Do you think if we listened very quietly we may just hear an apology like this being muttered from Labour HQ on Maghull’s Industrial Estate?
We in the Sefton Labour Party took a bit of a pounding on 5th May in some Sefton wards and to be honest we brought it all on ourselves by not being straight with voters about the Green Belt.
Yes, we said we would defend the Green Belt and yes we put up posters saying this too. But we then voted to build on Borough’s Green Belt on Sefton Council. Indeed, we consistently voted to build on Sefton’s Green Belt.
And yes, we then blamed everyone else for us voting to release Green Belt and high grade agricultural land for development; the very land we had pledged to defend. We even attacked those who were fighting to save the Green Belt.
Well it’s time to apologise. The electors in Park, Sudell and Ravenmeols wards saw that we were saying one thing but doing another and turned to independent Green Belt campaigners as a consequence.
We in the Labour Party slagged off Nick Clegg unmercifully for his say one thing do another over Tuition Fees yet we, on a local level, found ourselves doing something similar. We are sorry for what we have done and hope the electorate will find a way to forgive us in the fullness of time.
Well sadly, it seems unlikely that Sefton Labour will acknowledge their failings. It takes a lot of guts in politics to say openly that you were wrong but Labour really does need to try to clear the air if it wants to rebuild it’s tattered environmental credentials with the electorate in Maghull, Lydiate and Formby.
Some rather bizarre news has come to my attention and it’s with regard to who the Labour Candidate is to be in Sefton Council’s Sudell Ward in May’s local elections. The ward covers the eastern side of Maghull. It’s none other than the present Labour Councillor for Sefton’s Harrington Ward in Formby, Nina Killen.
The following is from the web site of Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson
‘Nina Killen is Harington Ward’s Labour Councillor.
Cllr Killen is a Formby mum and a national newspaper journalist. She is a member of Formby’s Holy Trinity Church.’ and ‘she works with her fellow members of Formby Labour Action Team to ensure that the concerns and issues of her fellow Formby residents are tackled.’
No mention of Maghull here and no mention of her leaving Formby either.
Now then why is Nina, who is quite obviously a Formby resident, wanting to stop representing her own community and at the same time make a bid to represent another community that she clearly does not live in? Why does Maghull Labour Party need to import a candidate from another community? Is the long list of Maghull Labour Councillors resigning in recent times an indicator to the answer to the last question? What’s happening to the present Labour Councillor for Sudell Ward whose seat it is that comes up for re-election in May?
Maghull Labour are a cocky lot and you wonder if they have concluded that they can put any name on a ballot paper and because they wear a Labour rosette the good folks of Maghull will automatically elect them. This may or may not be a correct gamble of course but it still begs the questions above to which I assume we will not be getting any answers soon.
All very intriguing.
What is it with Labour councillors in Maghull, they seem to resign by the minute and it has happened yet again with a Cllr. Jenny Southern going!
Labour was only elected with a clean sweep of 16 councillors on Maghull Town Council in May of this year yet already one has gone and that follows the almost too many to count (9 in fact – including one in Formby) Labour resignations of recent times.
Notice of vacancy posted on Maghull Town Hall
My previous posting (amongst many) when the 9th resigned is available below:-
So Sefton has a new Leader (Cllr. Ian Maher) and surprise, surprise it’s another Labour Councillor from Bootle and his Deputy will be, yes you have guessed it, another Labour Councillor from Bootle (Cllr. John Fairclough).
The Bootle Labour Party has dominated Sefton politics for some years now with Bill Esterson’s Sefton Central Labour tribe being kept firmly away from power even though they are the voting fodder that enables the Bootle Labour Bucks to dominate us all in the Borough.
Peter Dowd was a Leader of some ability and I say that as someone who opposed him over many things in my time on Sefton Council. Peter was was a quick thinker on his feet and his speeches were usually of high quality whether you agreed with him or not. What I can’t see here is a Labour and indeed Council leadership that can match Peter Dowd’s skills. Is that why Peter is staying on as a councillor despite having just been elected MP for Bootle?
Environmental campaigners across the Sefton Central Constituency and indeed even I as a political opponent of the incumbent Labour MP Bill Esterson have praised his brave move prior to Christmas in attacking the poor Local Plan that Labour-led Sefton Council has been forcing through.
That the plan is poor is a massive understatement, that it is an environmental disaster is nearer to the point. What with some of the 2% highest grade agricultural land in England going to be built upon in Sefton Central no wonder environmental campaigners, the Lib Dems and indeed our Labour MP have been up in arms.
So Bill was right to attack the plan as indeed was the Lib Dem MP for Southport – John Pugh. But, unlike the Lib Dems who have been wholly consistent in their approach to the Local Plan, Labour has been all over the place. Yes, Bill Esterson has been consistent in saying that Green Belt should be protected from development, but his Labour Sefton Council colleagues have not been. They started off by seemingly agreeing with him that the Green Belt should be protected only to U turn later in the process and vote for building on it. Bill must have felt very let down, as indeed we all were.
But now we face elections both local and national on 7th May and it seems to be an appropriate time for Bill to stand aside from his councillors who backed away from following his principled lead. For both the MP and his councillors to be campaigning together is at best incongruous and at worst ridiculous in my view. Time for Bill not only to show his anger at his Labour colleagues behind doors (which surely he must have done?) but to come out and do so in public.
Will Bill appear on the same leaflets as those Labour councillors who ignored his concerns? Well yes it seems he will as there is one doing the rounds in Sudell ward, Maghull right now. Don’t you think this is how politics gets a bad name? Bill you disappoint me.
What is it about the Sefton Central Labour Party and its resigning councillors? 9 of them have now gone since late 2011.
To date all of them have been from the Maghull part of the constituency where 8 Labour Councillors have chucked the towel into the ring. Now a 9th Labour member has resigned, this time from Formby.
What is it with Labour councillors resigning in Sefton Central Constituency? All political parties face the odd councillor resigning now and again for all sorts of reasons but 9 all from one party in one constituency in just over 3 years!
Answers on a post card to Sefton Central Labour Party as they could clearly do with some advice in this area of local governance.