Sunday, 9 September 2012


At Thursday night’s Council meeting at Bootle Town Hall, councillors discussed the issue of sheep pens and felling on the Ainsdale and Birkdale Local Nature Reserve and beach management.

The debate was prompted by a motion submitted by Conservative group deputy leader Cllr Terry Jones.  In it he requested that “an urgent review is undertaken of our current coast management programme in order to protect Southport’s Dune system, foreshore and the many habitats within it.”
However the Mayor, Litherland Cllr Kevin Cluskey, ruled that the motion could not be passed as it stood but would need to be referred to the all-Bootle Labour Cabinet for formal consideration.

Southport Lib Dem councillors Sue McGuire, Tony Dawson and Haydn Preece (pictured left to right) represent the three coastal wards in Southport from Marshside to Ainsdale and all spoke in the debate.  They drew attention to the fact that the review of Dunes management called for by Cllr Jones was well underway.

Cllr Preece said: “I was one of a number of Southport councillors who met with senior staff from English Nature recently.  We discussed with them the thorough review of the Dunes management scheme that they are carrying out. I particularly welcome English Nature’s intention to hold subsequent meetings with members of the public, including interest groups.

Cllr Dawson pointed out that in relation to foreshore management, the Council had already completed a review less than six months ago, and that Cllr Jones had personally been heavily involved in it.

“Cllr Terry Jones was Vice-Chair of the Council’s Scrutiny Committee which reviewed the management of Southport Beach Vegetation in March 2012.  He and his colleagues all voted to accept the report which included a number of key findings including that ‘maintaining a beach free of vegetation in this location is not a viable option’ and ‘the beach will still be there but would be further seaward as this length of shoreline is accreting due to the influence of the Ribble estuary’.”

“In the light of that I am surprised that the Conservatives now say they want another urgent review.  What has changed in the last six months?  This motion is pointless.”

At the end of the debate the Conservative motion was heavily defeated

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