Another busy day

 12th March 2010 

  This morning was spent on dealing with more casework, then an hour leafleting before attending a Merseyside Police Authority stall in the Pyramids. 

There are three members of the Police Authority for Wirral. As well as Adrian there is a Conservative, Cllr Mrs Kate Wood; and an Independent Member, Mrs Frances Street who is also a magistrate.  

After the public event inside the Pyramids

Adrian was present at the public event today.  

Members of the public were able to meet a number of police officers and talk to them, and to Adrian,  about policing matters.  

This is an important element in consultation from which valuable feed back can be recored by the administrative staff who also attend.  Adrian is seen here just after leaving at about 1.00pm when the event closed. 

Next Adrian and Cllr John Salter called into the Allandale Youth Club to pass on cheques for £320.00 raised by the Park View Social Club at its Race Afternoon last weekend. 

This was a great effort by the Park View and a number of its regular members.  

Mike Raworth of Wirralbiz, who is a member of the Allandale’s management committee, had organised the distribution of flyers to some thousands of homes in the Allandale locality.  Two members of the Allandale’s management committee attended – Joe Lee as well as Mike –  to add to the numbers.  

MP Angela Eagle brought several colleagues with her and the local councillors also attended and brought friends – making about 25 to 30 participants in all, most of whom were Park View regulars.  

Those of us who are organising these events are grateful to the members of the Park View who generously gave their time on a Saturday afternoon.  We are also grateful to the local politicians who came along.   But with Mike putting out thousands of flyers we had hoped for greater local support. 


Unfortunately the Conservatives’ recent interest in the Allandale does seem to us to be rather opportunist. If they really wanted to support the kids they could get out there and organise more fund raisers, just as we are doing with local businesses.    

Instead of engaging with the community to encourge local support the Conservatives simply proposed in Council that a cash donation of £20,000 should be given to the Allandale from the Borough.  

We wish the Tories would not play with the Allandale in this way.  The Tory ‘offer’ was tied up in an amendment to the Cabinet’s budget proposals for the year ahead.   But the ‘carrot’ for the Allandale was tied to other provisions and anybody wanting to support it would have also been voting for: 

  • TORY CUTS of £500,000 from SOCIAL SERVICES – from the old, the sick, and the weak.
  • TORY CUTS of £111,ooo from CHILDREN’S SERVICES – can you believe that one, from Tories who also  say they want to give money to a youth club?
  • TORY CUTS  of £606,000 from REGENERATION
  • TORY CUTS of £226,000 from TECHNICAL SERVICES (Roads, centres like the Seacombe Community Centre, parks, gardens, CCTV, open spaces and so on) 
  • GUINEA GAP BATHS.  To support these Tory amendments would have left Guinea Gap out.  But the budget they wanted Council to abandon in favour of their amendment secured its future.   (We will all recall how defector Denis Knowles declared publicly that closing both Seacombe Library and Guinea Gap would be, to use his own words, ‘for the greater good’. )  

For Council to have voted for the Tory amendment was impossible.  Such savage cuts as those could never be contemplated.  But in any case it was never necessary; the money needed for the Allandale already exists. 

During the Council debate on the Tory amendment Adrian challenged the Conservative/Tory councillors to support him at the April Area Forum where there are ample funds already available for local councillors to use for local issues.  Adrian made clear that as long as the Tories will support him there need be no problem for the Allandale.  They looked blank.  Were they so wound up in their propaganda ambush that they didn’t realise what an absurd shot in their own foot this was going to be? 

But guess what?  A day or so later the crafty monkeys published a propaganda leaflet falsely of course claiming that Labour would not support the Allandale!  That was always predictable. And guess what else?  They are now suggesting that the Area Forum has the necessary money to use – as though they had thought of it all by themselves!  We suspect they are so out of touch that until Adrian drew it embarrasingly to their attention they didn’t even know. 

Couldn’t make it up could you? 

10th March 2010   

Shortly after writing up Adrian’s report, below, a ‘thank you’ statement came in about both Councillors.  We will honour confidentiality but, just in case anybody imagines we are making it up, it can be seen by any genuinely independent third party who will maintain confidentiality.   

From a Seacombe resident:   

“I just wanted to say a great big thank you! You have both been fab, we would never have gotten anywhere without the help and support you have given to us! I will be sending a letter into the council about you both individually! From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU! 🙂   You have continuously gone above and beyond and took on any fights with us.”     

10th March 2010   

One day for Seacombe Labour Councillor Adrian Jones.   

Adrian at home

This is just a report about my own day.  Cllr John Salter takes on a similarly huge case-load and he was just as busy on his own work for our locality.  

Today began for me (after dropping the boys off to school and college, which are several miles apart) with a Merseyside Police Authority meeting in Liverpool.  This is a body where, happily, party politics  rarely rears its head.  Tory Cllr Kate Wood and I shared a taxi to keep costs down and we had an interesting morning on staffing matters.    

Next I took  few hours off from leafleting to deal with casework.  It is not possible to publicise much case-work as by its nature it is mainly confidential, but for an active councillor it is very time consuming if it is done properly.   

Today’s involved following up on work for residents of Mersey Court, and the housing around, associated with matters raised at the last Seacombe Area Group residents’ association meeting.  Those present at the meeting, who read this, will know exactly what it is about but it’s not something that can be put on a website in any detail as it involves children.    

Next came a problem about bins.  In this case some residents new to this country are having difficulty understanding what the different coloured bins are for and what can and can’t be put in them because the instructions are in English.  So I have been chasing up translations for them.   

Then back to mice infestations.  A particular problem has arisen in homes under one of the housing associations so I wrote to seek help in vermin control as the cost can be prohibitive.  If one house is sorted out but the house next door has mice, their offspring just move in where the last tribe of mice has been eradicated – and so the circle goes on.  So I have asked for this to be done collectively to break the circle.   

After that came the need to contact the police with residents’ concerns about (pretty young looking) youths on motor bikes.  They are racing around without helmets, and very probably without insurance.  I can’t give more details without naming people.   

Then came a case of an elderly couple whose boiler has failed but cannot seem to get help from obvious sources.  When I visited them they were in considerable difficulty without hot water or radiators.  Their house was icy cold.  I have asked for Social Services professionals to visit and give them the best advice on getting help.  Again it’s much too personal to mention names.   

Then, after that, I have a bunch of phone messages to listen to; and so the wheel will start rolling again for tomorrow.  There is far more unseen work that councillors do than could be imagined.  My experience as a trade union official for some years still comes in handy at times.   

Meanwhile the Tories have been up to their predictably misleading propaganda tricks again.    

This time they have again sought to use the Allandale as a political football  –  but as usual they have scored another ‘own goal’ with a propaganda leaflet claiming that Labour voted against their wish to vote money to the youth club.  Unfortunately they wrapped that up in an amendment to the Labour budget which also required massive cuts in Social Services, Children’s Services, Regeneration, Technical Services, and other areas.  Oddly, in their propaganda they mentioned only that the Allandale wouldn’t get the  money they had  ‘popped into’ their proposals.  But they never mentioned the dramatic Tory cuts that would have had to be voted for at the same time, as they had tied it up in a ‘package’.   Nor did they mention that by forgetting about the Guinea Gap Baths issue their amendment would have meant turning the clock back so that Labour’s proposal for the long term security of the baths would have failed to become policy.  Crafty monkeys?    

But the best bit of their silliness was that they had (presumably) forgotten that no such impossible choices are necessary anyway.  The Area Forums already have money for local use.    

I challenged the Tories to support me at the next Area Forum by voting money that already exists to support the Allandale.  Guess what.  They raced off to their printing machine to put out a propaganda leaflet saying that they would now look to the Area Forum for the money – as though it was their own idea.  Can it be that in their desperation to kick that political football they just didn’t grasp that the money was already available?  Or did they know all along?  In which case why did they put such an absurdly misleading amendment – unless it was just for propaganda? 

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