Negative Labour campaign

Liverpool’s Labour Party appears to have made a resolution to focus on negative attacks on the Green Party in 2013.
"Rose" leaflet page 2The “Come Clean” jibe is misplaced. The Green Party has been saying consistently that the council should be prepared to make a rise in council tax in order to protect vulnerable people from some of the cuts.

We have never said that council tax can fill the whole of the gap created by the coalition government’s savage cuts.

We are opposing the Mayor’s whole budget regime unless and until he is willing to call a referendum and ask the people of Liverpool to pay a bit more tax. Last year we did indeed propose a 4% tax increase which works out at about £1 per week for most households. But just last week, the Mayor brought in cuts to council tax benefit that will cost the poorest households approx £1.70 per week. We have doubts that people will be able to pay that money from jobseeker’s allowance of £71 per week. Will it really save money or just enrich the bailiffs?

We will propose an increase in council tax at the Budget Meeting of 6th March 2013 and it might be even more than 4%, but it will be nothing like the fantasy figure suggested by the Labour leaflet.

The previous posting explains our position.

 

Change of use – former Park Lane Hotel

Green Party councillors for St Michaels ward raised some worries about the proposal to convert a closed hotel at 23 Aigburth Drive into a house in multiple occupation.

The letter to the planning officers is here.

We had some reassurances in the case officer’s report here which goes to the planning committee on 20th November 2012.

Aigburth Road – late night food and drink applications

There are three applications for late night food and drink outlets in November 2012 which may hold the risk of changing the nature of a whole section of the northern end of Aigburth Road.

Residents can make up their own minds on whether to object to, support or comment on these applications and the details are below.

Two of the applications are for licences.

At 80 Aigburth Road there is an application to extend the opening hours for off-sales of alcohol to 5 a.m. There is a deadline of Tuesday 13th November to respond. Please download the form here. To beat the deadline, you can email your objections before 13th November provided you send a signed hard-copy as soon as possible. We can deliver written objections for you if they are delivered by hand to 86 Belgrave Road (Cllr John Coyne) or to 27 Blythswood Street (Cllr Sarah Jennings) on or before Monday 12th November.

At 138 Aigburth Road (Freddy’s Chicken & Pizza) there is an application for late night refreshment, serving take-away food until 1 a.m. Sunday to Thursday and 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. The deadline for responses is 28th November and the form can be downloaded here.

At 166A Aigburth Road there is a planning application for change of use of the premises – To change use from a cafe to cafe/hot food take-away (A3/A5) (opening 1000-2300 hours) install extraction flue within chimney and install new shop front.

The deadline for responses was 2nd November, but late responses are normally allowed provided the application has not been decided. Comments can be sent by email to planningandbuildingcontrol@liverpool.gov.uk

 

Calling for a more truthful Labour campaign

One clear message coming to us from residents is that they always prefer to hear positive politics. They are not impressed by unfair and negative attacks on opponents.

The recent leaflet “St Michaels Rose” has two baseless attacks on the Green councillors, as described below. Local people who know their councillors are surprised by that Labour leaflet.

We are surprised that Tricia O’Brien, the defeated Labour candidate in this May’s elections, is tolerating this leaflet. (We do not think she wrote it.). Tricia moved into St Michaels ward two years ago and we think she plays a constructive part in the Lark Lane Continue reading

2 AIGBURTH DRIVE – SINGLE MEN’S CENTRE

In July, Sarah Jennings and John Coyne visited the Council-run Single Men’s Centre at 2 Aigburth Drive in Sefton Park.

In meetings at the Solna Hotel some local residents had pointed to problems they believed are linked to the existence of the hostel at 2 Aigburth Drive.

It was clear that the management of the Centre are keen to maintain good relationships with local residents. The manager, Bill Piper, states that the Centre is staffed 24/7 and the office phone number is available for local people to call – 0151 225 8702. Bill himself attends during normal office hours, Monday to Friday.

The mission of the Centre is “To provide long term accommodation for vulnerable single men who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless and have a range of needs including mental health and alcohol issues. The centre provides a safe and secure environment with support to enable them to live independently within the centre and the local community.”

Because of the age profile and the vulnerability of most of the residents, it is often they who are the victims of crime in the community, particularly assaults and other crimes against the person. It is recognised, however, that sometimes the residents do contribute to crime and disorder in the neighbourhood. Becuse the Centre is a hostel and not a treatment centre there is no resource to monitor or control the behaviour of individual residents outside the Centre.

And, again because the Centre does not have a detoxification programme, drinking is tolerated in the outside area to the rear of the premises. Part of the campus of a local school – Bellerive FCJ – shares a boundary with the Centre and we are told that there is no history of any complaint to the Centre from that school. [UPDATE 10th August – the school point out that they are objecting to the Solna application – the point here is the narrower one of relevance to neighbours sharing a boundary; any disturbance from the outside social drinking area has not been enough to warrant a complaint.]

One significant problem for the Centre is the derelict tower block – Belem Towers – which is next door. This site is a magnet for problem drinkers who congregate there and use the shelter provided by the overhang at the first floor level. Admittedly, some residents from 2 Aigburth Drive are caught up in the groups of drinkers there. Green Party councillors are pressing for a resolution of the future of the Belem Towers site.

We will update this post shortly to describe some of the excellent work being done by the local church to support and involve the men living at 2 Aigburth Drive. And the following longer description of the Centre explains more about how it operates.

————

Single Men’s Centre

2 Aigburth Drive

L17 3AA

Service Description

The single men’s centre is located on Aigburth Drive next to the Alicia Hotel.

The building is a converted Edwardian house it comprises of five floors including the basement and has rooms for 34 service users. It has a large garden in the rear of the building, which includes a sheltered drinking area for the clients.

To the front and side of the building, there is provision for parking cars etc.

The service users must be 40 years of age or over and able to a certain degree to be able to look after themselves.

Due to the age group and their single status, a high percentage of the service users have either alcoholism or slight mental health problems and support is provided to address these problems or manage the situation as need be.

The original purpose of the centre was to provide long-term accommodation for service users who were mainly in their late 50s or 60s and in many cases there was no intention or inclination to change their live style and the support was in managing this situation.

We are now seeing services users in their early forties and have had considerable success in moving them on to their own accommodation with long or short-term support being provided by outside agencies.

Each service user has his own room, and the accommodation is spread over four floors, all the accommodation is accessed by stairs (no lifts) the rooms are basically furnish and do not have their own washing or toilet facilities, these are all communal usage.

We do provide meals on site and these are served in the dining room located in the basement consisting of Breakfast, Packed Lunches and an evening meal, these meals are optional.

The service users do have fridge/freezers and microwave ovens in their rooms if they want to purchase and prepare their own meals.

There is a communal television lounge/games room on the ground floor for the services users.

Also located in the basement is the laundry where the service users can wash, dry and iron their clothing.

The ground floor also has the reception office adjacent to the main door, the manager’s office is annexed to the reception office.

Staff Room is located in Basement along with staff Male & Female rest rooms.

Bill Piper

Improving the Council’s proposals for Sefton Park

We have asked for help drawing plans of some possibilities for slowing down traffic to reduce danger and make it easier for cyclists and pedestrians to get into and around Sefton Park.

Diagrams are not definite proposals yet – just to illustrate that other solutions are possible.

09 Livingstone Drive North

10 Livingstone Drive South

11 Southern Gate- miniroundabouts

12 Southern Gate_ Zig-zag zebra

13 Southern Gate- Twin zebras

Drawings showing highways engineers’ proposals for Sefton Park.

Overview map showing the whole perimeter (2.6MB). Sefton Pk – Proposed Layout GA (A1)

Croxteth Gate Sefton Pk – Proposed Layout L1

Croxteth Drive / Mossley Hill Drive, by St Hilda’s school Sefton Pk – Proposed Layout L2

(Two maps in one image.) Greenbank Drive / Mossley Hill Drive and Ibbotsons Lane / Mossley Hill Drive Sefton Pk – Proposed Layout L3

(Two maps in one image.) Parking layouts on Mossley Hill Drive opposite Irwell House and opposite Windermere House. Sefton Pk – Proposed Layout L4

Elmswood Road / Mossley Hill Drive. Sefton Pk – Proposed Layout L7

(Two maps in one image.) Entrance from Lark Lane onto Aigburth Drive and Livingston Drive North / Aigburth Drive. Sefton Pk – Proposed Layout L5

Cross-section diagram. Sefton Pk – Proposed Layout L6

Sefton Park Perimeter: free our park from road danger

UPDATE October 2012 – Council’s Consultation not Fit for Purpose.

We are struggling to understand what has gone so very wrong with the council’s intentions to involve people in shaping the future of Sefton Park and the perimeter roads. In the final week of September 2012 about 950 homes on the edge of the Park received a questionnaire with diagrams here and here. But there are more than 10 times that many homes within a 1 kilometre radius – what should be easy walking distance to a local park.

The proposals have the merit of adding two Zebra crossings and upgrading one crossing at Lark Lane to a Zebra, but they are wholly inadequate. As it stands we will be left with the fast, wide main road which cuts off the Park from many people who want to walk to it in safety. And until recently we did not know that the £6m budget is planned to bring the roads (the “carriageway”) up to a standard where it can be adopted, but NOT the pavements (the “footway”). Those pavements will not be repaired by the council and they will continue to break up.

The questionnaire itself contains only closed questions

“…I would be grateful if you could complete and return the attached questionnaire together with any other comments which you wish to make regarding these proposals only…”

The council does not want to hear about it if you have any counter proposals!

We hope it is not too late for this Labour council to recognise it can give its Highways officers a clear direction to adopt better practice on consultation and to involve the community in deciding what kind of road it is going to rebuild. If they can do that, the Green Party will give them due credit.

Please take our online poll to tell us what you think


(PREVIOUS POST)

A major upgrade of Aigburth Drive, is soon to begin, and we are asking for your input.

We welcome the work that the current administration has agreed to progress on Aigburth Drive and the other unadopted roads around Sefton Park; not least because it means the roads can become part of the adopted highway network and repairs will become the council’s responsibility.

City Plans

Highways Engineers’ Proposals For Sefton Park

Proposals from the highways engineers can be downloaded here.These are maps of the entire perimeter and detailed drawings of specific junctions.

Alternative Plans

Alternative Proposals For Perimeter Road

And some new alternatives are shown here.

Sefton Park

We have asked to be involved in the final design of the road to ensure the most is made of this opportunity. This document represents an initial gathering of our ideas for the road, and we would welcome your feedback to help us refine our eventual proposal to highways.

Even in its worn out state, the road carries a significant amount of commuter traffic, as well as being an access route for residences around the park and visitors to the park itself. So we need to make sure that the road once finished doesn’t simply become a fast through route for traffic wishing to avoid the main roads, which would end up further severing the public from the recently-refurbished park.

The design should allow the best solutions for pedestrians and ensure that average speeds don’t increase because of driver confidence in a newly-laid road surface.

We would like to see designed in more natural traffic speed controlling measures that are less hostile to drivers than speed bumps, and which might actually be attractive to look at. For example, changing sight lines using buildouts, pinch points, traffic islands, planting, etc. which would lead most drivers to slow down without hindering progress. We’d also want to make sure crossings go in at points that are most obvious walking routes.

We have been in contact with council officers and will put questions to the administration via committees if we see fit.

You can get involved!

And of course we would welcome local residents’ input into the process too, so feel free to offer your own proposals to:

stmichaels@greenparty.org.uk or 728 2485

Some of our ideas in summary:

  • 20mph speed limit;
  • pedestrian priority to be asserted at all pedestrian desire lines;
  • use Zebras rather than Pelicans to give instant priority;
  • design junctions so that pedestrians have highest priority, then traffic entering the perimeter road and lastly traffic continuing along the perimeter;
  • aim to reduce traffic volume as well as speed;
  • (highway-speak) change the position of Aigburth Drive in the road hierarchy so that it ceases to be a distributor and becomes an access road;
  • in particular aim to discourage and not provide for peak time commuter traffic – it is this traffic, if not reduced, which will compete for road capacity and junction capacity against the needs of pedestrians
  • less traffic and slower traffic makes the park quieter and cleaner for visitors, including people who run around it;
  • redesign of carriageway to provide angled or even perpendicular parking helps visitors and fits with the aim of reducing carriageway widths.

Please let you know what you think. We want your help to ensure Aigburth Drive is fit for all users.

Sarah Jennings updates about her work in St Michaels

Sarah has been showing our camera man Martin around St Michaels, and talking about some of the case work she is currently involved with in the ward.

Councillor Sarah Jennings talks about the work she has done in the Lark Lane community.

Councillor Sarah Jennings talks about the work she has done for the community around St Michaels Station.

Councillor Sarah Jennings talks about the work she has done for the community around The Dingle Triangle.

Councillor Sarah Jennings talks about the work she has done for the community around Colebrooke Road and Buckland Street.

Councillor Sarah Jennings talks about the work she has done for the community around Aigburth Road.

Cllr Sarah Jennings: Community Funding for St Michaels

Sarah Jennings cropped 2012Community First Panel

St Michaels ward saw a rise in unemployment of over 10% last year. Because of this, the ward has qualified for funding from the Community Development Foundation. We have established a panel that includes members of the ward’s residents associations and community groups, an RSL, and council officers, who will assess bids from ward-based groups who would like to offer a service or project that would benefit the ward. Whatever the group can offer, the panel will match fund – this could be in cash, or labour. The maximum bid from each group is £2,500. If you belong to an organisation that has a project that needs funding, please contact Sarah Jennings in the first instance: sarah.jennings@liverpool.gov.uk or on 07969 257420, or follow the link to download an application form.

www.stmichaelscommunitypanel.wordpress.com