Thursday, 31 May 2012

Lib Dems back Southport Portas bid



Lib Dem MP for Southport John Pugh today offered his full support to local businesses looking to secure Government funding to rejuvenate Southport’s shopping streets after the town failed to secure cash in the first round of bidding to become a ‘Portas Pilot’. The Government is offering grants of around £100,000 to towns across the UK following the publication of the 'Portas Review' in December which called for action to reverse the decline of British town centres. 12 towns from across the country were chosen to become ‘Portas Pilots’ and receive their share of the funding pot following the initial round of bidding which closed in March. A second chance to secure the funding has now been announced by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), prompting local MP John Pugh to offer his support to the ‘Town Team’ who co-ordinated the original bid. The team also received offers of support from local Councillors at their Area Committee meeting on Wednesday evening.


John Pugh MP says:


‘I am very proud of the work done so far by Southport’s “Town Team” in their efforts to secure Portas Review funding. They have done magnificently well to bring our local businesses together behind the bid and to produce a high-quality effort which was very unlucky not to be successful at the first attempt.


‘However, it is important they are not disheartened by narrowly losing out in the original round of bidding. A follow-up round has now been announced by the Government, and so I urge them to continue the excellent work they have done so far in showing off the unique qualities of Southport to DCLG and helping to secure the money which is needed to reinvigorate our town centre.

‘I also welcome the support offered by our local Councillors in backing our bid, and would similarly like to express my willingness to assist in any way I can. We are all firmly convinced that the “Town Team” can bring home the prize, and it is only right that we as elected representatives are on hand to lend whatever support we can in helping them achieve that goal.’


‘Southport's Lib Dem councillors are very happy to offer our support to the “Town Team” and wish them the best of luck in the next round of bidding. This is a real opportunity to get people behind our bid and to have an important discussion about the future of our town centre. Southport could and should be an attractive retail choice for the entire region, so the Portas Review money could help to bring many of the “Town Team’s” excellent ideas to life to help revive our town centre .’



Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Joint statement by the opposition on Merseytravel


We write in response to the recent press coverage surrounding the governance of Merseytravel and in support of the eight Labour Members who have called on the Chairman of the Authority to resign.



When Cllr Joe Hanson was given the lead in reviewing the committee structure, governance of the ITA and the role of the Executive, he had the total support of ALL members of ALL political parties on the ITA.



Throughout the whole time of the review, Cllr Hanson was inclusive and he met regularly with us to ensure that, even though we were minority groups, our views and input was sought and acted on. We were delighted to be able to play our part in working with the Labour Group to bring about the massive changes in the organisation of the Authority.



We were also delighted to work with the Labour Group in uncovering the issues around governance that feature in Cllr Hanson’s report, a report that was commissioned by the Chairman and the Authority.



Now it appears that because the Chairman does not like the contents of the internal audit he rubbishes it saying it was produced anonymously. A case of denial?



Although a lot has been achieved over the last 12 months, we believe that to achieve the change that is still necessary in the organisation and to ensure that good governance is achieved and value for money delivered to the people of Merseyside, that Cllr Dowd should listen to the eight members of his group and resign. If he does not do so, then the atmosphere within his group on the Authority will be so bad that it will undoubtedly impact on the services that Merseytravel deliver to the public.



If Merseytravel is to be truly world class, then it needs a fresh start with someone new at the helm. We will continue to support Cllr Hanson and the other seven Labour members who have called on Cllr Dowd to resign.





Cllr Les Rowlands, Conservative representative on Merseytravel and Cllr John Dodd Liberal Democrat representative on Merseytravel

Friday, 25 May 2012

Merseytravel-time to get some straight answers..

Cllr Dowd prevented Sefton Council properly challenging the appointment of Cllr Dowd to Merseytravel . First he deferred the decision to cabinet away from full council thus preventing debate and then he blocked members of the council using the  procedures laid down in the constitution to review such appointment when he made it at Cabinet. This was done on the bizarre assertion of a Lab appointee of Cllr Dowd's who claimed it was an urgent matter. Pause for incredulity. The AGM of Merseytravel is on 26 June, there is another cabinet before then. The urgency was packing the Labour group meeting so Dowd can continue as chair of the authority.

I turned up to cabinet as Leader of the Opposition determined to speak on the issue. Cllr Dowd would not let me-I spoke up anyway!

The back ground to the factional infighting within Merseytravel could fill a book. Indeed scores photocopied pages have been delivered to me. In the main these are the work of Cllr Joe Hanson from Liverpool who in some details outlines allegation-which if true (and insiders believe that they have the ring of truth to them) -are devastating. The report has been sent to the Leader of the Labour group on Sefton Councillor Dowd. No adequate attempt has been made to answer these allegation. Some of the issues are outlined here but there are more and I'm sure that they will emerge before the AGM

No  wonder Cllr Dowd wants to stifle debate about his brother. We need a public inquiry so that
these issues cannot be buried. We do not want our local authorities to be run the way Mersytravel has been with no proper accountability. I am gobsmacked the Labour party nationally has not stepped in to sort the situation.

Lord Mike Storey has called for an inquiry as has Esther McVey MP. I have discussed the matter with Southport MP John Pugh and agreed an action plan.

It is odd how many folk have compared Dowd M to Murdoch. I suspect that just as the Levison inquiry has led us to some murky places so would an independent review of Merseytravel.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Twa dogs and their political perspective

Now if dogs could talk, what would they say about their owners? It's not an original though, Robbie Burns certainly had in back in the 18th century


Posted by PicasaIn the midst of all the hectic election activity in April it was good to hear from the Birkdale blogs old friend Roy Connell, He wrote to say, well let him speak for himself:


...... the reason I am contacting you is that there have been no Dog blogs of recent times  , so perhaps you could consider this one . We lost Rosie in October , one of your first dogs on your blog and a special with the Leader!! , Beth and I have now acquired a replacement called Chester.
He is a rescue Lab 3 years old and the very same colour as Rosie . We only picked him up on Friday  , and yesterday as I was looking though his pedigree chart to my amazement I spotted that Rosie's dad ( Reeza Milky Way) is Chester's Great Grandad !!! how spooky is that , Chester's pedigree name is Melting in the Sun( that's what Chocolate does ).

Tony Robertson with Rosie in November 2008.

Both are better behaved than my Welsh Terrier Toby who got out this afternoon and turned up at the Vets in High Park! Thanks to Mrs Whelan (address unknown) for rescuing him

I really should know better than begin to blog about animals. Last time I did this people sent me in all manner of photos of politicians dogs. I shall stick to Southport only this time and bring you Mike Booth (Kew Ward) and his twa dogs which he and Clare can regularly be seen exercising-poop a scoop bag in hand.
Now who has the 'honest, sonsie, baws'nt face' and whose nights are ' unquiet, lang, an' restless' I'll leave you to judge.

Pugh Leads Fight Against Regional Pay

LIB DEM MPs LINE UP AGAINST REGIONAL PAY


Following the cold water poured on proposals for regionally adjusted pay for public sector workers by Nick Clegg local MP John Pugh has sought to stiffen opposition by co-ordinating Liberal Democrat opposition to the proposals. Southport's MP is behind a letter sent to the Guardian on behalf of 22 Lib Dem MPs including former party leader Charles Kennedy criticising the idea .

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/may/16/lib-dems-regional-pay

John told us:

"It is important to note that opposition goes beyond this group as we did not even approach the 25 MPs who have ministerial positions.- many of whom are equally uncomfortable with the idea.

We don't want to drift into a situation where it is assumed that if you live in the north you ought to get paid less.


George Osborne has started a consultation on regional pay and Labour who introduced regional pay for the court service and have proposed regional levels of benefits.


The case for all this is depressingly weak and likely to exacerbate the north/south divide. "


And so when they ask you, and they are certainly going to ask you, how the coalition is better than a Tory majority government you can tell them; thousands of public sector workers' wages in the North would have been cut without us, there would have been not tax cut for low earners, the pupil premium  targetting money on the schooling of the poorest children would not have been introduced, Vince's banking reforms would not have been before parliament and Trident would have been replaced by another multi billion pound nuclear weapon (mind you Labour would have done the same as the Tories on Trident). It is not ideal but it is far better than Osborne and Fox would have done by themseleves!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Mersey Tunnels (82.71.185.225)

I was looking at the stats provided bt StatCounter for this blog and could not help but notice that the folks from Mersey Tunnels aka Merseytravel IP 82.71.185.225 are spending an awful lot of time visiting our website. Well if you are reading this watch out for a posting later this week on the governance issues at Merseytravel. Having been taken to task once publically by the District Auditor I was shocked to learn.........

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Praise for Tony Robertson as he steps down as Lib Dem Leader


Tony has been a first rate Leader of our Party. He has been in the job for 10 years

l have a great respect for Tony. He has worked tirelessly to bring together people from different communities and political parties in the borough to work together. I have been enormously impressed by his ability to persuade people to work together in the common interest rather to pursue divisive and sectional interests. Sefton have greatly benefited by his consensual approach. He is known as the 'world's most reasonable man'!

I am delighted Tony has agreed to become the Lib Dem deputy Leader and I know he will be a source of wise advice.

Southport Lib Dem chosen as Council Group Leader

Iain Brodie Browne was elected last night (14 May 2012) as the new Leader of the Lib Dem Group on Sefton Council. The Birkdale Councillor had acted as Deputy Leader for the past 5 years.
Iain told the Lib Dem Councillors that their job was to robustly challenge the actions of the ruling Bootle group of Labour councillors and to hold them publicly to account for the decisions they take.

 “I met with Southport’s Lib Dem MP John Pugh yesterday to discuss the tough decisions that lie ahead – for example on Libraries, Tourism investment and the Green Belt. Lib Dems have clear policy in these areas and will campaign vigorously to defend them."

 “I urge the Labour Leader to announce today that he will apply to the Boundary Commission to review the number of Councillors in the Borough and to agree to a cut for the highest paid Councillors’ allowances.

“There is a very real concern amongst the public that the Bootle Labour Party will turn their back on the rest of the Borough. Already we have seen that all the top positions have been given to Councillors from the Bootle constituency. It would be disastrous if towns like Southport-which elected no Labour Councillors, indeed the Labour vote fell in the town- were not fairly dealt with. We shall judge this administration by it actions not its press releases.

 “It is my hope that the new Labour Leader will not go down the road of dividing the different communities within the Borough but rather working constructively with representatives from the whole area. By appointing only his Bootle colleagues to the top jobs he has not made a good start. It would be outrageous if he continued by giving Labour Councillors the key positions of chairing the committees that are established by law to review and scrutinise his administrations actions".

Friday, 11 May 2012

Tackling a chief cause of the economic crisis

For our economy to prosper and grow we need to reform our economic system. At the heart of this debate is the issue of ownership. The extreme libertarian view of ownership which has led to the dominance of the PLC model of ownership where improving shareholder value is the over riding objective of the company is part of the problem and a chief cause of the economic collape

Will Hutton, who chaired the Ownership Commission, previews the report and draws out key areas for reform. Interestingly when Labour set up the Commission their chief concern was related to so called 'public sector reform'. Hutton makes the point the PLC model at large in the economy was part of the problem.

 Liberals in Britain have for a century argued the case for a reform of company law on ownership. We have tried to ensure that the contribution of employees was given equal status with capital- these reforms are more urgent now with the decline in individual ownership and the role of institutional ownership/hedge funds/private equity.

Labour Dowd's runaway 'gravy train' District Auditor responds


That even Labour councillors are anxious about the way Cllr Mark Dowd behaves as chair of Merseytravel is not news. It is fairly openly discussed. But like an old style city boss he turns on those who challenge him. But now it appears he has exhausted their patience. The Liverpool Post is now carrying two stories on it's website. One by the City Editor which begins:
Merseyside’s transport authority is in chaos over possible broken contract laws, reports City Editor David Bartlett reports
It includes in its appendix a review of consultants, compiled by a Merseytravel official, that had been used by the authority over recent years at vast expense to the taxpayer.

Read More http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/regional-news/2012/05/10/district-auditor-warning-over-possible-broken-contract-laws-by-merseytravel-99623-30933520/2/#ixzz1uY1OyKwX


And a second one http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/regional-news/2012/05/10/district-auditor-warning-over-possible-broken-contract-laws-by-merseytravel-99623-30933520/

which confirms:


It has emerged the authority was plunged into crisis in February when a small group of (Labour) councillors wrote a highly critical report of chief executive Mr Scales and chairman Cllr Mark Dowd.
The unsigned report made a series of damaging allegations about poor governance at the organisation.

Most revealing:

The Labour councillors’ report was sent to the Labour leaders of the district councils across Merseyside and was referred to the district auditor.
It claimed Mr Scales had a reputation as “a control freak” and said Cllr Dowd had failed to manage him properly.
The report also said that prior to December there was a culture at the organisation that allowed councillors not to present invoices or receipts for business trips.

It said: “The practice demonstrates... and perhaps more than anything explains the ‘gravy train’ mentality that exists in the organisation.”
“The reality is (Merseytravel) was an old boys club, with little or no effective scrutiny.
“There is still resistance to effective scrutiny with obstacles being put in place which can only be described as the old guard within Merseytravel afraid of change or frightened that the level of scrutiny will raise an awful lot of questions.”



Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Oh! Lord Oakeshott-what about the workers when it comes to dealing with top pay?

A tale of two Oakeshotts (Robert and Mathew) and how together their impact would be stronger..........


What about the workers? I found myself demanding of the radio last week. The shareholders revolt over top pay was the topic under discussion. Now the problem I have with shareholders-a problem shared with most Liberals for the last hundred years-is that their interests are solely getting the biggest return on their capital. They are here today and gone tomorrow-or even quicker than that if the shares are bought and sold on line in the twinkling of an eye.

Liberal have always argued that employees and share holder should have equal status . The party's Co-Ownership plans-which Richard Wainwright called the holy grail of Liberalism- would have amended Company law so that both shareholders and employee appeared together on a common register to elect the board of Directors and removed the obligation to build shareholder value as the chief responsibility of the Directors.

Cameron refuses to accept even one lone token worker on a sub committee of a Board to look at pay. We have championed equal representation! That would sort out top people's pay and re-orientate businesses away from the destructive risk taking options associated with the dogma of 'building shareholder value' and instead concentrating on building long term businesses and growing jobs

I know that I am not alone in welcoming Lord Oakeshott's increasingly frequent appearances on the media to champion the Liberal cause -particularly when the topic under discussion is economics but adding this arguemnt to his undoubted financial expertese would be most welcome

 
But let me digress a moment. Oakeshott was the Lib Dem Treasury spokesman in the Lords and Oh how we wish he had been consulted during the formation of the coalition-indeed we wish any economist of note had been -but sadly the thinking in Whitehall and amongst those around the table was dominated by fear of the markets and the impact in the city ,rather than on the impact on men and women far removed from those interests.


I doubt few of us realise the extent to which the negotiating teams failed to take advice until David Howarth (former Lib Dem MP for Cambridge) wrote a review in the Spring Edition 2011 of the Journal of Liberal History :


.............the Liberal Democrat leadership took no external advice about the issue, or about the separate issue of accelerated deficit reduction. Both the Treasury and the Bank of England would have reinforced the acceleration view, given half a chance, but that view is built into their nature. Others took very different positions on the optimal path, from the NIESR’s moderate caution to David Blanchflower’s jeremiads. The puzzle is not that the party took one view or another, but that it did so on the fly without consulting specialists. Has the party of Keynes lost touch with economics as a discipline?


Lord Oakeshott is on the Management Committee of the afore mentioned NIESR and I chanced to notice a press release from them last week on the outlook for the British economy:


The unemployment rate will r ise to about 9 per cent this year and remain high throughout the 
forecast  period. Elevated unemployment for such a long period is likely to do permanent 
damage to the supply side of the economy, with large long-run economic costs.



It remains our view that fiscal policy could be used to raise aggregate demand in the economy 
with little to no loss of fiscal credibility. We have never and do not now advocate scaling back 
the government’s medium- to longer-term policy of fiscal consolidation. However, the UK 
also suffers from a lack of demand in the short term. As we noted in our January Review, a 1 
per cent of GDP increase in government investment this year would boost GDP by around 0.7 
per cent, assuming no reaction by the MPC. A temporary boost to net investment, which has 
been cut extremely sharply, would have no direct effect on the government’s primary fiscal 
tar get of balanc ing the cyclically-adjusted current budget in 2016–17.



Ah well, let us return to Top peoples' pay. Oakeshott M was arguing that shareholder needed to be given more power to control the pay in the Board room. There is much talk of binding votes and the revolts at the AGMs of Barclays and Aviva have been much in the news. It all sounds good stuff but I have a problem with the premise. I rather tend to the view that it is the dominance of this form of ownership-ie the share owning plc-that is part of the problem and giving yet more power to shareholder who already have the Ace of trumps and all the Royals in their hands many not be the best solution. You need labour and capital to make a good business. As the report from Kellogg College said after the financial collapse:

..........the UK financial services sector is dominated disproportionately by a single business model, namely the large, shareholder-owned plc. This domination of the shareholder ownership model – whose purpose is to maximise financial returns to the shareholders – proved a lethal combination with the financial deregulation, the creation of new financial instruments and the subsequent rising levels of debt over the past twenty years. Ever greater risks were taken to drive up financial returns and ‘shareholder value’, culminating in the global credit crunch of 2007-2008 which in turn created the first global  recession since the 1930s, during 2008-2009, from which the UK and global economies are only slowly recovering.


There are, of course, other models of ownership. Here we come to Robert Oakeshott the John the Baptist of the Employee Ownership model who with Grimond set up what is now the Employee Ownership Association. Together they had visited the Mondragon Co-operatives in the 1970's and came away to campaign for than business model in Britain Grimond was particularly impressed with the Workers' mutual Bank the co-ops set up which provided the capital for the massive expansion. Today there are over 100 co-ops and 100 000 employees. No wonder it has been describe as the most successful entrepreneurial support system ever!

The idea is catching on and there is regular media coverage of new initiatives and research studies showing the economic advantages

The Liberal ideal-as Richard Wainwright frequently told the Liberal Assembly is one in which labour hires capital.






Tuesday, 8 May 2012

losing the Keys to the Town Hall in midterm-an historical perspective

I got an email today which helps put things in perspective

When we are the party of government we inevitably experience difficulties at the local elections.

After all we lost "The keys of the Town Hall " here in Southport in1907, just twenty two months after our greatest electoral triumph



I would point out that back them what I -at the risk of sounding like a Serbian Nationalist -like to call Greater Birkdale* was not part of Southport.

Nevertheless this does not alter the truth of the observation and is certainly as good a line as Ed Davy's assertion that 'we have waited 70 years to experience the midterm blues'

*Birkdale and Southport came together to form a new borough on 1st May 1913. Prior to that Ainsdale and Birkdale had already merged. The Birkdale council covered all of Birdale ward and all of Ainsdale Ward plus most of Dukes ward and a bit of Kew ward.

The Old Penny Arcade on Southport Pier BBC2

Clive and Ros Baker have emailed me to let me know that The Old Penny Arcade on Southport Pier will be featured at some length on a new BBC2 series, Antiques Uncovered, at 8pm tomorrow, Wednesday 9th May.


This prime time nationwide publicity will continue to bring more happy visitors to Southport Pier and the classic resort of Southport.

Along with the British Lawnmower Museum this is one of our more interesting tourist attraction.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Reasons for the political micro climate in Southport

In Victorian times Southport used to advertise trips to the town under the marketing slogan 'visit the Lancashire Riviera'! Later on we promoted the resort as somewhere to come in winter because of our micro climate which  produced mild weather when all around were suffering a freeze.

It is well known that it is not just  meteorolgically that we have a micro climate. For generation Southport has demonstrated that it can buck the national trend in politics.

Featured on Liberal Democrat Voice Southport is one of those northern chapel towns where Liberalism refused to lie down and die in the post war years. The Jewish community -who suffered significant discrimination at the hands of local Tories-joined hands with independent radicals, Methodists and Congregationalists to build a formidable electoral presence. Liberal representation on the Council was never snuffed out and in 1959 Cllr Sam Goldberg was polling strongly in a three cornered fight in the General Election coming in a rare second place.

By 1962 we had taken the Council out of Tory hands. We were early adopters of Jo Grimond's strategy of re-aligning the Left and were in an unofficial pact with Labour, we won 9 out of 10 seats-all but one of those contests were straight fights with the Tories. Labour stood in the other five wards . We won 8 out of nine seats the following year when all were straight fights.


Come the 1970 General Election -a pretty dismal year for those of us that remember it-Southport again provide Liberal cheer with Ronnie Fearn coming in second. Chris Renard has often quotes this result and Cyril Carr's in Wavertree as important factors in persuading him of the potential for a Liberal revival which duly came along in 1974 when we went desperately close to victory effectively squeezing the Labour vote for the first time


The rest is well known-I will pass over the 1983 General Election- Parliamentary victories have followed and there is now Liberal representation in every ward in the town.


So how do we make the political weather different here? Firstly we ought not to disregard the tradition. Generations of Liberal have contributed to the town. Hard working councillors have built up a reputation for championing their communities. The baton had successfully been past from generation to generation. Common to all those Liberals has been hard work and a clear identity as the anti Tory party. Back to the likes of Sam Goldberg  and his wife Madge both were passionate nuclear disarmers and believers in internationally guaranteed collective security as an alternative to war and appeasement. This theme was maintained by the PPC in the 60's Jack Coleman a robust advocate of the European project.


Southport is unlike its neighbours in many ways. Its employment is not dominated by large unionised firms or government employees but rather by small businesses and the self employed. As a proud Lancashire seaside resort we had a clear view of our identity and economic self interest and as David Boyle has pointed out elsewhere their is a strong correlation between Liberal presence and self employment. Our town is full of small businesses and new start ups. At one stage my ward of Birkdale had a record number of new businesses registering for VAT. That is not to suggest that we have not got our fair share of high paid public servants aggrieved that their jobs are under threat and even that some of them are paid as consultants thus avoiding tax


Liberals in this town have stood out against the abolition of our civic identity and proudly proclaimed ourselves as Sandgrounders. I noted that the Tories this year put out a leaflet on behalf of Sefton Conservatives and featuring a women from Blundellsand who lost her seat. We would not make that mistake.




And so we have a generations old tradition of hard working councillors who were putting out newsletters before Wallace Lawler or Cyril Carr and who championed their communities. We have added to that brand Pugh. A robustly independent MP not afraid to speak his mind and one who will not be bullied or cajoled against his best judgement by the whips-or even his activists. He is a true heir to Burke who expressed his view in a famous address to his electors which contaains the often quotes phrase'Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion' he went on:


To deliver an opinion, is the right of all men; that of constituents is a weighty and respectable opinion, which a representative ought always to rejoice to hear; and which he ought always most seriously to consider. But authoritative instructions; mandates issued, which the member is bound blindly and implicitly to obey, to vote, and to argue for, though contrary to the clearest conviction of his judgment and conscience,--these are things utterly unknown to the laws of this land, and which arise from a fundamental mistake of the whole order and tenor of our constitution.

So John's speaks his mind. He pledged to vote against tuition fees in the General Election so despite the pressure he voted against them. From its earliest inception he identified the manifest flaws in Lansley's health Bill and champion opposition to it. I suspect that he will be equally resolute in opposing the imposition of regional pay. He too works hard and has the grudging respect even of his political opponents as an excellent constituency MP. Brand Pugh is an electoral asset worth more than a hundred endorsements from nationally known bigwigs


History, hard work, the Pugh effect, an understanding and identification with the community we seek to serve and one other ingredient helps us win; Tory incompetence manifest by infighting which has alienated their supporters and cut off from them the recruitment of high calibre people. The scale and viciousness of the infighting continues to shock even hardened politicians-although the media choose to ignore it. The most able centre right/right wing councillor -Sir Ron Watson-has been forced out of the council group as have two other former leaders, two popular Mayors and an able senior police officer and a respected and well like Councillor. They seem not to care that this strategy has failed. This Thursday saw the defeat of the Tory leader and her chief whip. The era of Porter/Parry/Griffiths is by any measure the worst in Tory history and they still don't get it! Not only has this allowed Lib Dems to become the natural home of moderate, community minded conservatives it has also allowed UKIP tp prosper by picking up what one reader to this blog described as the Col. Blimp vote. And so it has come to pass that with sensible Liberals to the left of them and Ukip to the right of them the rabble that is the Official Tories have been destroyed. The electorate are not impressed. In the seven Southport seats they are only the clear challenger in two of them. In Birkdale they were fourth as they were in Norwood and Kew wards. 




 Obvious if any of those factors changed that could impact on the micro climate. If we became complacent and stopped working hard,or lost our status as the major anti Tory party, or lost contact with our electors, or started squabbling amongst ourselves like the Porter/Parry Tory group, if the Pugh brand lost its potency then the cold winds could blow from the north. Our task is to stay on our course and offer the electors a radical non-socialist vision of a better society.



Saturday, 5 May 2012

And for the really serious stats about Southport back to 2007

quick summary of election stats in Southport


  • 35% voted Lib Dem
  • 21% voted Con
  • 20% voted Lab
  • 15% voted UKIP (**)
  • 6% voted Southport Party (**)
  • ** = would have been higher if they had stood in all wards
  • over 8000 votes for Lib Dems
  • under 5000 votes for Cons
  • 6.7% swing from Con to Lib Dem since 2011 (which is a very large swing)
  • best swing to us was 10.6% in Cambridge (further analysis required to see if Tory candidate polled less well that other Tories in previous years and wards)


Friday, 4 May 2012

Details of Southport Lib Dem brilliant results-discuss the reasons

Featured on Liberal Democrat VoiceThis was the most visited blog posting  this week according to the Lib Dem Bloggers aggregator! For details click on the box





First up my Candidate Richard Hands who stormed home with a healthy majority against impressive opposition. Well done Richard!
Birkdale - results
Election CandidatePartyVotes%
 Richard Ronald HandsLiberal Democrats122539%Elected
 Terry John DurranceUnited Kingdom Independence Party70722%Not elected
 Ged WrightThe Labour Party68822%Not elected
 Nigel David Clifford BallConservative Party55517%Not elected
Voting Summary
DetailsNumber
Total votes3175
Electorate9763
Num. ballot papers issued3175
Turnout33%
Share of the votes (%)
Richard Ronald Hands 39%Elected
Terry John Durrance 22%Not elected
Ged Wright 22%Not elected
Nigel David Clifford Ball 17%Not elected


Next up our first gain of the night Pat Keith in Cambridge Ward- a seat we failed to win last year. A enormous swing from the Tory. Pat got twice as many votes as the next candidate. Well done Pat


Cambridge - results
Election CandidatePartyVotes%
 Pat KeithLiberal Democrats145942%Elected
 Cath ReganConservative Party73421%Not elected
 Gordon Alan FergusonUnited Kingdom Independence Party72021%Not elected
 Muriel Annie LangleyThe Labour Party56616%Not elected
Voting Summary
DetailsNumber
Total votes3479
Electorate9434
Num. ballot papers issued3479
Turnout37%
Share of the votes (%)
Pat Keith 42%Elected
Cath Regan 21%Not elected
Gordon Alan Ferguson 21%Not elected
Muriel Annie Langley 16%Not elected



Our second gain of the night. We have never ever won Dukes ward before. This was amazing. More analysis to follow. Frankly to see the collapse in the Tory vote and the faces of their supporters after so many years of easy victories......marvellous.  Well done Tony.

Dukes - results
Election CandidatePartyVotes%
 Tony DawsonLiberal Democrats99630%Elected
 Bob AyresConservative Party82725%Not elected
 Peter Joseph GaffneyThe Labour Party47314%Not elected
 John Charles Lyon-TaylorUnited Kingdom Independence Party39012%Not elected
 Harry ForsterThe Southport Party35911%Not elected
 David PearsonIndependent2889%Not elected
Voting Summary
DetailsNumber
Total votes3333
Electorate10017
Num. ballot papers issued3333
Turnout33%
Share of the votes (%)
Tony Dawson 30%Elected
Bob Ayres 25%Not elected
Peter Joseph Gaffney 14%Not elected
John Charles Lyon-Taylor 12%Not elected
Harry Forster 11%Not elected
David Pearson 9%Not elected
Now there was some anxiety in the camp about Meols but we should know by know that hard working councillors like John Dodd who fought an excellent Focus campaign was going to safe but this surpassed even the highest expectations. Well done Meals ward team

Meols - results
Election CandidatePartyVotes%
 John DoddLiberal Democrats132740%Elected
 Sarah JacksonConservative Party60018%Not elected
 Maureen StokerThe Labour Party56017%Not elected
 Margaret BrownThe Southport Party48915%Not elected
 Patricia Elaine ShanksUnited Kingdom Independence Party37211%Not elected
Voting Summary
DetailsNumber
Total votes3348
Electorate9670
Num. ballot papers issued3348
Turnout35%
Share of the votes (%)
John Dodd 40%Elected
Sarah Jackson 18%Not elected
Maureen Stoker 17%Not elected
Margaret Brown 15%Not elected
Patricia Elaine Shanks 11%Not elected

Labour let us know that this was their top target. Our team responded with possibly their best campaign in a generation. Ronnie has now been an elected councillor for 50 years!
Norwood - results
Election CandidatePartyVotes%
 Ronnie FearnLiberal Democrats121539%Elected
 Lesley DelvesThe Labour Party82027%Not elected
 Jacqueline Anne BarlowThe Southport Party55518%Not elected
 Graham CampbellConservative Party34311%Not elected
 Neville David GrundyThe Green Party1475%Not elected
Voting Summary
DetailsNumber
Total votes3080
Electorate10086
Num. ballot papers issued3080
Turnout31%
Share of the votes (%)
Ronnie Fearn 39%Elected
Lesley Delves 27%Not elected
Jacqueline Anne Barlow 18%Not elected
Graham Campbell 11%Not elected
Neville David Grundy 5%Not elected
Kew -another seat where Labour dared to hope and we had another Fearn to see them off. The Kew team chalks up another victory. Well done.

Kew - results
Election CandidatePartyVotes%
 Maureen FearnLiberal Democrats102837%Elected
 Janet Catherine HarrisonThe Labour Party80029%Not elected
 Michael Cedric LewtasUnited Kingdom Independence Party57821%Not elected
 Chris CrossConservative Party39014%Not elected
Voting Summary
DetailsNumber
Total votes2796
Electorate9356
Num. ballot papers issued2796
Turnout30%
Share of the votes (%)
Maureen Fearn 37%Elected
Janet Catherine Harrison 29%Not elected
Michael Cedric Lewtas 21%Not elected
Chris Cross 14%Not elected
Finally Lynne in Ainsdale. Well done. Our targeting strategy worked. Lynne and Haydn kept their second place and worked hard. Their campaign benefited us all. A great contribution. Many thanks 
Ainsdale - results
Election CandidatePartyVotes%
 Ted HartillConservative Party144638%Elected
 Lynne ThompsonLiberal Democrats86923%Not elected
 Stephen James JowettThe Labour Party65317%Not elected
 Jim DoyleUnited Kingdom Independence Party62417%Not elected
 Barbara Ann DuttonThe Green Party1805%Not elected
Voting Summary
DetailsNumber
Seats1
Total votes3772
Electorate9556
Num. ballot papers issued3772
Turnout39%
Share of the votes (%)
Ted Hartill 38%Elected
Lynne Thompson 23%Not elected
Stephen James Jowett 17%Not elected
Jim Doyle 17%Not elected
Barbara Ann Dutton 5%Not elected
Later today we will begin to examine the causes of our success. Watch out for the Pugh effect. An excellent campaigner whose hard work and principled stand on tuition fees, the health reforms and the economic situation has marked him out as a robustly independent MP and a real electoral asset