Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Economic Recovery Plan

This contibution appeared on LIBDEM voice today and I thought that some of you might not have noticed it!

Vince Cable on the Liberal Democrat Fairer Future Economic Recovery PlanWritten by Vince Cable MP on 30th September 2008 – 10:45 am
Gordon Brown’s response to the economic crisis has been too little, too late.
For years I warned him of the oncoming economic problems. Unsustainable levels of personal debt, mostly secured against the illusory ‘wealth’ of rising, vastly inflated property prices. An economy based so heavily on debt was never going to be in a fit state to deal with global shocks like the credit crunch.
And so it has proved. Gordon Brown is now facing the consequences of his years of inaction. The housing bubble has burst. Unemployment is rising fast. Tens of thousands of families are losing their homes.
With people struggling with massive debts and fast rising bills it is now almost inevitable that the UK is heading for recession. Gordon Brown used to boast we were better prepared than our competitors for a downturn. Yet the OECD’s respected economic forecasters now predict we will fare worst among the world’s seven leading economies (G7) in the current crisis.
What Britain needs now, and urgently, is practical action to help people who are struggling – to put money back in their pockets, to cut their energy bills, and help them keep their homes.
Gordon Brown and Labour can’t offer that. They got us into this mess. Now they are veering between complacency and panic. Dithering on key decisions, muddling along on half measures.
David Cameron and the Conservatives won’t offer it. At a time when those on the breadline are struggling more than for a generation, their top priority is tax cuts for millionaires.
It’s not good enough to just keep muddling along and hoping.
We need a serious plan to get Britain’s economy up and running again.
That is why Nick Clegg and I have put together the Liberal Democrat Fairer Future Economic Recovery Plan.
Our plan would:
Put more money in people’s pockets - tax cuts for people on low and middle incomes,
Stop unnecessary home repossessions and provide more affordable housing,
Make energy companies reinvest their windfall profits in cutting bills, and
Deliver extra help for people in debt or who lose their jobs.
And we will bring the free-wheeling, ‘anything goes’ short-termism of the City to an end. We cannot continue with a culture where bankers pocket big bonuses for taking reckless risks, but when things go wrong government and taxpayers have to step in to pick up the pieces.
Please read the summary of the plan, and share it with other people you know.
There is only one party in Britain today with a serious and credible plan to get Britain’s economy back on its feet – and to provide real help to those struggling in the meantime.
That is the Liberal Democrats.

Fairtrade-Tory Shame

My very good friend Anthony Hill a Councillor for Victoria ward in Crosby is often held up by the Tories as the type of Lib Dem councillor they think is acceptable. This is no doubt linked to the fact that they have not the remotest chance of defeating him. The Tories come distant third in his ward. The latest FOCUS from Victoria Ward which they kindly sent me includes this most revealing story. I reproduce it as it is written:

Tory Fairtrade Shame

Sadly four Conservative Councillors voted against the Fairtrade resolution. One leading Tory councillor said she didn't like the taste of the coffee!

Speaking the debate Cllr Hill responded:

'This is not about the taste of the coffee, but about supporting producers in developing countries by paying a fair price'

I regret it is not hard to guess the identity of the Tory councillor........

Tory praise for Lib Dem leader

I was just looking at the BBC News website and noticed the comment(below) from a Tory activist. She was being asked 'who should lead the Labour Party?' And this was her reply:

Gordon Brown. At least we know where we are with him. He has been a bit of a gift for the Conservatives. The only one we would really fear taking over would be Jack Straw - he is like a John Major type. People might warm to that. But I think we should be more worried about the Lib Dem leader. He is very young and fresh, I think he will impress a lot of former Labour voters who don't want to vote Conservative.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Birkdale nightingale and giggling school girls

Last night the Southport Art Centre held a poetry reading with Carol Ann Duffy and local poet Jean Sprackland.

Readers may recall that the Southport poet won the Costa Poetry prize with her collection 'Tilt'. The reading was part of 'Sefton Celebrates Writing' Festival.
I would guess that Carol Ann Duffy was better known by the audience many of whom seem to know her poems by heart. Her verses looking at myths and tales from the wife’s point of view was the high point of the first part along with the extended poem about giggling girls closing down Stafford High. After the interval Jean Sprackland came into her own as she seemed to find more time to set up the poems and explain their context. It is fascinating to have a poet writing about the Birkdale and our ‘nightingale’ If you’ve not read her poems Broadhurst Bookshop stock them all

MacMillan Coffee morning

Lib Dems hosted a fundraising event today as part of the cancer charity MacMillan's biggest coffee morning. The packed event was a great success and was held at St Lukes Church. The pictures show Cllr Maureen Fearn buying something from the charity's stall and Cllrs Maquire & Hands presiding over the cakes stall

Sunday, 21 September 2008


Richard and I were out this weekend following up some queries that local residents have contacted us about.

Potholes have appeared in Hillside Rd and these have been reported aand filled. Vandals have destroyed trees recently planted at Sandon Rd shops. We were annoyed after all our efforts to get a 'planter' that the parks department have failed to look after it. As a temporay measure we did a liitle weeding ourselves. And then there was the saga of the telegraph pole in Clive Rd. I've not seen one installed for years. The residents nearby have been effected by street flooding and the suggestion is that is the cause of the interupted phone service they have esperience-several houses have had not landline phones and no internet. BT have not consulted and so we are unaware if this is a tempray measure or whether they intend it to be long term. The residents would like it removed and the ducted cables repaired. We have been in contact with BT and will keep people posted. If you would like to complain write to:

Asset Assurance Programme Office South

Internal Box 16

Bedford TEC

Windsor Rd


MK42 9TA

Cars parked 2 deep on both sides of Carr Lane at the weekends causing a real saftey issue and we are seek a better alternative

Local residents have contacted us with concerns about the alleyway connecting Guildford Rd and Essex Rd. On inspection we found it full of weeds anf litter. I have organised for a litter bin to be placed at the bus stop at the Guildford Rd enterance and Richard has been chasing up the weed spraying.
Finally a large sign appeared outside the funeral parlour on Liverpool Rd and local residents contacted us. Richard followed the matter up with the planning department and the sign has been removed

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Southport Cycling Town

I attended a meeting last meet of a working party looking the implementation of the plan for Southport to become one of a handhul of Cycling town in England. A full report on the idea can be found here:http://www.sefton.gov.uk/Default.aspx?page=9024

Some of the deatiled plans are really very exciting and it was so good to see so many councillors enthused by the idea. I am confident that this will be a great success so well done to Cllr Fred Weavers who has be a constant advocate of this idea. All three Birkdale councillors were there as were colleagues from Meols Ward, Norwood Ward, Kew Ward and Cambridge Ward. John Fairclough came from Bootle and Ann Ibbs from Formby. Sadly there was not a Southport Tory in sight
A number of high profile cycling events are planned. The first, The Tour of Britain, has already happened. http://www.southportvisiter.co.uk/southport-news/southport-southport-news/2008/09/15/tour-of-britain-sweeps-through-southport-101022-21819700/

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Liverpool Rd Post Office

Many residents have contacted us about the relocation of the Liverpool Rd post Office to the Spar shop. The staff at Liverpool Rd have been excellent since they took over and their friendliness and willing help has often been remarked on. It appears that the decision to accept the offer from Spar for the Liverpool Rd outfit to relocate 1/2mile down the road was a seen by them as a sensible business decision and the postmistress we understand is also transferring. We wish them well and are delighted that we are not loosing the post office or the excellent staff

Monday, 8 September 2008

Birkdale Lib Dems fundraising

Birkdale Lib Dems held a very successful fundraising dinner last night when Baroness Ross Scott was the guest speaker. She is campaigning to become Party President and certainly made a good pitch to the assembled members.(Photos by Elspeth)
Ros Scott is clearly working hard on her constituency visits having clocked up over 100. Quite a few have been 'blogged' see for examplehttp://jonathanfryer.wordpress.com/2008/09/04/ros-scott-on-the-rubber-chicken-circuit/: and you can also see what the 'blogging' banoness made of us: http://baronessrosscott.blogspot.com/2008/09/from-here-you-can-see-sea-honest.html-sadly not the most original obsevation.....

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Guildford Road flooding

Richard and Simon discussing the impact of the flooding in Guildford Rd with a local resident. In would appear that to some large degree the problem was caused by poor maintenance of the water course. It is not the first time this has happened. Simon & Richard have already made representations to the appropriate public bodies.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Baroness Ros Scott is a candidate for the Lib Dems vacant post of President. She is the guest speaker at the Birkdale Lib Dems meal on Monday night. Her website is at http://www.im4ros.com/home.jsp for those who want to check her out.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

New canteen for Farnborough Rd School

After many years of trying it is now agreed that the Farnborough Rd Schools are to get a new canteen. The existing one dating back to the war was always seen as temporay and can scarcely be regarded as fit for purpose. The decision was made by cabinet in August-and as such the plans have been in the public domain for a couple of weeks- but the schools have been holding back on publicity until parents and teachers were informed. Today the two chairs of governors-Ralph Gregon and me had a photo with the two heads and some pupils to celebrate the new £2m scheme. Work should begin in 2009 and be completed for September 2010

Monday, 1 September 2008

Labour backs 'Neo Cons' again

Every so often in politics there are moments when a shiver passes down your spine. The war in Iraq was one such moment. I guess for a previous generation Suez was another. I fear another such moment is upon us with the US ‘neo con’ response to the crisis in Georgia and the pathetic way that the Labour Government have followed suit.
Robin Cook with his dream of an ethical foreign policy is no doubt spinning in his grave. The British Foreign Secretary cannot even summon up enough courage to protest about the fate of a British resident, Binyan Mohamed, held by the Americans, subjected to rendition and torture and now on trial in a ‘military’ court where his defense team scarcely know what he is charged with and certainly haven’t seen all the evidence. Is it surprising that some people aren’t listening to Miliband as he rants about the Russian’s disregard of international law whilst he is complicit in supporting the US in its outrageous breaches of Treaties?
It is a bit rich for America to get indignant about the illegal invasion of a sovereign state as that is exactly what they did in Iraq. Mind you it is equally stupid for Russia to get uptight about Georgia using military force within its own boundaries in S. Osstia as that is what they did in Chechnya. So there are no good guys- but that should no blind us to the fact that if given the choice we would all prefer to live in those states that broke free of Russia-Latvia, Ukraine, Poland, Chez republic etc rather than those still subservient –Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and all the other central Asian states . Many people were optimistic about a new world order when the Berlin wall came down but we appear to have wasted the opportunity. How did we think Russia would react if America put a stonking new missile system on its border with Poland, did they imagine that the UK massively expanding its nuclear arsenal would make them feel safe? Who are we meant to be 'nuking' anyway? The international institutions that need building up if international law rather than might is going to prevail; like the UN and even Europe, are diminished and rubbished by the ‘neo cons’. If we are going to make the world safe we have to make it better for everyone you can't just make it safe for ourselves.