Say ‘NO’ to Joe – Power to communities not politicians

Liverpool’s elected Mayor Joe Anderson says he wants to be Mayor for the whole of Liverpool City Region. Its time we said ‘NO’ to him and indeed anyone else who wants to run the affairs of communities outside of Liverpool from Liverpool.

Cllr_Joe_Anderson,_Leader,_Liverpool_City_Council.jpeg

No good will come from places like Prescot, Southport, Lydiate, Wallasey, St Helens, Maghull, Birkenhead or any other of the numerous communities that make up the Liverpool City Region being run from Liverpool Town Hall.

Neither will any good come from putting power into the hands of just one person to Lord it over so many diverse communities.

Whether it be the personal ambitions of Joe Anderson or anyone else the firm answer from our City Region communities has to be ‘NO’.

We want power devolved to communities so they can decide their own future not power concentrated in the hands of one person who will remotely decide the future of communities they may well never have set foot in.

Devolution of powers to City Regions with Metro Mayors – The Manchester deal is rubbish

A powerful response to the so called devolution of powers to English cities is covered in Iain Brodie Browne’s latest blog posting at:-

Iain Brodie-Browne

birkdalefocus.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/foisting-mayors-on-reluctant-northern.html

Communities like Southport, Formby, Maghull, Aintree, Crosby, Lydiate etc. would be run for the benefit of Liverpool City. Much of Sefton Borough’s boundary is with West Lancashire and City Region deals, should one be replicated in the Liverpool City Region, will put more bricks in the wall between Sefton and West Lancs. Stop this nonsense now.

Liverpool City Region – looks like we are being stitched up for a Metro Mayor!

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/merseyside-labour-party-members-discuss-8044070

A smoke filled room comes to mind having read this on the Liverpool Echo web site – see link above.

The big question is will Bootle Labour Party, who run Sefton Borough, give in to the demands of Liverpool Labour Party who want to be in the big boys club. Historically Bootle Labour and Liverpool Labour have not got on so there may be some hope; we shall see.

Putting power in one person’s hands is never a good idea and those that want such power are usually, in my view, the very people who should not be given the opportunity to exercise it.

Transpennine Express and Northern Replacement Franchises Liverpool City Region Priorities

I came across the document below recently and it seems to be a reasonable attempt to define priorities for rail in and around the Liverpool City Region. Note that the Penny has thankfully dropped about the Southport Manchester services being of importance for improvement amongst our City Region leaders.

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Introduction

The Invitation to Tender for the new TransPennine Express franchise is due to be issued in December 2014 to the following three shortlisted bidders:
• First Trans Pennine Express Limited
• Keolis Go-Ahead Limited
• Stagecoach Trans Pennine Express Trains Limited.

The Invitation to Tender for the new Northern franchise is due to be issued in December 2014 to the following three shortlisted bidders:
• Abellio Northern Ltd
• Arriva Rail North Limited
• Govia Northern Limited

This note highlights the key issues for Liverpool City Region. Further details can be found in Merseytravel’s Consultation Response.

It is vital to ensure bidders fully understand the size and economic importance of the Liverpool City Region:
• Population of 1.5m people, expected to increase by 3.9% by 2030
• Growth of employment by 12.7% over the same period leading to more business travel and commuting into the LCR
• Major centre for tourism with 52.9m day visitors and 4.7m day visitors each year, with Liverpool the 5th most visited destination in the UK by overseas tourists
• Four universities in Liverpool with a total of over 40 000 students, and
• A region which regularly hosts major sporting events.

Current Service Provision

Trans Pennine Express

• Hourly Liverpool Lime Street – Manchester Victoria – Leeds – York – Newcastle
• Hourly Liverpool Lime Street – Warrington Central – Manchester Piccadilly – Leeds – York – Scarborough

Northern

• Hourly fast Liverpool Lime Street – St. Helens Central – Wigan North Western – Preston – Blackpool North
• Hourly fast Liverpool Lime Street – Newton-le-Willows – Manchester Piccadilly – Manchester Airport
• Half hourly stopping Liverpool Lime Street – St. Helens Central – Wigan North Western
• Hourly stopping Liverpool Lime Street – Earlestown – Manchester Victoria
• Hourly stopping Liverpool Lime Street – Earlestown – Warrington Bank Quay
• Half hourly semi-fast Liverpool Lime Street – Warrington Central – Manchester Oxford Road
• Hourly Southport – Wigan Wallgate – Bolton – Manchester Piccadilly – Manchester Airport
• Hourly Southport – Wigan Wallgate – Atherton – Manchester Victoria
• Hourly Kirkby – Wigan Wallgate – Atherton – Manchester Victoria
• Roughly hourly service Ormskirk – Preston

TPE priorities:

1. A fast service every 15 minutes between Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Victoria, deliverable with electrification and Northern Hub phase 2 in 2018.

2. Connecting the North’s core city regions: at least 2 trains per hour (tph) between each pair of Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds and Newcastle. Needs increase to 2tph Liverpool – Sheffield and 2tph Liverpool – Newcastle. Appropriate service timings and quality to encourage inter-regional business travel by rail.

3. Improve LCR long distance connectivity with a new Express services Liverpool – Glasgow and Liverpool – Edinburgh.

4. Improve provision for interurban commuting, in both directions, between Liverpool – Liverpool South Parkway – Warrington – Manchester, which has to be handled by TPE (and EMT).

5. Earlier first trains, later last trains and improved evening and Sunday TPE (and EMT) services.

6. Reduce overcrowding by increased provision of rolling stock, especially seating capacity and luggage space, to ensure all passengers can expect a seat outside commuter peak hours.

7. Improve connections between services at interchange stations, including clearly publicised provisions for appropriate connecting services to be held and sensitive alternative arrangements for all passengers where connections have been broken, regardless of tickets held.

8. We would not expect a major increase in fares. Current fare levels are high relative to wages in the north.

9. Work with Merseytravel to develop SMART ticketing and accept Merseytravel’s ticket range on trains including Concessionary tickets.

Northern priorities:

1. New or refurbished electric units giving a step change in capacity and quality.

2. Pacer fleet replaced by refurbished diesel units cascaded from electrified lines.

3. Improved regional services from Liverpool to the rest of the north including two trains an hour to Preston.

4. Improved quality of service provided between Southport and Manchester.

5. Ensure peak requirement for capacity into Lime Street is addressed.

6. Improve connections between services at interchange stations, including clearly publicised provisions for appropriate connecting services to be held and sensitive alternative arrangements for all passengers where connections have been broken, regardless of tickets held.

7. Merseyside currently has good station facilities and we would like them to be maintained and built upon.

8. Merseyside has well-used stations which are currently staffed from first to last trains. We would want to see this developed and the offer to passengers improved through more flexible use of staff, such as the Mtogo facility on Merseyrail.

9. We would not expect a major increase in fares. Current fare levels are high relative to wages in the North.

10. Work with Merseytravel to develop SMART ticketing.

11. Support Merseytravel’s development of the rail network:
– Newton-le-Willows upgrade;
– potential new station at Carr Mill;
– improved park and ride facilities;
– reinstatement of the Halton Curve.

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

My posting of 6th October refers:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/10/06/liverpool-city-region-chucking-money-away-it-seems-so/

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!

Liverpool City Region – Chucking Money away? It seems so!

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/councillors-anger-18m-unspent-funding-7883509

This Liverpool Echo (see link above) story needs teasing out more but at face value Knowsley Council are in the dock for managing City Region money poorly and having to send it back. Knowsley blame Government but it is clear that Liverpool Council think Knowsley are the real problem!

Some Liverpool City Region leaders blame this farce on the dysfunctional way the city region authority is operating. Of course they are still smarting over not being able to come up with either a name for the joint authority or agree who should chair its meetings! No wonder things continue to be dysfunctional.

And how much did Sefton potentially lose out on from this investment stream?

But watch out Liverpool Labour want a ‘Metro-Mayor’ on the back of this i.e. a Mayor to run all of the City Region. No thanks Joe (Joe Anderson – Present elected Mayor of Liverpool) we don’t want you or anyone else running Sefton from Liverpool Town Hall.