Cllr Sue McGuire urges residents to sign petition to save Southport A&E

Cllr Sue McGuire & John Pugh MP following hospital visit

Cllr Sue McGuire & John Pugh MP raise concerns about the future of Southport A&E

“Secret plans to downgrade A&E facilities in the Merseyside and Cheshire Region have been hastily withdrawn by NHS bosses but that does not mean they are forgotten or won’t happen. In the plans Southport A&E was to be downgraded despite being heavily in demand. Critical emergencies might have to go to Whiston or further. The plans demanded by the Conservative government are called “Sustainability and Transformation Plans”

M.P. John Pugh believes that the threat has not gone away and is urging all Southport residents to register their opposition online at www.southportsays.co.uk and West Lancs residents at www.westlancssays.co.uk.

“Fear of a public backlash is the only thing stopping NHS insiders proceeding with this plans” , says the MP ,” and we must show the measure of the opposition to these proposals which are fundamentally dangerous and desperate. Its all about saving money by reducing critical services.”

 Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Councillor Sue McGuire added “This is the second time a plan has been hatched to downgrade Southport A&E, lacking a permanent Chief Executive there is no-one but the public and the staff to fight its corner. “
Councillor Sue McGuire added “Its vital that we send a clear message to NHS chiefs that downgrading Southport A&E is not an option.”

Sefton Council begin consultation on charging for green waste collection

Sefton Council have started to consult residents on their proposals to charge for the fortnightly collection of green waste.

Proposal to Charge for Green Waste Collection
epd_wheelie_bins_groupSefton Council are considering:

a) Charging for the collection of “green” or garden waste from residential properties in the borough
b)  Offering the service to any household in the borough that is willing to pay for a green waste collection service, including areas where the service
is not currently provided.
To have your say on this please visit the Sefton Council website
As Councillor Sue McGuire explained “I think this is a very ill thought out proposal which takes no account of the possible outcome of introducing a charge for this service.  I believe such a charge will be damaging to Southport and Sefton.
Councillor Pat Keith added “Apart from increasing fly-tipping, this proposal is completely contrary to everything we have been encouraged to do in recent years with regard to reducing land fill and recycling.  Such a move will force residents to put green waste in their grey bins destined for the land fill.”
Sue and Pat both agree that this is a totally backward step and shows a complete lack of regard for the environment and residents of Sefton.
We would encourage everyone who uses the green waste facility to make their voices heard by taking part in the consultation.

Your Library needs YOU

Friends of Churchtown Library are urging library users to join the fight to save our
libraries. After receiving a verbal reprieve at the Council meeting last week the race
is on to recruit a team of volunteers to keep Southport libraries open.

Sefton Council has committed to saving £400K from library services despite the
efforts of the 17,000 strong anti-closure movement and the rousing speeches and
impassioned pleas put forward by Library activist Chris Turner and the Lib Dem
councillors.

Plans to close Ainsdale, Birkdale and Churchtown and four other borough libraries
were approved by the ruling Labour Party at the budget council meeting. Then at
the eleventh hour, a plan detailing how the libraries could be saved was submitted,
and verbal assurances were given by the leader of the council, Peter Dowd that the
proposals would be looked at.

Lib Dem Councillor Nigel Ashton welcomed the reprieve and said: “it gives campaigning groups time to work out their plans. The three Southport campaigning groups have already been looking for volunteers and have had an excellent response so far but we have a lot of work to do. We are hopeful that we will be able to get a viable sustainable plan together within the schedule laid down by Cllr Dowd.”

The benefits of our branch libraries cannot be overestimated. People use the
internet to apply for jobs and pay bills on line. Elderly people come in to read the
papers, enjoy the companionship and learn new skills. Libraries have a vital impact
on children’s literacy skills.

Councillor Pat Keith explained “We all understand that a child’s desire to read and to be read to increases familiarity with language but not everyone can afford to buy the range of books children need to acquire good literacy skills such as rhymes, stories, factual books and well known fairy tales. But all are free to borrow on the library shelves. We need our libraries to carry on promoting early literacy skills and lifelong learning.

Pat added “I believe that closing a library during a recession is akin to closing a hospital during a
plague.”

If the libraries are able to continue they will depend heavily on volunteers. If you value our library service and are able to give up some of your time to save our library

please contact;

Elaine Langley at Friends of Churchtown Library (FOCL) elaineflangly@gmail.com

New Councillor Pat Keith reminisces about Churchtown library

Given that the consultation period regarding the future of Churchtown library is now open I felt I should set down my memories of the library and why I think it is such an integral part of our community.

My relationship with Churchtown library spans 27 years when I first arrived in Southport as a new mum. I soon discovered that it was more than just a house for books but was a fantastic resource for everybody and one of the few places in the community where young and old were together. People came with their children for story time, found sanctuary when it was raining outside or sat in companionable silence and read the papers. Over the years the library has evolved with the times and now people come to learn how to use new technology and once again the age groups mix happily together.

Churchtown Library has always been welcoming especially as the staff turnover is low. The staff make an effort to get to know the people and are always willing to help. I still visit the library regularly and when I step through the doors it is like putting on a pair of comfortable slippers. So let’s make a concerted effort to support our library so that the next generation can continue to benefit from this wonderful service.

The consultation document can be found here or pick up a paper copy when you’re next in the library.

Have your say on Library Service Review

Sefton Council are currently running a consultation on the future of the library service across the borough. It is important that as many local residents as possible make their views known – especially if you use our local Churchtown Library. Please fill in the questionnaire on the Sefton Council website using this link

Library questionnaire is here

This is the first stage of a full review and information given by residents here will give the Council details of which library services are used and where.

The first stage of the library service consultation ends on 10th July 2012.

Working to improve our grass verges

Many people regularly contact your Lib Dem Team to express concern about the state of the grass verges in our area and the apparent lack of maintenance some verges get.  In response to these concerns, your Lib Dem Councillors have raised the issue of the management of grass verges: when they are cut or not, why the cuttings are not collected and why some areas are not included as part of the standard litter picking schedule.

Areas of particular concern include the grassed areas and paths around Seaton Way, Coyford Drive & Salcombe Close, the verges on Threlfalls Lane, Marshside Road  & Marine Drive, the embankments at Rawlinson Road & Parklands and maintenance of the corner at Court Road & North Street.

If you would like more information on the above or if you would like another area included please get in touch with your Lib Dem Team.

Bin Collection Update – 8th January

Bin collection has been a very patchy yesterday and today. Although refuse vehicles have been outt throughout Southport, collecting left out wheelie bins where its reasonably safe to do so, lots of roads couldn’t be done.   Still problems emptying the contents of the trucks at Foul Lane where they are only accepting a limited number of loads.  Some refuse lorries parked up at the depot full of waste that can’t be got rid of.

We’re told that a number of Sefton council street cleaners/refuse workers have had accidents/injuries over the last few days because of the conditions. In one case, a broken wrist.

The plan is to collect as many grey wheelie bins and recycling boxe as possible on the usual days next week and a black bag of rubbish, put by the side of the grey bin, will be collected because of the extra waste that’s been piling up since the snow dropped and bins haven’t been emptied.

The green recycling box teams have been out in areas of our town where they can collect reasonably safely.  To catch up, they are going to delay picking up recycling material from schools for a while in order to concentrate on emptying boxes from households.

Wheelie Bin & Recycling News

Sefton council cannot collect refuse at the moment because the places where they take waste to for disposal cannot take any more rubbish.  The council deals with collecting refuse and the vehicles then go to two “tip” sites – Foul Lane, Southport and Gillmoss, Liverpool – where they unload.

All Sefton’s waste is then dealt with by a private contractor, Veolia, which manages the “tips” for the Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority, the body responsible for getting rid of all the waste collected in the region.

EVERYTHING IS BACKING UP NO MORE ROOM

The refuse is taken onwards by Veolia for burying at a landfill site near Warrington. But this is effectively closed because of the conditions. The whole operation is therefore backing up. Both Foul Lane and Gillmoss cannot store any more of the waste collected by Sefton.

Sefton refuse lorries were out yesterday (Tues) collecting.  But they now have nowhere to unload.  The vehicles are now stranded in the council depots completely full of rubbish and so, of course, cannot go out again until the vehicles have been emptied.

The private contractor that collects the green recycling boxes has had to stop all operations because of the risks to the collection teams.