Yes, I know he is not the MP for Bootle yet but I did laugh at the phrase ‘battling’ in terms of what the Echo/Southport Visiter thinks Peter Dowd has to do to win Bootle. Of course Bootle is the ultimate safe seat so the people of Bootle will get Peter as their MP as indeed they would whomever the Labour party put up for election. Battling my foot, the only battle Peter had to fight was the one to gain the Labour nomination!
But why is the new MP for Bootle so concerned about Southport all of a sudden? As Leader of Sefton Council he and his all Bootle Constituency Cabinet have been telling Southport and indeed the residents of the Sefton Central Constituency what is good for them for a few years now.
To me as someone who does not reside in Bootle or Southport (I live in Lydiate) I would say that local government in Sefton is broken and change is required. But I don’t want my community to be run from Bootle (or even worse Liverpool if Joe Anderson gets his hands on power as Mayor of Merseyside) any more than the good folk of Southport.
Suspect this one has a long way to go yet, after all Sefton as a Borough has been utterly unhappy with its lot ever since it was set up in 1974 by the Tories infamous local government reorganisation.
My recent posting on this matter refers:-
Cllr. Iain Brodie Browne, Leader of the opposition on Sefton Council, has been doing a bit of number crunching since Sefton Council’s Labour Leader, Peter Dowd, made some claims which Iain thought were erroneous at the last Council meeting about school places. Iain’s checks on one particular school in Southport seem to prove that he was right to be sceptical of the Labour Leader’s stats.
I am aware of others doing similar number crunching on school places following Cllr. Dowd’s speech which had quite a number of us scratching our heads about his claimed number of vacancies.
Labour-run Sefton Council wants to build thousands of houses on Green Belt and high grade agricultural land in Sefton Borough (including a vast ‘New Town’ bolted on to the east of Maghull’) and their Local Plan is the way they trying to do that.
You can read Iain’s blog posting on this matter via the link above.
The Liverpool Echo has the story but in reality this is good news not bad. Why would any of the surrounding Boroughs want to be bossed about from Liverpool Town Hall? Having said that Sefton Council Labour seems to be backing Joe as it voted not to have a public ballot before any Metropolitan Mayor is imposed on Merseyside/The Liverpool City Region. But, if I am not mistaken, St Helens, Halton, Wirral and Knowsley Councils have all given Joe Anderson’s ambitions the elbow.
Devolution of powers has always been possible to Merseyside if the Labour Council Leaders and Liverpool’s Mayor could just stop bickering for a while. They could not so that’s why the opportunity may well have been lost. No one else to blame but them.
One thing that had slipped my mind as Labour Council Leaders across Merseyside have been kicking lumps out of each other about whether our area will be bossed around by a Liverpool centric Metro Mayor is that there has actually been a vote on Sefton Council on this very matter.
It happened at a meeting I missed on 20th November but the result is quite illuminating. This is the what was being debated:-
It was moved by Councillor Brodie – Browne, seconded by Councillor Dawson:
“This Council believes that there should be no elected Mayors imposed upon communities such as the Borough of Sefton without the clear consent for such a constitutional change being agreed by the votes of the communities concerned.
The Council is concerned to avoid a piecemeal approach being adopted to the subject of devolution of government power to the North West Region and calls for the early establishment of a North West Constitutional Convention.”
ALL SEFTON’S LABOUR COUNCILLORS PRESENT VOTED AGAINST THIS MOTION!
The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above
Bet Labour MP Bill Esterson feels as sick as I do today as his own councillors utterly ignored him and voted to build on the land that John Pugh (the Lib Dem MP for Southport), Bill, I and many others feel should be kept free of development as it provides the food that we eat.
This is probably the first thing Bill and I have ever agreed upon but it was brave of him to stand against all of his Sefton Central councillors and indeed Ed Miliband who wants even more houses built. Looks like Labour have a real rebel in their Westminster ranks.
The result of last night’s meeting was of course no surprise but people’s anger with their Labour councillors is as much because of what they did a long time ago as what they did last night. You see they put up posters, issued press releases and gave every impression that they were going to fight for the Green Belt when what they did last night and in previous votes on Sefton Council was to do just the opposite in my view. Remember this poster?
Labour poster displayed in Lydiate – October 2013
Talk about being found out!
The links above are to the Liverpool Echo and Independent newspapers and they paint a grim picture for Joe Anderson and indeed they do nothing for Liverpool and Merseyside.
Joe my well want to be the elected Mayor of Merseyside or the Liverpool City Region (call it what you will) but it must be pretty obvious to just about everyone that his views are not shared or supported much beyond his own campaign team.
This horrible row is no surprise though. Merseyside’s Labour Council Leaders sadly have a history of kicking lumps out of each other but I think we all wish they would put a sock in it. Do we really want to read week in, week out, that our local Leaders are at war with each other? Do they think their public rows are good for Liverpool and its surrounding communities?
This is not Toy Town politics it Toy City Region politics and no good will come of it.