Downholland – The strange Rimmer’s Bridge destruction event

This is the base of the bridge control cabinet which was completely destroyed in the incident.

As bizarre criminal events go this is one of the oddest I have come across in a long time. Here’s the take on it from Ormskirk Live:-

ormskirklive.com/2019/04/24/police-appeal-to-info-after-major-damage-to-canal/

And here’s the matter as on Ormskirk Police Facebook Page:-

Looking north from Rimmer’s Bridge.

The obvious question is why go to so much trouble to cause so much damage to a canal swing bridge out in rural West Lancashire? The bridge is accessed via Eagar Lane Lydiate or Green’s Lane Downholland and I cycle over it regularly, indeed I took the photos in this posting on Sunday 28th April whilst out riding.

Was it a planned and deliberate act to stop the bridge from being opened for boats, narrow boats and barges on the Leeds Liverpool Canal? If so why? Someone with a grudge against the Canal & River Trust or is there some alternative reason for this very costly destruction?

As I say one of the most bizarre criminal incidents that I can recall. I guess it’s going to be a real eye opener when the culprits are caught and taken to court.

Ainsdale – When is a Police Station/Hub not one?

Ainsdale Station during rebuilding – October 2017

I’ve posted before about the rebuilding of Ainsdale Station on the Liverpool – Southport Northern Line of Merseyrail. My most relevant blog about it is accessible via the link below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/08/04/ainsdale-railway-station-its-going-to-have-a-police-station-on-its-platform-like-town-green-station/

And a quick reminder of the Southport Visitor newspaper story of 2nd August 2017:-

www.southportvisiter.co.uk/news/southport-west-lancs/ainsdale-getting-new-police-station-13422778?utm_source=sharebar&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=sharebar

Now if I told you that it seems the Police Hub is hardly, if at all, in use still in April 2019 you may be a little surprised based on on previous publicity. Who’s got the key? Is there any internet available? When will the girls and boys in blue be using it I wonder?

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Council Tax – How many more political mouths will want feeding on Merseyside?

I recently raised the issue of our Metro Mayor wanting you to dig deeper into your pockets to pay for his staff, wages and office running costs but of course we also have a Police and Crime Commissioner too and guess what they want you to dig deeper as well! Here’s a link to my post regarding the Metro Mayor’s grab for your pocket:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2019/01/20/metro-mayor-tax-another-call-on-your-pocket/

As for the Police and Crime Commissioner here’s what they are demanding in the next Council tax year beginning April 2019:-

My point is that I am very far from convinced that we need a Police and Crime Commissioner and the jury is certainly out over the Metro Mayor post because the 3rd rate devolved powers to the Merseyside Mayor make it hard to justify the cost of having one.

Bizarrely, both posts are the creation of the Conservatives who used to claim they wanted to keep the rates/Council tax down!

Whilst I was never a member of if it, in my time as a Borough Councillor or Council leader, my impression was that the former Police Committee made up of councillors from across Merseyside worked well and it was one of those things that was not broken and did not need fixing. But the Tories knew best and had been taken in by the American way of running Council areas with elected Mayors and Police and Crime Commissioners. Why they didn’t go the whole hog and call the P&CC’s Police Chiefs and give them a fancy uniform I don’t know.

But hey you get the grand positions and then surprise, surprise they want paying, they want to hire staff and they need premises to operate from. Seems the Tories have simply added folks to the public payroll and frankly what do we have to show for our generous ‘donations’ to either cause?

And before you ask, no I’m not saying that we all don’t have to chip in to run local services, it’s just that I don’t believe adding more glorified posts to the local payroll is the way to do it.

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Click on the chart above to enlarge it

Crime on Merseyside’s railway stations

Liverpool Lime Street Station at night.

The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/revealed-merseyside-railway-stations-youre-15699984

A Virgin Trains Pendolino train at Liverpool Lime Street Station.

There’s every danger with looking at crime stats and trying to interpret them that folk become more fearful of crime than they need to be. But the positive side of talking about railway stations where crime is an issue is to make travellers more aware of what is going on around them on busy stations. It’s a question of balance as with most things of course.

Southport Station.

When does protest become unacceptable abuse?

Reuters has the article on its website see link below:-

uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-abuse/facing-chants-of-nazi-and-scum-mps-ask-police-to-act-over-brexit-abuse-idUKKCN1P2187

That Anna Soubry is called a fascist is bizarre especially as those who so label her are often of the far right themselves. I’m no Conservative but you have to respect Anna for standing up to the ridiculous people who are presently running the UK; I admire her as I do the small number of Labour MP’s who are speaking out against their similarly ridiculous party leadership.

Should the Met Police intervene when MP’s and others are being unreasonably abused?

Well, firstly the Met will be considering its own reputation before doing the decent/right thing. Secondly, the taunters will probably want to be arrested so they can claim that their freedom of speech is being infringed/stopped. Thirdly, freedom of speech is vital in our admittedly crumbling democracy where lies are traded as everyday facts these days.

As a Liberal, my stance is that I will defend anyone whose rights are being infringed

Do I want to shout abuse at Brexiters, yes I do! Will I do it? Well, I try to choose my words carefully on this blog and face to face I generally do not engage with Brexiteers because you can’t have logical arguments with folk who base their views on prejudices whilst also ignoring facts.

Abuse is often a difficult thing to define though. I’ll give you an example – I was once called a useless bucket of tripe in my time as leader of Sefton Council. I thought it was the funniest thing I had heard in years yet many others around me were horrified by it and the context it was used. So is calling Anna Soubry a Nazi legitimate protest or abuse? Well, I guess the reason for those saying it will be associated with trying to gain media attention and they succeeded in that. Anna seemed to laugh it off though as it was clearly a ridiculous thing to say.

The Police will have to act though if the behaviour of protestors is felt to be abusive and threatening by those on the receiving end of it but having seen a senior Met officer being interviewed today you can tell how they would rather just be referees not using yellow cards never mind red ones.

Tough calls and extreme Brexiters will defend their own come what may I guess. The balance will tip when the seemingly ‘acceptable’ behaviour attracts the absolute nutters who will go too far. Freedom of expression and protest comes with it responsibilities……………..

Interesting that Remain protesters behave reasonably…..

Southport – Why on earth attack the Sandgrounders?

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its website – see link below

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/raid-merseyside-football-ground-leaves-15613039

Why on earth attack a football ground? I’ve been to Haig Avenue a few times mostly to see matches between The Sandgrounders and my team The Stags when they were both in the same division. What a friendly place the now renamed Merseyrail Stadium is; so sorry to hear of their troubles.

Southport V Mansfield Town – Jan’ 2013