It’s not been hard to pick up on the fact that Molyneux ward Labour Party have not been a happy bunch of campers for quite some time so when Sefton Cllr. Tony Carr announced he was resigning from the Sefton Council’s Labour Group, last week, to see out the rest of his term as an independent it did not come as a complete surprise to me.
If memory serves Tony was elected to serve for Molyneux ward (Southern Maghull, Melling and Aintree) in 2010 the year before I moved from Molyneux ward to Park ward (western Maghull and Lydiate) as a Lib Dem Sefton Councillor. I continued as a Sefton Councillor until 2015 so served alongside Tony for 5 years. My memory is of him being someone who was a good caseworker for residents and of a decent guy too. Like me, his background was from within the trade union movement. I think he was from UNITE, whilst I was PCS. I’ve noticed in the past that lay trade unionists can also make decent councillors as in reality the roles are not dissimilar; both need good communication skills and a willingness to help folk in difficulties.
I must admit to not really knowing Tony very well so I’m not sure where he would sit within the very wide spectrum of Labour activists. I’m guessing that he will not hold views as progressive as my own as a Social Liberal but I might be doing him an injustice there. It’s just that experience has taught me over many years as a trade unionist and politician that most Labour folk hold views that are to the right of me, some very much so.
I do hope there won’t be calls for Tony to resign his seat due to him leaving Labour to sit as an independent because my understanding is that he’s well thought of across the political divides and in particular by Molyneux ward residents.
And yes I have noted the very public allegations that Tony has made (via Facebook) with regard to his reasons for leaving Sefton Labour. Suffice to say that they are troubling indeed.
I wish Tony well as I’m not particularly tribal in my politics and am willing to say when someone from a differing political tradition to my own is doing a good job.
Labour in Sefton Borough are keeping their heads down as their great party leader nationally seemingly argues more forcibly each day for a Brexit agenda that will inevitably lead to job losses, no extra NHS funding, the poor being made poorer and a crisis economy.
Yet maybe, just maybe they can see that Comrade Corbyn is leading them down a very sorry path because in full public view, if you look closely, Labour-run Maghull Town Council is still flying the EU flag on Maghull Town Hall!
A small act of defiance maybe and one that they would not like their Momentum masters to know about (so please don’t tell them) but is there just a chink of light following 4 Merseyside Labour MP’s breaking ranks to defy Corbyn recently?
Below is a letter written to the Champion newspaper by Maghull resident Mal Gore who found a recent visit to a Council meeting hugely disappointing.
Arriving at the meeting like a drowned rat, due to the torrential rain, I thought they were going to discuss amendments to the Local Plan as outlined by the government inspector but instead we had to endure two hours of behaviour more like that of an infant school playground.
It was evident that, as far as the ruling party is concerned, the complete destruction of Maghull and Lydiate is one huge joke. Most of the time they were actually either congratulating themselves or making cheap jibes at the newly elected independent councillors, who are giving their time to speak and vote on behalf of the people who elected them. I realise that this is a concept alien to the councillors who currently represent us but they should try it sometime.
Each jibe was treated with approval, especially by the ladies in the front row, all that was missing were a few balls of wool, some knitting needles and “Madame la Guillotine”. We were then treated to a maiden speech by a Sudell councillor elected TWO years ago. If ever you need a reason to reduce the number of councillors, then this is it.
This was a night I was ashamed to be a Sefton resident and it made me even more angry when I realised I was paying for all of this through my Council Tax
Readers will recall that I let slip that Labour had almost lost a by-election in Maghull a few weeks ago to an independent Green Belt campaigner – they clung onto the seat by just 3 votes. This was the election that for some very odd reason the local press decided not to report the result of and that suited Labour down to the ground.
However, I knew they (Labour) would be rattled and therefore it was no surprise that when a Labour election leaflet popped through my door the other day that it was attacking the Green Belt campaigners that they are so frightened of.
Under the heading of ‘Vote Independent, get Conservative?’ Labour are clearly trying to suggest that the independent candidate (in Park Ward) may be a Tory sympathiser. BUT the lady standing as the independent candidate was a Labour supporter until Labour said they would defend the Green Belt but then voted on Sefton Council to build on it! She is fighting Labour because they said one thing and did the opposite.
Bizarre or what?
Great to see the opposition Lib Dem Group on Sefton Council standing up for Merseyside and effectively saying take this 3rd rate devolution deal and stick it where the sun don’t………!
I have commented on the poor deal previously as I see nothing in it for the Boroughs surrounding Liverpool. We get a Metro Mayor imposed on us, whom we will have to pay the wages of, for little or nothing in return that will be of any use to us.
Sadly Sefton Council Tories backed Labour in endorsing the deal, but of course Labour and Tories in Sefton have always had a close relationship.
We Lib Dems passionately believe in devolution of government powers to the lowest possible level of governance commensurate with the effective delivery of services for our diverse communities. However, that does not mean we will accept 3rd rate devolution – no control over the Police or the NHS like in Manchester comes to mind! But holding a gun to our head and being told you can only have your 3rd rate devolution powers if you accept a Metro Mayor to lord it over you is utterly ridiculous. We will not even get a referendum on these issues.
Sorry but this is not devolution it is imposition and there’s nothing good going to come from this for the people of Sefton my view. However, I await all the publicity/propaganda that will tell me how wonderful it is going to be!
Readers may well remember that Labour-run Sefton Council is in the process of bringing in parking charges for this popular car park in Formby Village. Indeed, the issue has already split Labour locally with their Sefton Councillors backing the parking charges whilst the local Labour MP is publicly opposing them! So much for Labour unity, although if you read my previous posting you will notice that there has not been much Labour unity locally in recent times.
My previous posting on this matter can be accessed via the link below:-
Formby Parish Council are leading the campaign against the charges but Formby also has 4 Labour Borough councillors! The Parish Council is run by people independent of the main political parties who are all experienced community and environmental campaigners. What’s more they gained that experience by opposing the same Labour-run Borough Council’s Local Plan which aims to concrete over vast swathes of Green Belt and high grade agricultural land across the Borough.
This was the scene in Sumner Road car park yesterday (17th October) afternoon where vehicles can presently be parked for up to 2 hours without charges. A traffic warden was clearly doing his rounds checking that no one was overstaying their welcome.