Bootle – That purchase of The Strand shopping centre which Labour keep trying to brush under the Town Hall carpet

£684,000 cost (and rising) of Bootle Strand “advice”

As opposition Lib Dem councillors continue to dig into this murky matter further issues of concern continue to emerge. Cllr. Iain Brodie Browne has the latest on his blog site – Birkdale Focus – accessible via the link below

birkdalefocus.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/sefton-council-leader-should-come-clean.html

And the Liverpool Echo is running this story on its web site based on Iain’s investigations:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/sefton-council-paid-out-nearly-13940814

Despite The Times exposing what Sefton Council was up to just a few weeks back (see link below) it seems there are more carpets to be ripped up to get to all the facts about this odd and indeed worrying purchase of a shopping centre by cash strapped Sefton Council.

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/11/09/sefton-council-so-was-it-avaioding-tax-or-not-when-buying-bootle-strand-shopping-centre/

Keep digging…………

Southport – Planning for a positive future

birkdalefocus.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/the-british-lawnmower-museum-and-town.html

Above is a link to the blog site of my good friend Cllr. Iain Brodie Brown, please take a moment to click the link and read his posting. It is pure community politics to my mind.

Southport viewed from the end of its pier

Southport viewed from the end of its pier

Click on the photo to enlarge it

There can be little doubt that the towns/boroughs surrounding Liverpool have not benefited from being a part of the Liverpool City Region. Indeed, my own view is that centralising power in Liverpool as both Tories and Labour are planning for, with a Metro Mayor, could well be the road to ruin for places like Southport St. Helens, Birkenhead, Maghull, Formby, Prescot etc.

Whilst Iain’s posting is all about what needs to be done to give Southport a bright future his fundamental concerns could well be about any of Liverpool’s satellite communities that sit outside of the Liverpool City Council boundary.

Centralising power and influence in Liverpool will just not work, except for Liverpool itself. Unlike the Greater Manchester communities, which mostly seem look towards Manchester, the same can’t be said of Merseyside. Southport has always seen its connections with Preston and Lancashire as being of great importance but it was wrenched away from such historical links by local government reorganisation in 1974. Much of Wirral Borough has historic connections with Chester and Cheshire but it too was forced into Merseyside.

Merseyside because of its odd geographic shape was never likely to be a runner as a viable unit of local government and the years that have passed since 1974 have only proved that theory correct. Sefton, itself a strange collection of diverse communities, realised this some years ago and it began a process of decentralisation. Bizarrely though Labour then slammed this process into reverse when its Bootle based party took control of the Council. What was their motivation to say ‘the Borough will work well as a one size fits all because we say it will’ not least because this approach had failed miserably when first tried?

Presently we are seeing the start of a process to take 1000’s of civil service jobs out of Netherton, St Helens and Bootle for them all to be centralised in Liverpool. Liverpool’s gain will be big losses for Sefton and St Helens Boroughs.

Make no mistake the Tories are wedded to cities being made more powerful at the expense of their surrounding towns and boroughs. What’s more Labour are pretty much behind this process, why else did the 6 Labour Council Leaders on Merseyside sign up to a 3rd rate devolution deal?

Towns surrounding big cities need investment, public and private, not dependency on the nearest City because that is the road to ruin except for the big cities of course.

The photo above is amongst my Flickr shots at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

UKIP folk counted votes in Sefton’s Birkdale ward?!

This has to go down as one of the most bizarre things I have ever heard about happening at an election count!

Iain Brodie Browne has the story on his Birkdale Focus site:-

birkdalefocus.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/blog-post.html

I bet Sefton’s Returning Officer will be more than a little embarrassed.

Elected Mayor of Liverpool – More on those payments for no work

birkdalefocus.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/the-disgraceful-saga-that-saw-liverpool.html

birkdalefocus.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/sefton-labour-leader-blockslib-dem-bid.html

For those who would like to see more detail about this matter than the Liverpool Echo has published so far, a visit to Iain Brodie Browne’s Birkdale Focus web site is worth a bit of your time. Use the two links above to gain more detail:-

The situation seems to be one of Sefton Council Officers agreeing to the deal but then soon after the School in question, Chesterfield High, converted itself into an Academy and they found the deal unacceptable so terminated it.

There are clearly some big issues here about the use of public money, why the deal was signed off by Council Officers in the first place and whether any of the money can or should be claimed back by the School.

But the bottom line is why on earth did anyone think that spending public money like this was going to be seen to be acceptable to the public?

A subject that a determined local investigative journalist could do with getting to the bottom off and in doing so turn Sefton Council inside out.

John Pugh – Lib Dem candidate for Southport – On the Tories plans for regional pay.

John Pugh MP for Southport

birkdalefocus.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/pugh-on-tories-regional-pay-plot.html

Iain Brodie Brown has the story on his Birkdale Focus Bog Site – see link above.

This is a subject close to my heart as I spent many years as a trade union officer and activist for IRSF, PTC & PCS trying to resist regional pay which would make public sector workers outside of London and the South East second class employees.

John Pugh – ‘Mr Southport’ (with apologies to Lord Ronnie Fearn) adopted as Lib Dem candidate

birkdalefocus.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/pughs-five-green-promises.html

My good friend John Pugh is now officially the Lib Dem candidate to be MP for Southport. See a report of his adoption meeting on Iain Brodie Browne’s Birkdale Focus web site via the link above.

Lord Ronnie Fearn, Baroness Shirley Williams, John Pugh MP & Anette Pugh

Lord Ronnie Fearn, Baroness Shirley Williams, John Pugh MP & Anette Pugh

John has served as the Town’s MP for quite a number of years and it is interesting to hear that many people who may hold differing political beliefs hold him in great regard.

In my view this is what an MP is meant to be i.e. someone respected by many across the political spectrum, but sadly there are not many of them about these days. Good luck John.