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October 2008

Cheshire Lines Path

CheshireLine1 I can heartily recommend residents of Formby and others to take a walk or cycle ride along the Cheshire Line trail, it's an absolute treasure on our doorstep. With the weather as it is, sunny and very low winds the trail is a joy to use.

But take care, I came across a resident of Maghull this week who had fallen from her bicycle into a ten foot drainage ditch, she was fortunate to have escaped with only scratches and bruises.

I have reported the to matter to Sefton MBC officers who assure me that the site of the accident is actually in West Lancashire, I'm not convinced the Ordinance Survey map suggests it lies in Sefton.

[ Since I first wrote about this some three hours ago I have received more information from Sefton, It's now 5.45pm Friday 26th September]

I am grateful to the officer concerned for a very prompt response. I am now convinced that the footpath/way is in West Lancashire, but the field and the field drainage ditch are probably in Sefton. Given Health and Safety Law I'm not sure that anyone can actually ignore the requirements of the legislation, 'if you know of a hazard' you must act to reduce it, even members of the public are required by the law, it's a 'duty' to use the legal jargon.

I returned to the scene today and this is my short video report on the scene, please excuse my faltering commentary, I will get better. I'm afraid I also got the name of the road wrong, it's Plex Moss Lane which a little research on Google maps put right.  Nevertheless the video clearly shows that the ditch is on the Sefton side of the way/road and this raises questions for both the land owner and Sefton MBC in my view. It also show how narrow a space there is between the locked gate and the edge of the path, watch the second cyclist, there's only room for him and there's no barrier between him and a 10 foot drop into the ditch.

Formby By-Pass

On the way home from Liverpool on Sunday 14th September, traffic came to halt for a few minutes as the Round Britain Bike Race passed along the Formby by-pass. I thought I'd add this 3 minute video of the event for anyone who missed it.

A brief break

For pressing family reasons I am away this week in Birmingham. I will not be available for my usual weekly 'surgery' at Formby Pool. I'm also having to regretfully send my apologies for not being able to attend this months Parish Council meeting. I trust my colleagues understand.

On the question of allotments I have now received an acknowledgment from the Sefton MBC Chief Executive, who has agreed in his reply that there is a clear growing demand for allotments throughout Sefton.

My questions have been forwarded to an officer for their attention, I await with interest.

What is revealing is that when you read the 'Green and Open Spaces Strategy' recently adopted by Sefton MBC, the only background reading undertaken was a CABE bulletin and there is no evidence that Government advice notes on preparing these strategies had been adhered too. Neither can I see any evidence of internal consultation with those Sefton Council departments who run allotments.
Furthermore, though there are numerous references to an allotment strategy in the document this will not be prepared until 2010, I'm not sure how a 'Green and Open Spaces strategy can actually leave out any detailed reflections on those aspects.