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.  

DO PLEASE COME IN LARGE NUMBERS THIS FRIDAY TO THE PARK VIEW SOCIAL CLUB.  DON’T WORRY IF YOU HAVEN’T A TICKET – YOU CAN MAKE A CONTRIBUTION  ON THE DOOR.  THE EVENT IS AT 7.30PM AND THE CLUB IS ON THE CORNER OF CHURCH STREET AND LISCARD ROAD – JUST OPPOSITE ST JOHN’S CHURCH IN CENTRAL PARK.  IT IS SITUATED EXACTLY ON THE BORDERS OF SEACOMBE AND LISCARD WARDS.  THE ENTERTAINER IS PAUL DREW WHO WILL OFFER A RANGE OF POPULAR MODERN MUSIC TO SUIT EVERYONE. 

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

Guinea Gap Baths – Adrian’s stand proved correct

Adrian opposed the closure of Guinea Gap Baths and Seaombe Library, to the Council and to the Charteris Inquiry

23rd February 2010

Wasn’t it interesting to see how well the Labour budget was reported in today’s Liverpool Post?  It is a budget providing huge benefits to Wirral.   

One of the really good measures is that Guinea Gap Baths is no longer even under consideration for review.  When defector Denis Knowles was publicly declaring the closure of the baths would be ‘For the greater good’ Adrian took the opposite view and made it clear in writing.  This extract was published on our website some months ago but in view of the good news now hitting the headlines it deserves to be repeated:

January 2009

To:  Leader of the Council

Dear Leader,

 Asset Review – changes affecting Seacombe Ward

You will know that as Mayor it is necessary for me to maintain impartiality over the changes proposed within the recent Professional Officers’ Report, the recommendations of which are the subject of public consultation.

Even though I know I cannot do so within a reply to the party-political campaign presently being waged I feel entitled, and obliged, to make my views known within the present public consultation exercise.  I therefore ask you to ensure that my comments as follows are considered.

I applaud the extensive public consultation and regret that another political party has used the opportunity for partisan campaigning when the wellbeing of Seacombe residents should take priority.

Guinea Gap baths should not in my view be closed unless alternative swimming is available nearby.  It is not necessary for me to argue the case for free swimming for children and pensioners as that is well known to be among the Council’s most popular policies under your leadership.  I therefore request a stay of this recommendation for at least some years until alternatives are available for further consultation.

Even if the present building is not viable the present library facilities in Seacombe could very probably be re-located rather than be withdrawn.  The Seacombe Community Centre, for instance, is potentially under used and there are other possibilities in existing council buildings nearby.  I believe lending and IT facilities should be protected in view of the high incidence of low income families and the high incidence of retired people compared with many other areas of Wirral.

Following the loss of Liscard Hall which (despite its name) was located in Seacombe but bordering closely on Liscard Ward, we have the remaining site.  I request that urgent consideration be given to using that site for the location of the new, and improved, facilities that are recommended for the area.   This would ensure that facilities are not removed from Seacombe, yet would not be inconveniently far for Liscard residents.

Without suggesting that this list of requests is exhaustive , as others this evening may well have further ideas that I could support, I would like you to take these on board.  I believe my proposals would allay concerns that have been whipped up by people who should put the good of the Seacombe community ahead of party-political campaigning.

Best wishes,

Councillor Adrian Jones,  Seacombe

 

Budget time for Wirral. But who will produce it?

21st February 2010

Each year at this time the three political parties should present a budget to Council to let the public know what they propose for the year ahead. 

The Labour Group of Councillors always proposes a detailed, closely costed, budget.  It is exceptional for the other two parties to produce anything remotely to the same high standard; it is easier for them to look at what Labour proposes and then put in amendments than to doing the spade work in the first place.   But leaving Labour to do the real work – and then carping from the sidelines is so much easier than getting to grips with the issues in the first place.

In the week ahead all of the material will come into the public view – but it will be late before the public see the amendments that the other parties put to Labour’s. 

We hope our readers will watch with interest.

John, left and Adrian, right,  have high hopes for some inter-party co-operation at a time of world wide financial crisis.  But on past experience that is perhaps a lot to hope for.  Watch this space.  There’ll be a full report.