Monday, 23 November 2009

Lighting Columns Update

Although many of the street lights in this area have been replaced, there are still a number of the old cast iron type which are showing signs of rust and deterioration.

Your Lib Dem team have asked for these lights to be be replaced as well .
As Carmel Preston explained “The Council have told me that they hope to replace the remaining cast iron lamps in Avondale Road during the summer of 2010. I am asking for all lamps here to be included”

Community Action has an Impact

A large number of residents raised concerns about the proposed purchase of 43 Avondale Road by Pastor Peter Cunningham of Green Pastures Limited. Over 170 residents signed a petition supported by Cllr Sue McGuire which objected to the purchase on the grounds that another house of multi occupancy or HMO in this section of Southport would have a negative impact on residents and on local businesses in the area.

At a public meeting, which was attended by Andrew Cunningham of Green Pastures, the residents voiced their concerns and as a result of this Green Pastures have reviewed their plans for the property.

Councillor Sue McGuire, who has worked with residents on this issue, said “I am delighted that Green Pastures will not now be using 43 Avondale Road as a house of multi-occupancy and although their plan is still to purchase this property Andrew Cunningham has assured me that they have no intention of using this address for accommodation. As ward councillor I will, be monitoring any and all developments at this address.”,

Working to tidy Footpath no.7 on Fleetwood Road

Recently, a number of residents have contacted the Lib Dem Team about the state of the public footpaths in this area.

Working with North Meols Civic Society and youngsters from Stanley High School, Cllr Sue McGuire gave a helping hand to litter pick and widen footpath no 7 which runs from Fleetwood Road to the bank on Hesketh Golf Links.

As Sue says, “I really enjoyed working with the youngsters – they just got stuck in to get the job done. I hope the regular path users will appreciate the effort the children put in.”

Fog Bell Update

As previously reported, Councillor Sue McGuire has been working with the North Meols Civic Society on a project to renovate the Fog Bell on Marshside Road.

Sue explains:"After some research I discovered that the Fog Bell building is owned by One Vision Housing and I am pleased that, following a meeting between Ken Bridge of North Meols Civic Society, the Area Manager for One Vision Housing and myself, One Vision have agreed to fund the refurbishment of the wooden eaves and also repair the roof. This is a really positive step forward."

Ken and Sue also helped youngsters from Stanley School clean up the building and surrounding area as part of their Community Cohesion activities.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Taking action on overhhanging hedges

Your Lib Dem team are taking action to tackle overhanging tress and hedges around our area.

Councillor Carmel Preston says “Overhanging branches are a danger to pedestrians. Its important that householders take care to prune any hedges which overhang the pavement but its also vital that the council tackle all bushes on their property”.

If you know of an area where overhanging branches are a problem please let your Lib Dem councillors know.

Vandals damage sapling on Radnor Drive

Cllr Sue McGuire inspects the broken sapling at the bottom of Radnor Drive near the junction with Fleetwood Road.

Sue says “The Lib Dem team have reported this location and hope that the tree will be replaced during the next planting system. I have also asked that any replacement tree is provided with more protection to prevent any future damage.”

Tidying up at the Marine Lake

Your local Lib Dem Councillors were dismayed recently on a visit to the Marine Lake.

As councillor Sue McGuire explained “I was shocked by the amount of litter around the lake so I asked Leisure Services to tidy up the area. I also asked for a new bin and am very pleased to see 2 new bins have been installed. There are now 6 bins from the Promenade steps to the Vitalise site so I hope we can keep on top of litter here if everyone uses the bins provided although a lot of the litter is debris from the swans or windblown from other areas of the lake.

Sue added “I know there are plans to regenerate this area but this depend very much on funding becoming available.”

*The top corner of the land around the Marine Lake is privately owned having been given away by Southport Conservatives in 1972. In 2007 local Lib Dem Councillors Sue McGuire and Carmel Preston challenged the owner of the land to move an incorrectly placed fence , they also worked to get the removed so that the path around the lake was re-instated.

Shocking Service Charges

Unfair service charges and forced insurance contracts are just two of the issues raised by leaseholders recently in a series of meetings hosted in Southport by John Pugh MP and the Leasehold Advisory Service. As John Pugh explained “With the collapse in the housing market many management companies are feeling the pinch and putting the squeeze on their residents.”
Your Lib Dem team are asking anybody who lives in a flat or apartment or sheltered accommodation to get in touch if they have a similar problem or experience.

For more details on this issue please visit the web site of John Pugh MP

Operation Night Safe in Southport Town Centre

Cllr Sue McGuire spent several hours on a Saturday night out with police in Southport town centre recently.

As Sue explains “Southport has a very lively night time economy and I wanted to see how Operation NightSafe operated. It was great to see the police as a very visible presence in the area around West Street/Waverely Street. It was also good to see the street pastors out in the town centre doing a great job in situations which are not suitable for police officers. I hope to go out with the police again over the Christmas period.”

Home Improvments by One Vision Housing

A number of One Vision Housing residents have been in touch with your Lib Dem Team to raise concerns about the home improvements currently being undertaken by contractors on behalf of One Vision Housing.

As Councillor Carmel Preston explains “People have reported windows that don’t shut, gutter that has been replaced on a non-OVH property, damaged wallpaper and pipes left un-covered. We have taken these issues up with One Vision and will report back as soon as we can.

If you have had any problems like this with One Vision Housing please contact your Lib Dem Team on 536438.

Tarmac welcomed at car park

Cllr Sue McGuire is delighted at the new tarmac laid down by the Council at the entrance to the car park at the former Sand winning car park.
As Sue explains “Although I’ve had work done here before the holes keep reappearing so it made sense to ask the council to put some tarmac down when they were resurfacing Marine Drive recently. I think this will make a real difference to the very many people who regularly use this car park area.

Major Push for new Street Nameplates

Your LibDem have spearheaded a campaign to bring local street nameplates up to scratch. They have agreed to use £1,700 of Cambridge Ward’s ‘Street Scene’ Budget to replace missing and damaged street signs throughout our area.
Cllr Sue McGuire cycled around to identify sites where replacement signs are needed. Sue also found out that street nameplates on garden walls cost only a third of the price of free-standing ones.
Roads now due to get replacement street nameplate signs include: Albany Road, Alexandra Road, Allerton Road, Avondale Road North, Bakers Lane, Bank Nook, Cambridge Road, Churchill Avenue, Court Road, Gordon Street, Hilbre Drive, Lathom Road, Manx Janes Lane, Park Avenue, Park Crescent, Queens Road and Salcombe Drive.
If you know of any damaged or missing street signs in our area please let your Lib Dem Team know.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Fly tipping on Coyford Drive

Councillor Sue McGuire investigates flytipped rubbish on the walkway from Coyford Drive to Fylde Road removed.

Following this, Sue met the manager of the Street Cleansing Team at the site to show him the extent of fly tipping taking place and get the black bags and dead tree branches removed.

As Sue explains
"Fly tipping is illegal and it really impacts on how people feel about their area. The Cleansing Team have cleared it however I have also passed this to the Environmental Protection Team so that they can monitor the area and investigate further should any future fly tipping happen here."
Please let your Lib Dem Team know if you have problems with fly tipping in your area.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Graffiti removed in Elswick Road

Your Liberal Democrat Councillors have been working with the police, the Community Safety and the Environmental Protection teams from Sefton Council over the summer to get things done in the Elswick Road area.

Cllr Sue McGuire is pictured with
an area cleaned of graffiti

Your Lib Dem Councillors working with the Police have also had the Community Payback Team working to remove graffiti in the area. This has proved very successful and will be something that other areas will be making use of.

So far the Saturday Skips have been present on three occasions to allow residents to get rid of any rubbish too large for the grey wheelie bins. The hope is that the Community Skips will also reduced the amount of fly-tipping in the area.

Finally Councillor Sue McGuire met with the Street Cleansing Team to ask then to make a special effort to "spring clean" the area taking extra care to clean the walkways and this work will continue.

As Councillor Sue McGuire explained
"This has been a great example of different departments and agencies working together to make improvements to an area."
In addition to this, Marshside School will be installing an addition CCTV camera which will provide coverage of the car park adjacent to the school. This car park has been the site of anti-social behaviour and graffiti in the past and it is hoped that this CCTV will put a stop to these activities. Your Lib Dem councillors have provided 50% of the funding for this camera from their ward budget.

Councillor Carmel Preston added
"If anybody thinks that their area would benefit from this kind of joined up approach then please do get in touch with us."

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Children's Minor Injuries Unit Update

Councillor Sue McGuire recently attended a meeting with senior managment from Sefton NHS, Southport & Ormskirk Hospital Trust and Sefton Council to discuss the latest moves for the provision of a Children's MIU in Southport.

As Sue, herself a long time camapigner for childrens and maternity services said "People in Southport have been waiting since 2003 for children to be treated in Southport again and although not a full A&E, a fully equipped Minor Injuries Unit will certainly be a step in the right direction. I am sure every parent and grandparent in Southport will welcome this.

Southport MP John Pugh said; " What Southport people want now frankly is some real action and not watering down of existing proposals. Although it will be great to see children once more treated on the hospital site , it is not the same as return of full childrens A&E. We need to have a system that's right both for emergency AND minor injuries "

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Visit to the former Sandwinning plant

A report on the former Sandwinning plant and was presented at the June Southport Area committee and this included an invitation to visit the site with representatives from the site owner, Rainfords, the Planning Department and the Coastal Defence Team.

Pictured at the visit Cllr Lord Fearn, representative from Rainfords, Cllr Maureen Fearn, Neil Flemming from the Planning Office, Cllr Sue McGuire, Cllr John Dodd and Cllr Dave Pearson.

Councillor Maureen Fearn, chair of Southport Area Committee commented
"This was a great chance to ask questions about the future of this area, about what work still needs to be done and how much longer this will take."

Sue with Ken Bridge from North Meols Civic Society

Councillor Sue McGuire discussed the on-going plans for refurbishments of the Fog Bell on Marshside Road with Ken Bridge from the North Meols Civic Society.

As Sue explained "This is such a significant building for Marshside, its really important that we do everything we can to return it to its former glory. Carmel & I have been working with Ken and the North Meols Civic Society to ensure that the Heritage Lottery Bid for this area includes some funding for this renovation."

Pruning Trees on Bakers Lane

Residents have contacted your Lib Dem team to ask for action to be taken to tackle the overhanging trees along Bakers Lane.

Councillor Sue McGuire inspects the trees on Bakers Lane.
As Councillor Sue McGuire explains
"The Trees and Woodlands Departmet have inspected the trees along Bakers Lane and have confirmed that they do need pruning work to be undertaken on them.This pruning work will include pruning branches over properties, the highway, removing dead wood and thinning the crowns of the trees where needed.
Sue added
"The trees that stand on Bakers Lane are Plane trees, and because of this they can only be pruned during Autumn/Winter when the leaves have fallen. This is due to the leaves being hairy and collecting dust and pollution which makes it very difficult to prune during Summer. The work will therefore be completed later on in the year after the leaves have fallen."
Councillor Carmel Preston said
"The trees look great and really add character to the road but its important that they are managed and maintaned properly otherwise they can easily become overgrown."

Tackling Graffiti at Coyford Drive

Councillor Sue McGuire pictured with the graffiti on the sub station at the walkway on Coyford Drive.

As Sue explained
"Graffiti seems to be on the increase and so its vital that we have a system which deals with this as quickly and effectively as possible."
Councillor Preston added
"We have asked the Community Payback Team to remove this graffiti as soon as they can. This service has already removed graffiti in the Elswick Road area."

Further Action on Hawkshead Street

We have posted details on a number of actions taken so far to improve conditions along Hawkshead Street however we are concerned that more action is still needed. As a result of this Councillor Sue McGuire has met both the Highways Maintenance and the Cleansing Managers at Hawkshead Street to show them in person the problems being expereinced here.

As Sue McGuire explains "Although a number of pot holes have been filled in following our initial request not enough has been. Following the site visit the Highways Manager has confirmed that more of the eroded areas and pot holes will be filled in."

Councillor McGuire added "There is still an on-going issue with weeds and litter which needs to be tackled however as a start I am pleased to report that direct action has been taken to tackle the weeds on the odd side."

Other issues to be tackled:
Street light obstructed by overhanging vegetation
Double Yellow line at the Queens Road junction has been obscured by recent road patching.

As always you Lib Dem Team will report back any further action

Flytipped Rubbish on Coyford Drive Tackled

Councillor Sue McGuire inspects
flytipped rubbish including black bags filled with cans & bottles and dead tree branches at the Coyford Drive walkway.

Your Lib
Dem Councillors met with the Street Cleansing Manager to show the extent of the problem and to ask for the area to be cleared as soon as possible.

Councillor Carmel Preston
"We are pleased that the area was cleared so quickly once it was reported. Flytipped rubbish in an area can really affect how people feel about their surroundings. We will be keeping an eye on this area in future."

Fundraising Coffee Morning

Cambridge ward Liberal Democrats recently held a coffee morning to raise funds for ward action and literature.

Councillor Carmel Preston said
"Its always great to catch up with everyone at occassions like this. We run regular fundraising events like this and everyone is more than welcome to come along - people should call either myself or Sue for more details."
With over 50 people attending, including Lib Dem party members, supporters and friends, attending a great time was had by all. Besides having a cup of coffee, people were also treated to a raffle, cake, handmade card and book stalls.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Update on Park Avenue

Following on from our a previous blog post, your Liberal Democrat councillors would like to thank everyone who has contacted us regarding the ongoing issues. A number of other matters have also been raised including the state of the pavements along Park Avenue and road safety at the junctions of both Preston and Rawlinson Roads - we will investigate both of these issues further and report back to you.

A site visit has been arranged for the 28th August and we are pleased to report that two Council Officers will be visiting Park Avenue to meet with your councillors and residents to review the current issuses. Your Lib Dem Councillors have also asked the local Police Inspector, Inspector Neil Moss, to attend to give guidance on what the police and community support officers can do to counter both HGV and speeding traffic along Park Avenue.

Following requests from your Lib Dem Councillors, Inspector Neil Moss has also indicated that a police speedwatch operation has been undertaken on Park Avenue on Friday 21st August.

Your Lib Dem team will provide a more detailed update to the blog following the planned site visit to Park Avenue later this month.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Action to stop the sale of cars on Cambridge Road

A number of residents have contacted your Lib Dem Team to report their concerns that vehicles are being offered for sale at the roadside along Cambridge Road.

Cambridge Road is one of the main routes into Southport and as a result many people feel it is not an appropriate location for vehicles to be offered for sale. It is possible that these vehicles may act as a distraction to drivers or as a possible hazard, on what is, a very busy road

As a result, your Lib Dem Councillors have asked the Council to include Cambridge Road within the Control of Roadside Sales Order. This order states that “no person shall sell anything on the specified highway or offer or expose anything for sale on that highway”

Other roads within Southport that are covered by the order include:

Hawkshead Street,
Liverpool Avenue, Ainsdale
Liverpool Road, Birkdale
Preston New Road,
Scarisbrick New Road,
St. Cuthberts Road, Churchtown,

The inclusion of Cambridge Road within the order followed the required public notification and consultation with the Chief Officer of Police.

This order does not apply to anything done at premises used as a shop or petrol filling station on Cambridge Road.

Residents can report details of any vehicles that are offered for sale on Cambridge Road by contacting SEFTON PLUS on 084540 0845, minicom 0151 934 4657 or fill in the contact us online form on the Sefton Council website.

Better health services for our Children

The recent tragic death of a baby from Southport clearly shows that our town needs better health services for our Children.

Although plans are proceeding for a Minor Injuries Unit for children,

Cllr Sue McGuire, long time campaigner for childrens & maternity services says;
"I have spoken to the senior management from both the Hospital and Primary Care Trust and everyone agrees it is crucial that staff at Southport Hospital are trained in emergency life support for children. Paramedics must be able to take children to Southport hospital in emergency situations - going to Ormskirk in those cases is just not acceptable."

Cllr Carmel Preston, herself a trained nurse, added
"This is the most appalling thing for any parent, any healthcare provision for our children must be about patient safety."

Southport MP John Pugh works with Vince Cable

Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor,Vince Cable, is widely recognised as one of the few politicians to see the recession looming and the collapse in the housing market.

With unemployment rising and the country deep in debt,Vince Cable and Treasury colleague, John Pugh are plotting a route back to prosperity.

“We need to cut out wasteful expenditure like ID cards and concentrate on funding properly the key services people need. We need to develop new green industries that don’t depend on Russian gas or Middle East oil and we have got to get the banking system working for Britain not for city fat cats ! Its a tough order but with so many people on the Tory front bench with interests and directorships in banks- only the Lib Dems have the independence to see it through !

Council adopt Sue's Plan for Prompt Payment

Lib Dem Councillor Sue McGuire is delighted that Sefton Council have now agreed to her plan to pay local small and medium sized firms that supply the Council as quickly as possible.

Sue explains
“The Council has a leading role to play to ensure that the local companies who supply them are supported. Small businesses are the life blood of our local economy. As the owner of a small business, I know that cash flow is essential now more so than ever with credit being restricted.”
Cllr Sue McGuire is pictured discussing the issue of prompt payment with the Chairman of the Federation of Small Business who fully support the call for “prompt payment”. In fact the Federation of Small Business have called for the public sector to pay suppliers invoices within 10 -20 days.

Friday, 31 July 2009

Update on Park Avenue

The Liberal Democrat Team have been working hard on behalf of Park Avenue residents since 2004 to tackle a number of on-going problems and we are pleased to report that a number of issues have now been resolved:

1. New Street lights - installed and painted
2. Pot holes filled
3. Missing Weight Restriction sign installed
4. Overhanging trees cut back
5. Action to tackle pavement weeds with a special targeted spray
6. Improved street cleaning
7. Missing junction markings added

There are however 2 recurring issues which are proving more difficult to rectify - an on-going request for Park Avenue to be fully resurfaced and the on-going problem of speeding traffic.

The letter on the reverse side details the current situation regarding resurfacing Park Avenue and is in response to a request made by Councillor Sue McGuire at the beginning of 2008. The Carriageway Resurfacing scheduled for 2009/10 has now been released and does not include Park Avenue. However your Lib Dem team are working hard to get Park Avenue included in the prospective programme for 2010/11 or 2011/12. We are making the case that Park Avenue is a recognised traffic route and as part of the HGV Traffic Management Plan is subject to a very heavy traffic flow including a large number of HGV vehicles which all have a detrimental effect on the carriageway and as a result Park Avenue should be resurfaced as a matter of urgency.

Speeding traffic is an increasing problem across Southport and no more so than in Park Avenue which as a wide straight road with few parked cars seems to encourage motorists to put their foot down. The police have undertaken a number of operations to catch speeding motorists as a direct result of requests by your Lib Dem Councillors, in fact a new request for action was made to the police this week. As Cllr Sue McGuire explained “I know from personal experience just how dangerous speeding traffic is. There needs to be a change in peoples behaviour so that everyone recognises that speeding is not acceptable however this may take sometime so in the meantime your Lib Dem team are asking Sefton Council what traffic calming options,if any, are available that would be suitable for use on Park Avenue.”

Friday, 10 July 2009

Proposed Closure of HSBC on Queens Road

Your local Lib Dem Councillors are very concerned about the proposaed closure of the HSBC branch at 75 Queens Road. The branch is scheduled to close on the 18th Spetember.

As Councillor Carmel Preston explained
"The closure of this branch will effect many people in the area especially those older residents, those with limited mobility and families."
Councillor Sue McGuire added
"Closing this branch could leave many people isolated as getting to the Lord Street or Birkdale branches will be very difficult for lots of residents so we are asking anybody who wishes to object to this closure to write to:
Nigel Davis
Regional Director
Personal Financial Services
Regents Place, Regents Road
M5 4BT

or people can e-mail or alternatively can call the HSBC Branch Manager Mrs Mullane on 08455 834891."

KGV VIth College Funding Crisis - sign the petition

The Southport Visiter deserves praise for taking the initiative and launching a petition about the KGV VIth College funding crisis. John Pugh MP has been on the case and raised this matter in Parliament. I think it is important that everyone gets behind the petition.
Writing in The Visiter John Siddle says:

KING George V College today thanked the Southport Visiter for leading a campaign calling on the government to release £40m it had promised for a dream rebuild.

On Friday, we launched a Downing Street petition demanding Gordon Brown delivers on a pledge to transform the town’s flagship college. College chiefs were given a green-light to transform the Scarisbrick New Road campus into a world-class learning facility by the government-backed Learning and Skills Council (LSC). They then spent £2m of taxpayers’ money in preparation of anticipated building work. But their visionary plans were last week left hanging by a thread after the cash- strapped LSC suddenly scrapped the scheme.

The Visiter is continuing to call on the town to sign the petition, while the college has circulated an email to all staff and students asking for them to back our campaign.

KGV marketing director Tony Langan said:
"We are really grateful for the backing the Visiter has given the college and the support it is showing. We are delighted such a strong local presence has launched a key campaign over the predicament we find ourselves in. We are very grateful."

Alumni of the college have rushed to the Downing Street website to sign the petition.

Richard McCulloch, 24, left KGV in 2003 said
"It’s a no-brainer to sign this petition. The government, via the LSC, promised the college much-needed money to bring it into the 21st century and those responsible need to be held to account."

A total of 79 college improvement schemes were given "approval in principle" only for it to emerge that the £2.3bn pledged did not exist. Just 13 colleges will receive some form of funding.
Unsuccessful institutions – like KGV – will be reconsidered in 2011, but by then Britain will be in the grip of a squeeze on capital spending, raising serious questions about whether the scheme will ever go ahead.

Visiter editor Andrew Edwards said:
"The money may be available in two years’ time, but there will be a general election before then, so who knows what will happen. "We urge you to sign the petition and get Mr Brown to take positive action."

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Hawkshead Street Action UPDATE

To update an earlier post councillor Sue McGuire has now visited Hawkshead Street with a Highways Engineer from Sefton Council to investigate the situation of the road surface.

As a result the various pot holes and sites of erosion have been repaired. Sue can also confirm that the repairs have consisted of enlarging the defect area to at least a square metre in size (as a minimum), breaking out the tarmac down to firm ground and then replacing with new tarmac.

Councillor Sue McGuire can also confirm that the full resurfacing of Hawskhead Street has been included in the Highways Maintenance programme for 2010/11 which will include the removal of all the tarmac by 'planing' and replacing with new tarmac.

Action on Controlled Drugs - Diamorphine

Lib Dem Councillor Sue McGuire working with local residents has forced Sefton NHS to update its policy on the destruction of controlled drugs following the death of the patient.

As Sue explained
“I was horrified to discover that some nurses did not have the equipment to destroy the controlled drugs or were unaware of the policy of Sefton NHS regarding how to deal with controlled drugs following the deaths of terminally ill patients in Southport. As a result quantities of diamorphine were simply left with grieving family members to deal with.”

Doctor Harold Shipman killed 215 people over a 23-year period by collecting diamorphine prescribed for terminally ill patients after their deaths and so by not ensuring that their policy was implemented Sefton NHS could well have left the way open for something similar to happen in Southport.

Sue added
“I am so pleased that following the action of myself and two residents, the Primary Care Trust immediately took steps to ensure that all diamorphine left following a patients death will be dealt with correctly and in most cases destroyed in front of a witness”.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Did you know - Pothole Snap

Your local Lib Dem team are running a competition called POTHOLE SNAP.

The idea is to submit photos to the team of the worst potholes in our area.
Monthly prizes will be awarded for the best pothole snap submitted.
The best photos will be posted on the Cambridge Ward e-focus.

So get snapping those pesky potholes !!

Photos should be e-mailed to Sue at

Pothole on Cambridge Road

A rather large hole by the bus stop outside 85 Cambridge Road has been reported to the Council by your Lib Dem team.

Councillor Sue McGuire said"This was a very deep hole in a patched section of tarmac which could have given someone a twisted ankle or worse."

Sue added
"I'm really pleased to say that the council have now put a temporary patch on the hole and have earmarked it for further remedial work."

Pothole Watch - if you see a pothole please take a photo and e-mail to Sue - monthly prizes will be awarded for the best pothole snap submitted.

Action on Elswick Road

Following action by Councillors Sue McGuire and Carmel Preston working with the Community Safety Partnership of Sefton Council residents in the Elswick Road area where provided with two community skips to collect household waste and rubbish.

As Carmel Preston explained
"We had received report of fly tipping in the area and it made sense with all the building work to make the skips available so that residents could get rid of their rubbish easily."
Sue added
"The skip in the car park by Marshside School collected 760Kg waste whilst the total for the skip in Preesall Close was 1420 kg - these are really good amounts and show how effect the community skips are."

Residents in The Lawns are relieved

Following action by your Lib Dem team, residents in The Lawns are relieved to find that the dead and dying trees at the back of Melton Grange have finally been cut down and the whole area tidied up.

Residents first raised concerns when Melton Grange closed as a residential home and received planning permission to be converted into flats. As residents explained it looked like the site at the back would be left untouched with the dead and dying trees becoming increasingly more dangerous to our homes and gardens.

As Sue explained
"Tree Preservation Officer recommened that two Cupressus trees which were dead should be felled immediately since the bottom 1m of bark has been stripped casuing them to be 'ring barked' which has resulted in them displaying basal decay and initial cracking making them potentially dangerous. He also asked for the developer to take action to tiday up the site and I am very pleased to say that this has now been done."

Errosion on Hawkshead Street

During a recent visit to Hawkshead Street, Councillor Sue McGuire noticed that the road edge by the gulley was eroding away and as a result parts of the single yellow line were also being removed.

As Sue explained "The problem is happening at various points along the street - I have notified the council and am waiting to see what they say."

Sue added "I worry that if nothing is done now the situation will deteriorate further and will become a much bigger and more expensive job for the council."

Watch this space for further news.

Street Cleansing Action on Alexandra Road

Councillor Sue McGuire has taken action on Alexandra Road following on-going complaints by residents of the lack of road sweeping. Sue met with council staff responsible for street cleansing to show them the problem of unswept gulleys and litter left uncollected.

As Sue explained
"The officers could see immediately that the road had not been swept properly especially on the side where cars are parked." They have agreed that the mechanical sweeper will visit the road at 7:30am hopefully within this week to give the gulleys a really good clean hopefully before the majority of cars are parked."
Sue added
"The officers have also promised that this will not be a one off action and that the street sweeper will in future make regular early morning visits to Alexandra Road"
Litter and leaves in gutters really make an area feel uncared for and so if you feel your area has been overlooked by the cleansing team please get in touch with your Lib Dem Councillors.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Councillor's Advice Centre

We will be holding our monthly advice surgery on Saturday 25th April at Marshside Day Centre, Marshside Road from 10:30am to 11:30am.
As councillor Sue McGuire explained
"The morning gives people a great opportunity to meet their councillors and to discuss any local issues which may be of concern."
Councillor Carmel Preston added
"No appointment is necessary, residents can just come along at anytime."

Friday, 17 April 2009

Did You Know - Recycling Electrical White Goods

We've decided to post information which we hope you will find useful - very much a did you know that ...

So for the first of our did you know entries
Did you know that household electrical products, sometimes called "white goods" can be collected by Sefton Council from a residents house and then taken to the waste site in Bootle which includes facilities for recycling these goods.

The collection service is the "Bulky Items" team and any collection can be organised by contacting Sefton Plus on 0845 140 0845 or by filling in a contact form on the Sefton Council web site.
We have also been told that there is no minimum size for the electrical goods collected.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Concerns over Ambulance Sercvice grow

John Pugh, Liberal Democrat MP for Southport, has called for a top-level summit of Health Chiefs to address the problems which repeatedly caused to up to 11 Ambulances to queue outside Southport A&E amid chaotic scenes last winter.

Before the peak winter period, Southport hospital managers asked NHS Sefton for cash to open an extra ward for coping with the predicted increased pressures on A&E during the winter. NHS Sefton refused - and the NW Regional Health Authority did not intervene.

The result was that at the busiest times, when there were icy paths and flu outbreaks, patients were often held up in the A&E department, waiting for staff to try to find them a bed in the hospital. Meanwhile, other patients were forced to queue in ambulances at the entrance of A&E. This meant they were not ‘officially’ in the hospital – sometimes being left for over two hours. As hospital staff would not triage these patients, ambulance staff had to stay with them.

The result was that emergency ambulances were not available for fresh emergencies in the area. Ambulances were called to Southport from as far away as Blackburn, resulting in pensioners enduring long waits on icy pavements after suffering falls.

Ambulance staff representatives have subsequently briefed Dr Pugh. They have highlighted their frustration at knowing there were injured patients out on the streets of Southport not receiving attention, but being unable to help.

The effects of ambulance diversion spread across Lancashire, with reports of similar problems at Blackburn A&E, which has recently had to cope with the closure of the nearby Burnley unit.

In early 2009 Dr Pugh raised two specific cases with the Ambulance Authorities, one in Norwood Avenue and one in Ainsdale. He also knows of other cases where the waits were abnormally long, where residents had fallen and had to lie on frozen pavements in the cold. Dr Pugh asked Ambulance chiefs to provide him with statistics showing occasions where there were turnaround times at hospitals lasting more than 90 minutes.

However, the Ambulance Service response to Dr Pugh’s enquiries have raised fresh issues of concern. Emergency ambulance cases are apparently being prioritised according to a ‘traffic light’ system with different priorities for attendence time being ascribed to ‘red’, ‘amber’ and ‘green’ cases. Paramedics attend many call-outs in a ‘fast car’ to stabilise patients before ambulances arrive. Yet paramedic representatives have told Dr Pugh that they are often not happy with attending certain emergency calls where they know in advance there should be a fully-fitted ambulance going out in the first place.

It further appears that these problems are not confined to winter months. Only last week Dr Pugh was told of a lady who fell in central Southport. It was not considered safe to move her while waiting for paramedics to arrive. This led to the lady concerned having to lie for almost an hour in an upside down position at the bottom of a flight of stairs whilst she waited for an ambulance to arrive.

Lib Dem Councillor Sue McGuire, who represents Cambridge ward, is concerned that the situation may have gone unreported to the Sefton Council Health and Social Care Committee. She praised Dr Pugh for his insistence on taking action now to prevent further crises next winter.

However she added: “I am concerned about this ‘traffic light’ system. The questioning of anxious passers-by or relatives by non-medically trained staff may present a false picture of how urgent the call is. I do not think the people of Southport will consider it acceptable for anuybody to lie on cold pavements for up to two hours waiting for an ambulance.”

“Nor, as far as I am aware, have they or their elected representatives ever been asked about this new ‘traffic lights’ system being introduced. I would urge anyone who has had a difficult experience with emergency ambulances to notify John Pugh MP so that he has the fullest picture possible when he next meets health chiefs.”

Action on Marine Parade Bridge

Councillors Carmel Preston and Sue McGuire are working with the Community Saftey team, Lesiure Services and the police in a bid to tackle the growing problem of graffiti on the Marine Parade Bridge. The proposed plan includes coordinating the overpainting of the skate park and the cleaning of graffiti from the bridge in order for the whole area to be a "blank canvas" - which will allow the Council to monitor any subsequent graffiti more effectively.

As Carmel explains “This bridge is a main gateway to the sea front and so how it looks reflects on the whole of Southport.”

Fair deal for churches & sports clubs

John Pugh MP asks for “Fair Deal for Southport’s churches and community sports clubs

Your local Liberal Democrats have joined John Pugh MP in his call for the Government, the Water Regulator (OFWAT) and Water Companies to recognize the significant community and charitable role of churches, places of worship and sports clubs urging them to ensure that for the purpose of levying water charges these addresses are not treated as though they are commercial or business properties.

Currently United Utilities are proposing a moratorium on the new charges for churches and community sports clubs. As John explains “This moratorium might just be a postponement of execution but there may be the possibility of a permanent concession or dispensation. However, whatever happens, community sports clubs need to apply to be included in the moratorium this year.”

If you would like further information on the above please contact John Pugh MP on 01704 533555

Working with United Utilities

Lib Dem Councillor Sue McGuire arranged for United Utilities staff to visit Elswick Road and Marshside Road to discuss on-going problems with drainage in this area.

Sue & John Pugh MP also raised a number of other issues with United Utilities including problems with a loss of water pressure in the area and complaints regarding re-instatement of footpaths and roads following on-going replacement work.

Concerns over derelict property

Residents have contacted Cllr Sue McGuire to highlight the on-going issue of the derelict property on Alexandra Road. Cllr McGuire has met with officers from Environmental Health at the address to discuss the possible problem of pigeon infestation here.

Councillor McGuire has also spoken with the Vacant Premises Officer to discuss what, if anything, the council can do to improve the address. As Sue explains “The council have little power when a property is in private ownership - building enforcement can ensure that the property is made secure which has happened both here and also at the vacant property on Henley Drive but overall responsibility remains with the owners of the property.

Councillor McGuire will be continuing to work on this issue.

Vince Cable MP proposes Green Road out of Recession

Vince Cable MP recently set out the Liberal Democrat proposal for a Green Road out of the Recession, creating jobs and leaving a legacy that will save energy, put money back into people’s pockets and fight climate change.
The plans will cost £12.5bn, which would be paid for by scrapping the proposed VAT cut. The vast majority of that money will be spent immediately, making a real impact on the economy and people’s lives right away.

Green Road out of the Recession proposals include:
* A five-year programme to insulate every school and hospital, with 20% completed in the first year
* Funding insulation and energy efficiency for a million homes, with a £1,000 subsidy for a million more
* Building 40,000 extra zero-carbon social houses
* Buying 700 new train carriages
* Reopening old railway lines and stations, opening new ones, electrifying the Great Western and Midland mainlines and beginning the Liverpool light rail network
* Installing energy and money saving smart meters in every home within five years

Click here for more information on the Liberal Democrat Economic Recovery Plan

Carmel is working to fix potholes

Councillor Carmel Preston and your Lib Dem team have been working to identify pot holes in the roads around our area. So far repairs have either been undertaken or have been reported on Knowsley Road, Park Avenue, Leyland Road and at the junction of Radnor Drive/Marshside Road.

If you know of any pot holes in your road please let the FOCUS team know.

Bench repaired on Albert Road

Following action by Councillor Sue McGuire, the bench on Albert Road, by the bus stop, has been repaired and repainted.

As Sue explained “This bench was in a very poor state but there was little money available to replace it with a brand new one so I asked the council to try to renovate it.”

Sue added “I think more and more people now understand that recycling and then reusing equipment makes a lot of sense.”

Carmel cleans up at the Fog Bell

Councillor Carmel Preston has taken action to clean up the Fog Bell following reports from residents that the site had been targeted by vandals.

As Carmel explained "This is a permanent reminder to everyone of the heritage of our area and so its important to respect the site. "

Crocus Walk 2009 - Thank you

Over 40 walkers stepped out in style on Saturday 28th March in support of this years Mothers Day Crocus Walk to raise funds for the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Charity.

Local residents were supported in their efforts again this year by local star of Heartbeat, David Lonsdale, John Pugh MP plus many other Lib Dem councillors.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Crocus Walk 2009

Local walkers will be steeping out to support this years Crocus Walk in aid of Breakthrough Breast Cancer on Saturday 28th March. The event, now in its 7th year, will start from 11:30 with walkers meeting at the new fountain in Hesketh Park.

Councillor Sue McGuire, walk organiser explained “People can be sponsored to do the walk or they can turn up on the day and make a donation – everybody is welcome."

Carmel Preston explained “Over 40,000 women and 300 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK, the disease has a devastating effect on thousands of families everyday. By taking part in a Crocus walk, you can help Breakthrough to secure a brighter future for everyone.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Dog Walkers take action update

There was a fantastic response by dog walkers, local residents and even people from outside Southport to the call this Saturday to clean up the beach at Birkdale. Organised by local dog walkers, as a thank you to Sefton Council for reopening the beach car park at Weld Road, the event attracted over 40 people who all got stuck in cleared the paths of dog mess, litter and general debris. Councillor Sue McGuire, who has worked with the dog walkers to get action on the beach, explained
"This was a fantastic day and shows just what can be done when people feel passionately about something - its all well and good saying action must be taken but Saturday shows what can be done when you actually do something.
I think the coast and countryside team were really surprised by the number of people and the amount of rubbish collected."
Event organiser Eilish Culley said
"I am really pleased at what we have achieved today - the event was so well received we plan to do another one in October."

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Dog Walkers take action

Dog Walker Ellish Culley said
"Most dog walkers clean up after their dogs but there are some people who believe that because the beach is "natural" there is no need to pick up after their pets which has led to a large amount of dog mess in this area which is very off putting for residents and visitors alike so we have decided to tackle this problem ourselves by having a volunteer beach tidy day. We are asking dog walkers who use this area to come and clean up on Saturday 28th February from 10:30am to 12:30. We hope that if the area is cleared of litter and dog mess people will get the message that they need to keep it clean by collecting any mess left by their dogs and not dropping litter.

Councillor Sue McGuire said
"Anybody is welcome to join us in this and we hope that by publising the event we will be sending a very clear message to dog walkers from across Southport that they have a responsibility to pick up after their pets."

New Bins to tackle dog mess & litter

Following action by councillor Sue McGuire the council have installed 5 new bins in the area around the beach entrance at Weld Road and along the Velvet Trail in an attempt to combat the problem of dog fouling in the area.

Council U turn at beach entrance

Local residents and dog walkers are pleased that following action by councillor Sue McGuire the council have re-opened a section of the beach car park at Weld Road. Following a number of meetings between dog walkers , Lib Dem Councillor Sue McGuire and council officers the council have moved the barriers which allows cars to be parked on a section fo the beach. They have also erecetd new signs which warn drivers that the beach is uneven and drivers park there at their own responsibility.

Councillor Sue McGuire explained
"I'm really pleased that the council have reconsidered their decision here - this section of beach is used by so many people it makes sense to give them an area to park their cars."

Carmel cleans up at the Fog Bell

Councillor Carmel Preston has taken action to clean up the Fog Bell following reports from residents that the site had been targetted by vandals.

As Carmel explained
"This is a permanent reminder to everyone of the heritage of our area and so its important to repect the site. "

Sunday, 15 February 2009

This is a short video that shows the bog hole channel that runs along Southport Beach. It also shows the advance of Spartina grass along the banks of the channel as silt is deposited here from the Ribble estuary. The video also includes shots of the channel dating back from 1836 to 2009. The video was made by Liberal Democrat Councillor Sue McGuire who represents Cambridge Ward in Southport

Saturday, 14 February 2009

New Chief Executive visits Churchill Avenue

Councillor Carmel Preston took the new Chief Executive of Sefton Council to visit the newly let shops on Churchill Avenue. During the visit Councillor Preston explained to Margaret Carney how replacing empty shops with new businesses had helped to improve the whole look and feel of the area.

As Carmel commented "With the units full the graffiti and vandalism has stopped and it really gives the area a new lease of life."

New Chief Executive visits Marshside Primary School

Counillors Sue McGuire and Carmel Preston stopped off at Marshside Primary school to introduce the new chief executive of Sefton Council to Tony McCoy the new head teacher at Marshside Primary School.

As Sue explains "It was a great opportunity to show the Chief Executive around the primary school which is currently undergoing some building work - Maragret was really impressed by the new entrance hall which has some fantatic pictures of the pupils and staff."

Visit to area with new Chief Executive

Councillors Carmel Preston and Sue McGuire took the new chief executive of Sefton Council, Margaret Carney, on a trip around cambridge ward. The councillors visited a wide range of locations including the former sand winning plant.

As Carmel explained "It was a great opportunity to show Margaret all the different areas that make up our area. Whilst we were at the sandwinning car park Margaret had the chance to speak to a group pf bird watchers who were visiting the area from Sheffield - I think this really made it clear to Margaret just how important the RSPB site at Marshside as a location for migrating and overwintering birds."

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Police working in our area

Sue is pictured with police officers using
the speed camera on Park Crescent
Following a large number of complaints from residents in our area, Councillors Sue McGuire and Carmel Preston have asked the police to undertake a number of speed checks in our area. So far speed checks have been undertaken on Park Avenue, Cambridge Road, Marshside Road and Leyland Road. Other roads are set to be targeted shortly.

If you believe your road should be included please e-mail Sue or Carmel.

Sue meets Vince Cable

Councillor Sue McGuire pictured with Vince Cable during his recent visit to the North West.

Sue said “I have met Vince on several occasions and been lucky enough to hear him speak on the financial mess we find ourselves in and I can fully understand why he is considered the most universally respected parliamentarian on the current world economic crisis. “