Report on U3A Meeting 15 November 2018

Some 20 members attended a well prepared and illustrated up date by Steve Hodges of the Ground work Trust on the Tawd Valley Park improvement scheme. There has been much behind the scenes planning and LCC are about to appoint contractors to construct the new cycleway from the Concourse to Summer Street. The WLBC will be extending the cycleway from Summer Street to Whalleys and along Cobbs Clough. This route to the town centre will, hopefully, be completed as the housing is built on Whalleys. Ambitious plans include a sculpture trail in Cobbs Clough.
Funds from the Whitemoss Landfill Community Fund have been awarded to improve the fishing pond close to half mile island and provide fishing pegs, platforms at the edge, so that fisherpersons can keep their feet dry. A foot path will link them to Mill Lane.
A steering group of many public bodies plus Groundworks is overseeing the project. School children and young people from West Lancashire College are engaged on litter picking, nature studies, and basic conservation work. Bat boxes made at Lathom High have been placed high up in trees.
A volunteers group has started work clearing paths and preparing to plant trees in a Community Orchard close to the existing allotments. This meets every Friday morning and on the first Saturday every month. Who knows but some of our members may go along to help.
Other features including, wetland habitat areas, improvements to the amphitheatre to create an informal event space, a heritage trail and mining heritage centre along with picnic spaces, landscape improvement close to the town centre are aspirations.
Paula Campbell, Community Leisure Manager, WLBC, enthusiastically supported Steve and showed us the large scale master plan. As a result of our conversation I am optimistic that the stone sculpture that will be removed to make way for the proposed car park for the Lidl and B& M stores will be reused as part of a children’s play area. Steve is well aware of the unresolved design issues concerning the link between the park and the St Modwen development. I am optimistic that the scheme will be successful and a benefit to Skelmersdale. Skelmersdale- A town for walking might be a slogan.
David Cheetham 16/11/18