Lib Dems are calling all cake lovers to their Macmillan Coffee Morning


Southport Liberal Democrats are calling all cake lovers to join John Pugh MP at their Macmillan Coffee Morning on Saturday, October 1, 10.30 – 12pm at St Patricks church, Marshside Road, Southport.

All donations of cakes very much appreciated and if you can’t bake cakes please come along and eat some in aid of this great cause.

Councillor Sue McGuire, who lost her own brother to cancer says

“Macmillan were there when my brother and family needed them and that’s why I am delighted to be doing my bit to support this fantastic charity”

Councillor Pat Keith added

“Cake certainly tastes better together so please join us and helps make it a great success.”

Sefton Borough – Review of bus network – commercial and subsidised

This is a vital issue for bus users as it could lead to changes in the bus network across Southport. Those with an interest in local bus services need to ensure that their voice is heard. The rest of this posting is taken directly from Merseytravel’s briefing note. Please read on:-



Merseytravel Briefing Note:

Sefton Bus Network Review

We are currently undertaking a phased approach in reviewing the bus network across the Liverpool City Region. The next area to be reviewed is Sefton, following work in Kirkby and St Helens earlier this year.

A key aim of the work, and that of the Bus Alliance (a formal partnership with operators Arriva and Stagecoach), is to create a simpler and clearer, and where possible, more direct network to help encourage people on board, driving more investment for bus services.

Historically bus routes have been considered on a piecemeal basis and the idea is to consider the commercial network and the supported network – that which relies on public subsidy via Merseytravel – as a whole for the first time, to ensure it best reflects current working and living patterns and new developments and how they are served.

As part of the reviews we are looking at how working in partnership can help us make efficiency savings – ensuring that increasingly limited resources for supported bus services are focused where there is most need.

We are working innovatively at a time when other areas across the country, due to budget pressures, are looking to significantly reduce or even remove their supported bus services, leaving some communities without services altogether.

As part of this review, we are looking for people to tell us how they use the bus network in the area, particularly any supported bus service.

A series of drop-in events are being held, starting next week, where members of the public will have the opportunity to speak to representatives from Merseytravel about bus services across the area. Previous events in Kirkby and St Helens provided useful feedback which helped to inform the changes to the bus network.

There will be six drop-in events taking place across the Sefton borough and in Liverpool over the next few weeks:

• Monday 26th September, 10am – 3pm – Maghull Central Square
• Tuesday 27th September, 10am – 3pm – Crosby Village
• Thursday 29th September, 10am – 3pm – Marian Square, Netherton
• Friday 30th September, 10am – 3pm – Chapel Street, Southport
• Monday 3rd October, 9am – 5pm – Bootle Strand
• Wednesday 5th October, 9am – 5pm – Williamson Square, Liverpool

There will also be an opportunity to provide feedback on bus services in Sefton via an online survey on the bus review pages on the Merseytravel website at

With help from the feedback received from these events and via the Merseytravel website, proposed changes to the network will be drafted and an additional drop-in event and online consultation scheduled to give the public an opportunity to comment on them, details of which will be published on the Merseytravel website.

As in other areas where we’ve already undertaken these reviews, it is anticipated that we will work with the operators to extend or re-route some commercial services (i.e. those without public subsidy) to cover areas previously served by publicly supported services.

To make the network easier to understand we are also planning for services on the same routes to operate under the same number whatever the time of day where possible.

While there will be some changes to how people make their journeys as a result of the review, there is opportunity to make the network better reflect demand. Reviews in Kirkby and St Helens have seen improved services to key areas of employment, education and leisure.

We will be working with all operators, to endeavour that passengers will have alternative provision available within their area if a service is removed or changed. Any changes will come into effect in January 2017.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Jeanette Townson, Bus Development Manager on email at

Thanks to Cllr. John Dodd for the lead to this story.

Councillor Sue McGuire raises concerns on Southport Hospital A&E survey results

Cllr Sue McGuire & John Pugh MP following hospital visit

Cllr Sue McGuire & John Pugh MP following hospital visit

At a recent Health & Adult Social Care Committee meeting Southport & Formby CCG presented a report comparing expected targets for a range of Health Services available in Southport including those provided by Southport & Ormskirk Hospital.

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Councillor Sue McGuire who is a member of the Health & Adult Social Care Committee said “It is pleasing to see that a number of services provided by Southport & Ormskirk Hospital exceed the targets set. It is particularly good news in the treatment of cancer, were the service significantly surpasses its various goals.

Councillor Sue McGuire added “However, there are some services that fall far short of the national average. I am primarily concerned with the responses from the ‘Friends & Family’ survey for both inpatient and A& E visits for Southport Hospital. The most startling figure was that 17% of those who responded to the survey said that they would not recommend the Accident & Emergency department at Southport Hospital to others. This figure is way above the national average figure of 7%.

“This does not paint a very good picture for our local hospital especially at a time when increasing financial conditions are putting more pressure on our already stretched services. I will be raising these concerns with both the hospital and the Clinical Commissioning Group at their “Big Chat” event next week.

Councillor McGuire added “I would encourage anybody interested in the current state of our health services in Southport to attend this “Big Chat” event to give their views and experiences.”

The “Big Chat” event is being held on 27th September from 1.00 p.m. at Christ Church, Lord Street, Southport.

Councillor Sue McGuire argues “Council Parking policy needs to be reviewed”

Cllr Sue McGuire inspects one of the new parking machines

Cllr Sue McGuire inspects one of the new parking machines

Residents and visitors to Southport are being penalised for an outdated parking policy which takes no account of the new modern technology now available at parking meters.

The Council have invested in new parking machines which now allow motorists to pay for parking using their bank card but Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Councillor Sue McGuire has raised concerns that the policy regarding parking tickets needs to be reviewed and updated.

Councillor McGuire said

“I understand the current Council policy that it is the motorists’ responsibility to ensure that a valid parking ticket is displayed at all times whilst the vehicle is parked. But what concerns me, is when a motorist appeals a parking fine for non-display and is able to provide evidence that a parking ticket was purchased by card, Sefton Council still insist on payment of the fine.  This is grossly unfair – surely if you can show a receipt for payment, that should be enough for the fine to be withdrawn”.

Councillor McGuire added,

“The law says that, ‘An authority has a discretionary power to cancel a PCN at any point and that authorities have a duty to act fairly and proportionately’. In the situation outlined, the law seems pretty clear, proof of purchase has been provided and I don’t understand how it can be deemed ‘fair’ to penalise a person who paid to park”

Councillor Mike Booth has also raised similar concerns about fines being issued when parking tickets are not displayed.

Councillor Booth explained,

“Most places in the UK now provide tickets which have an adhesive strip that allows them to be fixed to the windscreen.  Why, when the Council were investing so much in new machines, was this option not considered?”

Councillor Booth added

“I have asked Sefton Council to explain their decision and have been given a range of reasons including hot weather and condensation – but if most other places can manage, why can’t Sefton?  It would save a huge amount of stress for motorists who are sometimes being penalised for a draft of wind.”



Additional information:

Advice of the DfT and the Secretary of State.

Paragraph 85 from the Secretary of State’s Statutory Guidance to Local Authorities advises;

85. An authority has a discretionary power to cancel a PCN at any point throughout the CPE process. It can do this even when an undoubted
contravention has occurred if the authority deems it to be appropriate in the circumstances of the case. Under general principles of public law, authorities
have a duty to act fairly and proportionately and are encouraged to exercise discretion sensibly and reasonably and with due regard to the public interest

This statutory guidance is given legal authority by section 87 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 whereby statute instructs that the council must have regard to this guidance. Any failure to have regard to this guidance is a procedural impropriety as defined by regulation 4(5) of the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) Representations and Appeals Regulations 2007;

4(5) In these Regulations “procedural impropriety” means a failure by the enforcement authority to observe any requirement imposed on it by the 2004 Act, by the General Regulations or by these Regulations in relation to the imposition or recovery of a penalty charge or other sum and includes in particular

Rubbish Friends out whatever the weather!!

Rubbish Friends were out again on Saturday 3rd September despite the weather. The team of intrepid volunteers donned waterproofs to clean up the Sand Dunes around the west side of the Marine Lake.

Councillor Sue McGuire, co-founder of Rubbish Friends said

“Rubbish Friends try to time their clean ups to coincide with social events happening in Southport to put an extra sparkle in our town for visitors and residents alike. This time we are tackling the sand dunes and area around the West Lancs Yacht Club in time for both the Air Show and the 24 hour Yacht Race.”

Southport resident and long standing Rubbish Friend Doug Southern said

“I’m really proud of our team of litter pickers who have been turning out every six weeks since 2012 to clean up grot spots across Southport. They are a great group of people who voluntarily give their time and effort and do a great job for Southport.

Doug Southern added

“I would encourage more people to get involved. There is a real sense of pride and community spirit when we see the amount of litter we collect and the positive impact we make on the areas we tackle. Everyone is very welcome to come along. The more volunteers, the more litter collected, the tidier we can all make Southport.

Councillor Sue McGuire slams fall in international student numbers

Councillor Sue McGuire has slammed the fall in non-EU students studying at British universities.

Councillor McGuire, who works in Liverpool next to the University of Liverpool campus said

“There is a large number of foreign students currently studying in Liverpool particularly students from China. A big fall in numbers will impact on the finances of the Universities. “

Alistair Carmichael, the party’s Home Affairs spokesperson, lambasted the fall which he said showed the government’s fixation with their immigration target was undermining Britain’s economy and the university sector.

Long-term immigration to the UK for all immigrants for study has dropped to the lowest level since 2007.

Figures from the ONS quarterly migration statistics show international student numbers fell by 28,000 in the year ending in March 2016 to 164,000. Last year 192,000 international students came to the UK.

The fall in numbers hit applications to universities and further education colleges.

Commenting Alistair Carmichael MP said:

“Theresa May spent the last 6 years as Home Secretary pursuing a stupid and undeliverable target to reduce immigration to the tens of thousands. That broken promise has damaged public confidence, but if it was delivered it would damage the economy.

“What we are seeing here is a fall in international students who pay huge sums to study at our universities off the back of the Conservatives’ obsession with trying to chase an arbitrary immigration target. International students, by the Government’s own estimates, contribute billions of pounds to our economy every year and are a vital to local economies up and down the country.

“Cutting the numbers of international students is the definition of shortsighted. Rather than undermining our universities the Prime Minister should abandon her manifesto commitment, back our universities and encourage the best and brightest in the world to study in the UK.”

Rubbish Friends volunteers cleaning up for the Air Show and the 24 hour Yacht Race

“Oh we do like to be beside the sea” well maybe not the seaside but Rubbish Friends litter heroes will be out again this Saturday 3rd September when they will be cleaning up the Sand Dunes around the west side of the Marine Lake

The team of intrepid volunteers will be cleaning up the area around the West Lancs Yacht Club to make Southport sparkle in time for both the Air Show and the 24 hour yacht race.

The Rubbish Friends will be meeting in the car park on Marine Drive by the entrance to West Lancs Yacht Club at 10:30am. We are delighted to confirm that there will be free parking in the West Lancs Yacht Cub car park. Gloves, litter-pickers and bags will be provided.

Everyone is very welcome to come along as the more volunteers the more litter collected!!

Southport has no sails in the sunset

A Southport councillor has questioned why the wind has been taken out of the town’s turbine sails.

Lib Dem Cambridge Ward representative, Councillor Pat Keith, has asked the council for the reasons behind the wind turbine at Southport Eco Centre being out of action for the past three months.

Councillor Keith said

“ I am very concerned about this situation, especially as the council recently stated its opposition to fracking and placed a greater emphasis on green energy, which they strongly favour,”

“ The longer this wind turbine remains inactive the more money and energy is lost so it is a costly double whammy. I have put questions to the council and I would like to see a speedy resolution to the situation and the turbine sails once again turning.

“ I understand that the turbine malfunctioned several months ago but the council believe they don’t have sufficient maintenance revenue to repair it at present. This seems to me to be muddle thinking because as soon as the turbine is working again revenues will flow from it.”

A council source said:

“The wind turbine at Southport Eco Centre was connected to the national grid on commissioning in 2004.  It benefits and reduces council costs in two key ways.

“It reduces the Eco Centre’s consumption of electricity from the national grid therefore reducing the centre’s energy bills. The council receives annual payment from the government Feed-in- Tariff scheme for the unused electricity on site which is exported to the national grid 24 hours a day.”

Councillor Sue McGuire asks “Are you a Rubbish Friend?”

Rubbish Friends tackle Kew Roundabout in 2015

Rubbish Friends volunteers pictured following the clean up at Kew Roundabout in 2015

If so then we would love you to join us at our next litter pick on Saturday 13th August. This time the team of intrepid volunteers will be undertaking a clean up at Kew Roundabout.

This is an annual event which we try to do in time for the Flower Show. Many people attend the event and we think its important that their first view as they approach Southport isn’t a litter strewn roundabout.

We’ll be meeting in the car park of B&Q at 10:30am, a flask of coffee will be on offer!

Litter pickers, bags and gloves will be provided.

Councillor Sue McGuire & Councillor Pat Keith would also like to say a huge thanks to those people who helped in the Rubbish Friends clean up with Southport Hoteliers. Everyone worked really hard cleaning up the Promenade in time for the Britain in Bloom judging.

“Rubbish Friends” litter pickers are delighted as plastic bag usage falls by 85%

Sue & Pat plastic bag adjusted

Cllrs Sue McGuire & Pat Keith tackle discarded plastic bags during a recent Rubbish Friends litter pick.

Plastic bag use has plummeted in England since the introduction of a 5p charge last year, under the previous coalition government.

The number of single-use plastic bags used by shoppers in England has fallen by more than 85%. More than 7bn bags were handed out by seven main supermarkets in the year before the charge but this has been reduced to just over 500m in the first six months after the charge has been introduced.

Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Sefton Council, Councillor Sue McGuire said:

“Our volunteer litter picking group Rubbish Friends can report from first hand experience that the number of single use plastic bags which are simply discarded has fallen significantly since the charge was introduced. These bags blight Southport and the surrounding countryside, when blown they get caught in trees and hedgerows, they can trap and suffocate wildlife and have a huge impact on our coast and seas so I am delighted that these figures show that this Lib Dem policy is starting to stop that””

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said:

“We always said the test of this policy would be by the amounts of bags that are cut from public consumption and the funds raised for charities – on both these tests this policy has passed.

“I want to pay tribute to Kate Parminter who fought tirelessly for this policy and today’s figures are a testament to her. It is down to Liberal Democrats in Government that this policy happened – we announced it at our 2013 conference and we are now seeing what a huge impact it has had.”