Monday, February 28, 2011

Canvassing in Ireland - the voters fight back!

There are many funny stories told by canvassers, about the different people who come to the door, the things they say and do, the laughter back at the campaign centre when the stories are told. In Ireland it seems the voters are getting in there first. It will be them  laughing and gleefully telling the tale in the pub later.



I think this one below is my favourite...


Monday, February 21, 2011

More stick than carrot in environmental crackdown in Kensington and Fairfield

Please see this interesting report from one of our Liverpool City Council environment team that I have just received and thought I would share with you.

Last week a team of uniformed and plain clothes Environmental Enforcement officers carried out an operation in the ward to target dog fouling.

The results of the operation are below and all are expected to be issued Fixed Penalty Notices. FPN’s are £50 for dog fouling, £75 for litter

11x Dog fouling (red on the map)
2x litter dog fouling related (ie.They picked up then threw the bags away)
16x litter (blue on the map)


9 ASB issues dealt with
3 x cautions for litter (aged under16)
2x truancy check
1x police log in relation to a suspicious vehicle.

It was also quite surprising the number of young children out walking dogs unaccompanied, most of the dogs were of “strong breeds” also. One child was only 7 and he had a Staffordshire bull terrier type of dog.
We can’t issue fixed penalties to those under 16 so will need to work with the Riverside Community Wardens and other partners, to look at further education programmes in schools in the area.

These results do not mean the job is done by any stretch of the imagination but we will be better informed for our next operation and it is work in progress. Hopefully if word starts to get around about people getting fined, the increase of perception in getting caught will also have a knock on effect.

Charity and Voluntary Services Community Forums

Charity and Voluntary Services Community Forums – March 2011
LCVS is arranging a Community Forum in your area. The Forum is an opportunity for you to meet other community groups in your area, celebrate the work of Liverpool Community Network and hear about the future of LCVS and LCN.

The Forum is also an opportunity for you to feed in to a developing strategy for the third sector in Liverpool. We are also looking at needs with in the community to be able to direct limited resources to where they are most needed.

Please see below for dates and times of your local Forum and book with Steve Cox at LCVS by telephone on 0151 227 5177 or email

Alt Valley
Thursday 10 March
Ellergreen Community Centre, Ellergreen Road, Liverpool L11 2RY

Liverpool East
Monday 14 March
Newsham Adult Learning Centre, Newsham Drive, Liverpool L6 7UH

City & North
Tuesday 15 March
Marybone Community Centre, Fontenoy Street, Liverpool L3 2AP

Liverpool South
Thursday 17 March
Bridge Chapel Centre, Heath Road, Liverpool L19 4XR

South Central
Wednesday 23 March
John Archer Hall, Old School Building, 68 Upper Hill Street, Liverpool L8 1YR

Email address for David Cameron

Does anyone have a working email address for David Cameron? One of my constituents wants to email him and the drop down facility on the Number 10 website restricts the characters allowable in the body of the email, and my constituent does not wish to shorten her correspondence. The camerond @ parly address now bounces back.


Winter Survival Roadshow

Winter Survival Roadshow

Picton Health & Neighbourhood Centre, 137 Earle Road, Liverpool, L7 6HD
Tuesday 22nd February 2011
10.00am - 2.00pm
Information event for the community organised by Liverpool City Council

Please tell a friend and call in for advice and information from a range of organisations including:-
Liverpool City Council:Liverpool PCT:Age Concern:Citysafe:Merseytravel:Mersey Fire & Rescue Service and more.

Experts able to offer advice on subjects including:-
Fuel Debt, Energy Efficiency, Benefits Advice, Healthy Living, Fire Safety and more


Sponsored by British Gas
Supported by Liverpool NHS Primary Care Trust

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Gate post at Newsham Park, Prescot Drive finally repaired

I have been banging on about this gate post for ages but finally it has been repaired. It stood in the garden of the last house on Prescot Road, at the junction with Prescot Drive in a hedge, and when the demolition took place and the hedge was removed, there was a big gap where a lot of bricks were missing, around the base. I was worried that it was going to fall over and urged action. A handful of the proper bricks were identified and the post has now been repaired. This is a conservation area (not that there is much left to conserve now) so it is important that we don't let the little things slip.

Thanks to Tom Duckworth in the Parks department at LCC for keeping the pressure up until the work was completed to his satisfaction.

One city, one voice - Rally against the Government cuts

Rally to bring together people from across Liverpool to speak as one city, with one voice, against the Government’s cuts, on Sunday 20 February.

Please join us on this rally.

We will gather at the Anglican Cathedral at 1pm. From there, we will march to St George’s Plateau, where we will hear a number of speeches.

This is not a party political rally – the Lord Mayor and the leaders of all four parties on the council have agreed to take part, and we are inviting residents from all communities and faiths to come together, as well as representatives from the charity and voluntary sectors, council staff, and any service users who will be particularly affected.
Join the March on 20th February

LIVERPOOL Liverpool has been hit harder than any other city in the country by government cuts. The council is being forced to cut its services by almost a quarter – by a massive £141 million –over the next two years.

But we’re not asking for special favours. We’re only asking for fairness.

We are calling on the Government to reduce Liverpool’s cuts to the average, not the highest. And to return the £millions needed to fund essential services for our children, the elderly and the vulnerable.

Sign our online petition here We wiill deliver your message to the Government, and call on them to come back with A Fair Deal for Liverpool.

One City. One Voice. Let’s make them listen.

Liverpool Labour Party "No to coalition cuts"

I missed the photo as I was at the pink and black triangle wreath laying at St John's Gardens, but what a great photograph and what a great banner! And I really enjoyed the march and the speeches at this Joint TUC rally last month.

Action on drugs in Kensington and Fairfield

The following information comes in an email from our local Police Inspector, Paul Harrison.

"One Wednesday morning, 16th February we carried out a drugs search warrant at an address in Halsbury Road. A 40 year old man from the area was arrested for Possession of a Controlled Drug with Intent to Supply after being found in possession of what we believe is heroin. (He also told me that it was hidden in a special place about the man's person, if you know what I mean).

A dog was found in the house, which was seized as it is a pit bull type.

The owner (a second man) will be prosecuted. We will act on any information passed to us and if you could stress to our residents that we need them to give us any snippets".

This is the second raid on the property in a couple of weeks.  During the course of the first raid, Sergeant Devaney told councillors that "a small amount of cannabis resin/bush was found. There were four adult male in the premises, two of these males were arrested for Possession of a Controlled Drug / No Bail Warrant and abstractaction of electricity (no meter in the house, but lights on). A third male was given a street caution for Possession of a Controlled Drug (Cannabis)"

During the raid another male turned up at the property who had been identified on a raid in nearby Mansell Road a month earlier, so clearly he had moved his business from the one street to the other. This persistent work on behalf of the police, relying very heavily on the information shared with councillors by local residents, will make the message clear to the dealers that there is no future in dealing in Kensington or Fairfield.

Sergeant Ian Devaney, now an Inspector (they all get promoted from our ward, we are a great springboard for ambitious crime fighters) has also told me about them successfully finding and closing down a cannabis factory on Gresham Street, Fairfield in the last week.

Please keep coming forward with your information, it is making a real difference in our ability to clean up the local area of dealing and to reduce the number of addicts hanging around waiting for their next fix to be delivered. Working together we are making a real difference.

Burglaries in Kensington and Fairfield

We have seen an increase in the number of House Burglaries since the start of this year, there were 6 burglaries in Lister Road, Edge Lane, Laburnum Rd, West Bank Road, Anglezark Rd and Fell Street. The majority have been via the rear of the premises, particularly from the rear alleyway, and small items such as cash, cameras, Laptops and jewellery are being stolen.

There have also been incidents in Hampstead Road,
Fairfield Crescent, Newsham Drive and Radstock Road.

Sergeant Simon Joyce has sent the councillors a copy of a letter sent to residents in the immediate area by the police, and he has encouraged us to share this information with the wider community.

Most domestic burglaries are committed by opportunist thieves, who pick a house that looks unoccupied, has little or no obvious security, and where they think they will not be seen.

It is often a 'spur of the moment' decision, made when an easy target presents itself, such as an open door or window, or valuables being left on display. If you take the time to assess the security of your home, follow the advice provided and take positive action, you will greatly reduce the risk of becoming a victim.

Protect your Property - Record Serial Numbers and mark with a UV Pen.

Most electrical items have a serial number, this is very important to the police when examining any suspect items. Take the time to record the details on paper and keep it safe. Mobile phones have their own unique serial number known as an IMEI number. This can be located by entering the following code on your keypad *#06# this will automatically display number which you can provide to the police and your phone provider.

On request the police can provide you FREE of charge with a UV pen to mark all of your valuables with your postcode, this will help us to locate the address from where property may have been stolen. If you want one, please let me know and I will arrange it with the police for you.

Please use the link below to create and register a free portfolio of your personal property

Please be reassured that your Neighbourhood Policing Team is doing everything possible to reduce crime further. By looking after your property and keeping an eye out on your street you can help us bring it down too.

We councillors have in the past funded Selecta DNA and Smartwater packs - ways of marking your property individually, ensuring that it will come back to you if it is recovered following a burglary - in Sheil Park, Fairfield Crescent, Prospect Vale, Cheviot, Middleton and Lindale Roads. A few months ago we paid for extensive burglary protection kit in Ellens Close and Low Wood Street - spikes for fences, PIR lights, alarms for doors and windows and timer switches for lights. We are also supporting the As One Community Safety Task Group in the purchase of £1500 worth of "target hardening" security kit to help make houses more safe. If you live in Kensington and Fairfield and would like more information about we can help you to protect your property, please get in touch.

If you have any information about people involved in crime then phone Crimestoppers free of charge on 0800 555 111 or call me, Liam or Wendy. You dont have to give your name.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Plans passed unanimously for "Kensington" market site

Liam and I have just come out of the Planning Committee where outlying permission for a supermarket and housing on the "Kensington" market and Shaws Bakery site has been passed unanimously.

The site owner will now be able to market the site to interested retailers and to interested house builders and finally the Fairfield area will be rid of two horrible eyesores that have provided nothing for local people for years.

The development of this site with new facilities and new family homes will be a really vital addition, bringing hundreds of jobs to the area, both in retail and in construction. It will also see very positive benefits for the residential area around the beautiful Holly Road, where the new homes will considerably improve on the scruffy mess of piles of broken taxis and falling down buildings as well as providing a much needed decent sized supermarket to complement the smaller shops currently opening in the new neighbourhood centre.

I did tell the planning committee that this site, known traditionally as Kensington market is in fact in Fairfield, as I know that one of my constituent likes to make this point regularly.

It is a great day for our ongoing plans to put Kensington and Fairfield back on the map for all the right reasons.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

LibDems attack Eric Pickles and the coalition

Are the wheels coming off the coalition?

This letter was published in the Times today, with the full list of signatories only published on the Times website, not in the paper...

Local authority cuts

In contrast to central government’s runaway spending, local governments have been making savings for years

Sir, Local government is playing its part in tackling the country’s deficit and advancing the Coalition’s aims of localism and the Big Society. But local, and central, government are being let down by the Communities and Local Government Secretary who appears unwilling to lead the change that’s so desperately needed. Local government has made efficiency savings of 3 per cent in each of the past eight years — in stark contrast to the runaway spending of central government under the previous administration. We’ve also been planning for further saving since the true state of the economy became apparent six months ago.

What has been delivered is a difficult cuts package across all government departments but clearly the most severe is to local government. These cuts will have an undoubted impact on all frontline council services, including care services to the vulnerable.

Rather than assist the country’s recovery by making public-sector savings in a way that can protect local economies and the frontline, the cuts are so structured that they will do the opposite. The local government settlement will take a major hit in this coming financial year and further, smaller, cuts in subsequent years. This front-loading means councils do not have the lead-in time necessary to re-engineer services on a lower-cost base and ease staff cuts without forced, expensive redundancies. Inexplicably, local government is also being denied the opportunity to spread the cost of reorganisation and downsizing over several years — at no cost to central government — which just makes even bigger in-year cuts inevitable The Secretary of State’s role should be to facilitate necessary savings while promoting the advance of localism and the Big Society. Unfortunately, Eric Pickles has felt it better to shake a stick at councillors than work with us.

Local and central government should be united in a shared purpose. Instead of chastising and denigrating local authorities through the media, the Government should deploy all its efforts to help councils minimise the impact on vulnerable communities and frontline services.

We would be delighted to discuss with the Secretary of State how we could take on the difficult challenges shared by all levels of government and would prefer to do this than continue with the gunboat diplomacy which is the current order of the day.

Cllr Richard Kemp
Leader, Liberal Democrat Group, Local Government Association
Cllr Carl Minns
Lib Dem Leader Hull City Council
Cllr Cec Tallack
Lib Dem Leader Milton Keynes
Cllr Paul Tilsley
Lib Dem, Deputy Leader, Birmingham City Council
Cllr David Faulkner
Lib Dem Leader, Newcastle City Council
Cllr Ian Marks
Lib Dem Leader, Warrington Borough Council

Cllr Virginia Gay, North Norfolk; Cllr Andrew De Freitas, North East Lincolnshire Council; Cllr Tim Carroll, South Somerset; Cllr Stuart Langhorn, Lancaster City Council; Cllr David Watts, Broxtowe BC; Cllr Tony de Vere, Vale of White Horse; Cllr Keith House, Eastleigh BC; Cllr Anne Turrell, Colchester (NOC); Cllr Sian Reid, Cambridge City; Cllr Alan Connett, Teignbridge DC; Cllr David Budd, Purbeck DC; Cllr Ann De Vecchi, Lewes DC; Cllr Dorothy Thornhill, Watford Mayor; Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Leader, Portsmouth City Council

Group Leaders
Cllr Alan Boad, Warwick DC; Cllr Gavin James, Basingstoke & Deane BC; Cllr Tom Smith-Hughes, Essex CC; Cllr Joe Abbott, South Tyneside; Cllr Roger Hayes, Bolton MBC; Cllr Peter Wilcock, Uttlesford BC; Cllr Simon McDougall, Arun DC; Cllr Brendan Haigh, Newark & Sherwood DC; Cllr Nigel Martin, Durham; Cllr Hilary Jones, Derby City Council; Cllr Linda Redhead, Halton; Cllr Sue Carpendale, Babergh DC; Cllr Iain Sharpe, Watford BC; Cllr Kathy Pollard, Suffolk CC; Cllr Maureen Rigg, Stockton; Cllr John Boyce, Oadby & Wigston BC; Cllr Andrew Smith, Chicester DC; Cllr Phil Taylor, Tewkesbury BC; Cllr Len Gates, Test Valley BC; Cllr Ruth Davis, South Gloucestershire; Cllr Tony Gillam, Gedling BC; Cllr Chris Maines, Lewisham BC; Cllr David Milsted, North Dorset DC; Cllr Roger Price, Fareham BC; Cllr Brian Greenslade, Devon CC; Cllr Ian Stewart, Cumbria CC; Cllr Richard Andrews, West Oxfordshire DC; Cllr Margaret Rowley, Wychavon DC; Cllr Ann Buckley, Havant BC; Cllr Jane Parlour, Richmondshire DC; Cllr Alan Sherwell, Aylesbury Vale DC; Cllr Graham Longley, Southend BC; Cllr Zoe Patrick, Oxfordshire CC; Cllr Brian Jeffries, East Riding of Yorkshire; Cllr Bob Sullivan, Waltham Forest BC; Cllr David Lomax, High Peak BC; Cllr Paul Coddington, Doncaster MBC; Cllr Liz Tucker, Worcestershire CC; Cllr Simon Ashley, Manchester City Council; Cllr Roger Walshe, Sevenoaks DC; Cllr John Fisher, Staffs Moorlands; Cllr Paul Morse, Norfolk CC; Cllr Jane Clark, Wealden DC; Cllr Christina Jebb, Staffordshire CC; Cllr David Walker, Charnwood BC; Cllr Noel Rippeth, Gateshead; Cllr Penny Otton, Mid Suffolk DC; Cllr Nan Farmer, Carlisle; Cllr David Foster, Blackburn with Darwen; Cllr Dr Robin Studd, Newcastle under Lyme; Cllr Peter Chegwyn, Gosport BC; Cllr Richard Sharp, Woking BC; Cllr Mary Baldwin, Bucks CC; Cllr Jerry Roodhouse, Warwickshire CC; Cllr David Neighbour, Hart DC; Cllr Arthur Preece, Hartlepool BC; Cllr Nigel Hartin, Shropshire CC; Cllr David Neve, Tunbridge Wells BC; Cllr Geoff Welsh, Blaby DC; Cllr Roger Kutchinsky, Hertsmere BC; Cllr Ross Henley, Taunton Deane BC; Cllr Jack Cohen, Barnet BC; Cllr Julie Morris, Epsom & Ewell; Cllr Terry Stacy, Islington BC; Cllr Alex Perkins, Canterbury City; Cllr Geoff Chamberlain, East Devon DC; Cllr David Fearn, Derbyshire Dales DC; Cllr Helen Dyke, Wyre Forest DC; Cllr Paul English, Craven DC; Cllr Paul Elgood, Brighton & Hove; Cllr Paul Hodgkinson, Cotswold DC