The flag that you stand under?

Cllr. Tony Carr is a Labour member of Sefton Council and I know him well. He seems a decent sort to me but why does he stand as a Labour Party councillor on Sefton Council and then as an Independent councillor on Melling Parish Council? (Melling is a part of his Borough ward) I am not the only one to have noticed this, I would add.

What an odd situation this is, but I recall that I came across another similar case of dual party political identity on differing councils some years ago. Then it was a Tory member of West Lancs District Council who told me that she was also an Independent member of Aughton Parish Council.

Frankly, I simply can’t get my head around this. If you are a member of a political party why on earth would you say you were an independent and to be under a party political label on one council but not on another really is bizarre.

Aintree Ratepayers need to beware

During the elections I was campaigning in School Lane, Aintree Village and was stopped for a chat by a resident who just happened to be walking along the road.

We exchanged pleasantries and then the lady said something quite interesting. She said she would be voting for the Ratepayers Group in the Parish Council elections for Aintree Village but she was getting just a little concerned about how close the Ratepayers and Labour seemed to be getting to each other. She felt that the Ratepayers should be distancing themselves from Labour otherwise they would be taken over by the comrades.

Thank you

May I thank the electors of Sefton MBC Park Ward (Lydiate and Maghull West) for a further 4 year term on Sefton Council. I was first elected to Sefton in May 1999.

It never fails to amaze me how people support me at the polls. I see my efforts for the community as being nothing particularly special because what I do and campaign for seems quite ordinary to me. However, the continued support for my work is very much appreciated.

Thank you one and all.

Fair Votes – I am devastated by the referendum result

I have always believed in electoral reform, indeed it was one of the big reasons I got involved in politics in 1980 when I joined the old Liberal Party.

My strong view is that our present electoral system is corrupt in that it does not represent the will the people at the ballot box. The fair votes referendum was the chance for us to go some way to righting that very big wrong. It was never the whole answer as  the Single Transferable Vote (STV) is the only voting system that delivers what electors want as it puts voters in charge not political parties. So obviously I would have much preferred a vote on STV as opposed to AV. Having said that AV is a much improved system when compared to the corrupt First Past the Post that we presently use.

However, ridiculous scare tactics won the day and anyone reading the Daily Mail lead of Thursday could only conclude that if you voted for fair votes you would be murdered in your bed! Quite ludicrous scares were put about and I began to wonder whether Baroness Warsi was suffering some form of illness as she got more and more ridiculous in her misrepresentations of fair votes as part of the ‘NO’ campaign.

We all know that the vast majority of Tories don’t like electoral reform so surely that is the signal to the rest of us that it is necessary! Tories have stood against virtually all social voting reforms over the centuries. Women would not have gained the vote if Tories had their way! Old style Labour also oppose electoral reform as their jobs for life paid for by the public purse would be at risk in inner city seats so unsurprisingly they like the Tories like First Part the Post.

Sadly, the forces of progress lost the referendum and it falls again to Liberals and enlightened socialists to fight for electoral reform. On balance the vote was at the wrong time (too rushed) and should have been held say 3 years into the Coalition Government’s 5 year term. The national economic crisis obviously was the main issue in the elections this year and I think the referendum was rushed into (for all the right reasons) when time should have been taken to set the scene first.

I suppose that at 52 I will never now see electoral reform in the UK and that thought must be the biggest political disappointment that I will ever have. I hope I am wrong though as a fair voting system in this Country is urgently required to tackle vested interests and Rotten Boroughs.

Results and what they mean

Today in Sefton we Lib Dems seemed to do better than in many other parts of the UK. We lost 5 seats, Labour gained 5 seats and the Tories stayed the same. This makes Labour the largest party on the balanced Council despite them behaving quite irresponsibly before the election over the Council’s finances.

If you recall their voting on the budget would have ended up with a 29% increase in hated Council tax this year if we had not voted for a 0% increase. They also went ahead and borrowed £8m that the Council could not afford to borrow and has had to make more Council workers redundant to pay for. Sadly, this latter issue had the Tories in support of Labour. However, my point is that their irresponsible financial activities have been rewarded by more seats on the Council! I must admit that with money being so tight these days I felt that the Council could not sensibly put up the Council tax yet the results of the elections seem to indicate that a significant part of the voting population agreed with a 29% Council tax increase that Labour would have brought in. Strange times indeed!

In Maghull the Town Council (a large Parish Council) is now 13 Labour seats and 3 Lib Dem but most of the Labour members don’t even live in Maghull! The question is why do many electors in Maghull seemingly want their Parish Councillors to live elsewhere? They could have voted for Maghull residents but chose to pick councillors from other communities such as Bootle, Crosby and Aintree to run Maghull’s affairs. Bearing in mind that the taxes raised by Maghull Town Council will not be paid by those councillors who live outside of Maghull, is this not a odd state of affairs?

I can only assume that the national political situation was the deciding factor for most people who went to vote Labour. Why I can almost see some electors saying ‘give me that 29% in Council tax, I really do like paying tax after all’ or ‘to hell with the Council borrowing money it can’t afford; Labour did it when in Government so the Council should do so as well’ or ‘we hate Clegg and Cameron so much we will gladly pay a 29% Council tax increase and approve more borrowing even though more Council workers will get the chop’.

Seriously, my thanks to all who fought under the Lib Dem flag; times are tough for the only national political party that really does believe in gaining power only to give it away to the communities that we represent. Clearly, 2011 has been a step backwards for the Lib Dems and the community based politics that we stand for but Liberals have been through tough times before and come through. Tories and Labour will always stand for vested interests as they always have done; we will continue to fight against vested interests.

Motor Bikes and kids & another motorised encounter!

Today I was driving along the A59 through Maghull and at a major set of traffic lights (Dover Road/Liverpool Road South) a couple of kids on one of those mini-motor bikes came straight onto this duel carriageway weaving around the traffic. They survived this encounter with a lot of traffic more by luck than anything else. Of course the bike did not have plates or I presume any form of insurance.

Tonight, having returned from a Maghull Town Council meeting, I got a call from Cllr. Andrew Blackburn who in turn had been speaking to a Hall Lane resident in Maghull. Hall Lane is the next set of traffics back from the one I mentioned. And what was the call about? A youngster on a motor bike who had been on Old Hall Park, along the Leeds Liverpool canal tow path and straight onto Hall Lane where he had been knocked over by a car.

I would not be at all surprised if the kid in the accident was the same one I encountered earlier! Why on earth do parents let their kids drive these death traps?

Speaking of Andrew, I was out campaigning with him for the elections this morning and he came back with an odd story. He had come across an old chap in one of those motorised buggies that the elderly often use to get about. Trouble is this one had run out of battery power so Andrew had pushed the old chap home. What some people will do for a vote!