Allandale support at Five Bars Rest

5th April 2010   


Landlord Tommy Jones is seen here ready to welcome supporters of the Allandale Youth Club to an all day fund raiser.



Landlord Tommy Jones paid a great tribute to the Labour Councillors for the work they have done to support the Youth Club over many years – and called on everybody present to make sure Adrian is supported in the May elections.
Just after Tommy and Phil O’Rourke had performed a brilliant duo with a mixture of folk songs and also some powerful ‘Songs of the Labour Movement’ Adrian took the microphone to thank him and his staff on behalf of the Allandale. Adrian said:
‘If only we had more community spirited people like Tommy the Allandale need never feel the pinch again. Wherever there is voluntary work to be done Tommy is likely to be there. When I called into the Wirral Ark Project for the homeless, when I was Mayor,  who did I meet there? Tommy! When our pensioners at the Seacombe Community Centre Lunch Club were stranded in the January blizzard who took them in and gave them tea and coffee for several h0urs until they could be rescued? Tommy! And when I said I had asked some local businesses to put on fund raisers for the Allandale who said ‘Count me in’? Tommy!’
Adrian called for a round of applause – and the roof nearly came off.  So from all of us in Seacombe Labour  ‘Thank you Tommy for what you are doing not just for the Allandale but also for so many other good causes.’




Tommy, left, and Phil take a bow after a great performance

The great thing about Tommy is that most people could never know how much voluntary and charity work he does. He was slightly embarrased to be thanked so warmly – but he greatly deserves the credit that is due to him.


Adrian left, Tommy centre, John on the right.

A busy week


On 18th January Adrian appealed to keep the Allandale out of Party Politics. The very next day Denis Knowles and his new Tory Party chums were peddling a leaflet making it a political football by declaring that the club had been 'axed' because of 'cutbacks'. That was totally untrue.

21st March 2010             

 This week has seen the distribution of our newsletter in which we dispel misrepresentations peddled by Denis Knowles and his assistant from Liscard.       They seem so desperate to distract attention from Knowles’s declaration that Guinea Gap Baths and Seacombe Library should be closed ‘for the greater good’ as he declared, that their propaganda machine is working overtime to downplay the support being provided for the Allandale by the Council.      

The Allandale is an independent charitable trust that is not owned or in any way controlled by the Council.  Nevertheless Adrian initiated a  support meeting for the Allandale on 18th January for the Council’s professional officers to assist the club in providing a business plan and to find ways to get short term funding. Business advisers from the Council and from Wirralbiz were there to support the youth club. A point Adrian made at that meeting is that the Allandale should not be made into a political football.         

The Tories lost no time.  The very next day, the 19th, Denis and his new Tory chums made it very much a political football by putting out a leaflet absurdly declaring that the club had been ‘axed’ because of ‘cutbacks’.    

It was not true; the Allandale Youth Club has not been ‘axed’.   But why let that get in the way of yet another ‘Tory tall story’?  

The only body that could  ‘axe’ the Allandale is the community based trust that directs it!     Far from being ‘axed’, as the Tories published, it has the continuing support Adrian initiated in conjunction with the Chair of its management committee.    The Tories always knew that, but the facts didn’t stop them putting out their nasty little leaflet at the very time that the Council was supporting the Club’s management committee to help it to continue for another half century!           

Next, they arranged their ridiculous Tory ambush in council – thinking they were terribly clever, but as usual they shot themselves in the foot.           They proposed granting a £20,000 cash input to the youth club – as a part of a package ludicrously taking £122,000 from – OF ALL THINGS – Children’s Services!           

How much more ridiculous could they be?             

There were other Tory cuts glued to their proposal, as well:           

  • £500,000 from Social Services; (The old, the weak, the disabled, etc)
  • £606,000 from Regeneration; and
  • £226,000 from Technical Services (Roads, Leisure Centres, Parks, Gardens, CCTV, Open spaces etc.) 

The Tories didn’t mention any of those devastating cuts proposals in their propaganda leaflet did they?   Yet to support their proposed subsidy to the Allandale it would have been necessary to vote for all the cuts that were welded to it.  They always knew no responsible Councillor could vote for the devastation of Council services they proposed, so to dangle that carrot was perhaps not the most responsible thing to do.         



Monday: Adrian spent much of the day on casework and leafleting.  But we cannot live ‘by politics alone’ – so he took Monday evening off to play for his local darts team!           

Tuesday:  Leafleting in the day, and in the evening Adrian attended the Council’s Children and Young People Overview Committee.             

Wednesday: saw him taking part in the Merseyside Police Authority’s Inspection in the morning, followed by the Council’s Excellence Overview and Scrutiny Committee in the evening.             In between those was the Seacombe Area Residents’ Association meeting.  John was obliged to be at another Council event.             

Vocalist Paul Drew, right, is seen at the Park View Social Club on Friday 19th March in between numbers. To support the Allandale Paul peformed free of charge and the Park View gave its function for the night. The Park View supports the New Brighton Lifeboat as well as many other good causes.

Adrian was mystified by Denis Knowles’s comments at this meeting.  First he made a political speech about how, in future, the Council should work so much better than in the past –  commenting on the Seacombe Community Centre.    

But Adrian pointed out that in fact he, ‘New Tory ‘ Denis Knowles, was the Council’s official link councillor for the Centre for many years!  Yet as far as anyone can tell he failed to turn up to support it  for many years (if ever).  The poor chap had no answer and was lost for words!  Just sat on his hands. 

However, we have said elsewhere that if we are wrong about that, and if Denis can produce an attendance record to show that those who reckon they never saw him are wrong, then we’ll print it for him here!   But on the face of it is Knowles wise to criticise the Council over the Seacombe Community Centre? 

Wasn’t it his baby?  Wasn’t it under his ‘watchful care?’          

Adrian held his surgery at the Community Centre for many years and can confirm that it would be difficult to find a Centre anywhere with more dedicated staff and volunteers. They are doing a very good job indeed.  Cllr John Salter has now become the link councillor for the Centre.  Adrian and John have called into its excellent luncheon club a number of times.  It will have strong support from John.    

Next, commenting on fund raising, Denis came out with the stunning quip ‘never mind the Lifeboats’.  Eyebrows were raised and comments were made afterwards.  We like to think that it was just a throw away comment that Denis might wish to ‘rephrase’.            

Thursday:  Back to the Police Authority in the morning for its ‘Value for Money Committee’.  An hour or so out in the afternoon for a charity activity.  And then, in the evening,  Adrian and his wife Chris were at another charitable event!              

Friday: was spent largely on casework and leafleting – with a fine evening of entertainment at the Park View Social Club, in support of the Allandale.            The Club gave its premises free of charge and the excellent (Seacombe based) professional vocalist, Paul Drew, gave his time and services free of charge.  Sadly, despite Wirralbiz supporting the Club by putting about 3,000 flyers throught letterboxes attendance was rather small.               

Allandale staff and supporters show Paul some real appreciation at the end of his concert.

Trade Union help for Allandale

We have removed the account number and other details for obvious security reasons.

Our sincere thanks go to TGWU Branch no 6/553 for a generous donation to the Allandale from its branch funds following our appeal. 

Our appeal contrasted sharply with the Conservatives’ opportunism when, on 19th January, they put out a leaflet to homes near the Allandale alleging that the youth club had been ‘axed’ because of ‘cut backs’.   Many people reading it inferred that the Council had ‘axed’ the club.  

In fact the Council neither owned nor controlled the club.  It is an independent charity set up as a community trust in the 1950s by the benefactor after whom it is named.  

The very day before the Tory propaganda leaflet was put out there had been a meeting, initiated by Adrian, in the Allandale.  Council professionals were present, together with a representative from ‘Wirralbiz’, to assist the club in drawing up a long term business plan for financial survival and to discuss short term fund raising objectives to get the club over the next few months.  The Tories were well aware of that but chose not to mention in their publicity that it is precisely the Council that is offering a life-line to the club. 

None of this prevented the Tories from continuing to make our local youth club an object of political opportunism.  At the Council budget setting meeting soon after they tabled an amendment calling for: 

  • Tory cuts of £500,000 from Social Services
  • Tory cuts of £111,000 from Children’s Services – of all things!
  • Public subsidy of the Allandale of £20,000 – in constrast with the item above!
  • Tory cuts of £606,000 from regeneration
  • Tory cuts of £226,000 from Technical Services – (Which covers roads, Leisure Centres, Parks, Gardens, CCTV, Open spaces, etc!!!)

In their next leaflet they trumpeted a headline ‘Council says “no” to Allandale’.   Nonsense.  Council said “no” to a destructive package in which a carrot had beel dangled.  Who could have  ‘”yes” to that appalling package?  A reasonable person might just feel it was a crude ambush in order to have a headline ready for popping through letter-boxes. 

But the best is yet to come.  The ‘help’ for the Allandale was already to hand from money that already exists.  The Tories should have known (and we cannot believe that even they were unaware of it) because Labour had long ago provided community funds to the Area Forums for local use.  Last year’s had a surplus left over and from April there will be a new tranch of funding.   Adrian challenged the Tories during the Council debate to admit that they were making a political football of our kids youth club and to instead support him at the Area Forum in his proposal to use the money that already exists to support the Allandale.  They looked bemused.  Was that because they had been ‘outed’ in a pretty shallow attempt to get a headline?  Or was it because they so lacked competence that they didn’t even know that the money is already there?  It is for the public to judge their motives.  In their latest leaflet they do not acknowledge that they have in fact been obliged to accept Adrian’s challenge to support him in using that money.  Instead they are claiming that it is now their intention – as though they had actually thought of it in the first place! 

Couldn’t make it up could you? 

Meanwhile a local social club raised £320 in a race afternoon; a great local entertainer has agreed to perform this Friday (19th) at the Park View Social Club free of charge and the club has given its premises without charge.  


Let’s support our local youth club without making it a political football.