Cllrs Sue McGuire & Bill Welsh have campaigned against development on greenbelt at Moss Lane
At Thursday’s Council Meeting Lib Dem councillors spoke against the adoption of the Local Plan which is set to allow the building of a large number of houses on the Green Belt.
Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Sefton Council, Cllr Sue McGuire said “Building on the Green Belt in Southport will lead to the creation of isolated islands of houses with no infrastructure, no local services and no community.”
Norwood ward Lib Dem Councillor Bill Welsh challenged the proposal to build 450 house at a site in Moss Lane. He pointed out that the Inspector’s report on the Local Plan was ambiguous concerning the estimation of the growth of Sefton’s population and therefore did not justify the very large number of new homes proposed.
Councillor Welsh said “I was shocked that the Inspector believes that the Moss Lane site does not have high landscape quality. I think the figure for population increase given in the Plan calls into question the need to damage the Green Belt in this way.”
In spite of the many voices raised against it at the meeting, Labour councillors voted unanimously to adopt the Plan.
Cambridge Ward Councillors unite behind Cllr McGuire’s campaign for railings to be restored.
Cambridge Ward Councillor Sue McGuire, welcomed the news that Southport is set to receive £2 million to undertake a widespread refurbishment of the pier. Councillor McGuire explained: “Investment like this will help to ensure that the Pier remains an iconic landmark for Southport.”
“I am delighted that this large scale refurbishment of the Pier will also include work to restore the rusted cast iron railings around the Marine Lake.”
“The railings have deteriorated to such an extent over recent years that they have become an eyesore when approaching Southport from the north. I am pleased to confirm that all three Cambridge Ward councillors have worked together on this to contribute £35,000 from Section 106 money within our ward budget and this will enable work to be undertake on the railings. At decision will be taken on whether the railings will be replaced or renovated once a full investigation has been undertaken on the condition of the railings.
Cambridge Ward Conservative representative, Councillor Harry Bliss, said: “The cost of renovating or replacing the railings was prohibitive and not something that either the Council or Cambridge Ward councillors could fund alone. That’s why we are delighted that when we approached the Council staff they agreed to include the railings as part of the whole refurbishment plan.”
The railings stretch for more than 700 metres and it’s a huge undertaking to replace them. They have stood guard over the lake for many years and I’m delighted that once refurbished they will continue to be do so for many more. They are an integral part of Southport’s heritage.
The £35,000 is being funded from the Cambridge Ward section 106 funds.
Section 106 money is money provided by developers when undertaking building schemes and is outside normal Council budgets.
The Cambridge Ward 106 Section fund has been built up over a number of years following several large scale development in the ward.
Money from Section 106 can only be used on environmental projects and is usually used to fund the planting of trees.
Cambridge Ward Councillors inspect newly installed defibrillator in Hesketh Park
A cross party political coalition has raised money for Hesketh Park to acquire a potentially lifesaving defibrillator.
Cambridge Ward Lib Dem councillors Sue McGuire and Pat Keith joined forces with Conservative representative Harry Bliss to pay £2,500 for the crucial machine from ward funds.
“ These machines can play a critical role in public areas and to have one installed at Hesketh Park is tremendous,” said Dr Simon Tobin of Norwood Surgery.
“It is even more important to have one now since the launch of the highly successful Hesketh Park run which draws hundreds of people every Saturday morning.”
Councillor McGuire said “With more people than ever are using Hesketh Park. We not only have the Saturday parkrun but there are also regular health walks and people walking their dogs and taking the air in the lovely surroundings. This life saving piece of equipment is a welcome addition and safeguard.”
Conservatives Counillor Bliss said: “ I am delighted to contribute to the purchase of this machine if anyone has a cardiac arrest the chances of a positive outcome for the sufferer can be dramatically increased with the use of an Automated External Defibrillator.”
Councillor Keith said: “While I would hope the defibrillator never has to be used we have to be prepared for all eventualities, especially with the much greater usage of the park, and having it there provides assurance.”
Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Sefton, Southport Councillor Sue McGuire has proposed a possible solution to the current crisis situation in the NHS by investing in the old style convalescent hospitals.
Councillor Sue McGuire explained “I‘m suggesting the Council, working with NHS partners and possibly the private sector investigate the feasibility of opening a convalescent hospital in Southport.
“This would be a place that patients could go to when they no longer need full nursing care but are not in a state to return home with little or no social service care. In addition this would be somewhere for patients to go whilst the correct care package is set up – something which can delay hospital discharge.”
Councillor McGuire added “Currently many care homes are doing a good job providing this convalescent support however they have limited beds available with no opportunity to increase capacity.
I realise there would be a cost to this and it would involve making an investment at a time of cut backs however its definitely more cost effective to provide support outside of an acute hospital setting.”
Southport has a history of providing convalescent support at a number of sites including the Promenade Hospital. Built in 1852-53, it was originally called the Southport Convalescent Hospital and Sea Bathing Infirmary. The hospital was funded by the Southport Stranger’s Charity for the treatment of poor convalescents.
Campaigners to save Accident & Emergency Services at Southport Hospital are stepping up their efforts this week. Petitions are available on-line at www.southportsays.co.uk and www.westlancssays.co.uk and many hundreds have been collected in the first few days. Petitions are also being collected in the streets and in shops and workplaces.
On Thursday evening, in Southport Town Hall, councillors will be debating a motion from local Lib Dem councillors who hope to bring the Council and residents to work together to retain this vital service in Southport. The service has been threatened in secret plans by health bosses which have been ‘leaked’ recently. These plans are called the ‘Cheshire & Merseyside NHS Sustainability & Transformation Programme’ (the STP).
The campaign to retain the A&E service in Southport is being spearheaded by John Pugh MP and Southport Liberal Democrat councillors but these elected representative are seeking involvement from all sections of the community.
Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Sefton, Councillor Sue McGuire who is proposing the motion at the Council meeting on Thursday says:
“The Sustainability & Transformation programme is an attempt to disguise cutbacks in the NHS which is being presented as if it were simply a reconfiguration of services.
“The decisions and plans have been made behind closed doors with no input from patients, residents or healthcare professionals. These proposals will impact on the health and wellbeing of all our communities and, at the very least ,should be made in the open with input and discussion from the people who will be affected.”
The secret plans for Southport & Ormskirk Hospital only came to light because the plans for Cheshire & Merseyside STP were leaked to the Liverpool Echo.
Councillor Tony Dawson, spokesperson on Health and Adult Care for the Lib Team team, says:
“The plans that I have seen clearly show a possible downgrading in A&E service at Southport. The people of Southport, Formby and West Lancashire must all work together to send a clear message to Health Chiefs that this is not an option for our town.”
The full motion is as follows:
“That this Council deplores:
- the severe threat to local NHS Services created by the draft ‘Merseyside and Cheshire Sustainability and Transformation Programme’ (STP) which has been developed in secret to cope with the effects of cutbacks in real terms NHS spending imposed by the government;
- in particular, threats posed in the published plans to NHS services presently provided within Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust, especially its A&E service; within the Aintree Hospital Trust and in respect of Mental Health Services across the Borough; and
- the fact that this STP plan, addressing a £900 million ‘black hole’ in NHS finance across Merseyside and Cheshire over the next five years, has been ‘worked up’ in private with no input into the process from any democratic representatives.
This Council notes:
- that these proposals come at a time when the cash available for Local Authority-delivered care has also been under a substantial reduction and would be placed under unacceptable pressure by further cuts in NHS services.
- recent denials which have been issued following the public ‘leaking’ of these plans but also that these denials have not included any explanation of where else the money would come from; and
- the all-Party NHS Parliamentary Committee, chaired by Dr Sarah Woolaston, has drawn attention to the factual deficiencies in government statements about future funding of the NHS.
This Council resolves:
- to publicise the Cheshire and Merseyside Sustainability and Transformation Programme Plan and to inform the people of the Borough of Sefton of the effects which the changes proposed therein are likely to have on the health and social services provision provided to the local population; and
- to notify the Merseyside and Cheshire NHS Sustainability and Transformation Programme lead and the Secretary of State for Health of its opposition to any programme of cutbacks locally and nationally in the NHS created to meet underfunding by the Conservative Government.”
My thoughts when I stand at the Cenotaph
I doubt there is anyone who is not moved by Remembrance Day and there are few who don’t know someone or have a family member who has fought over the past century for our country.
Both of my grandfathers served in WW1 and my paternal grandfather was actually left for dead by the British army in no-mans land. He was picked up by the Germans who treated his injuries and held him as a prisoner of war.
Or the case of my father who signed up at the age of 20 in 1940 to fight against Nazi Germany – VE day was announced on his 25 birthday – over the 5 years he served he fought in North Africa, was part of the invasion force into Italy and was in the second group of soldiers to enter Belsen. He saw his childhood friend shot at his side and didn’t get home for nearly 2 years.
But despite everything he experienced and the suffering he saw, he would not talk about his time in the army or the war. He never watched a war film saying that to him they glorified something that should never be celebrated.
The 5 years he served left a lasting scar on his soul which time did not heal. When I stand at the Cenotaph I feel very privileged and use the time to remember both my grandfathers, my dad and all other servicemen and women to whom we owe so much.
Every year I feel humbled and thankful and every year I promise my father that I will never forget.
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.”
Rubbish Friends celebrate a job well done
Rubbish Friends had a great morning cleaning up the area around West Lancs Yacht Club and the sand dunes around the Marine Lake including the inlet.
Over 20 bags of rubbish were collected which Rubbish Friends hope will make a huge difference to the area.
Volunteers again raised concerns about the amount of litter from the fast food restaurants in the area.
Councillor Sue McGuire has agreed to raise the issue with the restaurants to see if they can extend their current litter picking operations to include a wider area around the sea front.
Councillor Pat Keith added “A huge thank you to the volunteers who continue to work so hard to make Southport a litter free zone”