Lib Dems take Southport by Storm and some other election reflections

Last night was a bad night for Labour on Sefton Council they lost 1 seat to the Tories and 3 to Independent Green Belt campaigners. But the Tories also lost a seat to the Lib Dems in Southport where all 7 Council seats that were up for grabs in the Southport Parliamentary Constituency were won by Lib Dem candidates. The last time Liberals won all 7 seat in Southport was 1856!

Lib Dems take all 7 Council seats up for election in Southport

Southport's victorious Lib Dem Team - Photo credit Jamie Lopez

Southport’s victorious Lib Dem Team – Photo credit Jamie Lopez

Congratulations to Lynne Thompson the Lib Dem candidate and now councillor in Ainsdale ward, whom I delivered leaflets for on a number of occasions, who took a seat from the Tories. Lynne had stood on a number of occasions previously in this ward each time just losing out but this time she stormed to victory. Both my wife and I used to work with Lynne when she was a civil servant so we are delighted for her.

Labour’s loss in Ravenmeols ward also had a personal connection with me as the losing Labour councillor, Tim Hale, was the very same chap I defeated in Molyneux ward when I first won a seat on Sefton Council in 1999. Indeed, Tim is an old friend of mine from our days as trade union officers in the civil service so as with my victory over him in 1999 I felt a little uncomfortable on a personal level to see Tim lose again. Of course on a political level I am delighted that Labour lost the seat as the independent Green Belt campaigner Bob McCann who took it is likely to be a real thorn in Labour’s side.

Labour vote in Sefton fell by 44%!

In my own part of the Borough (Lydiate and Maghull) the independent candidates won both wards (Park & Sudell). I know Pat O’Hanlon well as she lives just up Southport Road in Lydiate from me and we have shared information about our joint environmental campaigning against Labour. I wish Pat well and it should be remembered that she left Labour because they said they would defend the Green Belt but then voted to build on it. I look forward to getting to know Matt Gannon and hope they both do Maghull & Lydiate proud as they fight for the environment that Labour has abandoned.

Labour also came unstuck in Sudell ward because they ‘imported’ a candidate from Formby to stand there. In fact they lost the ward she had been a councillor for (Harrington – to the Tories) as well as Sudell ward.

The connection between the Independent and Lib Dem winners is that they all fought Labour’s Green Belt building plans so I am delighted that the Independents won as well as my own Lib Dems.

So an interesting night in Sefton whilst much of the rest of England did not see many changes. But, on a Liverpool note what on earth possessed the electorate in Liverpool to re-elect Mayor Joe Anderson? In my view he has been a drag on Liverpool moving forward. But on a wonderful Knowsley note my young mate Carl Cashman, together with older mates Mike Wynn and Ian Smith took 3 seats off Labour for the Lib Dems – well done Carl, Mike, Ian and Prescot Lib Dems.

How Prescot Lib Dems are getting their message across

www.youtube.com/watch?v=QU559EW2y3A

Politics has moved on very much from my early days as a Liberal activist in 1980. Back then we put together Focus leaflets by typing up/cutting out small pieces of artwork and sticking them down to create a leaflet. It was a laborious process.

Prescot Lib Dems are very much into new technology to get their message across and the link above is to their excellent internet available video.

Prescot (Clock) Museum, Merseyside

This is one of those places I had been meaning to visit for years but somehow not got around to.

www.prescotmuseum.org.uk/

My attention was drawn back to it because of of a controversial move of the Museum from its historic Georgian building into a shopping centre! You can see why it was controversial.

This is the old and seemingly now unused Georgian building:-

rsz_img_1392

It really is quite a nice building and very much one that would befit a museum. So why the change? Obviously, local government funding issues were at the heart of the move but whilst having sympathy with Knowsley Borough Council for its financial dilemma I am told by Prescot locals that the Borough Council does not have the best of records in its governance of historic Prescot. I know that Cllrs. such as Ian Smith, and more recently Carl Cashman, have been fighting battles with Knowsley Borough for years to try to preserve the traditions and history of Prescot but the Kirkby/Huyton power-bases of the Borough always have had the bigger say for the socialist Borough.

The dead hand of local government can be a poor defender of traditions and local communities with its ‘Big Brother knows best’ approach to sensitive and very local issues. Here the solution is at best a halfway house because the old building is left empty and the setting of the new museum is at best odd. The comments on Trip Advisor give a flavour of what people think although not all are negative, I would add.

www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g1096785-d215456-Reviews-Prescot_Clock_Museum-Prescot_Knowsley_Merseyside_England.html

The photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-
www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/