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.

Maghull & Prescot – The sad consequence of vandalism

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/angry-prescot-residents-speak-out-11928468

The Liverpool Echo has the Prescot story on its web site – see link above

And in Maghull another sad vandalism story being played out on Liverpool Road South, adjacent to KGV Park, Meadows Leisure Centre and Maghull Town Hall:-

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Both these examples show how mindless destruction can blight a community; in Prescot a beautiful piece of street artwork in Maghull the all too familiar smashing up of a bus shelter. I wonder how many bus shelters across Merseyside are smashed up every week? We probably do not want to know the answer as it would be too depressing to hear.

Of course the area around Meadows Leisure Centre and Maghull Town Hall seems to have been a magnet for anti-social behaviour for a while now, an issue I have commented on not so long ago:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2016/08/28/maghull-asb-trouble-at-kgv-park/

Carl Cashman – Photos from his Merseyside Metro Mayor candidature launch event

Here are some photos from Carl Cashman’s Merseyside Metro Mayor launch event held in Prescot last Saturday:-

Carl Cashman Metro Mayor Launch 08 16 - Credit Charlie Green

Click on the photos to enlarge them – Photo above by Charlie Green

Kris Brown, Chair of Liverpool Lib Dems, introducing Carl Cashman

Kris Brown, Chair of Liverpool Lib Dems, introducing Carl Cashman

Carl making his launch speech to a packed out gathering of his supporters.

Carl making his launch speech to a packed out gathering of his supporters.

What struck me most about this launch event was the number of young people there. Politics can often be a place where the middle aged and elderly predominate but Carl is pulling young people into his campaign and that has to be good for our democracy and indeed the Liberal Democrats.

Here’s what the Liverpool Echo has to say about Carl – see link below.

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/24-year-old-student-taking-11742719

How Prescot Lib Dems are getting their message across

www.youtube.com/watch?v=QU559EW2y3A

Politics has moved on very much from my early days as a Liberal activist in 1980. Back then we put together Focus leaflets by typing up/cutting out small pieces of artwork and sticking them down to create a leaflet. It was a laborious process.

Prescot Lib Dems are very much into new technology to get their message across and the link above is to their excellent internet available video.

M57 road surface – Fixed at last!

My spies tell me that Highways England have at last addressed the terrible state of the road surface on the M57 between the M62 and Prescot junctions, northbound carriageway inside lane.

I can’t have been the only person to complain about the appalling way the pot holes have been filled in, seeming by just chucking lumps of tarmac in them and not even rolling the surface flat!

And its been like that for a long time, my posting about it is from 30th June 2015! :-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/06/30/investment-in-merseysides-motorways-a5036/

Well at least they got around to it in the end!

With thanks to my spotter Keith Page of Lydiate

Southport – Planning for a positive future

birkdalefocus.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/the-british-lawnmower-museum-and-town.html

Above is a link to the blog site of my good friend Cllr. Iain Brodie Brown, please take a moment to click the link and read his posting. It is pure community politics to my mind.

Southport viewed from the end of its pier

Southport viewed from the end of its pier

Click on the photo to enlarge it

There can be little doubt that the towns/boroughs surrounding Liverpool have not benefited from being a part of the Liverpool City Region. Indeed, my own view is that centralising power in Liverpool as both Tories and Labour are planning for, with a Metro Mayor, could well be the road to ruin for places like Southport St. Helens, Birkenhead, Maghull, Formby, Prescot etc.

Whilst Iain’s posting is all about what needs to be done to give Southport a bright future his fundamental concerns could well be about any of Liverpool’s satellite communities that sit outside of the Liverpool City Council boundary.

Centralising power and influence in Liverpool will just not work, except for Liverpool itself. Unlike the Greater Manchester communities, which mostly seem look towards Manchester, the same can’t be said of Merseyside. Southport has always seen its connections with Preston and Lancashire as being of great importance but it was wrenched away from such historical links by local government reorganisation in 1974. Much of Wirral Borough has historic connections with Chester and Cheshire but it too was forced into Merseyside.

Merseyside because of its odd geographic shape was never likely to be a runner as a viable unit of local government and the years that have passed since 1974 have only proved that theory correct. Sefton, itself a strange collection of diverse communities, realised this some years ago and it began a process of decentralisation. Bizarrely though Labour then slammed this process into reverse when its Bootle based party took control of the Council. What was their motivation to say ‘the Borough will work well as a one size fits all because we say it will’ not least because this approach had failed miserably when first tried?

Presently we are seeing the start of a process to take 1000’s of civil service jobs out of Netherton, St Helens and Bootle for them all to be centralised in Liverpool. Liverpool’s gain will be big losses for Sefton and St Helens Boroughs.

Make no mistake the Tories are wedded to cities being made more powerful at the expense of their surrounding towns and boroughs. What’s more Labour are pretty much behind this process, why else did the 6 Labour Council Leaders on Merseyside sign up to a 3rd rate devolution deal?

Towns surrounding big cities need investment, public and private, not dependency on the nearest City because that is the road to ruin except for the big cities of course.

The photo above is amongst my Flickr shots at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/