M58 ‘Ashworth’ Junction – Delayed and costing more say Place North West

Looking towards Maghull over the M58 ‘Ashworth’ junction road works (when work had just commenced) and the vast Maghull East site that is prestly growing the food we eat but is designated for housing.

Place North West has the article on its website – see link below:-

www.placenorthwest.co.uk/news/cost-of-maghull-motorway-improvements-increases-by-1m/?fbclid=IwAR3x4bGr80bo8_FaGasZpggAfWnI2dDP5bUs4WA2QFnmzTBmG949tbOR3jg#.XeQDWMxKq3U.facebook

Says Bob Robinson a former project engineer, who brought the article to my attention, ‘Maghull Cost Over-run. The issues causing the over-run are not untypical especially where it is necessary to buy a number of different properties/land to deliver the scheme.’

Looking at recent works to provide a new cycle path from the ‘Ashworth’ junction towards Kirkby

I’ve been watching the works regularly as they are on a cycling route I often use. Sefton Council has had the contractor do some additional works, so I understand, associated with putting in the new cycle path, which has been planned for some time. This work has been done although the whole cycle route to Kirkby is yet to be constructed.

My good friend and former Sefton Borough councillor Cliff Mainey launched the campaign to get this M58 junction made into a full one around 15 years ago. Sadly, although it is now being constructed, it’s alongside a planned and massive urban extension to Maghull of @1,600 houses. The housing is to be built on the very highest quality of agricultural land which I and many others fought against. Sadly we lost.

Note – to be clear the junction is actually in Melling not Maghull

Brexit – The Tories look screwed whatever they do

I was interested to see this blog posting from someone who has a detailed understanding of how the far right operates:-

unherd.com/2019/06/the-coming-conservative-catastrophe/

Whichever way you look at the Conservatives predicament they seem to be staring down both barrels of their own shotgun

My thanks to Bob Robinson for the lead to this posting

And I could not help but agree with this blog posting by Paul Bigland too:-

paulbigland.blog/2019/06/30/the-tory-party-have-become-an-economic-death-cult/

Local Elections – Are Rotten Borough’s creeping back into out creaking democracy?

The Electoral Reform Society has an illuminating and worrying article on it’s website – see link below:-

www.electoral-reform.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Election-Cancelled-Uncontested-Seats-Breifing-April-19-ERS-EMBARGOED.pdf

Quote from the ERS article – ‘Since moving to a proportional voting system (STV) for local elections in 2007, the scourge of uncontested seats has almost vanished in Scotland.’

The article is sobering indeed because of the number of seats where a single candidate is unopposed and where the electorate for the wards where this happens is denied a vote because there is no election – they get the only nominated person whether they like it or not.

Of course those of us who have been campaigning for electoral reform for generations know what the solution is – proportional representation via the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system in multi-member seats, be that for Council, Westminster or EU elections. Presently in England we only have a vaguely proportional system (where the number of seats a party gets is near to the % of votes that party receives) for EU elections.

My thanks to Bob Robinson for the lead to this posting

Conservatives – Doomed, doomed they’re all doomed!!!!!

A mate of mine suggested I have a look at a posting on the Conservative Home website because he said the utter misery the Tories are suffering is openly being talked about there. And so it is….

The few moderate Tories left these days are clearly ashamed of what their party is doing to the UK and of course we all know this. But at the other end of the scale where most Tory members and supporters sit these days are the Brexiteers, a colourful bunch of people seemingly totally out of touch with reality.

So Tory canvassers are getting grief from ordinary moderate folk who realise Teresa May is taking the UK to hell over Brexit and also from the far right who want all the Brexit misery full on no matter what the consequences.

I imagine that Labour canvassers are also getting loads of grief too with the vast majority of its members and supporters being Remainers whilst their Leadership is, like the Tory leadership, trying to deliver what becomes a more unpopular Brexit day by day.

I must say that reading the Conservative Home article pleased me as there’s nothing so good as seeing your political opponents suffering. However, the really worrying thing is these people are currently running or more precisely ruining the country, in part at least because they have the ‘benefit’ of an appalling Official Labour Opposition who can’t it seems oppose!

With thanks to Bob for the lead to this posting…..

Brexit – If you voted for these things to happen, Why?

I think we’ve all got to the stage now, whichever way we voted in that fateful referendum, that the £350M to be invested in the NHS (per week) was a big fat lie and of course there were other porkies too. But ignoring those lies and even putting to one side the alleged ‘project fear’ issues it has to be said that some Brexiteers really do want Brexit at any cost to their community, country, livelihoods etc.

I find it hard to believe that 52% of those who chose to vote for Brexit really wanted things to turn out as Andrew Rawnsley outlines below in his Guardian article. But maybe they did? have a read, especially if you voted ‘Leave’ and consider what you voted for as to what you thought you were voting for:-

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/dec/23/bluff-blackmail-brinkwomanship-why-a-no-deal-brexit-is-still-on-the-cards?CMP=share_btn_link

But if you are still unconvinced that voting ‘Leave’ was a big mistake, how about this article too:-

www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/dec/23/pharmaceutical-firms-preparing-no-deal-brexit-ordered-to-sign-ndas

Still happy to ‘Leave’? Well, you may be but I’d be highly surprised if you could get 52% of those who would go out and vote in a 2nd referendum to stand with you!

With thanks to Bob Robinson and Roy Connell for the leads to this posting

Bandwidth and Brexit – A guest posting from Bob Robinson

Do you remember when bandwidth was a problem? A time when you wanted to do things on your computer but were unable to do so. It struck me that Brexit has crowded out all other sensible conversation for ages. Stuff that should be done has not been done – where are the Transport for the North Plans for both the new Road and Railway?

Where is the new housing that we need? Where are the essential reforms for social care?

When facing an existential crisis, even one of your own making, smart managers recognise that delegation is a key coping strategy. Bureaucracy tends to centralise more easily than devolve but often it is the front line customer-facing staff who know more about the organisation’s issues in terms of both breadth and depth.

So why is this government so opposed to meaningful devolution to local government and regional bodies. Why are they talking about respecting democracy whilst not taking steps to reinforce local democracies? This “fingers in their ears – singing blah blah blah” paradigm has got to be challenged. We need a General Election at which this issue is front and centre.