Can you help Bill?

I must admit to being quite shocked this week when the Aintree & Maghull Champion newspaper dropped through my letter box, indeed it was something that was not in it that really concerned me.

There was no picture involving Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson and that disturbed me so I wonder how Bill must feel.

But we can all do something about this by looking for photo opportunities for our MP, so there’s a challenge for those of us who flicked through every page this week looking for Bill.

You would think he would have an employee whose job it would be to find the photo opportunities, but if he’s not got one maybe be should recruit one soon. Just a thought:-)))

Bill Esterson MP – Do us a favour Bill and defy the Labour Whip over Article 50

We know you have been told by Jeremy Corbyn how to vote in Parliament over Brexit and Article 50 Bill but this issue is far bigger than Labour Party loyalty; our fragile economy is at stake and many other things too.

Please defy the whips and vote not to trigger Article 50; this is a time to stand up and be counted not to just follow what your Leader tells you to do.

Labour crisis – Is the Glass half full or half empty?

You could not help but wonder yesterday what on earth was going on when Pat Glass MP resigned from Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet only two or is that 3 days after she accepted an invitation to join it as Shadow Education Secretary!

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She clearly does not know whether her glass is half full or half empty. I bet this will haunt her for a long time.

My understanding, from what I would consider a reliable Labour source, is that Sefton Central MP, Bill Esterson is backing Jeremy Corbyn together with fellow Merseyside Labour MP’s Peter Dowd (Bootle) and Steve Rotherham (Walton). Steve Rotherham of course wants to be Labour’s candidate in Merseyside’s new Metro Mayor election in 2017. If my understanding is not correct I am happy to amend as I notice that the MP’s were far less clear, than my source, in this weeks Champion newspaper.

Melling – When is a shock not a shock at all? – Closure of Kennet Prison

Recent Liverpool Echo and Aintree & Maghull Champion newspaper stories refer:-

If you lived in Melling or Maghull when this prison was originally foisted on the community you may recall that that undertakings were given back then (2006/2007) that it would only be a temporary prison and that the land had only been leased for 10 years. This information is no state secret and was readily available back then and it’s less than 10 years ago that it all happened.

Yes the government of the day has since changed twice since 2007 first to the Coalition and more recently to a Tory one but as far as I can see all the present Tory Government has done is to carry out the undertaking made by Labour when they opened the prison, nothing more, nothing less.

So where is the shock? Surely the shock would have been if the Tories had decided to extend the lease or even make the prison permanent, would it not?

As for our MP who seems to want to scrutinise the present Government’s decision to close the prison, what is there to scrutinise? We are told it is overcrowded and unsuitable for a prison due to its layout etc. Yes, the unsuitability of the buildings seems to me to be correct. As for the overcrowding, it either has too many prisoners in it or it does not. If there are too many then that is clearly unacceptable.

So what does the MP want to scrutinise? Does he think it is suitable to be a permanent prison or at least to be kept open for a longer period? Does he think that the overcrowding needs to be investigated? Does he feel that the undertaking of the last Labour Government was wrong and that the present Tory Government should not have stuck to those undertakings? It would help if he was clearer as to what shocked him about the recent announcement and what he feels needs to be scrutinised because at present there has been no shock and things have proceeded as they were seemingly meant to.

Is this story just a reflection of the 24/7 news environment we seem to live in these days where even ordinary run of the mill stories are ‘bigged up’ and put before us by the media on the basis that we can’t recall what happened last week so will be shocked by information that is no shock at all?

My letter to the Champion newspaper which followed up the Liverpool Echo and Champion ‘shock’ stories is below:-

Dear Sir,

The closure of Melling’s Kennet Prison is far from the massive shock that local Labour MP Bill Esterson seems to believe.

It is of course a huge concern for the prison employees and as a trade unionist I share their worries but let’s not forget that Kennet was only ever intended to be a temporary Prison. Indeed, it was the last Labour Government that told us it would be temporary when they opened it nearly 10 years ago via a short-term lease from Merseycare NHS Trust. Mr Esterson may not recall this however as he was a councillor in Medway, Kent back then.

As for Mr Esterson’s over the top claim that the closure ‘undermines the safety and security of our country’ this really does stretch the imagination too far.

But underneath the MP’s political hyperbole Kennet has indeed had a positive effect on its local community because it has for example assisted with Maghull in Bloom’s work. So as it is wound down lets remember it for its positive contribution.

The reality is though that what has happened is the present Government has carried out the pledge of the last Labour Government i.e. that the prison would be only temporary – where is the shock in that Mr. Esterson? Don’t you want the Tory Government to honour the Labour Government commitment? Do you feel that the Labour pledge was wrong?

Yours sincerely

Cllr. Tony Robertson

Lydiate Parish Councillor

Maghull North Station – My letter to the Champion Newspaper

Site for the new Maghull North Railway Station.  Photo taken looking north from School Lane road bridge. The former Moss Side Hospital site is to the right and Mersey Avenue to the left.

Site for the new Maghull North Railway Station. Photo taken looking north from School Lane road bridge. The former Moss Side Hospital site is to the right and Mersey Avenue to the left.

Dear Sir,

I read your article where Bill Esterson MP told us all about the new Maghull North Railway Station that is soon to be built on the Liverpool – Ormskirk line.

Trouble is what he told us is in the public domain already.

Would I be being too cynical to suggest that our MP is simply trying to attach his name to the project so that when it gets built he can be seen as a champion of the project?

Yours sincerely

Tony Robertson

The letter had not been published at the time I posted this blog piece.

1st Class rail travel – Why did my MP decline to comment?

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/revealed-merseyside-mps-claiming-expenses-11325866

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above

‘Bill Esterson declined the opportunity to comment’ says the Echo. I wonder why? Bill’s not exactly known for being shy about appearing in the press.