January has seen my blog beat all previous records, enjoying its best month for hits at over 6,000, its best week at over 2,200 hits and its best day at 681 hits. May not seem much to many of the bigger political blogs that are published, but for what is predominently a local site, dealing mainly with local issues I am delighted at its success. Thanks to everyone who has visited the site, please bookmark and come back again.
Readers of the blog and the wider community will recall that I revealed that the Chief Exec and Director of Resorces for Merseytravel had told me that they would not be recommending to the full authority an increase in tunnel tolls this year. The final decision of course remains with the 18 elected Members who serve on the ITA. Read more on that, Here,and Here This revelation clearly upset the Lib Dems! You can read more on that HERE
I know have the Chief Execs full report before me and at 7. Summary and Conclusions, para 7.2 it states, ‘In view of the impact of the current national economy downturn, as documented in the Merseyside Economic Review 2009, it is considered that there are matters of an economic and social nature within Merseyside that make it appropriate, for a further year, to discount the tolls below their authorised levels. In terms of the amount of discount. it is considered prudent to retain for the 12 months commencing on the 1 April, 2010 both cash and AVI (fast tag) toll levels at the 2009/10 rates.’ Thats pretty clear to me, no recommendation to increase tolls, unless Labour or the Lib Dems seek to move an amendment to increase them?
A Wirral woman who faces a race against time to find a matching bone marrow donor is appealing to the chinese community to help provide the lifesaving transplant she needs to beat leukaemia.
Jenny Wilkinson, 44, of Wallasey, was diagnosed with leukaemia in May 2009. After three unsuccessful courses of chemotherapy, she is now taking part in trials of a new drug, which it is hoped will put her in remission. However she was forced to abandon the trial after it left her desperately ill.
After recovering, she now is taking the drug again, and if, as is hoped, the drug succeeds in putting her in remission, she will then need a bone marrow transplant.
However Jenny says the chances of her finding a donor are complicated by the fact that she is of chinese origin – and has not been able to find a match yet.
Jenny’s parents – her mother died just a week ago – are both Chinese, and Jenny has been told that her best chance of a donor lies with someone of Chinese origin.
However, national donor registers are chronically short of potential donors from ethnic groups, and urgently need to recruit more volunteer donors from all ethnic backgrounds, including chinese.
Said Jenny: ‘I was shocked to find out that, due to my background, the odds of finding a suitable donor are much worse than if I was a Caucasian patient. Most matches are found from within the same ethnic community as the patient.
‘This is the chance for someone to make a profound difference to someone’s life. I’m trying hard to stay positive but I need to find a match as soon as possible,’ she added.
There is only a short window of time that Jenny could receive a bone marrow transplant, and patients only have a chance at one transplant too, so the best match possible is vital.
Now Jenny is appealing to everyone – particularly the chinese and ethnic minority communty – to join the national bone marrow register.
Jenny feels that some people may be put off my outdated perceptions of what a bone marrow transplant entails. Thanks to advances in medicine, donating bone marrow is now much easier, and, for most people pain, free.
Jenny is calling on people to register for bone marrow donation by calling the Anthony Nolan Trust on 0303 303 0303, visiting www. anthonynolan.org.uk or going to the Wirral Leukaemia Awareness Day event in the aerobics studio at West Kirby Concourse on Saturday February 6 from 9.30am-4pm where they will be able to take a simple test to see whether they are suitable. Anyone aged between 18 and 50 and in general good health would make a potential donor.
Today is National Holocaust Day, the date is in remembrance of the day which the Soviet Army liberated the largest Nazi concentration camp – Auschwitz-Birkenau. You can read more HERE I am sure we can all take a moment to reflect, on what is a very solemn occasion.
Tonight I joined the members odf the Action Team to go door knocking, seeking peoples views on both local, and national issues. With the local, and probably the General elections only 100 days away it is important that we don’t take our foot off the gas. No election can be taken for granted and our ethos of ‘all year round’ means just that. Unlike other political parties we don’t suddenly appear a month before the elections and expect people to vote for us. We know that every vote needs to be earned. The teams are out four nights a week and on Saturdays. We want this to be the year of change. Do you?
It seems that because I have been letting people know the good news that the Mersey Tunnel Tolls will not be increasing this year, (read more on that HERE and HERE) that I have upset the leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the Merseytravel Board, and his Wirral Lib Dem rep, with, I am told, both accusing me of Blatant Electioneering? Hey I was only pasing on good news from the Director of Resources and the Chief Exec, if thats electioneering, then they really do need to get a life. And let’s not forget that the Lib dems Voted to increase the Tunnel Tolls last year! This sort or petulant and childish behaviour shows just why I could never trust them. Watch out for low flying teddies!
I spent a couple of hours this morning with my Conservative colleagues on Merseytravel, Cllr Ian Lewis and Cllr Bob Roberts, where we met with Jim Barclay, Merseytravels Director of Resources, to look at his proposed budget figures for 2010/11. High on our agenda was the situation regarding Mersey Tunnel Tolls. We were delighted that he confirmed that his report to the full Authority meeting on the 4th February, would be recommending that there are NO increases this year, to either the ‘Authorised Tolls’ or the discounted tolls currently paid It is of course the full meeting of the Authority who will make the final decision. Anyway I have asked the Director to look at a couple of options around the tolls issue and get back to me with his findings.