A Round Up of Issues!

I thought I would let people know about some of the issues in this neighbourhood.    As well as our regular newsletters, I will try to keep residents informed by email and via the blog as well from now on.

  1. Town Meadow Lane: thank you to everyone who has replied to my recent letters on the demolition of the derelict flats and shops.    The planning application for new houses and shops on the site is expected to be voted on by the Planning Committee on 7th September.    I have submitted a petition to support the plan, signed by more than 300 local residents.
  2. Linear Park play area: I was contacted by a couple of mums, following damage and vandalism.   I would like to thank the Council’s staff for responding quickly to fix the fencing and the bench.
  3. Dog fouling: sadly, there is still a minority of owners who do not clean up after their pets.   I have asked the Council’s new Enforcement Team to visit this part of Moreton and, hopefully, identify some of those owners.
  4. Pasture Road Health Park: the long-awaited Health Park in Pasture Road has been delayed.   It seems that one of the four GP practices has withdrawn from the scheme.     A new planning application will now have to be submitted by the NHS to the Council, to relocate some of the GP practices in Moreton to this single site.
  5. Bermuda Road housing plan: I have spoken with many residents about the plan for six semi detached houses on derelict land at 91 Bermuda Road.   Planning officers have advised me that the current application is likely to be refused because there are not enough ‘affordable’ homes (for example, for first time buyers) in the scheme and therefore it fails to meet the Council’s Interim Planning Policy.   I’ll let residents know when I hear more.
  6. Upton Woods: some residents will be aware that, following the public meeting I attended, the Council has installed the fencing between the woods and Paulsfield Drive. Sadly, the Council’s new Cabinet has refused to install the ‘heavy duty’ barrier between the woods and the bypass. I will be looking for alternative sources for the money to pay for this.
  7. Christchurch School parking: following a meeting with the Headteacher, it has been agreed that a small ‘working party’ will be set up to see what can be done to reduce some of the parking problems around the school.   I will report back on this shortly.
  8. Hot food takeaways: many residents have been in touch with me following concerns about problems at some of the hot food takeaways around Moreton. I have asked for the Council’s Licensing Officers to check that conditions of trading, including opening hours, are not being breached.
  9. Deep clean: last month, the clean up of Moreton Cross saw bags of litter and rubbish removed, graffiti tackled and repairs to ‘street furniture’. The pavements were also power washed. I have asked the Council to make sure litter bins are emptied regularly from now on.

If you would like my help on any issue in your neighbourhood, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Its All About Teamwork!

Earlier today in my Merseytravel role (and the only Authority member to attend) I went along to Ellesmere Port Station to be at the official opening and celebration of the artwork at the station and see the work that Friends of Ellesmere Port Station have done.       It was great, outside there are panels created by young people from the University Church of England Academy, there are panels being created by Westminster Primary School and inside the ticket office there are original oil paintings of famous Ellesmere Port landmarks painted by a local resident and friend of the station.

We were entertained by dancers and musicians from the academy, prior to the Mayor officially unveiling one of the panels pictured on the right.    I also took the opportunity to see the new station gardens created last Autumn by Veolia Environmental Services and maintained by the friends and the street pastors and the new station signage.    This project is encouraging people of all ages to see Ellesmere Port as a destination and a town with lots to offer, and easily accessible by rail with a huge underused Park and Ride scheme.

The station is being transformed without a budget by creative partnership working – CWAC, Merseyrail, Veolia, Station Friends, BTP, local schools and street pastors giving time and resources to create a more welcoming station – a key gateway into Ellesmere Port.      This is truly the ‘Big Society’ in action, well done to everyone concerned.

Wirral Labour – A Bad Night in the Office!

Last nights full Council in Wirral saw Labour for what they truly are, a Party in dissarray a party in denial and a party that has no ideas…   They voted against everything positive that we and the Lib Dems wanted to achieve including shamefully voting against giving those lowest paid workers in the Council a rise of £250 which we put in the budget.      Steve Foulkes was beside himself and who can blame him, let down by his Cabinet colleagues who had not done their homework and did not have a clue what they were talking about, I almost felt sorry for Cllr Foulkes.

I am delighted that we, the Conservatives, supported by the Lib Dems made sure that the will of the Council prevailed and the vote taken means that those Council workers earning less that £21000 per year will now get the £250 increase, that is unless Cllr Foulkes can find a legal loophole to squirm through, his last words last night were to Bill Norman Head of Law and to Jim Wilkie Chief Exec, and those words were ‘My Office Now’!

Media Release – Wirral Conservative Group

Tuesday 19th July 2011

 Labour tries to block pay rise for low paid council workers

 Labour Councillors have tried to block a pay rise for the Council’s lowest paid staff – including 131 care workers, 118 childcare workers and 92 crossing patrol attendants.  The national public sector pay freeze included the option for local councils to exempt lowest paid staff – those earning less than £21,000 a year – and, instead give them a pay rise of £250. 

Cllr. Jeff Green said: “This year’s Conservative budget included £800,000 to make sure our lowest paid staff would be helped with the cost of living.  They were promised this money and tonight we forced a vote in the Town Hall for the Council to hand it over. 

I am passionate about how the Council treats its staff.  As Leader, I was open and up front with staff about the challenges we faced.  Partly because of that, we were able to cut Council spending by £52 million, avoid compulsory redundancies, freeze Council Tax and reduce the Council’s debts by £10 million.  Every single member of staff can be proud of what we achieved together.” 

Cllr. Steve Foulkes and Cllr. Adrian Jones fought to stop the pay rise and, instead, bank the £800,000. 

Cllr. Green added: “This was a shocking betrayal by Labour of the lowest paid staff in the Council.  It reminds me of the way in which Gordon Brown scrapped the 10p tax for the lowest paid.  

“Other councils have honoured their responsibilities and, because we reduced the running costs of the Council, I made sure the money was available in this year’s budget to help the lowest paid.  Many people, not least the lowest paid, are being hit by the rising cost of living.  This £250 will help with that.”

Labour was defeated as Liberal Democrats joined with the Conservatives to force through the payment.

Play Area for Saughall Massie? Take Part in the Survey

In our last newsletter, we mentioned that a couple of residents had asked about having a children’s play area provided somewhere in Saughall Massie.   I have received more comments from residents since then.  Several mums and dads have said they would like to see a new play area provided.   As one of your local councillors, I would like to know what you think about this idea. 

As you may know, last year the Council provided new play areas and improved others, such asLinearPark(Moreton),Whiteheath Way(Leasowe) andWarwickPark(Upton).    If there is enough support from residents, and if we can find a suitable site, I will then see what I can do to raise the money to pay for a play area.     Click here to take part in my online survey or follow the link on the right

Fact or Fiction?

I am trying to unravel the public confusion around Merseytravels Members allowances.     Confusion what confusion?

Well at the AGM the amendments made by myself and the Lib  Dems calling for an Independent Review Panel (IRP) to be set up were all defeated by the 13 Labour Members who voted for increases in allowances paid to members.   Yet Newspaper reports and Wirral Labours amendement to a Lib Dem notice of motion would seem to indicate that an IRP has been agreed…….   

I am not confused at all, I was at the AGM and I know exactly who voted for what, the newspaper reports and Wirral Labour are just using smoke and mirrors to try to hide the facts.   The facts are simple Labour voted against an IRP being commissioned to look at Merseytravels Members allowances and they voted to increase allowances for Labour Members, at a time when 102 Merseytravel Members of staff, some of whom are the lowest paid face potential huge loss of earnings!

I have written to Merseytravels Monitoring Officer seeking some clarity on what seems to have become a very unclear public position!   You can see the BBC Northwest News Report by clicking HERE

Looking for a Job, an Apprenticeship, or Want some Career Advice?

This Friday, 8th July, between 2pm and 5pm at West Kirby Concourse Wirral West MP Esther McVey has organised a ‘Youth Summit’.    All the local Universities are coming as well as the Institute of Physics, the Institute of Manufacturing and The Chemical Industry Association, to name but a few to talk about sponsorships.

Young Enterprise to give details about setting up in business and BBC 1’s Emma Harrison, and founder of A4E, to explain what employers are looking for, as well as representatives from the BBC, INEOS and Merseytravel  to discuss their apprenticeship schemes.

Alternatively, if you want learn about the world, Worldwide Volunteering will be there, a non-profit making organisation whose aim is to make it easier for people of all ages to volunteer so boosting self-confidence and communication skills which many have felt have considerably enhanced their employment opportunities when they return.

This promises to be a great event.     For more information, and there is a lot more,  call 0151 632 4348

Another Four Years – I Hope So

Like my colleague, Cllr Ian Lewis, who has had his application approved to stand in Leasowe and Moreton East, my application to be the local Conservative Candidate to stand in Moreton West and Saughall Massie in May 2012 has also been approved. 

I am delighted and honoured to be allowed to seek a fourth, four year term, as Councillor for Moreton West and Saughall Massie Ward.     Currently there are three Councillors in this ward – me and my two Conservativee colleagues, Cllr Steve Williams and Cllr Simon Mountney.   Ok so May 2012 might seem like a long way off, but with almost 11,000 voters in the ward, I need months to get round.

I am always looking for people to help us deliver our Community Newsline, stuff envelopes, canvass etc.     If you feel you can help in any way, drop me an email, or call/text me on 07803 614418

To say I am over the moon to be approved as candidate again, would be an understatement.   I have found being a Councillor hard work, but equally one of the most rewarding things I have done over the last 11 years.   I sincerely hope that come May next year the voters put their trust and faith in me again.