Uncle Joe must be weeping as Cameron says “It doesn’t necessarily have to involve the creation of a metro mayor”

Has Joe Anderson’s ambition to be Mayor of the whole Liverpool City Region come unstuck again? Well it seems so.


Only days after Labour Council Leaders from St.Helens, Knowsley and Wirral poured cold water on Joe’s plans to take over Merseyside David Cameron has also seemingly put the boot in by saying that Merseyside/Liverpool City Region does not have to have a Metro Mayor to have powers devolved to it from Whitehall.

Interestingly, Sefton Council Leader Peter Dowd seems to be keeping his head down over this Metro Mayor lark, but he is of course going to be in the House of Commons from May as Bootle’s new MP. On that basis the backing or sacking of Joe Anderson will fall to another and presently unknown Labour Councillor from Sefton. Maybe Sefton Labour Party don’t know which side of the fence they are on but I think they should realise that we should be told where they stand.

Sefton Local Plan – Which hymn sheet are Labour singing from?


The article above is on the Echo web site.

But hang on a minute, what about the comments of Cllr. Dowd? Does it not read as though he is suggesting that he is only doing what Government dictates? Well yes it does, in my view, but back in October 2013 Cllr. Dowd was clearly singing a different tune when backing his own Party Leader Ed Miliband who was then pushing for a far greater number of houses to be built. Have a look at Southport GB web site:-


The important lines are – Sefton Council leader Peter Dowd has welcomed Ed Miliband’s plans to build one million houses over the five-year period between 2015 and 2020.

One Million houses in the UK in five years is 200,000 homes per year which means 1000 per year in Sefton Borough. This is Double the present controversial Sefton Council plans.

At the time Sefton, under its Labour rulers, was actually talking of just over 500 houses per year needing to be built in the Borough – Almost the same figure that the last Labour Government was imposing upon Sefton via its then Regional Spacial Strategy which the Coalition Government abolished. So in 2013 Labour nationally was talking of doubling the number of houses to be built in Sefton and their Labour Council Leader was seemingly agreeing. This would clearly have a huge and negative implication for Sefton’s Green Belt and its high grade agricultural land.

And where are we now? Sefton’s Labour-run Council is now promoting 615 houses per year to be built – did they fail to persuaded Sefton’s all powerful Planning Officers of the merits of pushing the figure up to 1,000 per year? Did Sefton Labour get cold feet over their big October 2013 plan? I suppose we will never know but to now try to play the card that the Government are making us do this is frankly ridiculous when they were promoting more house building, in the period 2015 to 2020, as their own policy only 15 months ago!

And don’t forget that Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson has cut himself free from what his Labour colleagues are doing on the Council by coming out very much in opposition to what they are planning for.

More Labour Party positions than you can shake a stick at? It seems so and none of them driven by anything other than their own policy shifts.

Sadly our Green Belt and high grade agricultural land is done for under this Labour-run Council unless they sober up quick and join Bill Esterson MP, Sefton Lib Dems and non-party political environmental campaigners.

Liverpool City Region – Oh dear, the Labour ferrets are fighting in the sack yet again!


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.

Labour to allow more homes to be built on Green Belt!

A new policy review for Labour by Sir Michael Lyons has suggested that the party looks at allowing more homes to be built on the green belt if the land has little “environmental or amenity value”.

The Daily Telegraph has the story – see link below


Another depressing report that shows how out of touch Westminster really is. Building on high grade agricultural land is madness!

Just how many Sefton businesses lost out when Knowsley Council sent our money back?

My posting of 6th October refers:-


The Liverpool Echo said – UP TO £18m of funding meant to help local firms and workers was given back to the government by a Merseyside council after it went unspent.

The cash, which was to be spent across the region, was being handled by Knowsley council on behalf of the other authorities.

But since then all has gone quiet. Why? Which businesses applied for money and did not get any? How many of them were Sefton based businesses? Were Sefton based businesses even offered the opportunity to bid for the money?

I think it is about time someone came clean over this fiasco because on a very rough and ready calculation there are 6 local authority areas in the Liverpool City Region, which could mean that Sefton’s share of the Government money that was sent back could have been as high as £3m!

Turn empty shops into homes – Lib Dems said this in Sefton months ago

Chris Blackhurst has argued in the Independent newspaper recently that empty UK shops should be given over to residential developers to address the housing shortage. He claims the benefits of this would be that “we would have a more realistic approach to future retail requirements; and people, at last, would have somewhere to live”.

This is an approach that Sefton Lib Dems have taken with regard to the Sefton Local Plan although whether anyone is listening to the numerous submissions made to the Council I don’t know – I fear they will simply have been put to one side whilst the Council continues to do just what it wants to do.

As an aside, the Sefton Local Plan process has presently been halted and meetings about the next stage have been cancelled whilst officials do more calculations. Calculations about what? – I hear you say. Well population predictions is the issue as that is the major driver for more house building. Were the original predictions wrong? Well we Lib Dems and independent environmental campaigners thought so and indeed we said so but Labour-run Sefton Council would insist on backing them. It will be interesting to see what the revised calculations look like but will they be any more reliable than the flawed originals?