Liverpool – Are the days of City’s ‘Spare Mayor’ numbered?

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-44793164

The BBC has the story on its web site – see link above

Since the election of a Liverpool City Region Mayor in 2017 there’s been talk about whether Liverpool City needs an elected Mayor as well. You could say that the City now has 3 Mayors, 2 directly elected and 1 ceremonial, that’s one too many for some folk and it’s the City’s elected Mayoral post that is being put froward for abolition to help save money for the cash strapped council.

Can’t say that I have ever supported any elected Mayor anywhere, in my view these posts concentrate too much power in the hands of one person and their imposition on local government (by David Cameron) has been both costly and unnecessary. So in my view Liverpool City Council should take the plunge and abolish its own elected Mayoral post.

Pollution of the air we breath – seems this issue is finally being taken seriously

www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-42566393

The BBC has the article of its web site – see link above

An issue that has not been high enough up the political agenda for a long time not least, I suspect, because often the most polluted areas are where the poorest people live.

Ireland’s abortion referendum – What a great result

www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-44265492

The BBC has the detail on its web site – see link above

This leaves just Northern Ireland living in the dark ages as the DUP partners of our present Tory Government seek to keep the Province in those dark ages.

This is of course another step, if a small one, towards a united Ireland if the younger generations can move forward and break free from the shackles of religious and inter-community hatred of their past.

Who would have thought that the deeply Catholic Irish Republic of not so many years ago could change so progressively and so quickly. A great result indeed.

A low wage culture? Well yes if you live outside the economically overheated South East

www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43729508

The BBC has the article on its web site – see link above

With the exception of Norwich, Southend and Worthing all the other communities with low wages are in the industrial north. Turning to the highest paid towns in England they are all in the South East with the exception of Derby.

No government has taken radical enough steps to seriously address this imbalance and please don’t point to the Northern Powerhouse or Poorhouse, as I like to call it, because that is little more than a political sticking plaster to make it look like Government is addressing the issue.

A solution? Try to make Universal Basic Income work. It’s been tried in Canada and in some of the Scandinavian countries but it needs to be really tested as a radical solution here in the UK.

Private car parking charges – Will Government act to bring in some sensible controls?

www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43912327

The BBC has the story on its web site – see link above

This is a subject I have commented on before and one that quite clearly needs proper Government regulation to stop exploitation.

Many car parks owned by supermarkets, shopping centres and retail parks are now outsourced to parking companies who use CCTV to catch out the unwary. But I fear that the process has become one of not only managing car parks but of using them as a cash cow to make as much money as possible.

From the land owners perspective the value of all land is there to be exploited to its maximum and that includes the land on which you park your car so unless Government brings in some sensible regulation we can only expect new money making stunts to be thought of virtually anywhere we park our cars.

£100 for being a couple of minutes late is frankly ridiculous. My view is the fines should be limited and regulated so that say being 10 minutes late in moving your car leads to a £25 fine for example, 20 minutes late a £50 fine etc. etc. but with a maximum amount. Also all car park management companies should be subject to an independent appeals process and their records should be inspected.

For too long high street companies that we all do business with have been outsourcing their car parks and then saying its nothing to do with us when a problem occurs. Frankly that’s just not good enough and its treating customers poorly.

With thanks to Keith Page for the lead to this posting

Brexit – Is the BBC weakening on its refusal to cover protests?

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-43756531

The BBC has the story on it Scotland web site page – see link above

I’m wondering if the BBC may finally be weakening in it pro-Brexit approach to news and current affairs coverage? To date, more or less since the EU Referendum, the BBC has been heavily biased in its reporting towards the pro-Brexit camp in my view. The number of Times Nigel Farage has appeared on Question Time has become a national embarrassment for our supposedly impartial national broadcaster to whom we all have to pay a license fee.

But pressure has been building on the BBC to set the record straight after months of its biased reporting – biased by it effectively ignoring any pro-EU/anti-Brexit events. So is this small step an acknowledgement of its sins even if only in Scotland? Would the BBC be brave enough to do similar in England where the Brexit dominated Tory and Labour Parties would surely attack it if it went back to being balanced in its reporting of Brexit?

That the once hugely respected BBC is in this position is desperately sad in itself but the reality is that BBC news is now probably 3rd or even 4th in terms of its reliability and impartiality behind Channel 4 News, Sky News and ITN. Who’d have thought it would come to this?