Oldham East & Saddleworth result – Not bad indeed!

May I say that I am pleased with the share of the vote we Lib Dems got in this by-election. 31.9% is slightly raised from the General Election result of last May and clearly it shows that the Lib Dem vote is holding up despite us having to take all the tough decisions that Labour have been ducking. Another bad result for the Tories though; their heads must be down in Sefton as their local blood-letting has been followed by a very poor result for them in this by-election.

I managed to get over there to help the Lib Dem cause once so I can’t claim that I made a big impact on the result of this by-election but as I say I am quite chuffed with the result and our share of the vote.

Jack Colbert – The man who took over a Conservative Club!

There is an hilarious article in this week’s Crosby Champion newspaper where local Lib Dem campaigner (and ace snooker player I might add) Jack Colbert has been ‘outed’ by a local Conservative Councillor for being Chairman of Crosby Conservative Club. The sad Tory seems to think that the ‘outing’ of Jack will shine badly on him but of course the opposite is true.

We all knew Jack had ‘taken over’ the Tory Club from the inside as he has been going there together with former Labour and Conservative Councillors for years! Indeed, Jack was asked to become Chairman of a Club that is, I am told, disaffiliating from the Tory Party! This reminds me of another local Con’ Club in Maghull that has dropped the name Conservative and now calls itself Kennsington House Social Club. Frank Hornby helped found that one by the way.

Its been a bad week for Sefton Tories with 1 councillor resigning the Tory Whip, 3 being suspended and now Jack taking over their Club but best of all is Jack’s one liner when contacted by the press:-

 “I only go for three reasons; because there’s cheap ale, good snooker tables and no Conservatives!”

Helping the Parish Councils with play area developments

Just a bit of an update. As you may recall Sefton’s Cabinet recently agreed to fund (using Government money) a number new play areas aimed at older children with 4 of the new play areas being in the East Parishes – Maghull (2), Lydiate (1), Aintree Village (1).

The problem was that the money (£33,000 per play area) was having to be spent by 31st March 2011. This short timescale was a problem to enable the projects to be properly developed, by the 3 Parish Councils who own the parks involved, so I asked Sefton’s Chief Exec’ to extend that deadline to allow more time. That she has agreed to and the projects can now be taken forward in a more sensible timescale as required. I am pleased to have been able to assist the 3 Parish Councils over this.

This should allow Andrew Blackburn who is guiding the Maghull & Lydiate projects and Terry Baldwin’s Team in Aintree to successfully bring forward the projects.

Frank Hornby Trust – An Update

I have been asked a few times recently about the Trust and how it is progressing, so here is a brief update.

* We are negotiating with an eminent collector of Meccano to buy some of his collection.

* We are looking into how we can provide display facilities in the Hornby Room of Meadows Leisure Centre in Maghull. For those who don’t know if you visit Meadows the Hornby Room is the first on the left after you have gone through the main doors. There is nothing to see yet but that is what we (myself and my fellow Trustees Les French, John Keogh, Mo Kundi and Cllr. Len Green) are working on

* We are still on the look out for donations of Hornby items and memorabilia from the public so please get in touch with me if you have anything you would like to donate to the Trust.

* We are very grateful for the help and support we have been given by both Sefton Borough and Maghull Town Councils. We also want to acknowledge the positive encouragement that we have had from National Museums Liverpool.

Check my previous postings about the Hornby Trust. 

Why do some drivers have to be so rude?

I don’t know about you but I can’t stand rudeness. Both yesterday and today I have come across rude inconsiderate drivers. You know the type you meet on narrow roads who can’t be bothered to acknowledge that you have pulled over to let them through as two cars are unable to pass. Many motorists give you a cheery wave, lift their hand, flash their light or nod in appreciation but some just sail through not giving a damn. But one experience yesterday left me wondering just how selfish a driver can get. I was driving up a road in Maghull when in front of me there was a car with its driver talking to a chap in the road. I could not pass as there was also a parked car. Unbelievably the chap driving the car that was blocking the road just kept on his conversation with the odd glance at me ignoring my polite gestures for him to let me through. Eventually he moved but there was not so much as a nod to acknowledge his selfish behaviour.

Tories implode – Little did I know how soon that would happen when I posted my review of 2010

Today we have found out that one very senior Conservative Councillor and former Borough Mayor from Formby has resigned his membership of the Party and that 3 others from Dukes and Cambridge wards in Southport have been suspended for 6 months from the Sefton Council Conservative Group and that they have also resigned the Conservative Whip!

When I posted my review of 2010 I predicted that more Conservative internal trouble was on the cards following the unseemly deselection of popular Formby Councilor Anne Ibbs. If you recall Anne’s demise was to facilitate a ‘recall’ to duty for the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for the Sefton Central seat who had resigned her Manor Ward seat as she assumed she would be elected as an MP at the last election – she was not by a big margin. 

But for all this to have happened so soon in 2011 surprised even someone like me who has seen the Sefton Conservative Group falling apart in front of my own eyes over recent years.

The funny thing is that I am far from sure that the Conservatives are at the end of their blood-letting, indeed I am reasonably confident to say expect more internal trouble for the Tories. Having said that this is not much of a prediction based on the fact that they have been fighting each other like ferrets in a sack for some years.

Check out the blog of my colleague Iain Brodie-Browne – see Birkdale Focus in my links for all the detail.