‘It’s the [Sefton] economy stupid’ to paraphrase Bill Clinton

Now who said this just a few hours ago?
“You have to be ruthless, focusing on the investments that transform growth potential: transport, energy, digital communications. Roads and rail so manufacturers can transfer goods. Better broadband so small, high-tech companies can flourish. Renewable energy so low-carbon industry can too.
If you modernise this kind of infrastructure you stimulate activity in the shorter term and you build systems high growth industries can use for years to come. Transport schemes announced in the Spending Review, for example, will deliver major boosts to growth. Like the Switch Island link road in Merseyside, where £20m of Government investment will generate 35 times that in economic benefits”
It is nice to know that that the project that I fought for over a number of years at both local and regional level is now being used as an exemplar by the Nick Clegg our Deputy Prime Minister. Yes, we won this battle following years of maybe, maybe the Coalition Government, as one of its first decisions, stumped up the money and building work will be starting in the near future.

Changing as it tries to survive – Merseytravel

Let’s be clear it is good that overly bureaucratic Merseytravel has realised that it needs to change with the times. Over 30 Committees are now to be reduced to just 8 and Merseytravel, despite only making the changes because of pressure from others, has done the right thing.

BUT if Merseytravel wants to taken seriously again after all its recent embarrassments it needs to drop the legal action that it is funding against one of its own members! The issue, if there is a legal issue (which I very much doubt), is between the Chairman and the other member – it is not for Merseytravel to take legal action, spending public money, on such a matter.

Come on Merseytravel, you have to keep changing to survive. One good change does not solve all of your problems.

Just say ‘NO’ to a Merseyside ‘Boris’ Mayor

I am firmly against an elected Mayor for Merseyside a position that Sefton Council’s Labour Leader has said that he supports in the Daily Post.

Sefton and its diverse communities would be ignored by a Liverpool
centric Mayor. The vast majority of Sefton has a boundary with
Lancashire so an elected Mayor for Merseyside would only put another
artificial barrier between Sefton and some of the communities that it
naturally sits with.

Merseyside, or the ‘City Region’ as it is now called, has long been
looked upon by Governments and others as being dysfunctional. This
problem is presently being highlighted by the troubles within
Merseytravel and I don’t think that simply finding one person to run
Merseyside will help at all. We need more power for our communities at
the local level not another expensive person on the Merseyside

I am also opposed to putting power in the hands of one person so this
idea is a nonstarter as far as I am concerned. What Lord Adonis may think is good for Merseyside is frankly a bonkers idea to me.

Well done Sefton Parish – St. Helens Well

I have never hidden the fact that I think that Parish Councils are a great form of local government as they are closest to the people.

Our Borough is named after historic Sefton Parish which has had its own elected Civil Parish Council since 1894 when Gladstone established Civil Parish Councils in England. Some time ago I got into discussion with a Sefton Parish Councillor about their wish to recreate the site of St. Helens Well.

Today I went to check out the project with my good friend Cllr. Andrew Blackburn and very nice things are looking. So congratulations to the campaigners who have brought back a piece of important local history.

Andrew took this photo of me at the well, although I must point out that Andrew and I are certainly not trying to claim any credit for the restoration works; such credit is down to Sefton Parish Council and (New information from here onwards) the Friends of Sefton Church.

The East Parishes Area Committee of Sefton Borough Council agreed a funding partnership with Sefton Parish Council tonight (30/09/2011) to enable a road sign to be erected in Sefton Village directing folks to this historic site.

My thanks to a member of Sefton Parish Council for some further information enabling me to update this posting

Protest Songs – Did I miss a good one for the illegal war in Iraq?

Being in my 50’s means that my formative years were during that period when protest songs were the in thing. One of the best was Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s going on’. Some years later Paul Hardcastle did ’19’ but now Hardcastle has brought the two together – mashing I am told. The result is quite beautiful.

Did I miss it or was the illegal war in Iraq one that did not produce any memorable protest songs? Maybe they had had they day but to old folks like me there is nothing like a good protest song and protesting about the Iraq war, even now, is something that radicals should continue to do. Labour took us into a war, with Tory support, that brought shame on the UK and many dead as a consequence.

If you get the chance search out ‘Rainforest/What’s Going On’ by Paul Hardcastle a great ‘mashing’ of two protest songs.