Thursday, 27 December 2007

Southport v Burscough

Boxing Day found me at Haig Ave for the local derby against Burscough. The cup match earlier in the year was good entertainment with Southport winning with a last minute wonder goal. The most recent league encounter was another good match played in front of 1700+ people. Again Southport won and this time they were clearly the better side with periods of real superiority. It looks hopeful for the rest of the year.
The crowd were in festive mood. A yopung women in front of us was handing out christmas goodies-cake, flapjacks, chocolate etc-much of which was hme made. Excellent.

Southport 1-0 Burscough (FULL TIME)

Old Shrimper

Southport brewery has a fine range of local beers. This Christmas I purchased a pin (9 pints) of Old Shrimper 5.5%. All who tasted it on Christmas eve were delighted. It is a dark porter/stout with a distinct roast chocolate after taste-well that was the agreed description after the pin was drunk. Clearly this is not a 'session ale', but one to be savoured. Congratulations to the brewery. The Lancashire Hero off licence on Shakespeare Street is the stockist.

Christmas Lights

As a local councillor you get to go to some really excellent community events at Christmas. This year St John's exceeded all expectations with it's Christmas Tree Festival. In a darkened church the Mayor was invited to switch on the lights and one by one the 30+ tress were illuminated. Each tree was sponsored by a local business or person and decorated by a charity. A great success!

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Tory sentence commuted

Southport Champion report the outcome of David Pearson's appeal (below headline) . What a climb down, how humiliating for the leader. Her writ clearly does not run in Dukes ward. No amount of spin can alter the essential fact ; they tried to stop david standing in May and they failed. That surly will embolden the other two. What is more entertaining and far more damaging is the publication of the charge sheet. How petty and trivial it is. Further evidence -if any is needed-that the Porter Parry leaderhip is serially cock up prone. As the recieved political wisdom states: accident prone leadres are not accident prone by accident!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ex-mayor cleared to stand in elections

A FORMER Mayor of Sefton will be allowed to stand in next May’s local council elections.Councillor David Pearson was suspended in November for six months from the local authority’s Conservative Group for ‘not being a team player’. His suspension would have ended after the elections on May 1, making him ineligible to represent the Tories.A representative of the Dukes (town centre) ward, Cllr Pearson appealed against his suspension. The Conservative area appeals committee has now considered his appeal and The Champion understands the suspension has been upheld. However, the committee has suggested the suspension be reduced from six months to two, meaning he will be able to stand. That recommendation will go before a meeting of the Tory Group in early January and The Champion understands it will be approved.Neither Cllr Pearson nor Tory leader Cllr Paula Parry would comment.The charges against Cllr Pearson included not being popular with other Tory councillors, being too outspoken, having too loud a voice, being too friendly with the Liberal Democrats and not being a team player. He denied the accusations and said at the time the comments were “typical of the innuendos that have been formed against me.”Popular in Southport with a wide range of people and groups, his own ward committee selected him to be their candidate while he was suspended.Yesterday (Tuesday) a Tory insider told The Champion: “Our group is united, apart from the Dukes ward councillors. We felt David had overstepped the mark and we wanted to fire a shot across his boughs. “His suspension has been upheld, but we won’t push for a full six moths ban. We have made our point but we don’t want to rip our party apart.”One of Cllr Pearson’s Dukes colleagues is Cllr Les Byrom, who was overthrown as group leader by Cllr Parry.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Dail post

This is the daily post take on Thursday's cabinet meeting and a fair reflection of events. Despite promises we have yet to have a coherent explanation from The Tories as to why the want to keep in post folk who have been declared surplus. We will wait.

Sefton Council chief to stay but eight top jobs axed in £600,000 savings cuts

Dec 14 2007 by Liza Williams, Liverpool Daily Post

SEFTON Council’s chief executive will keep his job – but eight other management posts face the axe, a cabinet meeting decided yesterday.
The council had made an offer to chief executive Graham Haywood of redundancy or early retirement in November but it has been withdrawn after a QC ruled it had acted unconstitutionally.
One man whose position is being deleted is deputy chief executive, Alan Moore, who was suspended last month over allegations of misconduct.
It is likely the council’s decision will go to a scrutiny review to finalise the decision.
The news follows an acrimon-ious dispute between Liberal Democrats, Labour and Conser-vatives about the way a major services review was handled.
Lib-Dem council leader Tony Robertson had asked for an independent QC’s report into senior posts, including the decision to offer redundancy to Mr Haywood. In November, the QC reported to the council it acted unconstitutionally in the way it handled a number of dec- isions to “cull” senior officers.
Last night Cllr Robertson said: “The decision is one I support. The reality is that the decision will probably be called in and taken to a Scrutiny Review Committee but I welcome this. The reason problems occurred was because of the lack of scrutiny.”
At a meeting in October a motion was passed following the combined votes of Labour and Conservative councillors agreeing to save £300,000 in 2008/9 by deleting five top posts.
But last night a rival Lib-Dem motion was passed to save £600,000 by deleting eight posts.
The dispute has coincided with the suspension of Mr Moore and an investigation by the Standards Board into the actions of Cllr Debi Jones.
The subject of the investiga-tion is a meeting between the pair which may have broken the council’s code of conduct.
Cllr Jones arranged a meet-ting with Mr Moore which she says was to “inquire about how a company goes about the tendering process.” It is alleged she had “pressed” for a com-pany she was doing freelance work for, PR firm Ampersand, to be considered for contracts, but Cllr Jones denies any wrongdoing. There is no suggestion the company has done anything wrong.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Tories in handbrake u-turn

After months of scare mongering and campaigning for an end to the wheelie bin collection regime the Tories quietly signalled their retreat at the Environment meeting this week. It was Cllr Barber who when confronted with the facts accepted that the option that the Tories were pedalling was not on. The full report on the £7million the Tories wanted to waste! is here.

Of all the embarassing cock-ups the Tories have suffered this is the most humiliating. Within weeks of approving the new system they were out campaigning against it. Leaflets were produced that in the same campaign supported and oppossed the system. We will produce all these leaflets. Those published during the Manor Ward by election are particularly damaging.

There seems to be a theory amongst some Tories that is ok to vote for a proposition and then pretend to all and sundry that you are going represent pockets of opposition to the very policies you have agreeed.They are unreliable partners. Imagine this was not politics but personal relationships.What would you think of someone who told you the agreed with you and agreed with what you are going to do. These things may be difficult for both of you. Then you find the very people who agreed those decisions with walk out the door and start slagging the proposition they have just agreed with. Talk about flipping and flopping-

The best bit was Les Byrom who has led the charge against wheelie bins was up on his feet trying to distract everyone from the uncomfortable fact that his party has signed up for the second year running to the alternative weekly collection in the budget process. Every red herring he could think of was thrown into the debate. But the simple truth remained that the Tories have performed a hand break wheelie U turn.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Now this is a crunch game for Southport. Harrogate are top of the league in automatic promotion spot. They have a game in hand. Southport are 3rd. A win will put Southport top.

cautionary tale

A sad tale which illustrates that people should think before they leap into print with ill-considered idea. This is particularly embarrassing case for the accident prone Mrs Porter as it demonstrates that not only did she not pause to think but that she did not have a strong enough grasp of basic 'green principles' Zac Goldsmith would weep.
The context is important. Having received 15 report/presentations on the introduction of wheelie bins and the bi weekly collections and failed to raise any significant issues Mrs Porter then proceeded several times to vote in favour of the proposal. Scarcely had she finished registering her vote in favour of the detailed proposal than Tory leaflets appeared attacking it. She was not embarrassed by weighed in raising concerns and aligning herself with the 'anti wheelie ' brigade. As an alternative to the proposal she had previously backed-incidentally consenting to the acquisition of expensive equipment -she and her colleagues came up with three expensive/irrelevant and anti green alternatives . Today we are concerned with one that is all Mrs Porters own. After the idea has been properly researched the full folly of the proposal can now be revealed. I await a full report from the meeting which received the report to find out if the Tory who attended sought to support Mrs Porter. More will follow as the other suggestions the Tories proposed have also been rubbished



A proposal from Ainsdale’s Councillor Brenda Porter that Sefton Council should look at subsidising under-sink waste disposal units for local residents has been given the “thumbs down” in a Council report to be considered Wednesday 5 December.

Birkdale Liberal Democrat Councillor Simon Shaw successfully persuaded the Council to carry out a review into three suggestions put forward by Sefton Conservatives as alternatives to the new waste collection system. These were that Sefton should build its own waste incinerator, subsidise under-sink waste disposal units and/or reintroduce weekly refuse collection.

“The suggestion about disposal units was put forward in June by Councillor Porter who is Deputy Leader of Sefton Conservatives. However it is clear that she did not properly research this bizarre idea,” said Councillor Shaw.

“The report from officers makes it clear that as well as costing a fortune the widespread use of these disposal units is not recommended by the Water Board. Specifically it warns that food put into the sewers through waste disposal units is food for rats.”

“I am appalled that Councillor Porter should be advocating an idea which will mean more rats,” said Councillor Shaw.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

The second word is 'off'

memo from Dukes ward Tories to Cllrs Porter & parry (censored by the editor but the second word was 'off')
The key thing is that Les is clearly confident that David will win his appeal. The Parry Porter leadership will face a humiliating reverse and we'll all get a lame duck Tory leader.
Why can't they just say sorry? If Parry hadn't stopped Barber apologising the standards board debacle would have been avoided by the Tories, if Porter Parry had bluntly told Cllr Jones to behave himself there would have been no Tory cock up over the Birkdale lights. If Porter Parry hadn't been so silly over David Pearson. ..Ah well I'm not complaining altho there are plenty of Tories who are!

Vister today:

FORMER Mayor of Sefton Cllr David Pearson has been unanimously backed by Dukes Ward committee members to stand for the Conservatives in May’s local elections.
Cllr David Pearson was given the mandate at a meeting on Monday night, after Sefton Conservatives effectively sacked him from their group last month when they withdrew the party whip from him.
Dukes ward chairman Cllr Les Byrom said: “David is pursuing an appeal against his suspension and we expect him to stand in the May elections for Dukes Ward.”

Cllr Jones displays true colours

I know it's Chritmas but I really can't cope with the Tories' generosity. The Mayor has not been invited to The Birkdale lights switch on and Cllr Jones has said that if he turns up he will not shake his hand! The Mayor almost always attend-Tommy Mann came , John Walker came but no invite to the Birkdale councillor. Apparently Alan Hansen is doing it. No problem with that. can't see a problemwith Hansen turning on the lights-in fact it sounds like a good idea-but is there something in Hansen's contract that stops him appearing with the Mayor. It need not be either or, it can be both!
I can't imagine anyone being so rude to Tommy Mann or Wendy Jones or Peter Papworth or David Pearson. Ripping up the rule book is a very silly thing to do. These conventions have worked well. But if the Tory -the smallest party on the council- want to start again........

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

zoe mathews and vaughan williams

I was blogging earlier about the Southport orchestra concert here in Birkdale at St John's. Zoe Mathews was returning to be the soloist in a VW piece for viola and small orechestra. It was a real triumph. This was amazingly complex and she brought it off brilliantly. It was a triumph. Full marks to the orchestra for having the nerve to take on such a difficult bit.