Devolution frustrations as seen by Jim Hancock and Richard Kemp

The article is on Jim’s blog site accessed via the link above

I remember Jim, as others will, from his BBC North West Regional News days and respect his views. I’m sure he and other devolution skeptics (and I include myself here) are right to think that government is not that keen on the process of devolving power to the regions of England, except that is when it suits them to be able to blame the regions for whatever the troubles of the day are.

It might seem odd me being a Liberal, having been brought up on a diet of power needing to be exercised at the lowest possible level of government, but I opposed the devolution deal for the Liverpool City Region. I opposed it as it was a second if not third rate deal that was hardly worth having. My views have not changed.

Yes we now have a City Region Mayor but for me that post, whomever holds it, is a bit like the Police and Crime Commissioner one in that no one really thinks either will bring any positive change to Merseyside.

What has also concerned me since first hearing that government wanted a city region mayor for Merseyside is that it would make the sub-region more Liverpool centric with the towns and communities surrounding Liverpool always playing second fiddle. I’ve seen little to change that point of view either. Bringing more power and influence to Liverpool is often at the expense of its surrounding communities.

Devolution as presently practiced in England is indeed half hearted and deeply flawed.

And later on the same day that I published this posting I found that Cllr. Richard Kemp was on a similar theme:-

Lydiate – Fly-tipping of tyres – Altcar Lane

This was the scene off Altcar Lane a few days ago:-

If I have read the situation here correctly these tyres have been taken out of the drainage ditch that runs alongside Altcar Lane during maintenance of the ditch.

Used tyres seem to be dumped in ditches all over Sefton Borough and indeed all over everywhere. I’m guessing that’s to avoid the cost of them being disposed of properly. Surely there has to be a process devised so that the fly-tippers can be traced as you would be hard pressed to find a roadside ditch without tyres in it these days.

Cable – I’m really warming to him – Quite the old radical when I thought he would not be

The Independent has an interesting opinion piece on Vince Cable and his recent controversial but spot on analysis of many Brexit voters.

Cable certainly hit some raw nerves on the right and indeed on the right wing of the left too if you get my drift. That Bluekippers would get upset is a given but Cable also made some of what Labour calls its working class vote uncomfortable too. Many of Labour’s core voters are often right wingers in reality even though their tribal instinct is to vote Labour. What’s more many of them are Brexit supporters and as an old Labour Party member and trade union colleague of mine once said to me many years ago – there’s more racists in the Labour Party than there are in the Tory Party – or words to that effect. No wonder Cable’s commentary on the EU Referendum got a reaction!

On a wider perspective, I must say I am really warming to Cable. I feared he would be a moderate centrist but he’s hitting a lot of quite radical notes for me, not least in calling out Corbyn for his regressive approach to the EU and his backing of Brexit. This quote sums up Cable’s radical agenda:-

‘Corbyn lets down the people he claims to defend. You can’t speak up for the poor and be complicit in making us poorer, claim to love the NHS knowing that Brexit will starve it of cash, be an advocate for workers’ rights and stand by while we leave the EU, which protects workers.’

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Fancy a free guided walk around the Rimrose Valley Country Park?

Rimrose Valley Country Park map.

Join Rimrose Valley Friends, led by John Dempsey – from the Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership , for a Spring Stroll on Rimrose Valley on Sunday 18th March 2018 starting at 10.30am from the Beach Road Entrance – L21 2PP

(If it’s raining at the time of the event it may be cancelled. If so there will be someone at the meeting point to turn people away.)

Full details are on the Rimrose Valley Friends web site – see link above

Ford Escort 50th Anniversary – I had the MK1-ASP Model

The BBC has a video about the 50 anniversary of this iconic car – see link above

When I’m asked what my first car was I say a red Escort MK1-ASP and those who know about cars respond by saying ‘I’ve never heard of an Escort ASP’ or words to that effect. So what was an Escort ASP? – All Spare Parts!

Caricature of a Ford Escort Mexico – Every ‘Boy Racer’ wanted one of these in the 1970’s

The car was knocking on when I bought it 3rd or 4th hand in 1976 and frankly it felt like I had it completely rebuilt by the time I sold it on again. Apart from the engine block pretty much everything else mechanical failed in the 3 or so years I had the car. And as for rust, it was the era when cars were meant to rust away although my following Vauxhall Viva and Chevette cars were even more rust prone.

Yet despite all the troubles I had with that car I still have fond memories of it, if I think with my heart instead of my head that is. There’s a Brexit analogy in there for some folks I guess:-)

With thanks to Keith Page for the photo opportunity

Lydiate – Soil blown by ‘Beast from the East’ on Southport Road pavements

During that storm a lot of top soil was taken up by the wind and dumped on Southport Road between the junction with Hall Lane and Church View Farm. Sefton Council got the soil off the road but there are great heaps of it blocking the pavements on either side of this busy road.

I fear the consequences of pedestrians being forced to walk in the road so have asked Sefton Council to remove the soil as soon as possible. Cllr. Edie Pope has been on this issue too I might add.

Stop Press – After I posted this Edie Pope called me to say that she had been speaking to Sefton Council Highway engineers this morning (Monday 12th March) and they were working with the land owner from whose land the soil came to get it cleared starting hopefully today. Edie also told me that she had seen folks waking in the road only yesterday because of the soil.

Stop Press 2 – Work has indeed been ongoing today and hopefully tomorrow