Where on earth is Halsnead Park? Yes that’s what I thought too.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-38486907

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

When I saw the list of Garden Villages to be developed obviously Halsnead in Merseyside jumped out at me and I have to confess that despite living on Merseyside for 48 years and travelling all over it this name had never been on my radar at all.

A quick Google search brought up a primary school and a caravan park near Whiston in Knowsley Borough where the M57 and M62 Motorways intersect. Then old chum Keith found a link to the document below on Knowsley Council’s web site and the picture began to emerge.

www.knowsley.gov.uk/pdf/SD02a%20Addendum%20to%20Report%20of%20Representations%20Made.pdf

And I started to wonder because to me the site looks like it should be a part of Merseyside’s Green Belt and ‘should be’ seem to be the important words because I asked my good friend Cllr. Ian Smith of Knowsley Borough Council and this is what he said:-

‘It’s green space taken out of the Greenbelt in 2016. Once again Labour run Knowsley Council is not taking any notice of local people. This area is built up enough without further development. It is adjacent to the Lickers Lane Estate built to take the overflow from Liverpool in the 60s & 70s.
We want to see the Local Plan amended with Halsnead being returned to the Greenbelt. The site should be protected, it includes farm land, woodland, fishing lakes and football pitches, and mobile homes on Halsnead Park.’

Why I am backing Carl Cashman to be Merseyside Metro Mayor

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Yesterday I attended a hustings meeting at Dovedale Baptist Church Hall in Liverpool to hear prospective Lib Dem Mersey Metro Mayor candidate Carl Cashman speak. Carl is an impressive young man who seems to have that ‘X’ factor that many other politicians simply don’t.

So what are Carl’s assets? Well youth is one, being in his 20’s brings us a candidate unburdened by the baggage that many older politicians carry with them. He has a fresh perspective and one that folks seem to like.

Carl has not had a privileged upbringing; he was brought up a a Merseyside Council estate.

He is big on green issues and has been a thorn in Labour’s side as they keep trying to build on Green Belt and green spaces. This is a huge issue across Merseyside.

He’s already a Borough Councillor on Knowsley Council regularly taking on the appalling record of Labour in running that Council. This is the Council that was staring down into the abyss of potentially having no schools where young people could take A Levels recently!

He wants more social housing built. The Merseyside housing crisis is at it’s worst in terms of the supply of such properties.

He wants to find a way of improving the income of those living on the Minimum Wage. A Merseyside initiative to try to address our low wage culture – Why not give it a go?

The people of Prescot and Knowsley have taken this young man to their heart and I hope he gets selected as the Lib Dem Metro Mayor candidate so that more electors can find out why Carl Cashman is going places.

Oh and by the way, yes I know that the vast majority of us don’t want another politician running our lives but this new post (Merseyside Metro Mayor/Liverpool City Region Mayor) is being imposed on us in 2017 whether we want it or not.

It’s a result of the Tory Government and Merseyside Labour doing a second or even third rate deal which supposedly devolves significant powers to Merseyside from Whitehall. The powers are far too limited though and Westminster will still be calling the vast majority of the shots, surprise, surprise!

Carl wants to renegotiate that shabby deal so that we have real power over our own affairs locally. And he does not want power for himself but to push that power down to local communities wherever its possible to do so.

Carl is not a man to be told what to do by Westminster, neither is he a slave to a party political machine. Watch this young man go places.

Knowsley – And you wanted evidence that our warped ‘first past the post’ electoral system does not work!

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/how-elected-without-winning-single-11266602

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above

If this story does not show why our warped electoral system is failing people I don’t know what does.

What’s the point of standing against Labour in some Knowsley wards – the result is a foregone conclusion so candidates have stopped even putting up against Labour. This places our democracy under threat as voters end up with no choice because they don’t have an election through which to make a choice. Labour will get re-elected in some Knowsley wards no matter what local people think of them.

Credit to the Liverpool Echo for exposing this important issue and thanks to my spotter Keith.

Knowsley Council in deep water over children’s services

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-28090147

The BBC has the story but this sounds serious to me. Having said that the challenges in Knowsley Borough must be amongst the toughest in England because of the levels of deprivation in some parts of that Borough.

Educational attainment levels are also nothing to write home about in parts of Knowsley hence the large number of children attending Sefton Borough schools in places like Maghull.

I can see a time coming when a Government of whatever colour says it is not going to allow things to continue and takes direct control of some services.