Maghull Town Council to discuss Local Plan survey findings – whi

Maghull Town Council Labour leader Cllr Patrick McKinley and fellow Sudell Ward Labour Councillor Lynn Gatherer with town council acting interim executive officer Emma Skelly and some of the completed surveys.

 


Maghull Town Council is set today (Wednesday) to discuss the results of the "largest exercise in participative democracy" the council has ever undertaken.

Residents from throughout the town have been completing the survey that was launched by the Labour-run town council.

The survey is designed to be an apolitical exercise aimed at objectively gauging people's views on the future of the town. The results will give the town council the chance to form a view on the plan that is based on the views of the people of Maghull.

Liberal Democrat town councillors refused to get involved in gathering views on the plan which will be the blue print for the evolution of the town over the next 15 years.

The findings make up Maghull Town Council's formal response to Sefton Council's Local Plan consultation.

Maghull Town Council's Labour leader, Cllr Patrick McKinley, said the results of the extensive survey will show what priorities the people of Maghull have for our town.

Cllr McKinley said: "On Wed Maghull Town Council will discuss the recommendations emanating from the results of one of the largest exercises in participative democracy ever undertaken by Maghull Town Council. 

"A total of 556 households were surveyed regarding their views on Sefton's Local Plan. Our survey was developed to complement Sefton's consultation.

"We realise politics and politicians generally have lost the support of local communities and we want to develop the kind of politics here in Maghull that will re-engage people in the democratic process where we act as community activists and are open and proactively working with our community to truly represent them and be advocates on their behalf. 

"This is why many of us, unfortunately not all, have given up many evenings and weekends in all weathers to go out across the whole of Maghull door knocking to ask the people of Maghull what they think about the Local Plan by completing the survey. 

"Many people have commented how refreshing this has been. People are genuinely shocked that we are actually asking them what their opinions are instead of telling them what to think. We think that this approach reflects the values we want to develop in our town. We are a listening and proactive town council."

Cllr McKinley slammed the Liberal Democrats on Maghull Town Council for want to "gag the people of Maghull".

Cllr McKinley said: "Well the results are in and on Wednesday we will be proposing our draft recommendations based on the people of Maghull’s views of the Local Plan.

"But one thing this has clearly highlighted is the difference between our approach and the Liberal Democrat armchair activists. The Liberal Democrats wanted to gag the people of Maghull. They wanted to shut the people of Maghull out of this most important process.

"We asked the Liberal Democrats to get involved in this very democratic process, they refused, as usual jumping on what they thought was a vote winning bandwagon. We believe that this approach is part of the old politics that turned people off. The Lib Dems think they know better so they go with their bandwagon driven opinions. 

"This approach is very arrogant and suggests that they’d rather try and govern people rather than listen to them and represent them. We are proactive they are reactive. Don’t just look at what we say, look at what we do: weekly surgeries, pop up shop to help regenerate Central Square, Maghull Radio to engage the whole community, apprenticeship programmes, a prudent council - we have saved over £150,000 on the council budget. 

"Look at what they did/do: ran a profligate council spending £500,000 unnecessarily on a vanity roof project. Do they do surgeries for the public? I don’t know! Are they easily contactable?"

Cllr McKinley said while the survey is to be formally discussed this evening (Wednesday) there are a number of issues which are clear priorities for the people of Maghull.

Cllr McKinley said: "The survey has thrown up some very interesting insights into people's views. It shows that some people think the Local Plan is good while others have concerns about the impact on infrastructure and loss of Green Belt. 

"What it does provide is a solid evidence base for us to take forward and try and get the concerns addressed by Sefton Council.

"What is clear is that we all want to protect the Green Belt. The most effective way of doing this is to stay in the tent to negotiate as long as you can. The results of our survey have given us a strong evidence base to do this. 

"We believe this pragmatic democratic approach is more effective than shouting from the back of a bandwagon like the Warmington on Sea Home Guard on manoeuvres. I'll let you decide who you think Captain Mainwaring and Corporal Jones are."

Cllr McKinley added: "We will be holding a public meeting to feedback the survey findings and recommendations to our community. We will get a date and venue sorted and make sure that it is widely publicised so as many people as possible can come along.

"After the council meeting, town council officers will be contacting Sefton Council to arrange a meeting to discuss our recommendations and the way forward."