Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 - A reflection

It’s December 31st 2010, time for a moment of reflection.


What were the best and the worst moments of my year (or at least those parts that are suitable for public consumption anyway, nothing intensely personal, don’t panic!)

Best

1. 2949 and 62.05% - the number of votes I received in the May 2010 local elections upon my re-election to the wonderful ward of Kensington and Fairfield in Liverpool and the share of the vote that represents. 13% - the size of the swing from LibDem to Labour. Nothing has given me as much joy as seeing those votes piling up and realising that the voters and I were thoroughly sealing our ongoing pact with each other.

2. Labour taking power in Liverpool after 12 years in opposition.

3. Luciana Berger winning Liverpool Wavertree by a big margin – and then becoming a Shadow Minister. And Stephen Twigg winning Liverpool West Derby and also becoming a Shadow Minister.

4. £494,000 the size of the Heritage Lottery Fund bid we secured for the restoration of Deane Road Jewish Cemetery.

5. Being elected the Chair of Labour North West Region

6. The first official Liverpool Pride (although of course there were others in previous decades, but none that came with the support of the council, police, fire service etc in the past)

7. Kensington Remembers 2010 – six events bringing people together from across Liverpool to commemorate the holocaust, genocide and man’s inhumanity to man, in a positive and fulfilling way.

8. Venture Housing Association gaining a star from the Audit Commission

9. Edge Lane finally sees progress in terms of both the boarded up houses and the retail park

10. My brother Robert graduated from Cambridge University with BA MSci

11. Saul and Leanne’s wedding

12. Councillor Stephanie Till elected in Croxteth, go girl!

13. New Fire Station opened on Beech Street, Fairfield

14. Ian Jobling defected to Labour

Worst

1. Labour losing the General Election

2. Karen Harold RIP

3. BSF scrapped for former Littlewoods Building for St Hildas and ArchBishop Blanch

4. Councillor Rose Bailey RIP

5. Martin Pinder and Alan Kelly and Maria Curran and Cath Taylor move on, leaving a void in Kensington and Fairfield.

6. Demolition of lovely houses on Prescot Drive and Prescot Road, one of those “tough decisions” that politicians ordinarily seem to thrive on, but just made me weep.

7. The snow in January

8. The snow in November

9. The snow in December

10. Errr, there is no tenth thing

Here’s to 2011!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

New Carbon Monoxide campaign in Liverpool - and a radio advert


















I was proud to be asked to do a voiceover for an advert to be played on Radio City about Carbon Monoxide awareness.

Currently being played on the radio, the link can be found here  (go to the bottom of the page)

The campaign is being run by the Healthy Homes team at Liverpool City Council in conjunction with the PCT. Several people have contacted me to say they heard my voice coming out of their radio, one friend said it was "weird" to  hear me on an advert rather than commenting on a news item, but as long as it gets the message across then a bit of weirdness is perfectly acceptable.

Do be safe this winter, an audible alarm can cost as little as £15. Make it your Christmas present to yourself and your family.

Debbie Abrahams to fight Oldham East and Saddleworth for Labour

I realise this is not exactly news, but I had posted about the search for a candidate earlier so I ought to comment on the outcome.

I am absolutely delighted of course.

Debbie was the Parliamentary Candidate for Labour in the neighbouring seat of Colne Valley in May, and although she did not win, she was an extremely good candidate. Readers may be aware that I lived in the Colne Valley until 2004 (and was their LP campaign organiser from 1996 - 1999) and I know how Debbie won the respect of the local party for the way she conducted herself and her campaign. She is a highly respected academic with huge experience in Health and is professional, articulate, energetic, passionate and very bright. She lives locally and understands local concerns and issues. She will be a wonderful addition to Parliament if successful, I think the good people of Oldham East and Saddleworth can already see that and I look forward to seeing her on the Commons benches very soon.

(Photo from the Huddersfield Daily Examiner)


Election day will be January 13th, see you on the (very cold) stump!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Heritage Lottery Fund award to restore Deane Road Jewish Cemetery


Photo: Luciana Berger MP, patron of the cemetery, Ruth Webster, former Groundworks Trust who took the initial steps in the restoration process back in 2002, Bill Maynard of the HLF NW Committee, Saul Marks and Councilor Louise Baldock of the Deane Road Cemetery Committee


The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded £494,000 to support the restoration and conservation of Deane Road Jewish Cemetery

The project will focus on the full restoration of the important historic cemetery features, including re-erecting fallen gravestones and the ornate listed archway - on which is inscribed "Here the weary are at rest".

The funding will ensure that the cemetery is fully accessible and can be opened to the public. This will include a new landscaping scheme with safe and accessible paths around the cemetery, a seating area for contemplation and a new building for used by visitors and volunteers.

Saul Marks of the Deane Road Cemetery Committee said

"We are absolutely thrilled with the news. This cemetery is a wonderful historical gem within the city and it deserves to be appreciated by as wide an audience as possible. The Heritage Lottery Fund has finally made our long-standing dream possible and we are really excited about at last being able to restore the cemetery to its former glory."

Sara Hilton, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, said

"It is wonderful that we are able to support the vital restoration of Deane Road Jewish Cemetery. As a final resting play for some of Victorian Liverpool's most influential figures, it has huge significance to the local community, whilst the architectural features, such as the archway and tombstones, are important examples of the skilled stonemasonary of the era. By getting volunteers involved in the restoration, and opening up the cemetery to the visitors, more people will have the chance to learn about and explore the cemetery's fascinating history."

Deane Road Jewish Cemetery is the final resting place of many important Victorian Liverpool Jews like David Lewis of Lewis's store fame and the family of H Samuel (Jewellers). Charles Mozley, first Jewish Mayor of Liverpool and Dr Sigismund Lewis, pioneer of programmes of school vaccinations in the city and doctor to the Cunard Line are also buried here.

Over 1700 people were laid to rest in the Deane Road cemetery between 1837 and 1904, with a few reserved plots being filled later, up until 1929. After the cemetery was closed, a new one was created in Broadgreen.

In subsequent years, Deane Road Jewish Cemetery has became heavily overgrown, with trees and shrubs growing wild, the walls were breached in places and an accumulation of rubbish grew up. These plans for restoration will see the cemetery refurbished and renewed and will allow it to take its rightful place on the Heritage trail.

Councillor Louise Baldock, in whose Kensington and Fairfield ward the cemetery is located, has been a key member of the committee since 2007 and co-ordinated the HLF lottery bid. She said

"Today is a very special day for us all. We have spent nearly 4 years working towards this wonderful news. With the help and support of the Jewish community, local people, schools, organisations, agencies and partners we have kept the dream alive that one day we could be in a position to fully restore our beloved cemetery. With this lottery funding, the hidden gem that is Deane Road Jewish Cemetery will now be able to play its full part in the story of Liverpool's history."

Deane Road Cemetery website
BBC Coverage

Fee free cash machine for Kensington and Fairfield at last!

Great news! It is finally sorted!

My press release is below and we got a little bit of coverage in the Echo today

A fee free cash machine is finally coming to the Kensington and Fairfield area after a five year campaign.

Luciana Berger MP and local Labour Councillor Louise Baldock were celebrating today at the news that a new Tesco Express store, due to be opened in the new district centre on Prescot Road, Fairfield very soon, will be supporting a fee free cash machine.

Louise Baldock said “It is five years this month since our campaign was launched for a fee free cash machine for Kensington and Fairfield. Five long years in an area with no banks, where local people have had to pay £1.75 each time they take their own cash from one of many machines in our area. People on low incomes often wish only to withdraw £10 or £20 at a time, and are paying between 9-18% in charges. This new fee-free machine in the heart of the ward is extremely welcome and I know it will make a huge difference to people’s budgets and house-keeping.”

Luciana Berger MP said “We have been in discussions with Tesco about the vital importance of fee free cash machines for local people and I am absolutely delighted that they have agreed to provide this wonderful facility in their new store. My mailbag has been full with letters from residents in the Kensington and Fairfield area, desperate for the same advantages that others enjoy. And as a local resident myself, I know what a difference this will make.”

Matt Magee, Corporate Affairs Manager at Tesco said “We pride ourselves in meeting the needs of the community and giving customers what they want. When we heard about the need for a free cash machine we just had to put one in. When it opens, the store will create around 20 new jobs and will bring great value, fresh food to the area.”

ENDS

Notes to the Editor

1. Every survey that the Labour Party has carried out in the area since November 2005 has highlighted the need for a fee free cash machine
2. The last bank (Midland I think, did that become HSBC?) closed on Kensington in around 2005, it is now the New Holt pub
3. There is a fee free machine at the petrol station in front of the Devonshire House Hotel on Edge Lane but that is not suitable for footfall
4. Every “Your Community Matters” event over the last two years has raised the need for a fee free cash machine
5. Machines in the area currently charge from £1.70 to £1.80 per transaction, there are at least a dozen, mainly in off-licences and newsagents and corner shops
6. Councillor Baldock has previously contacted several banks and several stores in a bid to persuade them of the need to fit one, we even had a promise of a fee free machine from a firm who usually charge for transactions, as a gesture of goodwill under their CSR policy, but we could not find a store willing to take one – they enjoy commission from fee paying machines.




Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas cake recipe

Ingredients:


* 2 cups flour
* 250gms butter
* 1 cup water
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 1 tsp salt
* 1 cup brown sugar
* Lemon juice
* 4 large eggs
* Nuts
* 2 bottles wine
* 2 cups dried fruit

Sample the wine to check quality. Take a large bowl, check the wine
again. To be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and
drink. Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a
large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar. Beat again. At this point
it's best to make sure the wine is still OK. Try another cup... Just in
case. Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 eggs and add to the bowl and
chuck in the cup of dried fruit.

Pick the freakin fruit up off floor. Mix on the turner.. If the fried
druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver.
Sample the wine to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift two cups of salt.
Or something. Check the wine. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your
nuts. Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or some fink. Whatever you
can find. Greash the oven. Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to
fall over. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Finally, throw the bowl
through the window. Finish the wine and wipe counter with the cat.
Take a taxi to Tesco and buy cake.

Bingle Jells

Friday, December 17, 2010

Heritage Lottery Fund say yes to Deane Road Jewish Cemetery "Good cause"

I have a proper press release to put up here over the weekend, hopefully with more photographs, but just to pre-empt my own publicity as it were, I wanted you to know that the wonderful people at the HLF said "Yes" to our bid for £494,000 to fully restore our beloved cemetery and build a small visitor's centre.

I have sat on the news for nearly a fortnight, bursting to tell you, but it was embargoed until today.   Truly fantastic news!


Here is the news as reported by the Jewish Telegraph. Go to News and then to Liverpool

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Senior LibDem on tuition fees - "not only divided but clueless"

Interesting (leaked) note from Chris Davies MEP, Liberal Democrat, North West England, to LibDem members in his area. Edit: It is a precis of his  blog article, so he meant you to read it. Hard to believe isn't it?

TUITION FEES: THIS IS NO TIME TO ABSTAIN

Splits weaken parties, and sometimes destroy them. The reputation of the Liberal Democrat brand is being undermined with each passing hour as the impression grows stronger that on the issue of tuition fees we are not only divided but clueless.

The case for supporting the recommendations of the Browne inquiry is strong, and if I were in the Commons I would be voting with Nick. The real damage to the party comes not from our adjusting course to take account of changed conditions, nor from rebellion by backbenchers on grounds of individual conscience, but from the impression we are now giving of being all over the place.

Some Liberal Democrats will vote for the recommendations, some against. Some want to defer the vote, others want to abstain. In short, we are creating the impression not just of being weak, but of being a joke.

I would rather us have a reputation for being tough (but fair) bastards than for being indecisive. (Note to self, Editor)

Liberal Democrat MPs must now decide how to vote. If they want to limit the damage there should be only two options for them to consider . Either they vote for the recommendations, recognising that they provide funding for higher education in a progressive manner that protects those on lowest incomes, or they vote against on grounds of individual conscience.

There are times when an abstention is an honourable third option. This is not one of them.

Chris Davies MEP
8 December 2010

Monday, December 06, 2010

Seeking Labour Parliamentary candidate for Oldham East and Saddleworth

Note to all Labour Party members:

There will soon be a Westminster Parliamentary By-election in the Oldham East and Saddleworth Constituency. The date has yet to be announced but the Labour Party now wishes to select a candidate as soon as possible to contest this seat.


Applications may now be received from aspiring candidates. These should be in the form of a standard two page CV available from the members area of the national website at http://members.labour.org.uk/national_parliamentary_panel

CVs should be emailed to OES@new.labour.org.uk

The closing date for receipt of CVs is 6pm on Wednesday 8 December. Any candidates invited for shortlisting interview must be available for interview in London on Friday 10 December.

Shortlisted candidates must be able to attend a selection meeting of members of the Oldham East and Saddleworth Constituency Party which will take place in the constituency on the afternoon of Sunday 12 December.

Photo: Horse on Saddleworth Moor, one of at least two in the race perhaps?

Sunday, December 05, 2010

News from Andrew and Gwen Monk, fundraising for MS

Those of you who walked a mile for MS or sponsored us, please see the latest update from Andrew and Gwen. And I am sure like me, you will all be sending them your best wishes..
 
Dear Councillor Baldock,


After completing 2,000 miles of our sponsored walk to every newspaper office and radio station in England we have had to postpone it temporarily. This year has been a particularly bad year for Gwen who has had MS now for 18 years, and she is just too poorly for us to go on.

But we have hopes that her symptoms will be alleviated by an operation she is having this month in Edinburgh, and that we will be back on track at the beginning of next year.

An Italian Doctor, Dr. Zamboni, has found that MS may well be caused by a narrowing of the main veins in the neck, dubbed CCSVI. Gwen had a scan in July which found that she does indeed have this narrowing of
the Jugular veins on both sides of her neck, and she is heading up to Edinburgh later this month to have a simple angioplasty procedure which will correct this narrowing and hopefully put her back on the road to recovery. The one sticking point at the moment is that we are struggling to raise the £5,500 pounds to pay for the procedure. It is not available on the NHS.

The reports we have heard from other people about their amazing recoveries after the procedure sound too good to be true, but our hopes are high.

In the meantime, to continue the fundraising for The Myelin Project, I have produced a CD called the Northern Word which features 11 tracks from bands from around the North of England, and I am in the process of photographing MPs and horse riders for two new calendars.

Thank you once again for the support that you gave us during our sponsored walk and I will let you know how everything goes in Edinburgh.

Kindest regards
Andrew
Email: andrewmonk@walkamile.co.uk
web: www.walkamile.co.uk

Further update: We have raised the money for Gwen's op. and we are heading up to Edinburgh tomorrow, Tuesday. The op. is on Friday all being well, and we will be back home on Monday after the post op.

Please do put the email on your website, we'd really appreciate it.
Will let you know how things go in Edinburgh.
Gwen sends her love, and love from me too.
Andrew

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Christmas, Florida style

Some years ago I spent Christmas in Florida visiting a friend and of course it was warm and sunny and a very different climate. I took a couple of photographs I would like to share with you.


Ponsettias growing in the ground in Leu Gardens, Orlando




Life size nativity in a front garden, Orlando



Christmas lights on homes, Orlando style... we found these by going on to the local newspaper website where they were all listed, and then drove out to see them.

Or perhaps you would prefer a Victorian Christmas?

Christmas Carol Service - celebrating British, Polish and Hungarian festivities

Friday, December 03, 2010

Kensington and Fairfield - your good health!

Just a quick note to update you with some important news.

I was at a councillors' briefing earlier this week when I heard the good news that the proposed health centre, planned for the corner of Holt Road/Edge Lane, will be going ahead.

I had feared since the coalition Government came to power in May, and since they slashed most capital spending (that is spending on buildings in the main), and since they plan to scrap the PCT, that our new health centre was likely to be pulled.

But Liverpool Vision staff told me that it is still on track and that (yet another, another, another) consultation is due to begin any day, asking local people what services they would like to see delivered at this new health centre in Kensington.

You will know that one of our GP services is currently operating out of a temporary facility at the back of the library (on the reservoir site), this is to be moved to the new health centre, accessed from the rear corner of the reservoir site, and will hopefully be joined by the GPs currently operating on Clint Road.

Local people will be asked what else they would like to see there, so perhaps people will want a diabetes nurse, or a choropodist, or blood-taking services and will offer this up. There is of course no guarantee that the wish list will be honoured and I do wonder at the reason for yet another round of consultation, I remember the first round in 2006 for instance, but I am told they must do this again as the population and the need may have changed.

Anyway, whatever services end up at the health centre, what is the best news, clearly, is that the new health centre is still going to happen.

Your good health!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Louise Baldock's Blog - banned in China

Councillor Nick Small was in Shanghai recently at the Expo, doing his bit to promote the city of Liverpool to potential investors. Catching up on the news from home in his hotel room between shifts, he was perusing all his favourite Liverpool sites, when he tried to access this blog. Imagine his surprise (and mine, when he told me...), but this blog is banned in China!

I really don't see myself as an enemy of the state, in fact I would think my only references to China would relate to Clarice Cliff rather than the Red Army, but who knows what is counted as seditious over there?

It made me laugh anyway (and before you ask, apparently Dale Street Blues is quite acceptable)

Official opening of Kensington District Centre (we still dont have a better name for it...)

Luciana and I braved the cold and the smattering of snow today to attend the official opening of the Kensington District Centre (that is the development of shops and flats on the site of the old Icerink).

We were in the company of CTP Ltd, the developers who hosted the opening, along with their architects and their builders, Allenbuild, Riverside Housing Association who have named their top quality residential scheme "Prescot Court", representatives of Kensington Regeneration and the new CIC who succeed the New Deal, representatives from the new shops and local residents from neighbouring streets.

I can tell you that the canapes were wonderful, perfectly suited to the freezing conditions, small glasses of warm potato soup, tiny little yorkshire puddings with a minced beef filling, bitesize crumpets with cheese, tiny salmon rolls, and warm mulled wine to cup your hands round. (Nick enjoys reading about the food and I don't like to disappoint him). Well done to the caterers, whoever you were! You not only prepared lovely stuff, some of it in the dark, when the lights went out, but you determinedly carried it across a very slippy pavement to bring it out to us.

I was very impressed with the new public courtyard that you can walk into through a gap between Iceland and the villa. The latter having been beautifully restored and now housing 4 most fabulous flats.

During a speech cut short by necessity, it being sub-zero, the developer told us that Tesco Express would be taking the two units next to Iceland and that two further are currently under offer at the Lister Road end of the development. So with Greggs and Barnardos now fitting their two units, only one small unit currently remains untenanted. I would think it will be snapped up, as this is going to be a very successful little shopping scheme. It's all good news.

Of course I know that many local people were deeply disappointed that our promised One-Stop Shop has not materialised, nor the community cafe or other things we were promised in years gone by, and yes we would have loved a new icerink and yes we would have loved a new community centre, but as they were not on the cards, it would be churlish of me not to recognise that although we did not get everything we wanted, what we do have is very fine and will enhance the area.

(Photo: Opening of Iceland store in August)







CTP also announced that funding had been found to develop phase two of the site earlier than expected, that is the land directly behind the Lister pub, and that plans will be submitted shortly for 18 family homes. Further good news for the area as the empty plots start to be brought into valuable use. And hopefully also good news for the people of Lister Crescent who are keen to see a resolution to their interest in taking over a tiny little strip of land that runs between their houses and this empty plot. This could bring their hopes into reality very much more quickly.

Now we just have to get the old market site sorted and a whole stretch of Prescot Road will be transformed. With plans for Mr Gubay's Edge Lane development now at decision stage, Kensington and Fairfield residents are ready to enjoy once again living somewhere people like to shop.

There is further good news about our battle for a fee free cash machine but I don't want to preempt my own press release so I shall leave you tantalised about that for a wee bit longer.

I didn't take any photos today although there was an official photographer so I expect one will surface in due course...

Official opening of the new Kensington Community Fire Station (in Fairfield)

I was delighted this afternoon to be at the opening of the new Kensington Community Fire Station on Beech Street. (Technically it is in Fairfield, as it is to the East of Beech Street, rather than the West, but we wont split hairs, it replaces the old Kensington Fire Station at Low Hill so it makes sense to keep the name).

The new Fire Station is a wonderful building and the gathered guests were thrilled with everything they saw. Opened officially by HRH Duchess of Gloucester (who looked very trim in a lovely purple coat for those royalists amongst you, I don't have a photo unfortunately but you may take my word for it), other guests included the Chair and members of the Fire Authority, Senior Fire Service brass, the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside who was on top form today, great fun as always, representatives from KNDC, local and divisional fire fighters, local residents and a few children of fire fighters who got to play on the appliances later,  as a reward for handing the bouquet over and not being tempted to hold on to it determinedly.

I was particularly interested to see the community space, we had always been under the impression that the community were being offered "a room" but I can report that in fact it is an entire floor, with most impressive facilities (see the three photos below) and a gymnasium (the equipment for which is still being gathered so I did not take a photo of it). Local people/organisations wishing to make use of the facilities need to contact the station to talk about bookings. We dont have a community centre in our area and we are always keen to locate new places where we can hold meetings, I think this will be a resounding success.






I did take the time to talk to some of the local firefighters stationed at the new place and asked in particular how they were managing the traffic and the road formation when they head out on emergencies. I was relieved to hear that no problems have yet been experienced, I was concerned about all the traffic parked along Beech Street, but they said it was okay and apparently they can switch over the traffic lights on Prescot Road/Kensington to enable a swift exit. They all seemed very pleased with their home.
So it is a win-win all round.





Congratulations and well done Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, you have done Kensington and Fairfield proud!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Police acting on local intelligence in drug busts in Kensington

Some good news for local people this week in Kensington from our local police sergeant who always keeps us updated with their work.

Following Community Intelligence police entered an address on Sheil Road, L6. There they found a number of addicts and a male supplying drugs. Approximately 30 wraps were found and a male was arrested. He has been bailed while the drugs are sent away for analysis.

Following community intelligence police executed a Misuse of Drugs Act Warrant in Berwick St, L6 and recovered a small cannabis farm. Two people were arrested and charged with cultivation of cannabis and abstracting electricity.

They have asked that if any local people have any information, to let them know and they will deal with it as expeditiously as they can. You can also come directly to your councillors if you would prefer.

The good relationships that people in Kensington and Fairfield have developed with the police, particularly through the Community Safety and As One Task Group is really bearing fruit now. Thanks to the public-spirited residents for coming forward and the police for acting on local concerns and tip-offs.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Ernest Brown Junior Instructional Centre - 70th Anniversary Memorial service





Around midnight on the night of 28th November 1940, a German plane dropped its cargo of bombs onto Edge Hill in Liverpool, targetting the railway station, lines and sidings. Liverpool was one of the main ports in the UK which received equipment vital for the war effort and it was a continuous target for the Nazis.

One of the parachute mines landed on a 3 storey school/college, the Ernest Brown Junior Instructional Centre on Durning Road, Edge Hill, L7. It was closed of course because it was in the middle of the night, but in the basement was a shelter, used by many local people from the Edge Hill area. It was the boiler room, chosen because it had a reinforced ceiling with metal girders running across it. It would be a safe enough place if bombs fell nearby, but it could not withstand a direct hit.

The bomb brought the whole building crashing down, rubble and debris falling on the 300 people sheltering there. Men, women and children, the youngest a 5week old baby, mothers, fathers, grandparents, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles. The boilers burst with the impact,  the furnace exploded, flames and scalding water inflicting horrifying damage and killing many whom the initial impact had spared.

It took two days to pull the bodies out of the shelter, in the end, with fear of disease rampant, the body parts that had not been recovered were covered with lime and the basement was sealed. The police believed that 160 people were recognised as having been killed on this terrible night, but it was obvious to everyone that there were those who were never named or identified and the true count will never be known. The Fire Service are reported to have believed the number of dead was nearer to 180. There are 150 names on the memorial, whole families who perished together.

This horrific event devastated the community. Had the full story been told in the newspapers at the time, the authorities worried about the impact that it would have on British morale and so the details were not made public until many years later. Winston Churchill later called it "the worst single (civilian) incident of the war".

Picton Labour Councillor Tim Beaumont, member of Kensington Remembers, keen that this event should be remembered again following the 61st anniversary memorial when the full story was told publicly for the first time, contacted Reverend Mike Coates, in whose parish the tragedy occurred to ask him whether he would hold an ecumenical commemorative service. Tonight, on the 70th anniversary, several hundred people gathered at Kensington Junior School, Brae Street, 100 yards from the Ernest Brown Junior Instructional Centre to honour and remember the dead and their mourners.

We heard moving testimony from Molly O'Connoll of Fairfield who was a young teacher in 1940, describing how the schoolwork of the children in her school by the docks was regularly disturbed by air raids, they were eventually evacuated to North Wales. Stan Smart described how, as a young man, he and his family made the decision that night to shelter in Clint Road school, waving goodbye to their Uncle who was going to the Ernest Brown centre with a young neighbour looking for her own family to shelter with. Only his wristwatch, the leather strap perished by the scalding water, was ever identified.

The children of Kensington School choir sang beautifully for the congregation and the Kensington Methodist Girls Brigade read the names of the identified victims as a candle was lit.

After the moving ceremony we all moved into the school reception area to view the monument to the dead, moved from its former home at St Cyprian's Church and reconsecrated.

While we stood in front of the memorial, I spoke to an elderly gentleman who told me that he had been in the shelter when the mine fell. He was in there for a day and a half before he was rescued. He said his 17 year old brother was killed, having come to the shelter along with others when another one had been damaged nearby. I have since searched the list of names and wonder whether this was John James Phillips. He told me about having to walk over and among so many bodies as he was finally rescued.

Another resident, Audrey Smith of Elm Park Residents Association told me earlier this week that her father was part of the rescue and clean-up operation.

So many people in the congregation had stories to tell, either first hand or learned from relatives and friends.

I have found further information that you might find interesting on the following websites. Daily Mail covering the 61st memorial. Liverpool at war names the dead of this and other wartime losses in the city.
The BBCs coverage of tonight's event.

Kensington Remembers would like to thank the Press Office of Liverpool City Council for their help in publicising the event, Trinity Mirror for coverage in the Daily Post and Echo, ensuring that survivors, friends and relatives could come forward and take part in the service. We would like to thank all the churches in the area, Father Fitz, Rev Flip den Util, Rev Andrew Porter and of course Rev Mike Coates for their participation and organisation, the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Hazel Williams for attending on behalf of the people of the city, Kensington Junior School for hosting the service and allowing us to hear the beautiful school choir, Kensington Methodist Girls Brigade for their contribution, members of all congregations, the CofE music group and all those who came to pay their respects.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Liverpool City Council Winter Weather Preparations


Please see note received on Thursday afternoon, lots of good stuff in here, including the truth that of course you can legally clear the snow from your path, doh!

Firstly, despite some of the images you might have seen today of the snow affecting parts of the UK, at the time of writing to you, there have currently been no Met Office Weather Warnings issued for the Liverpool area (please see edited NW weather briefing below from our Public Weather Advisor). Forecasts show that the over next few days - although there will be below zero temperatures at night - that no snow is forecasted for the Merseyside area. We will as ever continue to monitor this situation and update you all accordingly should this situation change. For your information, however, Liverpool City Council has been making preparations for any potential adverse winter weather conditions or prolonged cold snap event, the key points are outlined below as follows: -






Gritting:

o 2000t held at Newton Road with 1000t call off contract with Salt Union giving greater resilience. However, the Cabinet Office’s ‘Salt Cell’, if invoked, may influence this call-off ability.

o Gritting routes have been reviewed to take into account strategic network, key transport nodes and critical infrastructure

o Gritting routes can be viewed on the LCC internet and Enterprise Liverpool websites

o Advice has been prepared for schools/building managers regarding clearing of pathways to/from buildings and PMU will act as a conduit for those wishing to procure grit salt etc. Should the need arise for additional resources to be diverted to Emergency Rest Centres; this can easily and quickly be carried out.

o ‘Safethaw’ pavement clearing equipment purchased plus 4000l of product for city centre pavement de-icing.

o Cemeteries & Crematoria have 30t salt in store at Springwood Crematorium

Communication with Staff & Public:

Myth busting advice has been issued by the Department for Transport in the form of the Snow Code. The Snow Code gives tips and guidance to the public on clearing snow and ice from the pavement themselves - text of which is shown below. The Snow Code the salient points of which have been copied and pasted below.

Severe & Extreme Weather Warnings above certain thresholds are now posted on Liverpool City Council's intranet and internet with a link to Met Office website

Receipt and dissemination mechanism for Severe and Extreme Weather warnings by Liverpool Direct (LDL) have been verified and additional familiarisation delivered to call centre team leaders by Met Office Regional Public Weather Advisor

The Emergency Planning Unit’s Let’s Get Ready Liverpool contains guidance and tips on how to prepare for winter weather and is available to download on the LCC internet site

Schools:

Children’s Services have introduced a Single Point Of Contact for reporting school closures and Out Of Hours contact details are held for all Head Teachers

PMU (I dont know what the PMU is sorry...) is to act as single point of contact for individual schools for procurement advice on salt supplies for them to order and use. Advice for schools will be placed on Ednet (intranet for all Liverpool schools)  in unison with the information on LCC intranet.

LCC Business Continuity:

Emergency Planning Unit to call tactical meetings of relevant Business Units when forecast predicts disruption to council services

Business Units have strengthened their Business Continuity Management plans in light of learning from last winter’s severe weather event and the related interruptions.

Please be assured that in the event the Met Office forecast should prove to be inaccurate, corporate arrangements are in place to respond accordingly.

Notes from the Met Office Forecast - Main Points:

1.) There are no major changes to the forecast across NW England for

Thursday and Friday - the much-heralded cold spell is now underway and looks set to last for the foreseeable future (i.e. at least in to the middle of next week). We have prepared revised graphics indicating the national snow risk for both the above days. These can be accessed on our website at the link below. Note that on both Thursday and Friday there is a low risk of some snow penetrating the region - the Pennine fringes on Thursday and then the western fringes on Friday. The Friday risk seems to be more focussed on Merseyside and west Cheshire during the afternoon and evening but it remains a low risk at this stage.


2.) The overall message for the region is for largely dry conditions
(Isolated snow showers) with widespread overnight frosts to predominate over the next 36 to 48 hours. As is so often in these cold spells it is the eastern half of the UK that cops most of the snow. This is certainly the case at the moment. Back on Monday I commented that the situation may get more complicated by the weekend with an increased risk of snow showers, probably biased more towards the Pennine fringes. That advice still holds but as yet there remains no firm detail on which, if any, areas are at greater risk from any significant snow. Come the weekend small scale weather features could quite easily generate some localised snowfall but such features are well nigh impossible to predict this far off.

3.) Further updates will be issued as and when appropriate. Perhaps the most important aspect to emphasise at the moment from a resilience standpoint is the forecast duration of this spell and the possible effects it may have on the more vulnerable sections of the community. To this end there are some useful links provided at the bottom of the above weblink.

SNOW CODE


There's no law stopping you from clearing snow and ice on the pavement outside your home or from public spaces. It's unlikely you'll be sued or held legally responsible for any injuries on the path if you have cleared it carefully. Follow the snow code when clearing snow and ice safely.


The snow code - tips on clearing snow and ice from pavements or public spaces


Prevent slips


Pay extra attention to clear snow and ice from steps and steep pathways - you might need to use more salt on these areas.


If you clear snow and ice yourself, be careful - don’t make the pathways more dangerous by causing them to refreeze. But don’t be put off clearing paths because you’re afraid someone will get injured.


Remember, people walking on snow and ice have responsibility to be careful themselves. Follow the advice below to make sure you clear the pathway safely and effectively.


Clear the snow or ice early in the day


It’s easier to move fresh, loose snow rather than hard snow that has packed together from people walking on it. So if possible, start removing the snow and ice in the morning. If you remove the top layer of snow in the morning, any sunshine during the day will help melt any ice beneath. You can then cover the path with salt before nightfall to stop it refreezing overnight.


Use salt or sand - not water


If you use water to melt the snow, it may refreeze and turn to black ice. Black ice increases the risk of injuries as it is invisible and very slippery. You can prevent black ice by spreading some salt on the area you have cleared. You can use ordinary table or dishwasher salt - a tablespoon for each square metre you clear should work. Don’t use the salt found in salting bins - this will be needed to keep the roads clear.


Be careful not to spread salt on plants or grass as it may cause them damage.


If you don’t have enough salt, you can also use sand or ash. These won’t stop the path icing over as well as salt, but will provide good grip under foot.


Take care where you move the snow


When you’re shovelling snow, take care where you put it so it doesn’t block people’s paths or drains. Make sure you make a path down the middle of the area to be cleared first, so you have a clear surface to walk on. Then shovel the snow from the centre of the path to the sides.


Offer to clear your neighbours’ paths


If your neighbour will have difficulty getting in and out of their home, offer to clear snow and ice around their property as well. Check that any elderly or disabled neighbours are alright in the cold weather. If you’re worried about them, contact your local council.

As always, I am very happy to take any calls from any residents or businesses in Kensington or Fairfield who need any help or support.

Photo: Taken by Louise Baldock, January 2010, Liverpool

The state of Liverpool's public finances


You may find this information useful when trying to understand the state of the finances at Liverpool City Council and what we may and may not be able to do about it. The detail comes courtesy of Cllr Paul Brant, Deputy Leader of the Council and the Labour Group






Q1 When do we know the budget gap for next year
The Government announced the Departmental (i.e. Ministry) spending on 20th October in its budget. However individual Councils only get informed of their allocations several months later. The Government is making a number of changes to the funding formula which is used to distribute the money and it is likely that these changes and the increased level of cuts will significantly adversely affect Liverpool when our allocation is announced. We expect to know our grant income in about early December for the next financial year (2011/12). This gives us only a few weeks until we set the budget. This short period itself prevents us - and organisations which we fund - from properly planning for

Q2 What about the £120m gap we hear so much about?
Last January the Lib Dems Medium Term Financial Plan showed a gap between expected income and expected expenditure of £14m £53m, £30 and £29m totalling £124m for each of the following financial years. You will note that next year's gap of £53m is the biggest figure - this is because they shunted some of this years cuts into next year (to allow them to set a lower Council Tax last May). Labour inherited a big problem when we took control this year.

The above budget predictions assumed some of the central Government cuts (to the level of about 10% spending reductions). As we all know the Lib Dem /Tory Government plans build in 25% spending reductions over the rest of the parliament, so our budget gap will be significantly worse even if the cuts were spread evenly throughout the Country. So far the Government has cut funding streams which disproportionately hit Liverpool (BSF, HMRI, ABG), thus we can expect a significantly bigger gap to fill in the budget.

Finally, to make matters worse, the Government figures suggest they will frontload their cuts in the first 2 years of the next 4. To give you some idea of the scale of the problem, we get 70- 80% of our income from Government Grants which total about £600m, so even the £53m cut comprised a 9% cut in one year. Much of our expenditure is not really controllable by the Council (we are locked into contracts, or have statutory functions like child protection to discharge) so a much greater % cut to individual areas is inevitable. As we spend most of our money on staff, many fewer staff are likely to be employed in future years.

Q3 What do we know already about the Government imposed cuts on Liverpool for the next 4 years?
On a broad brush basis we can be confident that over the next 4 years we will have over £1billion of cuts to deal with. The following table shows how this is made up

£350m - Building Schools for the Future
£80m - Housing Market Renewal Initiative reduction - 4 yrs x £20m
£145m - Revenue cuts of 7.25% (nationally) applied to our £600m non-schools grant income over 4 years
£400m - Area Based Grant - abolished the whole £100m x 4 years
£ 278 m - Capital Grants 40% reduction in our grant of £174m (£194 m - £20m HMRI) x 4 years
£1. 25 bn

We may get some additional revenue to compensate for 1 and 4, but we are likely to lose more than envisaged in 3 and 5 (they are very prudent figures). Thus we look likely to have a loss significantly in excess of £1bn, the whole of the annual loss of budget for Scotland - which has of course received national attention!

Q4 Haven't we already closed the budget gap by taking tough decisions since we came into control in May?
Yes, significant and early steps were taken by us to tackle the financial situation as soon as we came into power in May. These include reducing Agency staff, spending on consultants, removing the bonuses for senior staff, managing vacancies and allowing voluntary severance. We have reduced the cost of running the Council by over £10m per year. However the budget set by the Lib Dems, which we inherited grossly underprovided for the cost of Adult Social and Child Protection placements by over £10m per year. We have thus been running to stand still since we came into power. We will almost certainly have to use the savings we have accrued to plug this under provision.

The Adult Care overspend is principally due two reasons. Firstly, an aging population who have greater needs for our services. Secondly, personalised budgets for individuals mean that whilst the Council provides facilities (Day care centres etc). the individuals often chose to spend their money elsewhere - hence we have the cost, but not the income to fund the service. We are in the process of rationalising the Day care centre provision but these processes take time and require proper consultation. The Lib Dems have known for years of the effect of these changes (many of our Day care centres were at 30-40% occupancy when we took control).

The Children's overspend is principally due to many more children being taken into care since Baby Peter. The Council does not have enough Foster Carers to place the children with, thus we are forced to place them with expensive private contractors. We are acting to try to increase the number of foster carers - including advertising on television along with other North West Councils. The increase of children in care was clearly evident in September of last year (long before the budget process was started). The Lib Dems failed to budget for the increased numbers.

Q6 Can't we just deal with the problem by setting an 'illegal' budget as the Liverpool Trades Council suggested?

Liverpool City Council gets about 80% of its income from Government. If we refused to set a budget for next year which matched our expenditure we would just run out of money in our bank account part way through the year, meaning that the Council would cease to function. In fact the City Treasurer and the District Auditor have a legal obligation to ensure that the Council remains solvent, and would issue statutory notices long before we ran of money (or if we tried to set an 'illegal' budget). These notices would inevitably lead to the Government taking over the running of the Council directly - i.e. the arch Thatcherite Tory, Eric Pickles would run Liverpool City Council. We know from past experience that a Tory Government has no hesitation using legal powers against Liverpool City Council.

Q7 Can't we just raise Council Tax to solve the problem?
The Government have made it very difficult. Firstly they have promised us the equivalent of 2.5% increase in grant if we freeze the Council Tax. We only get the money if we freeze the tax, thus if we want to raise an extra 1% of tax income, we would have to raise the Council Tax by 3.5%. Secondly they have said that there needs to be a referendum if a Council wants to raise Council Tax by a level they deem appropriate. It's not totally clear that this power will be enacted in time for the coming financial year, however, a similar referendum in the West Country some years ago led to the public voting to cut education spending and their Council Tax.

Even if we can put the Council Tax up, a 1% rise only raises about £1.7m, a drop in the ocean given the scale of the budget gap we face.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Croxteth byelection victory

A wonderful result in the Croxteth byelection, two new Labour councillors elected with big majorities and a swing to Labour. The outgoing councillors were the lovely Rose Bailey who sadly died earlier this year and LibDem Phil Moffat who has gone off to work with the DUP in NI.

Martin CUMMINS (The Labour Party Candidate) 1,447
Stephanie TILL (The Labour Party Candidate) 1,424
Mark Anthony COUGHLIN (Liberal Democrat) 611
Michael John MARNER (Liberal Democrat) 479
Kai ANDERSEN (Socialist Labour Party) 135
Peter TIERNEY (British National Party) 117
Barbara BRYAN (Socialist Labour Party) 70
Eleanor Edith PONTIN (Green Party) 63
Tony Stop-Mass-Immigration HAMMOND (UK Independence Party) 50
Paul Duane RIMMER (English Democrats "Putting England First") 35
Steven McELLENBOROUGH (English Democrats "Putting England First") 33
Norman COPPELL (Conservative Party) 31
Brenda COPPELL (Conservative Party) 29
Michael John LANE (UK Independence Party) 19

Lab 60.8%
L Dem 23.1%
BNP 5.0%
S Lab P 4.3%
GP 2.7%
UKIP 1.5%
ED 1.4%
C 1.3%

The Greens meant to field two candidates but there was a mix up with one of the sets of nomination forms.

A derisory vote for the Conservatives, as one of my FB friends said, they must come from big families and no solace for the ED or the BNP.

I am really looking forward to working with my mate Steph in particular who is a young mum and very enthusiastic about her local community. Well done everyone!

Deane Road Jewish Cemetery community clean up day

November 12th saw a really terrific turnout at the Deane Road Jewish Cemetery community clean up day. Huge numbers of people turned up to help from all sorts of organisations, Business in the Community, the Police, Riverside HA, and another one beginning with "A" who did a particularly good job, just need someone to remind me of their name so that I can thank them properly, and the contractors for Riverside HA, the probation service, the YOT,  council staff and all manner of wonderful and supportive volunteers. I am still waiting for the write-up and will post it up when I have that with full details of all of the participators. Thanks so much to everyone, you were terrific. It was nothing short of a miracle, the amount of work you all achieved.

But what I really wanted to do was share some of the wonderful photographs with you.
We are hosting a tour later this week for the HLF committee and then we wait with bated breath to learn the fate of our HLF bid early in December. This could be MASSIVE! Keep it all crossed for us.


The driveway smartened up and ready for planting




 A view of the portico and neat driveway




Miriam de Menasce tomb looking fabulous, following restoration



Hard at work!


Below, volunteers, watched by an excited Saul Marks, discover a grave we have never seen before, under the grass.


A garden in the alley, Fairfield





Fairfield, Liverpool, where local residents have made a wonderful job of "greening" their alley. In some other parts of the ward and indeed the city, many alleys are dirty, neglected, fouled and offer no real benefit to local people. This shining example of what local people can do with support and encouragement is to be applauded, it not only creates a beautiful little oasis for people in terraced houses to enjoy, but it also fosters community spirit, neighbourliness and pride.

I should point out that alleys in Liverpool have locked gates at either end so the only people with access are the residents themselves from their back gates.

Isn't it wonderful!

Polish Christmas Event with Merseyside Polonia

Christmas is our special time and we want to share it with you, our Liverpool family

Join us on St. Nicolas Day - Monday, 6th December
and find out more about Polish Christmas,
taste some traditional Christmas Eve dishes
and listen to Christmas Carols in Polish and English.

This year we invite special guests
the Hungarian Community
that will share with us their music and cuisine

Free entry

Monday, 6th December 2010, 6.30 pm - 9 pm
The Academy of St Francis of Assisi, Gardners Drive, Kensington, Liverpool L6 7UR

Please confirm your attendance by e-mail to:
christmas@merseysidepolonia.com


If you would like to help prepare the event please join us at a meeting on 23rd November 2010 at 6.30pm at the Academy.

http://www.merseysidepolonia.com/

Polskie Spotkanie Wigilijne


Boze Narodzenie jest dla nas specjalnym czasem
ktorym chcielibysmy sie podzielic z Wami
nasza Liverpoolska rodzina

Dolacz do nas na Mikolajki - w poniedzialek 6 grudnia
i dowiedz sie wiecej o polskim Bozym Narodzeniu,
sprobuj tradycyjnych Wigilijnych potraw
i posluchaj koled po polsku i po angielsku

W tym roku zapraszamy specjalnych gosci
spolecznosc wegierska,
ktora podzieli sie z nami swoja muzyka i kuchnia

Wstep wolny
Poniedzialek, 6 grudnia 2010, 18.30 - 21.00
The Academy of St Francis of Assisi, Gardners Drive, Kensington, Liverpool L6 7UR

Prosimy o potwierdzenie przez e-mail na:
christmas@merseysidepolonia.com

Osoby, ktore chcialyby sie wlaczyc w przygotowanie eventu zapraszamy na spotkanie 23 listopada 2010 o 18.30 w The Academy.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Greggs and Barnardos to join Iceland in Kensington

Just been informed that Greggs and Barnardos are to join Iceland in the new retail centre in Kensington

The site of the old icerink, due to be officially opened on 30th Novemebr will include

• New retail premises for Iceland, Greggs and Barnardo’s, with further lettings soon to be announced;
• Affordable Housing for Riverside;
• The refurbishment of the historic early Victorian Grade II Listed Villas;
• A New Urban Park;
• Visitor and Occupier Car Parking; and
• A ground breaking Community Fire Station for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Services.

I must say it is all looking very good

Monday, November 15, 2010

Deane Road Jewish Cemetery - Vacancy for Project Manager with Conservation experience



An exciting opportunity is available for a Project Manager to take forward plans for the restoration of the historic Deane Road Jewish Cemetery.


Opened in 1837, the Cemetery is the resting place for some of the most influential Victorians who shaped the city of Liverpool. We have successfully applied for a stage 1 Heritage Lottery Fund bid which has enabled us to develop plans for the stage 2 bid which will be determined in early December 2010.

If we are successful then the Project Manager will begin work in March 2011, with interviews held in December, we are determined to hit the ground running so we are beginning the recruitment process now.

This will be a part- time post, 18 hours per week, and will run for 18 months.
Salary £25000 pro rata

You will assist the Deane Road Cemetery Committee in the delivery of the restoration project. You will be responsible for

Managing the implementation of the Deane Road Cemetery restoration project

Working with the Committee to ensure delivery within budget, to the quality required by the client and funders and within the programme already established

Please send your CV and a covering letter, detailing your experience and suitability, to recruitment@deaneroadcemetery.com by November 30th 2010


International Migrants Day plans - December 18th 2010

Please see this interesting note from Paul Amann re the forthcoming International Migrants Day, further details for which are at http://www.un.org/en/events/migrantsday/.

We would like to mark this day in Liverpool under the Monty Python theme of “What have the Migrants Done for Liverpool?” with a chronological journey of migration to, from and through Liverpool. This would detail the contributions that each new community has made to the city of Liverpool today.

I would very much welcome your thoughts as to what this day should include in Liverpool. We are currently proposing a city centre event with community members from different migrant communities showcasing some timetabled artistic, culinary and sporting contributions across the day for people to drop in on. The day may be an antidote to the hustle and bustle of what will undoubtedly be a frenetic time in the city on the last Saturday before Christmas.

Please respond detailing what your community might wish to contribute and indeed, what contributions you feel your community might have made to the city of Liverpool today, examples already submitted include:

* A German migrant, Carl Bernard Bartels created the most iconic representation of the symbol of the city the Royal Liver Building Birds
* Scandinavian migrants brought the city its dish, Lobscouse
* Malian Djimi Traore, Scot Kenny Daglish, Jamaican John Barnes, Welsh Craig Bellamy, Brazilian Fabio Aurelio, Dutch Ryan Babel, Czech Vladimir Smicer, Israeli Yossi Benayoun, Irish Steve Staunton, Dane Jan Molby, Welsh Ian Rush and Pole Jerzy Dudek are just a sample of the many migrants who have contributed to the success of Liverpool FC
* Irish migrant Edward Chambre Hardman whose legacy for photography is still preserved at his studio 59 Rodney Street which is now owned by the national Trust
* Swiss migrant Carl Jung’s Liverpool Dream
* John, Paul and George were descendants of Irish migrants
* Russian migrant Vasily Petrenko is principal conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
* Nigerian Victor Anichebe, Australian Tim Cahil, Polish descended Phil Jagielka, Russian Andrei Kanchelskis, Welsh Gary Speed, Scot Gary Naysmith, Canadian Tomasz Radzinski, Spanish Mikel Arteta and American Tim Howard are some of the many migrants who have contributed to Everton FC’s successes
* Yemeni migrant, Tahir Qassim MBE is one of the founders and chairperson of the Liverpool Arabic Centre. He is also Chair of the Liverpool Black and other Racial Minorities (BRM) Network, Liverpool BRM Education sub-group, Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival (LAAF) and a Board member of the Bluecoat Arts Centre.
* Descendents of Jewish migrants from Europe: Samuel, Yates, Montagu, Mozley and Joseph participated in the administration of Liverpool, helping in 1798 to found Liverpool's leading cultural organisation, the Athenaeum
* In 1863 Charles Mozley, then president of the Hebrew Educational Institution, became Liverpool's first Jewish Mayor
* Jewish migrant descended David Lewis, founded the iconic Liverpool store
* John Archer was one of Britain’s first black mayors (Battersea)was born in Liverpool, John’s father, was a Barbadian ship’s steward whilst his mother, Mary Theresa Burns, was Irish born
* Chinese migrant Mr K H Li, founder of the Chinese Youth Orchestra and contributor to the soundtrack of the Last Emperor
* Singaporean born Michael Chew Koon Chan, Lord Chan of Oxton was House of Lord’s only peer of Chinese origin and a consultant and lecturer at Liverpool’s School of Tropical Medicine
* Chinese descended Liverpool born Hong Y ‘Frank’ Soo was the first non-white man to play football for England
* Craig Charles, Cathy Tyson, Paul Barber are all renowned Liverpool born actors of African-Caribbean descent
* Liverpool born, African descended, Walter ‘Wally’ Brown CBE was principal of Liverpool Community College
* And many, many more have clearly contributed!

Please send your thoughts to me or to Paul using the format firstname dot surname at liverpool dot gov dot uk

National Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week 2010

begins today, November 15th, with an event in the House of Lords. I cannot put the formal programme up because it is a PDF and this site only allows for JPEGs, but the working notes from which I created it are as follows;

Monday 15th November

House of Lords.
Time. 10 am for a 10.30 am start.
Finish time. 1 pm room til 1.30 pm.

Graham Evans MP Chair. 5 mins
Baroness Finlay. Sponsor. 5 mins
Nick Atkin CEO Halton Housing Trust "Gas Safety: The Landlords Role". 10 mins,
Les Staines Gas Contract Manager. Hackney Homes. Findings on Carbon monoxide Investigations.10mins.
Laura Carter. My story. 10 mins
Dr. Ed Walker, Associate Specialist, Emergency Department "CO and the Brain: Fact or Fiction?' 20 mins
Stephen Baker. BA (Hons), Partner, Harris Fowler Solicitors. 'Carbon Monoxide poisoning-the legal challenge'. 15 mins
Gary Oakford. Merseyside Fire and Rescue. Reducing Health Inequalities – reducing preventable deaths. 15mins.
Tony Brunton: Chair for the Charities Trustees. 15 mins
Families who have been effected by CO chance to speak max 5 mins each. 20 mins.
Question and Answer 20 mins
Lynn Griffiths. Charities president. Thank you. 5 mins.

There is a really good article on the Merseyside Police website too which you might find interesting about Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week. A big thank you to them for the publicity and public information sharing

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Get creative this Christmas at Kensington Community Learning Centre

SCRAPBOOKING CROP
Saturday 20th November 2010
from 10.00 til 4.00 (lunch & refreshments included) - £8.00 per person

Come along and join our team of scrapbookers. Exchange ideas, share hints, tips and techniques, and see how the 'professionals' create beautiful scrapbook pages for their albums. There will be staff and volunteers to show you how to get started and a wide selection of scrapbooking materials to choose from.

We will also have papers, card, ribbons and buttons that you can buy at discounted prices.

CARD & GIFT BOX MAKING WORKSHOP
Thursday 2nd December 2010
from 10.00 til 2.00 - £3.00 per person (materials included)

Why not try your hand at making some greetings cards and gift boxes at our December workshop. Materials will be provided (2 gift boxes per person) and there will be experienced volunteers to give you ideas and guidance.

SCRAPBOOKING & CARD MAKING
Thursdays
from 10.00 til 3.00 (refreshments included) - £2.00 per person
Let us introduce you to the world of card making and scrapbooking. We'll show you lots of simple but effective techniques on how to embellish your pictures and create beautiful hand-made cards.

To reserve your place, just call us on 0151 260 1006 or pop into Kensington Community Learning Centre at 291 - 299 Kensington (opposite McDonalds )

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Liverpool Central Citizens Advice Board fundraising plans

Open letter from Liverpool Central CAB. Can you help them fundraise?

I am writing to tell you about some fantastic events taking place next month in aid of Liverpool Central Citizen’s Advice Bureau, which is desperately in need of your support.

We know that times are hard for everyone right now, and many organisations in the city are facing drastic cuts. But we wanted to take the time to remind you of the valuable and vital work undertaken by the dedicated team at Liverpool Central CAB, now under threat of losing a third of its workforce and ability to provide significant expertise in areas of welfare, debt and housing.

Our funding comes entirely from grants and donations. Right now, is more important than ever as we try to do everything we can to save the jobs and specialist services at risk.

That is why we have organised four fundraising events, taking place next month, that we hope you will take the time and opportunity to support in whatever way you can.

The effort to raise our target of £50,000 in just four days:

Day 1. Begins on Saturday 6th November with a bag packing event at Asda on Smithdown Road with over 20 volunteers.

Day 2. After this, on Thursday 11th November, we will be presenting an “All Night Benefit Extravaganza”- with established and current bands, comedians and well known dancers (as featured on “Britain’s Got Talent” and the “MTV Awards.”)

Day 3. This fantastic event will be followed by a “Benefit Bazaar and Auction” which will start at 3:30pm and end at 11:30pm. This event will take place at the Slug and Lettuce on North John Street on Friday 12th November.

Day 4. Our final event will be a collection outside Everton Football Club on Sunday, 14th November.

It is vital that we are able to keep helping vulnerable people in this city. Last year Liverpool Central CAB alone helped deal with £10m of debt, helped residents claim £689,791 in benefits, represented 1,998 people in court for housing possession and eviction and debt hearings. In total, more than 10,000 clients were helped with 51,235 problems. You may well have first hand experience of constituents we have helped.

We’ve set a big goal for ourselves – but we are determined to make sure we do what we can to protect the services of Central Liverpool CAB, one of the oldest organisations of its kind in the country.

Liverpool Central Citizens Advice Bureau

2nd Floor, 1 Union Court,
Cook Street
Liverpool,
L2 4SJ
Telephones:(0151) 2858534

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

BNP to stand in Croxteth byelection, Liverpool

Press release from Liverpool AntiFascists

The British National Party's candidate in the upcoming Croxteth council By-Election has a conviction for violently assaulting a political opponent during the European elections two years ago.

The By-Election is being held due to the recent death of Labour's popular and much loved Councillor Rose Bailey and the resignation of Liberal Democrat Councillor Phil Moffatt. The BNP's chosen candidate is Peter Tierney, who owns the Quiggins Attique antique shop on Aigburth Road, is considered a "super-activist" by the party.

In April 2008, Tierney used a camera tripod to whack a trade unionist and anti-fascist campaigner across the head from behind. The wound had to be glued together in hospital. He pleaded not guilty on the grounds of self-defence, but after viewing the CCTV footage, a jury unanimously found him guilty of assault and causing actual bodily harm.

Commenting on his decision to stand, a spokesperson for Liverpool Antifascists said; "Peter Tierney is just the latest in a long line of high-profile BNP candidates with criminal records for violence.

"That he is so highly regarded by his party in Liverpool and nationally demonstrates that, despite token efforts to clean-up their image, violence and intimidation against political opponents remains part of their strategy. His brother, Andrew, has said that those who oppose the BNP are 'fair game. Local organiser Mike Whitby has promised that anti-fascists' identities will end up on 'a website far worse than Red Watch,' the hate site which has inspired attacks on activists' homes and families."

"In the 2010 General Election and in every local election they have contested, the BNP have been roundly rejected by the people of Liverpool. When they recently tried to campaign in the City Centre, they were chased off the streets - twice. Liverpool Antifascists hopes that the people of Croxteth show the same good sense and give this fascist thug the boot."

The Croxteth By-Election will take place on Thursday 18th November.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

What's on at KCLC this month?


WHAT's ON at Kensington Community Learning Centre


Your local “Information and Skills for All” Centre


Thursday 28th October
1pm to 4pm Digital Photography. Come along to our fun Digital Photography Taster Workshop and see how to capture, download and edit images.

Tuesday 2nd November
1pm Community EBAY project. Want to learn how to set up and operate your own EBAY trading account? Or generate income through selling your unwanted items through KCLC’s community trading account? YES? Then this fun workshop is for you!!

Thursday 11th November
1pm-3pm Community Policing Event. Find out more on how to deal with Crime Prevention, Anti Social Behaviour and joining Homewatch schemes.

Saturday 13th November
10am to 4pm Scrapbooking Crop. Come along to our popular Cropping Events and learn how to do all things “Crafty”. Cost for the workshop is £8 but this includes lunch, materials AND you get to keep all the items you make!!

23rd and 24th November
10am Volunteering Workshops. In partnership with Volunteer Centre Liverpool – come along to one of our two morning workshops to find out about the rewards of volunteering.

Thursday 2nd December
10am to 2pm Xmas Crop. Christmas Card and Gift Box making Workshop. Come and make really impressive handmade cards and gift boxes. £3 fee includes TWO gift boxes for you to take home.

EVERY MONDAY L6 CREDIT UNION hold a weekly surgery at KCLC – 10.30 to noon

EVERY TUESDAY Citizens Advice Bureau hold a weekly drop in service 10am to noon

EVERY WEDNESDAY JOB CLUB in partnership with Working Links and other employment specialists. 10am to 2pm.

EVERY WEDNESDAY Fancy getting to grips with IT? Come along to our initial assessments and let us find a course for you. From 1pm.

EVERY THURSDAY Scrapbook and Cardmaking Sessions. From 9.30 to 12 noon.

ENROL NOW !! Our next round of non accredited ESOL courses start Monday 8th November. Limited places available. Book early to avoid disappointment.

KENSINGTON COMMUNITY LEARNING CENTRE

291-299 KENSINGTON (opposite McDonalds)
Tel.. 0151 260 1006