Below is a copy of this week’s Ormskirk Newsletter.
Rather than break it into parts, I’m going to post it verbatim on the blog. This practice may change depending on feedback and how practical it is.
Anyway, if you want to open up your inbox to future email newsletters you can subscribe at https://www.kiemiestas.com/newsletter.
In this newsletter
- Welcome from Steve
- From the doorstep – issues you’ve been raising while canvassing
- Meetings I’ve been to – and those I’ve missed!
- Where next?
- What’s on
- Contact Information
- Closing notes
Welcome from Steve
Welcome to this newsletter for 29th March. I had intended that this should be a quick update of what I’ve been doing over the past couple of weeks, but it’s a little longer than planned because I’ve picked up a lot of issues as I’m going around areas for the first time.
I expect that things will slow down and things can move from gathering what’s going on to trying to do something about them. I have never promised that I can sort everything out, but hopefully by talking to enough people, by raising petitions where necessary and by writing to those in power, I can help push things forward a bit and by working together we can try to improve things in Ormskirk.
This newsletter in both the leaflet and email format have come about because I decided to put my name forward as a candidate for the County Council elections. However, I will continue with this newsletter in some form or other after the election in June because I think it’s a good way to keep abreast of things that are happening locally.
I’d love to hear from you if you agree, or disagree with anything that I’ve written here. My contact details are at the end of this email and I’ll be happy to discuss and take on board your comments. If you want to do this in a more public forum, then I’ve posted this newsletter on my blog at https://www.kiemiestas.com/index.php/2009/03/28/newsletter-29309newsletter-29309/ and you are welcome to comment there.
From the doorstep
With the election a couple of months away, I’ve been trying to meet as many people as possible.
The most regularly raised grumbles have been complaints about the roads, traffic, parking and inconsiderate driving. Our road system is simply not designed for modern volumes of traffic. Unfortunately for us, we share these problems with many other towns across the North West and have to fight to be considered alongside the large towns and cities that receive investment for transport infrastructure.
Historically the solution to these problems has been the proposed Ormskirk bypass, which has been on the drawing-board for well over 40 years, but I think that it misses the point because there are many other problems around the town too. Only a comprehensive look at all the traffic and all the public transport available in the town will give us the starting point to deal with the issue. The County Council has recently started a full traffic survey which will give one perspective, but we also need a proper review of public transport and other routes around the town including via Burscough and in Sefton.
It feels like many people are resigned to the traffic problems because they’ve been going for so long. In comparison, the problem that has really got people motivated on the doorstep is that of multi occupancy student accommodation in the town and is something that has dominated the past two weeks of what I’ve been doing.
It isn’t an exaggeration to say that some communities in the town have been devastated by houses being snapped up by landlords and rented out to groups of students. There are real problems – anti-social behaviour, a lack of consideration for neighbours, noise at night and a deterioration of the area due to not taking care of the area; and then the isolation felt by some when Christmas or Summer comes and the students have moved away for the holidays.
The residents of these roads, and neighbouring streets, are starting to get more organised and that’s a good thing. I attended the New Way Residents Association AGM last week and I was impressed with their determination to face the problems head on and try to make things better in their streets.
There haven’t been any realistic answers coming from the Conservative councillors who have been in control of the town since 2001. One problem is that the councillors don’t seem to be reflecting the real voice of the community. I hope to change that and will write a bit more about it in my next update and on my blog.
However, in the meantime I’ve been trying to speak to as many people as possible about the problems. I have been to the University and spoken to staff there; I’ve spoken to students and most importantly I’ve been getting around talking to local residents who are affected by this.
There are plenty of other grumbles that have been raised. Many due to the way that the District Council do things, but I’ll try and broaden the issues in my next update.
Meetings I’ve been to… and those I’ve missed!
- Lancashire Local – at the district council a couple of weeks ago now, the big news being the changes in the speed limits, and the allocation of some county funds towards the SPAD’s on Cottage Lane. Good work by the Cottage Lane Residents Association.
- Knowsley ward PACT meeting
- New Way Residents Association AGM on Thursday 19th March.
- Inaugural lecture by Tanya Byron, Edge Hill, Tuesday 24th March.
and I missed:
- "Face the people" at Edge Hill last Tuesday. To be fair, I was out canvassing. I’m guessing that the District Council have a 5 event contract with Dave Guest from the BBC and were obliged to hold some more public events after they scrapped the annual council meeting as an assembly. There are mixed reports, but I’ll link to my colleague Paul Cotterill’s blog for the review of the meeting: http://www.bickerstafferecord.org.uk/?p=572
If you’re a subscriber to this newsletter then you may have seen my first leaflet that I’ve been putting out through March. We’re having a push to get this delivered through as many doors as possible over the next week so that we can start getting deeper into some of the issues in the next Ormskirk News.
This week we’ll continue canvassing, specifically in the areas around Wimbrick Crescent, Halsall Lane and into Scott Estate. With the clocks going forward and the evenings getting lighter we’ll be going out later. But I usually try to be at home between 6:45 and 7:30 when it’s the children’s bed time.
I’m grateful for the help from our small band of volunteers – they will be leafleting while I’m swanning around introducing myself.
- SCOTT WARD:Wednesday, 1st April 2009 5.15pm-6pm, Ellerbrook House, Ellerbrook Drive Ormskirk.
- TOWN CENTRE: Wednesday 1st April 2009 6pm-7pm, Ormskirk Police Station.
To find out more about the PACT meetings, go can visit the Lancashire Police website. Go to http://www.lancashire.police.uk/index.php?id=272 for information about Scott ward meetings and http://www.lancashire.police.uk/index.php?id=252 for information about the Knowsley meetings.
I am always available if you want to call, text or email me. You can even follow me on twitter these days (if you don’t know what that means, then you’ve probably got more of a life than me!) Probably the best number to call is my mobile. If you call in the day you’ll either get me or a receptionist at work (that’s OK, just leave a message and I’ll call back).
Those contact details in full:
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- mobile phone: 0797 006 7750
- home phone: 01695 571818
- letters: Highfield, High Lane, Ormskirk. L40 7SL.
It is my aim to keep this newsletter going beyond the election and not just have it as an electioneering tool. There are many things that go on in the town which we miss, and I hope that an email-based newsletter will be a good way of getting information out and keeping in touch.
If you know anyone who might be interested in this newsletter then please feel free to forward it to them.
If you have received this from a friend or colleague and would like to be added to the mailing list, then either drop me a note at email@example.com, or sign up on my website: https://www.kiemiestas.com/newsletter
Finally, if you have any feedback – good, bad or indifferent; or if you have any events or activities that you’d like me to include then please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org