Seaforth Docks seen from the Mersey with work going on to construct the river berth for Post-Panamax ships in August 2015.
The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above
Readers of this blog site will know how disappointed (and that’s being polite about it!) I have been by the lack of action by Labour-run Sefton Council with regard to this hugely important transport project. But are we starting to see stirrings from Bootle Labour who may be trying to position themselves?
My most recent posting on this matter is available via the link below:-
The Echo article above is interesting and it may or may not be of significance. By that I mean if Bootle Labour are seemingly latching onto a solution that will not be a runner due to the massive cost then they are just positioning themselves to be able to say we did propose an alternative and were ignored. A political get out of jail type card.
But of course they may be backing the tunnel because they think it is likely to happen and need to be on the winning side of the argument. However, they see themselves winning either way because if the proposed surface road does get built (down the Rimrose Valley Country Park) then they have distanced themselves from its unpopularity.
Am I being too cynical? I very much doubt it!
PS. You may notice that the Echo article makes no mention what so ever about the potential rail solutions for accessing the Port of Liverpool/Liverpool 2. Have rail options been dropped now? Were they ever seriously investigated?
Click on the chart to enlarge it
Across England the Lib Dems gained the most seats (37) – Lynne Thompson in Southport’s Ainsdale Ward of Sefton Council being one of those 37 net gains.
But look at the ‘Residents’ tag, it’s plus 4 and 3 of those gains by independent resident groups were from Labour in Sefton Central Constituency. A badge to wear proudly for Pat O’Hanlon, Matt Gannon and Bob McCann. A badge Sefton Central Labour Party will very much not be wearing though as they contributed to Labour’s net loss of 25 seats across England!
You can almost feel the tension rising between Ian Maher’s Bootle brethren and Bill Esterson’s comrades in Sefton Central. You can bet Bootle Labour, who rule the roost, will be highly unimpressed with their ‘colleagues’ losing seats to independents in Sefton Central.
Will update when final figures in.
The Independent has the story – see link above
I must admit that I felt that electoral reform had been killed off for at least a generation when in the 2011 referendum British voters voted 2 to 1 to keep our wholly unrepresentative first past the post voting system. Indeed, I thought the referendum itself was a bad move as the result, at that time, was always a forgone conclusion. Sadly, this was another misjudgement from Nick Clegg who could not get his head around the fact that once he U-turned over Tuition Fees nothing else he headed up (in this case electoral reform) stood a chance of ever being approved by UK electors.
But then the 2015 election threw up one of the most unrepresentative results in living memory with a Tory Government that over 63% of the electorate voted against. All of a sudden other parties found the electoral system was rather unrepresentative! I wonder how many of their members voted against electoral reform or ignored the referendum in 2011 but now want to see it happen?
Labour have always been against electoral reform although to give him his due their last leader, Ed Miliband, does support it. Labour’s problem is that in inner city seats our warped first past the post system always gets Labour MP’s elected just like it helps get Tories elected in the leafy suburbs and countryside seats. However, Labour can’t now win a majority of seats without taking many of those areas where the Tories usually win; even more so now the Tories are gerrymandered the system in their favour for the 2020 election and beyond. So what will Labour do? Oppose electoral reform and settle back to be an opposition party for at least 2 generations or smell the coffee and embrace fair votes?
Vested interests in the Tory and Labour parties will oppose electoral reform until their last breath so it’s a tough ask indeed. Or look at it this way can you imagine the Bootle Labour Party backing electoral reform before hell freezes over?
You begin to wonder just how dysfunctional the Labour Party on Merseyside is trying to be as its big Council Leader guns turn their sights onto each other yet again.
What I simply can’t understand is why they have to go to war with each other over just about everything. What good can possibly come from using the Liverpool Echo to chuck more bricks at each other. What on earth do they think they are doing to the reputation of the Liverpool and its surrounding communities?
It’s time that someone of stature took them all into a closed room and banged their heads together. I am sick of them ruining the area with their continual public bickering.
Press Release from John Pugh MP
Southport’s Lib Dem MP John Pugh believes Sefton Council has failed Southport and crucially failed to respond to the concerns raised and expressed by the Local Authority Boundary Commission when they last looked at Southport’s position in Sefton.
The MP, who introduced a bill in this parliament to give local people power to request a review of council boundaries, believes that there is a clear need to re-visit the question of whether Southport’s future lies in Sefton.
“Sadly recent events, the closure of libraries, the disappearance of council offices and the lack of democratic debate on important planning matters underline all those problems identified by the Boundary Commission when they last did a review.
They put Sefton on notice but, if anything, things have sadly worsened since then.
Sefton used to be the “push me /pull you” borough with Southport and Bootle as the two centres with different priorities. Now Southport’s priorities are in danger of being totally ignored by a council firmly based in Bootle.
In tourism, in transport,in business its hard to see how Southport’s distinctive voice can be heard if we remain in Sefton.”
Eric Pickles the Secretary of State for Local Government throughout the coalition years has been adamantly opposed to any local government re-organisation. However, John Pugh believes whatever government we have post May will be more responsive to requests for boundary reviews. Devolving real powers to local communities is very much on the agenda following the Scottish referendum.
EDITORIAL NOTE – The 1997 Review urged upon Sefton “‘the encouragement of a culture within Sefton Council which recognises the distinctiveness and importance of Southport ”
Since Bootle Labour Party took control of Sefton Council (backed up by seemingly powerless Labour members from elsewhere in the Borough) their need to control just about everything has become more and more evident, indeed it seems to go to ludicrous extremes.
Take last Thursday’s Sefton Council meeting. There were 3 motions about health issues; all 3 should have gone through with all-party support but one was picked over and lambasted by Labour simply because it was from a Southport non-Labour councillor, or so it seems.
The motion all the fuss was about concerned dementia and had been put forward by Cllr. Pat Keith but at one point in the debate a Labour member called it ‘bogus’ and I rose to ask that this unfortunate remark be taken back and apologised for – sadly it was not! Frankly, there was no need for this Labour ‘big brother’ carry-on and it did make them look rather silly.
Contrast that with two other motions put forward by a Labour member on health issues (breast feeding and maternity care) where we opposition Lib Dems tried to support the thrust of Cllr. Killen’s motions without shouting her down simply because she is not of our political colour.
What’s more a further motion on the agenda, the text of which had been written by the charity Action Aid, was amended by Labour to include some child-like addition congratulating the Labour Party. I ask you………………..
Their Leader often talks about us all working together on Sefton Council yet Bootle Labour’s actions create exactly the opposite environment. Of course we Liberals and Social Democrats with the Lib Dems can get along with the Social Democrats within the Labour Party but we see very little of social democracy from Bootle Labour who run Sefton Council. It’s all old fashioned municipal socialism, old Labour barons and a hint now and again of what sounds like Militant rhetoric popping out in debate. They seem me to to be the kind of target that Labour Leaders like Neil Kinnock once had in their sights
You have to see the Bootle Labour Party in full flow to believe it all at times.