31 Remembrance Day for Road Traffic Victims 15 November 2015

Cllr Ceri Lloyd, Deputy Mayor, and Cllr Phil Lloyd represented the Town at the event at St George’s Hall, Liverpool. She reports that it was a very moving event, well supported by Merseyside agencies and Councils. Ceri was chosen to release a dove of peace in support of the aim to improve road safety (see picture),  remember road accident victims and encourage the use of other forms of transport. The event was part of a worldwide response to 1.2 million road deaths annually across the globe and occurs annually on the third Sunday of November.

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30 Lord Mayor of City of Chester’s Charity Evening at Eaton Hall 12 November 2015

Sue and I had been looking forward to representing the town at this event and had bought our tickets well in advance.  But just before 3.00 my brother-in-law arrived on my doorstep in great pain, something which caught him suddenly on a drive back from Manchester.  We were his first convenient emergency stop.  Collapsing on the sofa, he got worse.  Only one thing for it the 111 service said – get him to Arrowe Park Hospital by car, or wait a few hours for an ambulance (since their phone assessment was that his condition was not life threatening) – so much for ambulance response times.

So off to hospital, for a four hour stay in emergency.  He had a kidney stone remnant which he managed to pass on arrival.  So then it was back home.  Too late for hot buffet at Eaton Hall, so we swapped it for fish and chips from Little Neston’s Village Chef.

29 Launch of Rail Petition 11 November 2015

One third of the Town Council turned out to support the launch of Justin Madders MP’s petition to increase the frequency of the Bidston – Wrexham train service through Neston form hourly to every 30 minutes.

The Council members present were the first to sign the petition, which chimes well with the Council’s own policy of seeking public transport improvements in the town.  But they were soon followed by many Neston High School students on their way home.  A number complained that they have to run from school to catch the 15.10 train because if they miss it they have an hour to wait for the next one.  As it happened they had plenty of time to sign the petition because the train was 12 minutes late.

Members of the public are asked to sign the petition which may be downloaded  from the council website http://tinyurl.com/qy9upeg  .

Copies may be signed at the Town Hall, Neston Community and Youth Centre and Neston Library.  You can sign on-line at http://www.justinmadders.com/wrexham_bidston

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Members of the Town Council and supporters of better rail services for the town launch the Petition with Justin Madders MP and Louise Gittins, Deputy Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council

Photos courtesy of Cllr Phil Lloyd

28 Remembrance Sunday 8 November 2015

The rain grew torrential and unrelenting.  What started as normal November rainfall as the parade of ex-servicemen, Royal British Legion members, uniformed youth organisations left the British Legion car park at 2.40 headed by the Port Lyceum Brass Band, had turned into a heavy downpour by the time the parade arrived at the Parish Church.

The service was conducted by the Vicar Revd Alan Dawson, assisted by Deacon Mike Topping from St Winefride’s with contributions from students at Neston High School, with Bible readings from Michael Darby, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, and me.

By the time we emerged to lay wreaths at the War Memorial the downpour had become torrential.  But no-one complained – and many commented that our discomfort was little compared to the suffering many of those we were remembering endured in paying the ultimate sacrifice.

Wreaths laid, bugle calls observed, final salutes undertaken, we marched back to the Legion Hall for refreshments.

The support from the public was as ever tremendous.  See for yourself at http://www.aboutmyarea.co.uk/Cheshire/Neston/CH64/News/Local-News/293959-Nestons-Finest-Brave-the-Rain-for-Remembrance-Sunday

27 Town Council Meeting 3 November 2015

Four issues took up most of our time at this, the fifth Council meeting since May. The Council had received a letter from Justin Madders, MP seeking our support for the campaign he was about to launch for a doubling of the frequency of trains calling at Neston Station. Since this is one of the Council’s priorities for improving local public transport, we were only to please to give it our unanimous backing. Indeed, the Council instructed its own Transport Working Group to carry out a plan to maximise the number of signatures on his petition.
The Council also agreed, not without some opposition being expressed, a scheme to appoint an official project partner to take the lead in organising, and in raising additional funds where possible, some of next year’s main community events in the Neston calendar: the Big Lunch, Ladies’ Day entertainments, Cycle Fairs and the Christmas Lights’n’Lanterns. The Council expects to make an appointment in January.
Widespread concern at the lack of investment in the Neston Recreation Centre led to a report being presented on the state of the centre and what was needed to improve it. The Council agreed to call on Cheshire West Council, owners of the centre, to institute a programme of improvements including new facilities, to give Neston priority over other centres elsewhere in the borough in allocating finance. The Town Council also asked Brio Leisure, who manage the centre, to form a user group to improve communication, and asked for available S106 development funds to enhance the playing fields.
In an effort to improve communication with residents, the Council agreed to create standard email addresses for all members. It is hoped that these will be in operation before 2016 in the format Cllr.Name.Name@neston.org.uk