Sefton Park in Summer: Barbecues, booze, bins

The summer always makes me realise how much work goes into making Sefton Park looking tidy and pretty.

At the end of a weekend the park looks like a bomb has hit it, with discarded bags of rubbish lying around bins like scallies surrounding a newsagents.

Everyone seems to make a beeline for Sefton Park in the summer, and there are endless amounts of festivals, various events and bloody fun runs.

The park’s grassy expanses are perfect for lounging in the summer, but the growth in supermarket booze cruises and portable barbecues rather take their toll on public space in the summer, to my mind.

The end of The Street, says Jimmy McGovern

It seems like Jimmy McGovern’s award-winning show The Street is finished, following an interview with the Liverpool writer in which he said he was not interested in producing the series anywhere but the axed Granada Studios.

ITV has closed ITV Productions studios at Manchester, where The Street is made as part of the latest round of cuts. ITV has been badly hit by falling ad revenues and some fairly hopeless decision-making over recent years, with Michael Grade now on the way out too.

The last edition of Black
was to have featured an interview with Jimmy as its centrepiece, but our own round of cuts and poor decisions meant we didn’t have the cash, so it now lives on the web, though I also managed to get it in Tribune.

I’ve never printed an interview as a Q&A before or since, but the answers Jimmy gave were so interesting, frank and personable I didn’t feel I had anything to add.

Anyway, the Jimmy McGovern interview is here, along with a fair bit on the genesis of The Street.

Merseytram off the rails – for good?

The Merseytram project to build a tram route from Liverpool city centre to Kirkby, of all places, is back in the new with Shadow Home Secretary and ‘Minister for Merseyside’ Chris Grayling apparently ruling out the possibility of a Tory government backing the plans.

Grayling, who once claimed that Gary Neville was a good role model for Liverpool youngsters, says that a tram network in the city would need to be based on a successful initial route – saying a South Liverpool route through the suburbs to John Lennon airport would make more sense.

The persistently-favoured first route is the Line One Kirkby route, which seems to amount to an FDR-style social engineering project.

The Tories have made a big thing under Dave Cameron of pretending to be interested in the environment, and Grayling has spent the last couple of years slamming Labour for not pressing ahead with Liverpool’s tram network, while saying the Tories would build trams, ooh, everywhere.

Grayling has probably had a look at the public finances, and at the rubbish plans for Liverpool’s trams network and decided that not backing the plans was probably a good idea on Alistair Darling’s part.