You don’t need me to tell you that Sefton Central Labour is in one hell of a mess at present because:-
7, yes 7 of their councillors have resigned in recent times
They are fighting pitched battles with people who are trying to defend the Green Belt
Their proposed Green Bin tax is about as popular as snow at Harvest!
But now the panic button has really been pressed hard as the comrades try to make out that black is white over the Green Bin tax and just about everything else. In a move that surely shows political fear (something you should never show to the opposition, I would add) they have produced a leaflet which is circulating in Maghull that is so over the top it is laughable.
As we all know (and this is on public record) Labour run Sefton Council proposed in its 2013/14 budget to introduce a Green Bin tax; a budget that Lib Dem councillors opposed.
Now, on the basis that if you are going to tell untruths tell whoppers, how about a Labour claim that ‘Labour has binned the Lib Dem proposals to introduce a green bin tax which would have hit us here in Maghull hardest’! From ‘which would have hit us in Maghull hardest’ I agree with but to claim that Lib Dems proposed a Green Bin tax and that Labour binned it is turning black into white!
How rattled can you get to try to pretend that your own policy which has proved so unpopular is that of another party!
Following Lib Dem campaigning which highlighted what we all knew already i.e. that folks will not be ‘volunteering’ to pay Labour’s back door Council tax rise, it seems that the comrades are sounding the retreat and looking for a way out.
Frankly, why Labour ever thought residents would pay to have their green bins emptied beats me. What’s more whilst the comrades on the cabinet that runs Sefton are all from Bootle, where there are fewer gardens, the biggest losers under the plan would be communities like Maghull where many houses have big gardens. Sudell Ward (North and East Maghull) for example was going to feel the hit of Labour’s green bin tax as would the two Formby wards and indeed virtually all the wards outside of Bootle.
This all makes you think that the myopia of looking at things from a Bootle only perspective leads the comrades into not seeing the bigger picture.
We await some firm proposals from Labour run Sefton to confirm that they really are ditching their garden tax but to date the Lib Dem campaigning has certainly given them a lot to think about; indeed Labour’s lawn really has been given a low cut!
Former Maghull Councillor, Cliff Mainey started the wild flower planting here (at the junction of the A59 Northway & Liverpol Road South) and I must say I still delight in seeing wild flowers.
Sparks have been flying between Council Officers and local environmental campaigners over Sefton’s launch material published as a wrap-around to the Borough’s newspapers this week.
Having seen both sides of the dispute I fear that the Council is not providing information that is clear and understandable. It is obviously the case that their words are open to different interpretations.
Sadly, the first round of consultation, held in 2011, did not go too well and with the second round of 12 week consultation having just started my fear is that it will not go well either.
I have said before that the ability of the Council to put Local Plan information clearly before the public is the problem. I have no doubt that some of the issues are complex and interrelated but if there is to be a successful 2nd period of consultation it needs to be via a process whereby all those who wish to engage can reasonably easily get to grips with the important issues. My former councillor colleague David Tattersall, an expert in communicating messages, always said the council was not good at explaining things clearly to residents.
The Council will do itself no good at all if it looks like all it is doing is blinding folk with stats and information that residents can’t make any sense of.
And the facts are important as we are talking about a document that will have a huge impact on the Borough for many years to come. Our Green Belt is under threat again, high grade agricultural land could well be built upon and Labour, who run Sefton Council and have said they would not support Green Belt developments, has been voting to do just opposite.
The fact that the lid has come off already is sadly no surprise.
I think I will be returning to this subject quit a bit……………………….
Please have a look at my colleague Cllr. Iain Brodie-Browne’s Birkdale Focus blog site for the latest news on the closed pier and its structural problems which popped up out of nowhere a few days ago.
What a time for a pier to be in crisis when we have the hottest weather period for years to enjoy.
Across the Borough of Sefton weekly newspapers have been hitting the door mat of thousands of residents telling them, via wrap around advertising pages, that the Council is ‘all ears’. But is it?
Certainly the Green Belt campaigners who are fighting to stop the Labour run Council from allowing the concreting over of it don’t think so. Indeed, they tell me it is like talking to a brick wall especially when they try to point out to the Council that the stats it is using for population growth are, putting it at its simplest, WRONG. The importance of the stats is that they say Sefton’s population, which has been dropping for years, is about to rise again meaning more houses need to be built. The Green Belt campaigners are convinced the stats are not robust and I share that view.
What‘s more the ‘consultation’ process, which was challenged at the last Full Council meeting as being to restrictive seems to be still just that, i.e. no one took any notice of the criticisms.
All ears? Well what do you think……………………………………