Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Speke Garston byelection

We have had some cracking days in Speke Garston, campaigning for the byelection on March 8th. It warms your heart to see a dozen campaigners strung out along a road, all engaged in chatting to voters on their doorsteps.

Nobody knows why the LibDems chose to call a byelection in a ward they lost last year with a massive swing to Labour, not when it is only 8 weeks before the ordinary annual election in the same ward. We can only assume they think it might divert us from the work in our target wards. Either that or they are just desperate and frightened and think maybe they might hold on to one of their Speke Garston councillors if each faces the electorate separately.

They have no chance whatsoever if our canvassing records are anything to go by. Not only is our 1000 vote majority holding up but those voters who did vote LibDem last May are telling us they regret it and wont be doing it again. Local people tell me that the LibDems have done so much damage with their lies about the police station in Garston being threatened with closure. The police aren't exactly thrilled either.

But I think it is more than that. I couldn't believe the state of Garston when I went down there for my first fact-finding visit. I knew Kensington was in dire need of regeneration and rejuvenation but it appears it is not alone. There were boarded up houses, falling down pubs, derelict plots, waste grounds, graffitti, dog muck, no shops, nothing.

Two weeks ago I counted 29 survey returns in particular that said "the best thing about living in Garston is the neighbours/local people". While that is a lovely thing for people to think and feel about each other, what a terrible indictment of the state of the place otherwise. Years of LibDem representation and what do you get? total blight. I think the public can see the pattern clearly now and they dont like what they see.

What I genuinely cannot understand is why the councillors are not fighting for change, for improvement, pushing and making lots of noise, making it clear how bad things have become and what they want and need for their residents. Do they not notice? Do they not care? Doesn't anyone on their own front benches listen to them? What is the point of being in power if you dont take the opportunity to lift your own residents out of the terrible conditions in which they find themselves?

People talk about "fur coat and no knickers", well that is the LibDems in Liverpool in my view. Flashy city centre plans, big events, big fireworks, a skyline full of cranes, glitz and glamour. But in some of the outskirts, Kensington L6, Garston, Everton, Anfield, those sort of places, it is dirty, scruffy, neglected and decaying and they dont give a toss. Underneath, in other words, it is a very different picture.

Incidentally if there are any Labour activists from elsewhere who can get to us on polling day, we would love to see you, there are so many Labour promises to get out, we will need a big team to get round them all. Get in touch.


Anonymous said...

I notice that most of the areas you single out as 'dirty' scruffy, neglected and decaying' are represented by Labour councillors and have been for years. Who has been guilty of neglect then?

LouiseB31 said...

Ah, someone rewriting the history books, always good to see.

Let's look at the "most of the areas" to which you refer...

Anfield is represented by LibDems. The sitting councillor is not standing again, probably couldnt bear it any more, having to sit with that lot in the town hall, he is one of several Libdems chucking the towel in this year actually.

Ironically the new candidate is the LibDem who had been on the council in Kensington for 19 years before I beat him in May. They wont want to vote for him in Anfield any more than they did in Kensington, believe me.

On the day I beat him he and his LibDem mates had clocked up 60 years between them representing the area. So Kensington has had a Labour Councillor only since May - and boy are things looking up already.

Then we have Garston - another area represented by LibDems for years, our first Labour Councillor was also elected there only last year.

Only Everton on my list of shameful places has Labour councillors and it is in the middle of a massive regeneration programme, they have knocked the old poor housing stock down, now we are looking at plans for the new developments that will start the transformation.

For the moment though it is in the doldrums, like much of the rest of the city

And yes, the city is run by the LibDems too, did I forget to say that?

You can be angry about the rise of Labour in Liverpool if you dont support our party, but you cannot pretend that the LibDems are not neglectful in their own wards, the facts speak for themselves and so will the electorate in May.

Anonymous said...

And L6????

I haven't lived in Liverpool for some years, but I seem to remember that Kensington had several times elected Labour councillors - but not many of them for too long, eh!

When the city was last run by the Labour Party it was an absolute basket case. What has been done there since is an absolute miracle - particularly in the face of a Labour Government. Or had you conveniently forgotten that, in the chase for Middle England, Blair and his apologists have been making sure not to upset to many C1s.

Good luck in your push to take control of the Council in May. If only the campaign was just that decade or two longer!

LouiseB31 said...

It is blindingly obvious that you have not lived in Liverpool for some years, given that you keep getting it all so wrong.

Until last year Kensington had seen nearly 60 years (combined) of LibDems. Labour must have lost their last councillor in 1998 by my reckoning. Cllr Doran has done 31 years, Ex Cllr Kendrick who I beat last year had 19 years and Cllr Marbrow I think I am right in saying has done 9 years this year, all as LibDems.

L6 is Kensington, and I dont know where else, Everton or Anfield, but I already told you about them.

The Labour Government has put millions into regeneration in Liverpool. £60mill over 10 years will be going through Kensington New Deal, we are at year 7 now. The Neighbourhood Renewal Fund is about £30mill this year and I think is meant to be annual - still learning about funding really. The alleygating was paid for by the government. HMRI is a government scheme.

The Labour government is doing its bit.

And the Duke of Westminster is, one assumes, paying for the city centre development - Grosvenor.

What I cannot do is point towards the LibDems doing any renewing.

I cannot point either to them doing any street cleaning or clearing up fly tipping either, not in my patch. Molyneux has one man and a hand-cart to cover the whole area, hardly good enough.

As I said in my post initially, the LibDems are resonsible for the blight, decay and dirt in much of the city.

I talked about the neglect of L6 at neighbourhood committee last night and there were no dissenters.

Probably best if you do your homework next time.

Anonymous said...

what about Liverpool 8?

LouiseB31 said...

What about it?

I dont know what you are asking me. What kind of state of repair is it in, or who represents it? Which part? It is a big place.

Instead of asking me to alert you to the current situation in Liverpool, why dont you come over and I will show you round. You can help us deliver some leaflets in Speke to make up for your error and demonstrate your humility.