Friday, 30 March 2007

Conservative chaos

There may be weeping and wailing at Tory central office this morning, some of those close to Mr Cameron may even rent their garments. Why? At the Council meeting last night the Tories managed to score a hat-trick of own goals. Each goal further undermining any claim that the party had changed.

We are used to the ‘unmodernised’ Cllr Byrom waxing lyrical about Thatcher’s 18 glorious years, by itself that would have been unremarkable but last night they went into melt down voting against a straight forward ‘green’ motion deserting the territory Cameron is so keen to claim as his own and finally we had that other unbridled Thatcherite, Cllr Sir Ron Watson, essentially arguing we should consider scrapping our employees' pension rights.

First the 'Green ' motion which can be found in full here-when Sefton get around to putting it on their website. It is pretty basic and modelled on a computer magazine's 'green charter'. It encourages folk to turn off their computers at night and other sensible ideas. First the Tories abstained. Then the Mayor, fearing they had not known what we were voting on, explained , then then voted against!

Next we came Sir Ron's outburst. This occurred during the debate on the Major Services Review (see yesterday's posting). Through out all our discussions with potential partners none had suggested that they wished to break with the existing pension scheme for any of our staff who transferred to them. All the projections of improved service and reduced costs were based on that proposition. Now Sir Ron weighs in seeking to undermine that approach. To the credit of the Tory leadership they had not proposed scrapping the pension scheme. Sir Ron, always keen to present himself as a world weary man with great experience who has little to learn from any one, didn't bother to turn up to the detailed briefing where he could have explored the issue.

Clearly if Sefton had gone ahead and unilaterally withdrawn support from the pension scheme none of our employees would have backed any of the options in the Major Service review. There is indeed a real issue to be faced concerning funding local government pensions, but it deserves a bit more thought than an off the cuff jibe at public sector workers.

Thursday, 29 March 2007

Lynton litter

Our street cleaning service has improved in recent times. Sadly a few 'grot spots' escape-the railwaybank at Hillside is one. I have reported it again today. I wonder how long it will take to get cleared?

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Major sevices review

Sefton Council will debate a report from the cabinet when it meets tomorrow. For sometime now a working party has been looking at alternative ways of delivering some areas of the council's work. The report can be found in the most recent cabinet minutes .

The council will also confirm the appointment of Cllr Richard Hands as mayor for 2007/8. Richard is the first ever mayor of Sefton to come from Birkdale ward.

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Defribillators-an example of casework

A recent enquiry about the availability of defribillators at Dunes solicited this response:

Dear Cllr Brodie Browne
Please accept my apologies for the delay in replying to you. I had originally replied the day after receiving your comments via Rajan. However, it would appear that the recent IT and Groupwise problems we have been having have led to the email not being delivered to you.

In relation to the use of defibrillators at our Leisure Centres, we are actually now in the process of equipping our facilities with such devices. We are currently organising the necessary staff training via the Council's Health Unit. I have been keen to introduce these machines in our Leisure Centres for some time now, but we have had to 'hold fire' whilst awaiting a corporate assessment of the health and safety issues affecting the use of such machines. This is now complete and we can move ahead with the introduction of the defibrillators.- The issue of 'three heart patients in Dunes suffering blackouts and being transported off by ambulance' is indeed a rumour.- In relation to there being 'only one first aid face-mask available in the entire building' at Dunes I can also confirm that this is also incorrect. First Aid equipment is available in the necessary quantities throughout the building and staff are trained in the use of such equipment as is appropriate.My Principal Operations Manager, Scott Stevens, is always keen to deal with any such requests for information from our users or members of the public and I have copied him in on this email so that he may ensure that staff are aware that such rumours exist and can take steps to tackle them at source accordingly. He can also ensure that suitable information is being given to staff at operations meetings so that they can advise our customers in an appropriate manner if such questions are asked of them.If you require any further clarification or indeed any additional information about any of the issues raised I would happy for you to contact me directly as per my details below.
Thank You
Andrew Walker
Follow this link to see our Our April Focus


Birkdale's Lib Dem FOCUS Team have been battling to help a local business which has been refused
planning permission to keep new roller shutters. The Fruit Bowl on Liverpool Road (opposite Shaws Road)
recently replaced their old wooden shutters with new steel ones. One of the reasons was to avoid
problems with vandalism.
Now Sefton's Planners have said the shutters must go - despite the efforts of local councillors Iain Brodie
Browne and Simon Shaw. Birkdale Ward councillor Richard Hands, who sits on the Planning Committee,
valiantly led the fight against 'refusal' but was outvoted.
Simon Shaw commented: "I think many residents will feel that all the owners were trying to do was improve
the area by renewing what was there before."
The owners of the Fruit Bowl have started discussions with the planners to see if a compromise is possible.

Parking problems at Our Lady of Lordes School

Concerned parents have been in contact with Birkdale Lib Dem councillor Simon Shaw to
see if anything can be done with parking congestion problems at 'Our Lady' s school
on Grantham Road.
Simon is well aware of the parking problems at our large primary
schools - he has been a governor at Farnborough Road Infant and
Junior Schools for over 20 years:
"I am pressing the Council to examine certain
suggestions put forward by parents,"
he explains.

Council Tax
Just because we have suffered the iniquities of the
Council Tax for years, doesn't make it any fairer.
Some people on fixed incomes have seen their
income's real buying power fall by over nine per
cent this year.
These days, Council Tax mostly pays for local
Schools and Social Services for the elderly. Even
then, more than three pounds out of four comes
from central government funding, mostly from
Income Tax. Nevertheless, the amount which
Government expects to come from the pockets of
local Council tax-payers has risen more than
inflation. for year after year. This year's Sefton
Council budget, at X per cent and agreed by
Councillors of all three parties is no exception.
We need a method of local service funding which
is much more closely-related to the ability to pay,"
says Birkdale Councillor Richard Hands.


One of the easiest ways of recycling, and at
the same time making good rich compost
for your own garden, is to use your own
The Council, working with 'Recyclenow',
are currently offering compost bins to
residents at 60% or more off
Recommended Retail Price. A mediumsized
bin (220litres) is £8 and a large bin
(330 litres) is £10. If you order on-line there
is a further £1 off. Go to, and
follow the link to 'Recyclenow'.
"Alternatively," says Birkdale Councillor Iain
Brodie Brown (pictured above), "you can
phone 0845 077 0757, quoting reference
MER04W to get the special prices."
There are also some useful tips about
composting on the website.

'We Can Cut Crime' petition
I/We back the Lib Dem 5 steps to a safer Britain campaign.
The Lib Dems and their elected representatives may
use the information you provide to contact you about
issues you may find of interest. Some of these contacts
may be automated. You can opt out of some or all
contacts at any time by contacting us.
We CAN Cut Crime

Compulsory work and training in
prison - to cut re-offending

Take back our town centres - let
communities close down pubs
and clubs that cause trouble

Make sentences mean what they
say - ‘life’ should mean LIFE!

More police on patrol - don't
waste billions on ID cards!

We all remember the awful cuts in the local
police force when the Conservatives were last
in office. Now Labour, after nearly 10 years in
power, have still not managed to tackle crime

Violent crime has doubled and problems of antisocial
behaviour continue to rise.

Ming Campbell's Liberal Democrats have
launched a 5-step plan to cut crime. Birkdale
ward councillor Richard Hands says: “Tackling
crime and anti-social behaviour is a top priority
for the Lib Dems. I know how important it is that
people feel safe on our streets again.”
John Pugh MP is pursuing reported problems of
gangs of youths picking on local school-children,
which has resulted in some serious injuries.
If you back the five-point anti-crime plan,
please sign and return the petition below.

You've heard of the 'land that
time forgot'?

Well this is the road
that Sefton Council forgot.
For over 40 years, residents in
College Close, a cul-de-sac off
Liverpool Road, have been hoping
that a small area of road surface at
the bottom of their road would be
finished properly.
Last summer, they involved local
councillor Simon Shaw, and the
good news is that the area will be
done later this year.
"No-one could claim this is a major
thoroughfare, but it is a shame it
has taken this long to get the thing
finished right. However, better late
than never," says Simon.
Contact your local Lib Dem Team:
Cllr Simon Shaw, 66, Liverpool Road,
Birkdale, PR8 4BB Tel: 565546
Cllr Iain Brodie Browne, 27, Dunkirk Road,
Birkdale , PR8 4QZ Tel: 567272
Cllr Richard Hands, 13 Vicrtoria Chambers,
Liverpool Rd Birkdale, PR8 4AY Tel: 553803
John Pugh MP, 35 Shakespeare Street,
Southport PR8 5AB Tel: 533555

Birkdale Councillors'
Local 'Surgeries'

are held at Birkdale Library from
2.00 pm to 3.00 pm on the first
Saturday of each month.
The next three dates are:
March 3rd, April 7th and May 5th
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