“Do they think people around here are stupid?”

That’s the comment made by local resident Mrs Joan Hislop, seen talking to Cllr John Salter in a photo taken earlier today..

Mrs Joan Hislop with Cllr John Salter today

Joan has been active for decades in our community, and in the local Seacombe and Liscard voluntary movement.   She knows our locality like the back of her hand.  And she knows, as well as anybody can, how our people feel about propaganda.

She told us she doesn’t like being offered ‘sweeeties’ like the bait the Tories and LibDems are dangling in the form of a tax rebate this year, only for it to pile up as a debt in future years or as cuts in the services the Council provides at a time when further huge cuts are going to be imposed by their National Collaboration Government.

Joan isn’t impressed and she doesn’t think many other people around here will be either.

Can it be election time?

Oh yes – and Tory-led Wirral Council claims to be ‘cutting tax for all’.  But are they?  Surely you have to be paying it in the first place to have a cut?

So what does that mean?  Here in Seacombe we have a high proportion of families on low incomes – arguably amongst the most income-deprived residents in Northern Europe.   The same will apply in other areas of Wirral like Birkenhead, Bidston, and parts of Liscard.

In contrast Wirral also has areas of high incomes – where Tory Councillors tend to be elected.  We suspect that not many of those in the Tory areas will qualify for relief on their Council Tax – but in parts of Seacombe it is the majority.  So when the better off in Tory areas may get refunds as great as £43.37 – or even as high as £52.05 – the areas of low incomes can expect as little as £17.35 for Band A Council Tax payers or as little as £26.02 for those in higher rated Band D households.

But because so many of the Seacombe families already have incomes so low that they qualify for Council Tax Relief what will they get?  Do the Tories mean they will be getting a refund even if they haven’t high enough incomes to be paying it in the first place?

But don’t take our word for it.  You can work it out for yourself very easily by checking the figures.  Here they are (taken from the ‘Wallasey News’).

The budget means that tax Band A will be £958.79, down from £976.14;

B – £1,118.57, was £1,138.82;

C – £1,278.39, was £1,301.51;

D – £1,438.18, was £1,464.20;

E – £1,757.78, was £1,789.58;

F – £2,077.37, was £2,114.96;

G– £2,396.97, was £2,440.34;

H– £2,876.35, was £2,928.40.

And when the Tories tell us that over 70s are going to get a bit more relief they conveniently forget to mention that there only half as many people over 70 in Seacombe compared with those who reach hearty old age in the more prosperous areas represented by Tory Councillors. 

Hmm … looks like the better off do well under the Tories doesn’t it?

Central Park lights and CCTV

 

27 th January 2012 – follow up report

Following our earlier report, below, it is now established that vandals had set fire to one of the original columns, melting the cables inside resulting in the supply being lost to all of the lights to the rear of Pendennis Roadand at the side of the lake.

After receiving our e-mail, via Streetscene, one of our engineers visited the park to find the problem and instructed the contractor to carry out remedial works.   COLAS attended  next day to remove the cables from the remains of the old column and carry out a temporary repair underground to restore power to the other lights affected.

The contractor has also been instructed to install a replacement column of the more robust, vandal resistant, type introduced in the recent refurbishment.  The contractors are delayed as delivery times for these far superior replacements can be 9 – 12 weeks but meanwhile the other lights are restored.

24th January 2012 – 0riginal report

Cllr John Salter reports

Our thanks again to Zara Richardson for her constant vigilance.  Zara drew our attention to some problems with Central Park’s lights and CCTV – which have been recently renewed.

This in now being dealt with by Streetscene and will be reported back to the Central Park Partnership.

Thanks also to Streetscene for their immediate acknowledgement of our request to them.

Central Park – Walled Garden restored to the public.

16th January 2011

Central Park, standing at the edge of Seacombe and Egremont on the one side, with Liscard on the other, is a key public asset.

Cllr Adrian Jones & Mrs Di Ledder met Council Officers, who came up with remedies at a meeting this morning.

When the Tory/LibDem collaboration, in control of Wirral until last May, sought the reduction of some 1100+ council jobs our Central Park Ranger, who left early under one of the schemes of ‘encouragement’ to go, was among them.  He was popular and dedicated, well known for working far beyond the call of ordinary duty; we all wished him well for his early retirement, but we certainly miss him.

The public were left with the impression that the deletion of such posts would occur only if they did not adversely affect front line services.  But were people under the care of  Social Services  in Central Park not ‘front line’?  Following the deletion of our Ranger’s post they found themselves without organised means to open the buildings they were using, in the morning, or to secure them afterwards, or even to have the lavatories cleaned.

This picture of Mrs Di Ledder was taken in the Park, with Cllr John Salter, when the improvements to the children's playground were being done.

The attractive Walled Garden was no longer open to the public unless the volunteers, or their carers, or Social Services staff, found ways to get it done.  And with the retirement of our Ranger it was also closed to the public and to visitors on weekends.  Not exactly good news for the ‘Leisure Peninsula’?
With no Council arrangements put in place  for the lavatories to be cleaned that, too, fell by default to Social Services Staff and volunteers.  Whoever else felt it was acceptable, it was not acceptable to your Seacombe Labour Councillors.
“What”, readers might ask,  “was the rationale for not making arrangements for the buildings and the Walled Garden to be unlocked and secured, and for the lavatories to be cleaned?”     That would be for the previous administration to explain.  Your Labour Councillors are just getting on with the business of having it put right.
Happier times are back again

 Meanwhile, the privatisation shadow has been lifted and our Parks have returned happily to public maintenance, with our professional officers able once more to arrange for the buildings to be opened for the volunteers and Social Services Staff to work unhindered; for the lavatories to be cleaned, and for our Walled Garden  to be re-opened to the residents of Wirral who, by the way, own it.

 

We will not publicly name Council Officers, not even in a ‘good news’ story such as this, but with great pleasure we can report our sincere thanks to them for the professional manner in which they were able to put remedies in place at a meeting in the Town Hall this morning.  No such thanks would be complete without recognising the wealth of advice given by Mrs Di Ledder, who chairs the Central Park Partnership.