Maghull Town Council’s controlling Labour Group set ambitious pl

Caroline Esterson


Maghull Town Council's controlling Labour Group announced its pre-budget summary last Wednesday.


The budget report was drawn up by the Labour councillors with the aim of securing the town council from the dire economy and any future local government funding cuts.


Speaking after the meeting, new Maghull Town Council leader, Labour's Cllr Caroline Esterson, said her main aim was to get the very best value for money for the people of Maghull.


Cllr Esterson said: "We have created a cautious budget summary report due to the very difficult national economic situation which in turn is having an effect on the economy locally.

People in Maghull are struggling to make ends meet. They are facing rocketing householdbills, unemployment, a fall in wages and a drop in living standards.


"As a town council, we need to ensure that we come up with a budget which allows us to make life better for the people of Maghull while also contending with a potential reduction in our finances.


"We are already having to cope with the extravagant roof renewal programme which was a legacy of the Liberal Democrat administration prior to Labour taking control in May.


"Yet we have budgeted to continue the delivery of high quality care for our open spaces, parks and children's play areas for the benefit of the whole community.


"It is opening up the town council and the facilities for the benefit of the whole community which is at the core of what we as Labour councillors are striving to achieve. This will include increasing the use of Maghull's town hall facilities for the benefit of the community while reducing or eliminating charges for Maghull community groups.


"We are going to stimulate community activity by providing additional funds for new or expanding community organisations as well as continuing to provide support for long-standing organisations such as The Hornby Trust, Maghull in Bloom and the Maghull Station volunteers. And we are throwing open the doors of the town hall to the community so people can come in and say what they want from our community facilities and how best we can get our value for money."


Maghull Town Council is also planning a series of community events throughout the year.


Cllr Esterson said: "We want to celebrate life here in Maghull and that is why we've guaranteed funding for the annual fireworks display, which last year we saved from the Tory-Lib Dem government funding cuts.


"The Mayor, Cllr Sandra Williams is organising a gardens and plants event in May which will provide an opportunity for the whole Maghull community to come together. And Cllr Maurice Byrne is in discussion with members of the Hornby Trust to organise a major festival celebrating one of the town's favourite sons."


But Cllr Esterson also said that one of the Labour Group's main aims is to make life better for people in Maghull during a difficult time.


She said: "As life opportunities get more difficult for young people in Maghull, we want to help to give them a foot up onto the ladder. That's why we are already working on a Maghull Town Council Apprenticeship Programme which will provide on-the-job training for youngsters on a variety of activities and career paths. And linked to this we are working on setting up a Job Club in the town hall to give people struggling to get into work support and training.


"We will of course continue to support the Citizens Advice Bureau which is available in the town hall.


"And while youth provision is under threat from the Tory-Lib Dem government's budget reductions, we have already agreed to an expansion of the use of town council facilities so that The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme can still be delivered to Maghull's young people.

In addition, we will continue to support the youth Coffee Bar and may consider opening it on more nights in the future."


Cllr Esterson said the Labour-run town council will strive to get the best for the people of Maghull.


She added: "Under Labour control, Maghull Town Council will work to improve our community and make life better for the people who live here.


"That is the ultimate aim of our budget plans which we will be rolling out in the coming months."

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