Below is my response to what I can only say was a most odd attack on me from a Labour Councillor which was published in the Aintree & Maghull Champion on 24th February.
Councillor John Sayers (Labour – Park Ward) seems to be criticising me for things I am very much guilty of.
Yes I have campaigned for the number of Sefton Councillors to be reduced from 3 to 2 per ward to save the public purse money and no I did not succeeded in that aim because Labour Sefton councillors refused to support that campaign.
Yes I am guilty of being an environmental campaigner who is utterly horrified that Labour-run Sefton Council proposes to build on vast swathes of the highest grade of agricultural land in England which also happens to be a part of Sefton’s Green Belt.
It was not I that voted against reducing the number of councillors in Sefton and it was not I that voted for building on the highest grade of agricultural land. However, in both cases it was the Labour Group on Sefton Council voting against reducing the number of councillors and for building on the Green Belt.
So yes accuse me of wanting to save council tax payers money and of campaigning to save the environment but all I can say in response is I am guilty as charged.
Cllr. Tony Robertson
Lib Dem member of Lydiate Parish Council
The Champion newspaper published my reply in their edition of 9th March
My letter to the Champion newspaper following the rather late conversion to this cause by the rump of Tory councillors left on Sefton Council. The article in the Champion dated 18th November refers.
I note that Conservative Cllr. Terry Jones now wants to reduce the number of Sefton councillors; why the sudden conversion to this cause?
Lib Dem councillors have proposed this a number of times but it has not gained a majority on the Council, not least because Labour want to keep all their troops happy and in jobs.
If the Tories had run with this some years ago before Labour gained a majority maybe it could have been a done deal by now. Talk about trying to jump on a band wagon long after it has passed by!
The Champion printed the letter in their edition of 9th December 2015.
Would you credit it, Labour votes against reducing the number of councillors and against reducing the amount of money paid to senior councillors. Well yes you would credit it actually!
Sefton Council about to set its 2015/16 budget at Bootle Town Hall – Thursday 5th March
Sefton Council is much smaller than it used to be because of huge budget cuts and it is likely to get much smaller whomever wins the General Election. Labour, despite their ‘come the revolution speeches’ of a few years ago, has already backed George Osborne’s spending plans in their first year of Government, should they get elected of course. On top of that in the 2nd to 5th years a Labour Government is pledged to reduce local government spending by a further £500m per year! So you may have guessed by now that there were no more ‘come the revolution speeches’ at last night’s Sefton budget meeting. Reality has hit Sefton Labour big time; once the leaders of anti-austerity campaigners now the leaders of even more austerity!
But amongst all this they refuse to reduce the number of councillors, which would reduce the Council’s costs, so that scarce money can be spent where it is needed. They also refuse to reduce the high wages paid to only senior Labour councillors. Not Labour’s finest hour.