Local updates for the Lark Lane area

Belem Tower
The new owners of the derelict Belem Tower in Sefton Park are working on a plan to refurbish the tower block and bring it back into use as flats. We have seen some of the preparatory documents, but the full planning application has not yet been registered. We have taken steps to make sure the site is cleared up and the overhanging bushes are trimmed back so that trapped litter can be removed.

24 Hour McDonalds
McDonalds are thinking about making a planning application for 24-hour opening and have asked for ward councillors’ comments. We are told that the overnight opening would only be for drive-through take away meals. Please contact us if you would like to give us your view.

Bedroom Tax Update
Your Green Councillors first proposed a “no eviction” policy for tenants unable to pay the Bedroom Tax in April, which was rejected by Labour Councillors. We are pleased that the Mayor was persuaded to propose his own “no evictions” policy, which was agreed by the council in July and which both your Green Councillors supported. Green Councillors also called for Councillors on boards of Housing Associations to lobby for “no evictions” policies in their Housing Associations, which was agreed by a majority of councillors.

Green Councillors pushed for the new bin at the Lark Lane entrance to Sefton Park.

Green Councillors pushed for the new bin at the Lark Lane entrance to Sefton Park.

Keeping Lark Lane Tidy
Tom Crone and your Green Councillors have been listening to the concerns of local residents and have been looking at ways to keep the Lark Lane area tidy. We have been successful in having two bins installed, one at the Aigburth Road junction and more recently at the crossing into Sefton Park.

Greens help the Mayor to save money on Landfill charges with new aluminium recycling scheme

A new initiative led by Tom Crone in our area means that less of the council’s money is being wasted on landfill charges. At the moment the council does not collect aluminium foil amongst various other things, which in most cases will end up in landfill. The new Green Party scheme hopes to divert as much as possible of that aluminium to recycling rather than landfill and save the Mayor and council tax payers money.

If you would like to recycle your aluminium, such as pastry cases, takeaway containers etc, please wash and squash them and keep until you have a bag full. Then drop them off at your nearest collection point. At the moment there are four collection points in St Michaels:

32 Lucerne Street, L17 8XT
53 Ancaster Road, L17 9QE
86 Belgrave Road, L17 7AH
27 Blythswood Street, L17 7DD

Please get in touch if you can act as another collection point.
Any money made from the recycling scheme will be given to local good causes.

Events in Sefton Park – Tom Crone Reports

The coming bank holiday weekend will see live music performed in Sefton Park as part of the Liverpool International Music Festival.

We welcome Sefton Park being used for some events and hope many of you will enjoy it, but we have some concerns which we have sought to address.

More traffic can mean more problems for local people. Lark Lane and surrounding streets might suffer from displaced festival parking. We have asked for extra enforcement to keep the corners clear at the junctions on Lark Lane.

Green Councillors pushed for the new bin at the Lark Lane entrance to Sefton Park.

Green Councillors pushed for the new bin at the Lark Lane entrance to Sefton Park.

Litter can also be an issue at this kind of event. Encouragingly, bins at the festival will be sorted afterwards and 70% of their contents will be recycled. We have pushed for a new bin at the Lark Lane entrance but it is likely that there still won’t be enough bins, so if you do live nearby you could take your litter home to help reduce overflowing.

The most serious concern we have is that the council has awarded itself a licence to sell alcohol to 40,000 people in the park 365 days a year. This is despite a large amount of concern from local residents. Green Councillors supported local people who called for temporary licences for each event. The blanket approach favoured by the Mayor reduces residents’ influence over what happens in the park. A possible big increase in events could ruin local people’s enjoyment of the park.

The Council is spending £400,000 of your money to pay for music in Sefton Park. The hope is that somehow it will help to “regenerate” Liverpool. But just in case that fails I am going to head down and get my money’s worth!

Sefton Park Perimeter Road work finishes

The city council has spent £6m of your money to rebuild the roads around Sefton Park. The quality of the work is good and we can all appreciate the new road surface. But we are disappointed that this money was not spent wisely: there was an opportunity to design-out fast through traffic, but it was missed.

We argued that the perimeter roads should be seen as part of the Park. They are needed for access and they can take some traffic, but it’s the fast, through traffic that creates a barrier which cuts off lots of people from reaching their local park in safety. Children, older people and people with limited mobility are the worst affected.

Our survey of people living close to the Park showed a big majority wanting slower traffic and less traffic. People who live close to the Park tend to agree with us.

The Green Party tried to argue for the rights of these people, but we had only limited success. There are three Zebra Crossings, but we need many more. We did win two arguments: the width of the road near the Aigburth Vale gateway has been reduced and the junction at Lark Lane has been given a “speed table” (pictured below), a wide hump that’s intended to slow traffic and give people on foot and on bikes a better chance to cross.

This is not the end of the story. It costs more to come back and fit things like extra crossings, but the Green Councillors believe it is right to do that. As a first step we have asked for agreement to use the ward budget to provide a Zebra Crossing at Livingston Drive North.

Tom Crone successfully pushed for the new Zebra Crossing at Lark Lane to be given a "speed table" to make crossing easier.

Tom Crone successfully pushed for the new Zebra Crossing at Lark Lane to be given a “speed table” to make crossing easier.