Liverpool – Cameron & Anderson – the best of chums? – But surprisingly there is a Tory/Lab pact history on Merseyside

My recent posting where I talked about working with Labour councillor Steve Kermode to address some issues in Maghull provoked comment and I was pointed to the article below run by the Liverpool Echo. Does the Echo article confirm my view that politicians across the political divides can and should cooperate?

In many ways this is an interesting article and I always look at such writing from the perspective of why was it written? What was the motivation behind it? Why did the politicians involved make such statements?

It may have been an attempt to embarrass Joe Anderson as you would think he would be uncomfortable being congratulated by a Tory Prime Minister.

Alternatively, it could of course havevbeen an attempt to massage Joe Anderson’s ego.

Joe Anderson – locally, like Cameron – nationally, is seemingly rather unpopular at present because of the Cunard Building fiasco, the selling off of green space in Liverpool and I am told the relationship between Anderson and some local journalists has become rather rocky in recent times.

Cameron, of course, wants his policy of elected City/Metro Mayors to be a success so he feels he has to back people like Joe Anderson no matter how much he dislikes their policies and record.

My own view is that Joe Anderson has sadly and inadvertently been highlighting the concerns that many of us hold about putting a great deal of power in the hands of one person. Maybe Cameron can see that too but his priority seems to be to impose elected City/Metro Mayors on all English Cities/City Regions no matter what.

So my answer to the question in the first paragraph of this posting is no, this Echo article does not confirm my view about the value of politicians cooperating. My working with Steve Kermode is I think a genuine attempt on both our parts to address a local matter jointly. Cameron and Joe Anderson are simply flung together in a rather uncomfortable way to promote elected City/Metro Mayors; Joe likes being one and seemingly carves such power over the whole of Merseyside, Cameron seemingly wants anyone to have such power.

We should all be highly sceptical of this Anderson/Cameron agenda as it is illiberal and yes I do include here the small minority of Liberals who have flirted with support for elected City/Metro Mayors.

But there is another odd and very much Merseyside angle to this matter. It is not so long ago when Labour relied very much on the Conservatives to keep them in power on Merseytravel (the transport authority for Merseyside). What’s more there was a failed attempt to run Sefton Council via a Conservative/Labour pact in 2008. It may only have lasted a couple of months but here on Merseyside Labour and Conservatives backing each other up is not new at all!

Liverpool Echo – Factories across the City – A history in photos—8196191

The item above on the Echo web site – please follow the link – is fascinating especially for someone like me with a keen interest in the life and works of Frank Hornby, Maghull’s most famous resident.


There are old photos of many of Liverpool’s former and some present factories and a fair few of them are of the Famous Meccano factory in Liverpool’s Binns Road.

Well worth a look at. Thanks to the Echo for an excellent nostalgia piece.

Maghull – Beechcroft Retirement flats

I was recently invited to attend a coffee morning of residents who own flats in this development in Maghull Town Centre together with Labour Councillor Steve Kermode.

The residents had a number of issues they wanted Steve and I to address not least the state of the road surface outside of their homes i.e. Stafford Moreton Way.

Here is a photo I took whilst reviewing this matter with Steve and the House Manager of Beechcroft.


The road surface is very uneven and this leads to the ponding of water which at this time of year can lead to small dangerous skating rinks being created. Not good especially for the elderly.

There is clearly a problem here with the road surface and highway drainage. The pavement is also badly damaged and we were told that this has been caused by Morrisons delivery wagons needing to mount the kerb to pass other vehicles. We have asked Sefton Council to investigate and say what they can do to address the resident’s concerns.

Steve and I had a great time with the residents being served copious cups of tea and being treated to cakes! What a lovely group of people for us both to represent.

Switch Island & A59 come to mind – Drivers who litter targeted

The Telegraph recently reported that motorists who allow rubbish to be thrown from their cars could be prosecuted as part of an attempt by ministers to make dropping rubbish as “socially unacceptable as drink driving”.

The Government is looking at making it easier for councils to fine those who throw litter from cars, cutting down on roadside rubbish which costs millions of pounds to clean up. The plans are part of a push to clean up Britain’s streets and achieve a “cultural change” towards littering.

This has to be good news as this anti-social habit seems to be on the rise in recent times. The amount rubbish and litter that surrounds Switch Island and also along the A59 through Maghull & Lydiate can be staggering. What’s more, we all have to pay for it to be cleaned up by Sefton Council and the Highways Agency. I was stopped in the street about this very sort of anti-social behaviour/environmental crime by a local resident only last week. His concern was that Sefton Council did not clear the A59 often enough.

Can’t wait to see the Liverpool Echo run a photo of the first person to be caught littering from their car window in and around Maghull.

Mixed messages on recycling

Charles Clover in the Times newspaper commented not so long ago on the confusion over recycling in different areas of England. He points out that recycling rates in England have dropped to 43.2% and are in danger of dropping further. He explains that householders are unsure about what can and cannot be recycled, while families are also cynical about whether recyclables are actually recycled. Mr Clover also notes that rates in Scotland and Wales have improved, because of a clear and standardised best practice for recycling schemes.


I think there is something in this. As a Liberal my usual instinct is not to support standardisation everywhere because it can stifle innovation but here the differences between the approach of local authorities is unhelpful. The priority has to be to get recycling rates up as high as they can go and uncertainty about what can and can’t be recycled is in no ones interest.

With thanks to the LGiU for the lead to this story.

Liverpool Santa Dash? > How about Lydiate Santa Scarecrow?

With news that Liverpool’s famous charity Santa dash is in serious doubt this year because Liverpool Council can’t afford to assist (due to spending money on £3,000 taps for the Cunard Building instead?), here is a Lydiate alternative.

Yes, it’s the crazy world of Church View Farm again and Edie Pope’s efforts. Her scarecrow festival of a few weeks ago has now morphed into Santa scarecrows!

Have a look below, although it could be seen as a little biased against Everton at the moment unless Edie is predicting a 3 – 1 victory for Liverpool in the next Derby match!