So just how is Joe’s 50p child bus fare actually going to be paid for?

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above

I always adopt a highly sceptical view towards any politician offering something for nothing – in this case 50p child bus fares across Merseyside, but not ones requiring any public sector purse subsidy to achieve that end result.

Clearly our Labour rulers are split on this Joe Anderson pledge as the Echo article points out. It will be interesting how many more something for supposedly nothing pledges are made by those wanting to be Merseyside’s Metro Mayor.

It’s not that the end result is undesirable, far from it, but it is about a clear funding stream being identified that we can all understand. Without that (and after the election for the Metro Mayor none of us want) it could all go pear shaped as so many other politician promises have done in the past.

Merseyside’s Metro Mayor – Many don’t know about one being foisted upon us and many don’t want to know!

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above:-

Who wants a Metro Mayor for Merseyside? No one that I know wants yet another politician living off the taxpayer’s purse.

But many who do know about us getting a Metro Mayor don’t want Joe Anderson even though Liverpool voters seem to love him if the recent Mayoral election is anything to go by. In my view Joe has been a huge drag on Liverpool moving forward and he would be no better for Merseyside. And I don’t say this because he represents the Labour Party; I would hold this view whichever Party he stood for. But maybe it’s one of those situations where whomever Labour put on the ballot paper next year Merseyside electors will approve them. I hope not but the Liverpool result must indicate that despite Joe being seemingly quite unpopular, when it comes to the ballot box, tribal Labour loyalty is all that matters.

But, as the Echo article above points out, many folks don’t even know that a Metro Mayor is going to be forced on Merseyside. In Sefton Borough we are told that 61% of electors know nothing of us getting a Metro Mayor in 2017.

So many don’t know and many don’t want to know but getting a Metro Mayor we are because of a strangely close partnership between Labour on Merseyside and the hated Tory Government and the 3rd rate devolution deal they struck for us.

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.

Liverpool – Mayoral election – Richard Kemp’s manifesto

Well the good people of Liverpool have an opportunity to rid themselves of Joe Anderson on May 5th and Cllr. Richard Kemp has published his manifesto offering a new and positive start for this proud City. Please click the link above to read about Richard’s priorities for the City.


Probably the most important thing about this particular mayoral election is that a new Mayor is elected as in my view Joe Anderson has not done Liverpool any favours during his tenure.

Frankly, Liverpool Labour Party should have bitten the bullet and picked a new candidate to fly their flag.

I am more than happy to say that I feel Richard would make an excellent Mayor of Liverpool.

Richard Kemp – Because Liverpool Deserves Better

Liverpool – Should Joe really decide who gets banned from demonstrating?

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above

In the wake of the appalling far right demonstration and the violence that accompanied it yesterday Liverpool City Elected Mayor Joe Anderson says he alone should decide who gets banned from demonstrating in the City.

Banning people from expressing their views, no matter how repugnant many of us may find those views, is very much a very last resort. Wanting the power to take such a decision on your own strikes me as being a worrying thing in itself. No one person should be able to take such a decision in my view.

Would the people of Liverpool want their Mayor, whomever that could be, to have such a power? It’s easy to say yes, when the demonstration is for something we personally dislike/detest but what do you say when something you want to demonstrate about gets banned because the Mayor of the day says he/she has banned the demonstrating?

Be careful what you wish for for at times in a democracy you have to allow those whom you fundamentally disagree with to have their say because if you ban them you no longer have a free society.

MP’s say ‘don’t force Metro Mayors on communities’

The Parliamentary Communities and Local Government Select Committee has told ministers they should refrain from imposing elected mayors on local areas as a condition of devolution.

The cross-party committee of MPs said regions who wanted “substantial devolved powers” but were not in favour of having a mayor “should be allowed to propose an equally strong alternative model of governance.”

The committee has also called for the role of residents to be more prominent in devolution, saying: “We have found a significant lack of public consultation and engagement at all stages in the devolution process.” [i.e. bugger all, not a sausage, less than nothing in the Liverpool City Region]

Elsewhere, the Guardian’s Susanna Rustin says that a push toward devolution highlights gender inequality which suggests none of the elected mayors will be women. She cites figures which show that despite 30% of England’s 18,000 councillors being women, just 14.6%, or one in seven, of 352 English local government leaders are female.

With thanks to John Dodd and the LGIU for the lead to this posting