Friday, 27 May 2011

Taxi Ranks and Parking Spaces

The Southport Area Committee meeting on Wednesday this week included a report on providing additional hackney carriage ranks in Southport town centre.  The report generated a full and frank discussion from councillors of both parties and ended with votes against both the proposed rank on Hill Street and on West Street. The full report can be viewed here.

The discussion also promoted me to ask a number of questions regarding the current rank provision in Southport.  Did you know that there are currently 25 Hackney Carriage Ranks including 2 feeder ranks across Southport (not including those ranks in Ainsdale) with spaces for 75 vehicles.  A  figure which got me thinking - whilst we all appreciate the need for hackney carriages to have ranks, could it be that there are some ranks that are under used or not used at all? If this is the case could these ranks be reduced in size or removed to allow the creation of additional pay and display bays?

As a result of my suggestion a review of rank usage will be undertaken which could have a positive impact on the car parking issues in the centre of Southport.

For example, there is a 5 space taxi rank on the service road outside the British Heart Foundation store (formerly Woolworths) however this is very rarely used and if it was reduced in size to 2 spaces then 3 extra pay & display bays could be created.

Watch this space !

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Road Safety on the Coast Road

Road Safety on the Coast Road was a key topic of discussion at last nights Southport Area Committee - you can see the report here.

There have been 11 fatalities on this stretch of road over the last 10 years in addition to a large number of other road accidents - usually shunts.  For those of you not familiar with Southport, this road runs from the end of the "sea front" to Woodvale and is used by most people as a by-pass around Southport - you can see the satellite picture of the road here  Admittedly, from the map, the road looks like a nice pretty straight route but the road cuts through the sand dunes that make up part of  the Birkdale and Ainsdale Sandhills Nature Reserve.  This effectively means there is no where to go if motorist get into difficulty and although it looks straight there are some deceptive bends which make judging distances difficult.

The report put forward a number of proposals but I, for one, think we need to go further. During the debatet a number additional ideas were suggested including a reduction of the speed limit for the whole length of the road.  Now don't get me wrong, I am not pro-speed however I believe that simply reducing the speed limit from 50mph to 40mph here will not solve the problem and may in fact make the problem worse .  One of the contributory factors in most accidents has been inappropriate overtaking something which I believe is likely to increase if you get motorist travelling at 40 or even 30 miles and hour.  It makes sense then to couple any reduction in speed with measures to prevent overtaking either for the whole length of the road or for specific sections of the road.  A point I made during the debate last night and one which was supported by Police Inspector Fairbrother.

A further report including this suggestion is set to be debated at the Southport Area Committee meeting in July .

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Cricket Balls & Lord Denning

A number of residents have contacted me regarding the on-going problem of stray cricket balls in their gardens which they feel is having a direct impact on their quality of life.  Since the local cricket season started residents have felt so unsafe that they are no longer sitting or even going into their gardens on match days.

It seems however that this is not a problem with an easy solution and in fact there are a number of court cases dealing with exactly this issue, including Miller v Jackson [1977] QB 966 in which Lord Denning began with a rather lyrical opening "In summertime village cricket is the delight of everyone." and the case of Bolton v Stone [1951] AC 850, [1951] 1 All ER 1078 which actually went to the House of Lords.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

What's done is done

Last night my husband took me out in Liverpool -  well maybe not the most exciting opening sentence to a blog post I admit but since it doesn't happen very often I thought I would share it with you. Anyway given the infrequency of this can you imagine my even greater delight to find out that he had got tickets to see David Morrissey in Macbeth at the Everyman 

Macbeth is one of my favourite plays with  its politics, power struggles and episodes of madness  not to mention 3 witches with the power to determine fates.  I have studied the play several times whilst at school but have never seen it.  You could almost taste the tension as the stage was set for the first act and the Everyman was a fantastic venue.  The way that the spaces within the theatre were used by the actors meant everyone in the audience felt a part of the production.

The performances of the whole cast were great and being a bit of a David Morrissey fan I thought he blew the place apart as Macbeth. And when the last curtain call came the whole cast were greeted by a standing ovation.

David also introduced the audience to the charity CAST - the CREATIVE ARTS SCHOOLS TRUST that he is actively involved in which takes all aspects of the performing arts to those places worlwide that have no artistic provision or facilities. 

A great night and well worth a trip (if there are any tickets left)

Monday, 9 May 2011

Local Election Results 2011 - THANK YOU

Unfortunately Cambridge Ward local election this year was won by the Conservatives with a majority of just 16 votes. Obviously your Lib Dem Team are disappointed by the result however 16 votes is not a landslide and we will be working hard to retake the seat next year.

We had a great candidate in Lauren Keith who was set to replace the retiring Lib Dem Councillor Carmel Preston. Lauren worked hard during the campaign showing a great enthusiasm, commitment and energy which will make her a brilliant councillor in the future.

In the main, our support held up strongly but, as in many other places, national politics overshadowed the local campaign.

A huge thank you to everyone in the ward, from Lib Dem members, supporters and residents who helped with the campaign.  A big thank you also to all those residents who did vote for Lauren this year and who continue to recognise and support the work of the Liberal Democrats both here in Cambridge ward and across Southport.

Lauren and Sue preparing for election day 2011