Dithering Con-Dem coalition fiddles while Wirral burns

25th June 2010

Following last night’s Cabinet meeting. Cllr Phil Davies Deputy Leader of the Labour Group said:

Wirral's Labour Group Leader Cllr Phil Davies condemns the collaborating Con-Dems as they implement savage Tory/Liberal Government's cuts on the people of Wirral

Cllr Green is fiddling while Wirral burns. As long as he chases cheap headlines and bats all the issues into the long grass the crisis will continue to deepen. Every month that goes by without decisions increases the risk that Council workers will lose their jobs, and residents their services, not because of the financial crisis, but because the incompetence of local politicians has dramatically increased the scale of cuts necessary. He will literally have talked us into disaster.
It’s time to get real. He still has £4m to find of in year revenue savings. On current projected figures he has another £24.4m to find by March 2011 and an additional £57m to find over the following two years. On a pro rata basis that means that next year alone, amongst other things, nearly £8m has to be cut from Adult Social Services, over £6m from Children’s Services, over £2m from Cultural Services, nearly £2m from Housing and Regeneration and over two million from Technical Services (covering highway maintenance, traffic schemes, bin collections etc.)
If anyone thinks this can be achieved without affecting front line services, and without disproportionately affecting the poorest and most vulnerable members of our community, they are kidding themselves. The bad conscience suffered by Wirral’s Liberal Democrats over the national increase in VAT, which they campaigned vigorously against in the national election because it affected the poor most, will pale into insignificance when they see the real, harsh consequences locally of their own government’s decisions played out across Wirral by their own joint administration.
That’s assuming, of course, that this administration is capable of reaching any decisions in time to set a legal budget.  Jeff, it is time for you to do what Labour has done for the last 15 years. Accept the responsibility  of Leadership. YOUR government has imposed massive cuts upon us – YOU DEAL WITH THEM.” 

What did we see? No less than eight different reviews announced, all delaying any decisions. (One of those reviews actually sent back to the starting blocks, under totally unnecessary new management, an existing programme of change which would potentially have delivered up to £15m of savings towards his target!) An absurd and paralysing increase in pointless bureaucracy as he attempts to micro-manage an £865million Council budget down to the last £100. And cuts in sandwiches. Even that wasn’t costed – presumably because it saves so little that the amount would look ridiculous. This is ideology gone mad. 

“Cllr Green is way out of his depth in this crisis. It is painful to watch him dithering and floundering around trying to work out what to do. Given the scale of the financial challenge now facing the Council, courtesy of his government, we expected to see, at the least, a list of costed options for savings which would give the Council a good start towards reaching its target. 

‘Daily Post’ revelation: Debt Collector “bank-rolls” Wallasey Tories to the tune of £50,000

 26th March 2010         

In a devastating news story the ‘Liverpool Daily Post’ reports that Wallasey Tories have allegedly received £50,000 from a local debt collector.          


Adrian says: "Oily Tory words on glossy paper are less than people are entitled to expect. I think people will understand that distortions even on the prettiest paper are still distortions. We may use local printers and plain paper but our postbag tells us that people like plain words on plain paper. The Tories may slide along on gloss but that's not our way."




Tories have 'lotsa cash' for glossy leaflets


When Seacombe residents see the HUGELY expensive glossy leaflets the Tories have been able to afford for a long time they may have wondered why Seacombe Labour Party does not reply with a constant stream of similar costly glossies.          

 The answer is simple.  We represent the working people who live in Seacombe, Poulton, Somerville and Egremont.  We get most of our funding from the people who live in our ward.  We have taken no money from debt collecters or from big businesses!          

And before the Tory propaganda machine alleges differently, Seacombe Labour Party has not asked for, nor received, a single penny from any trade union.  Every penny we have for leaflets comes from individual members and from our own fund raising evenings. Our (mostly plain black and white) newsletters are either produced ourselves or, mostly, by a local printer.    We may produce a glossy at the end of the campaign – if we can afford it – but we do not share the Tories’ ways of getting funded.      

But we do believe the words on the paper are more important than the glossiness of the paper they are printed on.        

So what is the Trade union link with LABOUR?         

The Tories do their best to give the impression that there are two equal sides in which trade unions are comparable to the big businesses that support their party.  Their subtle propaganda leaves the impression that trade unions are themselves akin to businesses.          

They are not; the unions are organisations set up to defend working conditions for ordinary people and to secure representation for them.  Their link with LABOUR is quite simply that they helped create the Labour Party.        

But Tory propaganda still tries to suggest that trade unions in some way bank-roll Labour in the way millionaire business men bank-roll the Conservative party.  The trade unions established the Labour Party precisely because there was no other party to represent working people.  The Tories and Liberals had always supported and represented the interests of big business and land owners.  Has anything changed?         

When the vast majority of the population had no party to support them, in Parliament or on local Councils,  it was the trade unions, co-operative societies, Christian organisations, and Socialist societies that gradually became the foundation from which the Labour Party was born.    When individual trade union members contribute to their union’s political fund they do so because the Labour Party, that they created, is theirs.          

No trade unionist pays a penny who does not want to – any member can opt out. But as well as trade unionists we have huge numbers of ordinary people who are not in trade unions (eg retired people, small business owners, students, etc)  but join because they want to be a part of the Party that created the National Health Service; the minimum wage; Sure Start; and most of the progressive legislation that still exists.          

Those with memories of the Thatcher and Major Tory governments never want to go back to the dark days of mass unemployment under the Tory Party that opposed all of this.  The very word ‘Conservative’ suggests the politics of fossils ‘to stay the same’.    

They say they want change, but they do not say what the changes would be.  We suspect that turning the clock back to the dreadful conditions under previous Tory Governments is what they would like to ‘conserve’.         And when their leader David Cameron already has fourteen millionaires in his shadow cabinet do the working people of Seacombe have any doubts about whose interests the Tory Party will champion?   

If YOU might wish to join the Labour Party why not get in touch?        

Liscard Hall lost forever

Jan 8 2010 – re an article by Liam Murphy, Liverpool Daily Post

Fire engine at Liscard Hall after the arson attack

Fire engine at Liscard Hall after the arson attack

Today’s Liverpool Daily Post runs an article about the decision to grass over the site formerly occupied by Liscard Hall, in Seacombe’s Central Park, following an insurance payment of £117,810 after its demolition.   This magnificent building was torched by arsonists who were able to get in because the security measures in place failed to keep them out.

Readers will recall how local Liscard Tory Councillor Leah Fraser rushed to her pen, scratching off a litany of questions for the Liberal Cabinet Member, Cllr Simon  Holbrook.  She demanded to know what measures he had taken to ensure the Hall’s safety from fire, from vandals, etc etc.   It looked really bad that this seemed not to have been done – but that turned to acute embarrasment when Labour reminded Cllr Fraser that she personally chaired the very Council committee with responsibility for Council owned buildings.  

We asked her whether she had initiated any of those safety precautions she rattled off at Cllr Holbrook.  The Hall was, after all, lost on her watch.  Surprise, surprise, she has never given an explanation of why she did none of the things she demanded of somebody else.  Had she just forgotten that she had that responsibility?  We would love an answer.

Readers will recall that when the Hall first became available her priority seemed to be to gift it to a private school on a peppercorn rent of £1 a year.  That caused a storm of local protest from the people who actually use the Park and wanted it for community use.

Meanwhile it seems like characteristic Tory spin when she is quoted in the ‘Post’ as saying:

“What a shame that it took the destruction of the building to make the council sit up and take notice.”

Seems puzzled about something here.

Seems puzzled about something here.

Err …  Has she forgotten that she is a Member of that Council, which she condemns as though it is something she has nothing to do with?

Err … Has she forgotten that she led the very committee of that Council with responsibility for Council owned buildings?  (Before she chaired it she was the Tory Party Spokesperson.)

Err … What was she doing all that time?