Labour Party ‘Broken to the core’

The Guardian has the article on its website – see link below:-

www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/may/20/labour-party-broken-to-core-former-blair-minister-jane-kennedy

Jane Kennedy has form when it comes to fighting Militants as she battled against them in Liverpool’s Tuebrook Ward Labour Party back in Neil Kinnock’s day. Militant lost that battle of course but Momentum has very much won the battle for the Labour Party in 2019 and Jane has this time walked away from the party she has been a member of for many years.

It’s interesting, although probably not surprising, that she is backing Change UK the new political party which seems to have got pretty much everything wrong since it launched and is potentially facing a very short working life.

With thnaks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting.

Merseyside Policing – Dig deep as you’re being asked to pay more

Seen In Merseyside Police HQ

www.southportvisiter.co.uk/news/southport-west-lancs/police-boss-ask-residents-more-14168914

The Southport Visiter has the story on its web site – see link above

Whilst this plea for Merseyside Council tax payers to cough up more to counter the lack of government funds for our local Bobbies is hardly going to go down well, as our Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy obviously knows, there are some other interesting issues to look into.

I covered this issue not so long ago and my previous posting is available via this link:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/12/20/policing-more-cash-but-theres-a-catch-your-council-tax-is-going-up/

But one aspect of the Commissioner’s press release, as quoted by the Southport Visiter, caught my attention – her reference to the cost of the increased policing on Council tax bills at band ‘A’, which she tells us is the most common Council tax band on Merseyside.

That Band A is the most common highlights a big problem that many urban local authorities have who raise money via Council tax. You can’t raise much money when many of the properties in your area are only contributing at Band A. Just think how much easier it is for those local authorities where the majority of households are in band D and above. Another example of how unfair Council tax is – we need a local tax that works and is fair, a local income tax based on the ability to pay not the value of your property.

Oh and by the way the other point about Jane Kennedy quoting tax at band ‘A’ is that in my experience the illustrative band used over many years has been at band ‘D’. Why did she choose to illustrate the additional cost at band ‘A’ other than for the reason she has stated of course?

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Formby, Maghull, Bootle, Netherton & Sefton Borough generally – Gun Crime Concerns

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/fears-liverpool-city-gun-crime-13300452

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site as written from the perspective of Formby’s Independent Councillor Maria Bennett – see link above.

I lose track of how many times I have blogged about gun crime in Sefton Borough and indeed across Merseyside and yes it does seem to be a worsening problem that is before us on an almost daily basis.

I recall only too well how Maghull found itself in the middle of an outbreak of gun crime in 2013 which led to Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, being brought in to speak directly to concerned locals at a meeting held in Lydiate Primary School. To be honest she spoke well in trying to calm local fears and thankfully the spate of Maghull shootings has not been repeated. However, shootings and gun crime are an almost every day event in some Merseyside communities and I think it fair to say that many folks will feel, with some considerable justification, that the situation looks to be almost out of anyone’s control.

Maria Bennett is right to raise this issue once again because gun crime is an issue that will one day be an every day event in virtually every community if ways to effectively combat it are not found soon. And quite obviously a fully resourced Merseyside Police Force is required to lead that fight.

My thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Litherland Shooting

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/neighbours-shock-frightening-shooting-park-11065851

The Liverpool Echo has the story about the latest local/Sefton shooting in Litherland – see link above.

And the shootings go on and on, this time in Hapsford Road Recreational Park in Litherland.

Not so long ago we were being told that Merseyside Police were winning the battle to get guns off our streets but frankly the streets of Sefton don’t seem much safer when things like this are going on in a children’s play area.

Savage Policing cuts across Merseyside

Cllr. John Dodd

Cllr. John Dodd

Southport Lib Dem Meols ward councillor John Dodd, who has been raising concerns about the savage cuts that are being proposed for Merseyside Police Force, has sent me the letter below which is sobering frightening and extremely worrying all at the same time. John received the letter from Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy.

*****

13th October 2015

Dear Colleague

It is with great disappointment that I am writing to let you know that Merseyside Police are being forced to consider cutting PCSO jobs, disband the mounted section and the basic command unit structure which has served Merseyside well for forty years.

I am writing to reassure you that neither the Chief Constable nor I would consider these drastic measures unless we had nowhere else to turn. It is with extremely heavy hearts that we are even considering these changes.

The Government requires Merseyside Police to make £48 million of cuts by the end of the financial year 2018/2019. This comes on top of the £77 million already cut since 2010. However, we are anticipating that this situation will get even worse when the Government announces its Comprehensive Spending Review in November. The Government’s policy of austerity has already caused cuts to every area of the police service, requiring more and more to be done by fewer and fewer people. It is no longer possible to avoid fundamentally changing the way the police service is delivered at the frontline.

The cuts now being considered are harmful to the wellbeing of the communities of Merseyside. But even if all PCSO posts were cut during 2016, the mounted section disbanded and the basic command structure dissolved we would still have to cut a further £28 million by 2018/19.

This means that every team within Merseyside Police is facing cuts. This includes the teams of officers and staff who investigate sex offences, hate crimes and the Matrix teams who combat serious and organised crime.

Having spent my entire career working to build stronger and safer communities I am personally appalled that I am in a position where I am forced to make such cruel and damaging decisions, which will inevitably have serious repercussions for the people of Merseyside.

In spite of this incredibly depressing picture I can assure you that both the Chief Constable and I will do everything in our power to deliver the best possible police service we can with the resources we have available.
Yours faithfully

Jane Kennedy
Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside

Gun Crime on Merseyside – Another sobering revelation

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/stolen-shotguns-now-the-weapon-9584700

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above.

How many times have I posted on this subject? Too many is the answer but it shows what an uphill battle it is to try to get guns off our streets. I get the impression that Merseyside Police must struggle to keep a lid on this menace in our local communities. And that’s not meant to be critical of their efforts more that it is a far bigger problem than they or us would ever have imagined it growing into a few years ago.

Is this not another reminder of how the drugs trade fuels violent crime and how our drug laws are simply not working in the UK? I think this may well be the case and Government needs to radically look at how our failed drugs laws can be changed. What is the point of laws that effectively lead to more crime being committed?