating a "circuit".

2 of the exercise machines installed in Hesketh Park

I have in the past been a member of a gym but like a lot of people I was lucky if I got there twice a month but with the equipment n the park I can do a full circuit whilst taking my dog for its daily walk - multitasking at its best. But its not just me using the equipment - I know many many people are taking the same approach and are building it into their daily schedules by getting fit courtesy of a walk in the park.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Talking about fracking with Friends of the Earth

North Meols and the surrounding areas are in the news at the moment as the hunt for shale gas takes off.  The area, on Banks Marsh in the Ribble Estuary, which is part of the Bowland Basin, is currently the latest site for drilling and test fracking exploration by Cuadrilla Resources for this much heralded source of natural gas.

This was also the site this week of a meeting between local Southport councillor Sue McGuire and the new executive director of Friends of the Earth Andy Atkins, who was visiting the area to talk to FOE members and local residents about the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) about to take place here.

Sue & Andy Atkins pictured in a field near the Cuadrilla drilling rig
As Sue explained "This is a huge issue here which I don't think local people have got to grips with yet.  The economic arguments put forward by Cuadrilla must be weighed against the environmental costs of this type of gas exploration and fracking and so I was delighted to be given the opportunity to raise my concerns with Andy."

A local campaign group Ribble Estuary Against Fracking also met with Andy.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Action to Tackle Swan Mess

Local Councillor Sue McGuire has taken action to clear up the path around the north side of the Marine Lake.  As Sue explains "I think the Swans are beautiful and there is nothing quite like watching them take off or land but having them on the lake does have a downside - the mess that they make including feathers, weed and excrement."

Sue has arranged for the small mechanical sweeper to visit the site as a matter of urgency.

Sue added " I always think that if there is already detritus on the path then people are more likely to drop litter or not clean up after their dogs so if we can get the path cleared of this it will give us a clean sheet in terms of managing the area in future."

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

New Health Profiles for 2011 Released Today

The title of the post may not be the most exciting one used on the blog but the information it refers to shines a real light on the health of Sefton in comparison with the rest of the country and the levels of health inequality which exist across Sefton as a whole.

Health Profiles are created by the Department of Health to try and improve availability and access to health and health related information in England.  The profiles are produce annually by the Public Health Observatories in England.

The Health Profiles for Sefton can be viewed here