The Devil God's Best Friend

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If you have any interest in: Ufology, Paranormal, Angling, Paganism, the Eco-system and general controversy then this may just be the place for you. I am a published author of books concerning these particular topics...


NB. Images are copyright of Pat Regan...



Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Community anger in Ainsdale at boiling point as Life or Death decision for George Drive woodlands rests with Bootle committee






















Tonight (29 March 2017) a committee in Bootle Town Hall will decide on the fate of a beautiful little woodland in Ainsdale’s George Drive.

For generations, local children have happily played in these green woods and endangered wildlife has found a safe haven. New residents and old will be crammed in like sardines if proposed development is accepted. The Council have admitted (in their well-concealed report) that properties will be, ‘closer than the suggested minimum standard.’

Ainsdale’s Cllr Lynne Thompson has held meetings between furious residents and pro-development One Vision Housing (OVH) officials.





























Lynne stated:

“The report Pat has quoted from also states there will be no 1.1 ratio to replace, any lost trees and the trees left in place will probably go eventually as they will block light from the new properties. The distance from the brook to the development is also less the accepted distance but they have included the garden space in the measurements. On top of that the gardens are going to be smaller than normal as there is not enough space. I called this in for a site visit which will take place this week and Planning meet on Friday. The recommendation to accept comes with some conditions and is tight but it appears 18 new homes tip the balance. A mere drop in the bucket! Plenty of space further up Sandbrook Road where they are already building 21 homes. “

The narrow drive is already difficult for traffic, so it does not take a genius to see the health and safely nightmare that more housing congestion and vehicles will bring to this small area.

Legally-protected water voles, bats and birds utilise the area.  

The woodland here is a thriving wildlife habitat, yet Sefton Council are ‘recommending’ that it all be cut down for houses that will in their own words only make a ‘modest contribution’ to the Borough’s housing shortfall.




















This proposal is highly divisive and has set the Community against the Council and OVH who desperately want to destroy this Southport woodland.

Image result for one vision housing ots


Residents kept in the dark over revealing Council report?

Residents are currently objecting to the fact that they have 'not' received all relevant information, such as the latest Council report that admits the following.

Concerned parties were initially informed that the majority of trees in the lovely little woodland at George Drive would be saved. However, the Council’s latest conclusion (that most residents have not seen) admits that the ‘majority of trees will be lost’. It goes on to say that new residents will want any existing trees cut down as well to provide more light. 



The fragile UK countryside, that we all know and love, is vanishing fast due to terrible proposals like this one. When it’s gone it’s gone forever!



This entire situation is a total disgrace! Will the Liverpool committee ’do the right thing’ and vote firmly against this outrageous, ecologically destructive proposal?  

It’s immoral, potentially illegal and basically 100% wrong.

Pat Regan © 

Submit News Contact us with your community, business or sport news. Phone 07581350321

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Breaking local news as it happens, searchable archives with photographs, the ability to instantly comment on news articles – there are so many advantages to OTS (Onthespot) News.

If you want your news read locally online then send it to ots@otsnews.co.uk – relying only on the newspaper is to restrict yourself to an ever reducing audience.






Monday, 27 March 2017

George Drive: Impact on residents and loss of all trees 'acceptable' says Council





Once we get past the typical authoritarian spin and the lame attempts to appease eco-campaigners and local residents the mists of doubt begin to clear.

Concerned parties were initially informed that the majority of trees in the lovely little woodland at George Drive would be saved. However, the Council’s latest conclusion admits that the ‘majority of trees will be lost’. It goes on to say that new residents will want any existing trees cut down as well to provide more light.




The fact that such a felling operation will have a devastating impact on wildlife (including several legally-protected species) and the quality of living standards of existing residents clearly means nothing to Sefton Council. In their report they dismiss existing residents, via saying:





So what they really mean (behind all the smiles and spin) is …. Smash that annoying little woodland down and cram them in like sardines as fast as possible. Once lip-service has been paid to flexible regulations we can get it sorted out fast. Give ‘em the usual razzle dazzle and it will be a big fat – cat Council win!

So the Council now needs to come clean and state that the REAL plan, right from the start, was to demolish the entire woodland to give One Vision Housing the opportunity to develop this green area.

Lancashire Wildlife Trust has mentioned that surveys have made no mention of red squirrels that are “regularly sighted in the vicinity.” In the report they go on to quaintly highlight plans for planting trees to replace ones that will be lost; but the Council admits that reality is quite a different thing altogether




Above: Red squirrels in Ainsdale vicinity but Sefton Council has no concern about this. They continue to 'recommend' that the destruction of the woods goes ahead.

Where are our councillors and WHY are they not banging the drum over this ongoing madness?

http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/your-local-trust

Sadly, Lancashire Wildlife Trust  seem totally unaware of the latest Council report that admits to total woodland devastation herein. 

So will we see the Trust challenge the Council over this situation now? If not why not? 

Basically a lack of communication between authorities is evident and this in itself is highly suspicious. Are the Council and developers seeking to bully the proposal through as fast as possible before other parties have really got to grips with what is actually going on here?

As I have stated before, even the Tree Officer opposes the proposal as being legally questionable and considers it contrary to Local Plan policy EQ9. This policy expressly makes provision, stating that developments must NOT result in ‘unacceptable loss of or damage to, existing trees or woodland.’ 

This harsh Council undoubtedly has no concern about the damage it does to the natural environment or the way its trite recommendations affect the lives of many existing Southport residents.























Does the Council's CEO, Margaret Carney, have any ecological concerns about this ongoing situation? Is she happy to see her minions recommend that what's left on Southport's green space be left to the chain saws and bulldozers? Moreover, what about Local Plan policy EQ9, is the legality of the situation of any concern to her? Will she perhaps give a statement or will we just get silence from their boss lady? 

The land, the fragile countryside, is ours and it’s simply not right (or potentially even legal) that it can be trashed at will by an uncaring and hopelessly out-of-touch Council. 


Campaigners and residents that DO care urge all councillors to vote against this appalling development plan. We call on all councillors to finally speak up for the community they serve and strongly oppose this disgusting Council recommendation to destroy the local Southport countryside.

See also:

Sefton Council: happy to ignore Local Plan policy and recommend wholesale woodland destruction?

http://www.otsnews.co.uk/sefton-council-happy-to-ignore-local-plan-policy-and-recommend-wholesale-woodland-destruction/


Save our Woods Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1716095181991040/




Saturday, 25 March 2017

Sefton Council: happy to ignore Local Plan policy and recommend wholesale woodland destruction?




















The faceless ones at Sefton Council have advised further on the felling threat to valuable woodland in George Drive.

They admit now that the majority of trees will be felled and that any remaining ones will be dropped later on, due to the new residents wanting more light in the new properties.

Consequently, Sefton’s bumbling Council is FULLY AWARE that the development will be an ecological disaster; destroy precious wildlife habitat and deeply affect existing residents’ quality of life, yet they still recommend that the controversial development should go full steam ahead.

http://www.otsnews.co.uk/george-drive-ainsdale-more-reasons-not-to-destroy-the-native-woodland/ 

Council ignores expert advice, regarding lawful policy, from Tree Officer

Even their TREE OFFICER is against the impending eco-vandalism and considers it contrary to Local Plan policy EQ9. This policy expressly makes provision, stating that developments must NOT result in ‘unacceptable loss of or damage to, existing trees or woodland.’ 

Therefore, the Council appears to be now suggesting it is OK to simply ignore this lawful green policy and just allow One Vision Housing to destroy the entire woodland at will. Will we see a legal challenge to this important point? Have residents considered this?


















NB. Within inconsistent correspondence received today the Council even referred to George Drive as a part of “Birkdale”. Since when has this Ainsdale area ever been in Birkdale? Such lack of basic concern for detail and accuracy tells us much about the Council’s convenient dismissal of the whole area.

The latest Council report on this approaching woodland destruction will be addressed in Bootle Town Hall, Liverpool, on 29 March 2017.

Campaigners had previously been informed, by a politician, that One Vision Housing had since altered the plans and were “leaving as much of the wood as possible”. So what exactly went wrong?

This ‘so-called’ Council is nothing but a dictatorial, rampaging bulldozer in a grey suit. It has noted and then totally dismissed all the well-presented reasons why this proposal is not wanted, not a good idea and even why it is potentially unlawful. It has also ignored the petition of over 400 names against the development.






















Will we now see a rise in protest from Southport's politicians or will silence be the order of the day? 

The next time this detestable council speaks about caring for the ecosystem and starts to hand out trendy eco-awards to children, just remember this  revolting fiasco. No Southport green space is safe from this reckless – authority and that much is now proven. 

Sefton Council has ZERO respect for the vanishing green spaces of Southport and its residents. Their potentially illegitimate Ainsdale (not “Birkdale”) development recommendations, which we are seeing forced into place today, illustrates this regrettable fact well.

If Sefton politicians ever wish to be taken seriously on green issues and community rights they must do the right thing and vote against this appalling and highly destructive proposal. 

Pat Regan © 





Monday, 20 March 2017

Marina Lake Southport - crumbling walls and graffiti





















Dilapidated broken walls and corroded metal railings greet visitors to the classic resort, opposite Morrison’s store.






















Southport’s Marine Lake has been a popular attraction since Victorian times. However it is still crying out for more attention due to relentless graffiti and crumbling walls, etc.





















Recent graffiti around the Marine Lake.




















Surely, the authorities can do better and implement more police and security at this location? Do we actually have a working council these days? Have they cut back so many essential facilities that all that remains are the coffee mornings for the highly paid, Town Hall Top Brass? 































Not the prettiest sites to attract more tourism to the town. 

More can and most certainly 'should' be done for this failing town centre area!




















Nevertheless, we can always rely on Sefton Council for 'some' things... 

Pat Regan © 

Submit News Contact us with your community, business or sport news. Phone 07581350321

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Breaking local news as it happens, searchable archives with photographs, the ability to instantly comment on news articles – there are so many advantages to OTS (Onthespot) News.

If you want your news read locally online then send it to ots@otsnews.co.uk – relying only on the newspaper is to restrict yourself to an ever reducing audience.

















Saturday, 18 March 2017

Accident in Formby, Duke Street






















Several vehicles were involved in an accident this morning at the bottom of Formby Bridge and Duke Street.


The road was cordoned off and traffic redirected by helpful people at the scene of the smash. 

Substantial damage occurred to several vehicles.




Police eventually arrived with traffic cones. 

Pat Regan ©




Submit News Contact us with your community, business or sport news. Phone 07581350321

Email ots@otsnews.co.uk

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Breaking local news as it happens, searchable archives with photographs, the ability to instantly comment on news articles – there are so many advantages to OTS (Onthespot) News.

If you want your news read locally online then send it to ots@otsnews.co.uk – relying only on the newspaper is to restrict yourself to an ever reducing audience.











Thursday, 16 March 2017

Southport Today: a great town, so long as you have a roof over your head tonight!





Southport is a classic resort and it's a fantastic place to live in or visit. Nevertheless, like other places it does have its issues.

Homelessness and rough-sleeping remains high on the list of ongoing problems.



This unfortunate person spent the afternoon yesterday on a bench by the bandstand in the town centre.




Some people seem to think that such issues are 'funny' and treat  them with contempt. However, they may not be laughing if the same fate befalls them one day, as it may well do.




Anyone can fall on hard times, via grief or ill-fortune and we all need to keep this fact in mind 'before' we try to judge others!


So yes, we have a lovely town yet the down side is something that many folk wish to dismiss as someone else's problem. 


Land around Southport's attractive Marine lake also holds homeless people.

 'Officially', the following information is given...

Help is available to homeless people and others in need.

If you have nowhere to stay, or if it is dangerous for you to return home, or if you will be homeless within the next 28 days you should contact the Housing Options Team immediately.Housing Options Team, Ground Floor, Merton House, Stanley Road, Bootle, L20 3UU. Tel: 0151 934 3541. Opening Times: Monday to Thursday 10.00 am to 4.00 pm, Friday 10.00 am to 3.00 pm.

Out of Hours

For people who become homeless when the office is closed, Sefton Council's Health and Social Care Emergency Duty Team manages the Out of Hour’s service. The service is for emergencies only and can give you general advice and will be able to assist you to find temporary emergency accommodation.

You can contact the Out of Hours service on 0151 920 8234. Monday to Thursday after 5.00 pm. Friday after 4.15 pm and any time at weekends and public holidays.

NB. Nevertheless, how exactly can phone numbers and distant addresses in Bootle help a 'Southport' rough sleeper, or a dispossessed person with no money or means to telephone for help?

Perhaps information dealing with assistance for such people needs posting on billboards etc around the town with a dedicated free phone number. There is however the Samaritans, who offer a free phone help number 116 123.

Moreover, we hear plenty from Sefton politicians about improving our town, yet how much effort actually goes into the ongoing homeless problem? Is it being addressed at its core?



At the end of the day, it will not kill any of us to go out and give a few sandwiches, a bottle of pepsi or a warm blanket to the unlucky ones sleeping rough with the rats on our streets tonight. 

We are all human beings and action does speak much louder than words... 

Pat Regan © 

http://pat-regan.blogspot.co.uk/

Submit News Contact us with your community, business or sport news. Phone 07581350321

Email ots@otsnews.co.uk

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Breaking local news as it happens, searchable archives with photographs, the ability to instantly comment on news articles – there are so many advantages to OTS (Onthespot) News.

If you want your news read locally online then send it to ots@otsnews.co.uk – relying only on the newspaper is to restrict yourself to an ever reducing audience.



 










Masked shoppers in ASDA create public alarm





















This morning shoppers in Southport’s ASDA supermarket were somewhat alarmed to see a large group of young people rushing around the store wearing what appeared to be surgical masks.




















One ASDA patron, Mr Igor Grindeanu, who regularly visits the shop said.

“I have never seen anything like this before. I immediately thought that this was some sort of terrorist operation in place and could see other people were getting really anxious. My family were genuinely frightened.  I asked a member of ASDA staff what was happening and was told that it was probably some type of ‘cultural thing’, which did not answer my question or allay our fears. The masked people were pulling big cases on trolleys, which could have contained anything."














































 







Once outside the store some of the group removed their masks, while waiting for others to join them.

Another shopper, who wished to remain anonymous, said.

“I suspect this Asian group are used to wearing masks to stop then breathing in city pollution. Do they know something we don’t know about Southport air?”

NB. Some people have mentioned the custom, in certain countries, that encourages the wearing of masks to prevent spread of disease. However, this did not seem to be the case here as they were pulling them off and on regularly as they shopped. None of the group seemed ill in any way.

Pat Regan ©

http://pat-regan.blogspot.co.uk/

Submit News Contact us with your community, business or sport news. Phone 07581350321

Email ots@otsnews.co.uk

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Otsnews-Southport-1575528676012039/

Twitter www.twitter.com/onthespot_news

Breaking local news as it happens, searchable archives with photographs, the ability to instantly comment on news articles – there are so many advantages to OTS (Onthespot) News.

If you want your news read locally online then send it to ots@otsnews.co.uk – relying only on the newspaper is to restrict yourself to an ever reducing audience.












Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Battle to save George Drive woods from Council/OVH eco-destruction continues





















Ainsdale’s lovely little woodland in George Drive is still under serious ecologically-destructive threat, from Liverpool - based One Vision Housing (OVH) and Sefton's Council. 

























Bluebell rich pathways due to flower soon.





















A shy Long tailed tit in George Drive woods today.

Sefton Council have written again to residents and campaigners with a letter dated 10 March 2017, stating that the number of dwellings on the OVH scheme has been reduced.

A '5 metre protection area' is also to be included to help legally - protected water voles in the local watercourse, Sandy Brook. Water voles have full legal protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which means that it is illegal to kill, injure or take one from the wild, or intentionally or recklessly damage or disturb the places they use for shelter. Young male water voles leave the nest when they are about four months old to find new habitats.

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/water-vole-faq 



































Several species of legally-protected bats are also to be found in the area. One of these species is sensitive to light and excessive street illumination may be detrimental to it.




A bat survey was allegedly done previously, yet some campaigners are asking how extensive it was. Several trees do also hold the potential in the George Drive woods to host bat roosts.

Bats require different roosting conditions at different times of the year. They will often move around to find a roost that meets their needs. Some bats prefer hollow trees, while others like caves or old buildings and some use divergent ones at various times of the year.




























Bats and the Law

In Britain all bat species and their roosts are legally protected, by both domestic and international legislation.

This means you will be committing a criminal offence if you:

Deliberately capture, injure or kill a bat;
Intentionally or recklessly disturb a bat in its roost or deliberately disturb a group of bats;
Damage or destroy a bat roosting place (even if bats are not occupying the roost at the time);
Possess or advertise/sell/exchange a bat (dead or alive) or any part of a bat;
Intentionally or recklessly obstruct access to a bat roost;



The Ainsdale woods here are also prime nesting grounds for many bird species.


















Brambles around the woods are also valuable wild nesting habitat.


For generations local Ainsdale children have happily played in the woods, learning about wildlife and nature. 

OVH and the Council's appalling plans for eco-vandalism, via large scale developments, will decimate a tradition and affect a way of life in a highly negative sense for the entire community. 

So how is the Bootle – based firm OVH doing; does it impress the community or…?

OVH in fact currently gets just 2.7 out of 5 stars on their own Facebook review page.


Sefton also request that any comments about this application should be sent in to them by 24 March 2017 for consideration. They give this email address for contact, should anyone wish to comment on the ecologically destructive proposals: planning.department@sefton.gov.uk


Alternatively you can write to them at the following address:

Planning Services,
Sefton Council,
Magdalen House,
30 Trinity Road,
Bootle, L20 3NJ.




Council responsibility to the natural ecosystem

Various species of wildlife are having their numbers dangerously depleted thanks largely to thoughtlessly erected building developments all across the UK

Unbelievably Sefton Council are partners to an essential 'eco-action' plan - North Merseyside Biodiversity Action Plan

 So what does the plan mean?

Groups such as: British Trust for Ornithology, English Nature (Natural England), Environment Agency, Environmental Advisory Service, Forestry Commission, Groundwork Trusts, Mersey Forest, etc are also partners in this well-meant ecological initiative

UK Action plans are set in force to:

“Conserve, protect and enhance biological diversity”

Is Sefton Council therefore guilty of ignoring this clear eco-directive in Ainsdale? 


Sooner or later available land will definitely run out and species under threat will undoubtedly become nothing but ancient memories in dusty natural history books.

We are doing what we can to save this little bit of old, rural, Southport countryside from OVH's Bootle bulldozers but your help is always welcome.

Get writing today - it's well worth saving our precious UK green spaces for wildlife and for the community.