Posted by: westlancashirerecord | August 19, 2019

Semi-Detached From Europe?

“This island is made mainly of coal and surrounded by fish. Only an organizing genius could produce a shortage of coal and fish at the same time” Aneurin Bevan MP (creator of the NHS)

speech at Blackpool, 24 May 1945 “. And now we import both! ” John Ashworth founder of Save Britain’s Fish December 2016 “Brexit means that the British fishing industry would be worth £6,284million to the British economy”. Fishing for Leave). 60% of the British Fish Fleet has been scrapped due to the EU.

Asked whether or not the UK was part of Europe

Clement Attlee put it succinctly “We’re semi-detached”. That’s too close for me!

Attlee refused to take Britain into the EESC, the precursor to the EU, in the Fifties, as he believed the country was not prepared to hand over its “most vital economic forces” to an “utterly undemocratic” authority.

But eventually the culture of deceit was the Heath Government’s response to the crude ambush set up by the Six to ensure that, as part of their price of entry, the four applicant countries, Britain, Ireland, Denmark and Norway, would have to hand over to the Community their fishing waters, the richest in the world. (PRO files in FO 30/656-9).

On the very day the applications went in, June 30 1970, the Six hastily approved the principle that member-states should be given “equal access” to each other’s fishing waters, under Brussels control. The point was that, because this had now become part of the acquis communautaire, the body of existing Community law, the applicant countries would have to accept it as a fait accompli. Within a few years, as everyone knew, national fishing waters were due to be extended out under international law to 200 miles. Because the waters belonging to the four applicant states would then contain most of the fish in European waters, this would give the Six an astonishing prize.

In fact the six knew their new fisheries policy was not even legal. Among the Foreign Office papers released in 2001 was an internal Council of Ministers document, dating from June1970, which shows how desperate the Brussels lawyers had been to find some article in the Treaty of Rome which could be used to authorise such a policy. There was none. The policy therefore had no legal justification, and other papers show that the Foreign Office knew this too.

But so determined was Heath not to offend his prospective new partners that he decided not to challenge them. Britain would simply accept the illegal new fisheries policy, even though this would mean handing over one of her greatest renewable natural assets and would spell disaster for a large part of her fishing fleet.

Gradually the British fishermen got some idea that they were about to be sacrificed, and in the closing months of 1970 various MPs for fishing constituencies wrote to ministers asking what on earth was going on. They were fobbed off with evasive replies. Indeed, as the recently released papers show, civil servants eventually worked out a careful form of words, intended to reassure the fishermen that “proper account would be taken of their interests”. But behind the scenes, as a Scottish Office memo put it on November 9, ministers were being told how important it was not to get drawn into detailed explanations of just what problems might lie ahead for the fishermen because, “in the wider UK context, they must be regarded as expendable”.

The following year the White Paper promised that Britain would not sign an accession treaty until the Common Market’s fisheries policy was changed, Geoffrey Rippon repeated this promise to Parliament and to the Tory Party conference. But in November Heath realised that time was running out. Unless he accepted the fishing policy as it stood, his plans for Britain’s entry in January 1973 would have to be abandoned.

Heath instructed Rippon to give way, and when Rippon was questioned about this in the House of Commons on December 13, he answered with a straight lie. He claimed Britain had retained complete control over the waters round her coastline, knowing that this was simply not true. So barefaced was this deceit over fishing rights that successive governments and fisheries ministers would continue to obfuscate the truth of what had been done for the next three decades.

They’ve lied ever since. They still do. They’ll never change!

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | August 18, 2019

A New Angle, And More Income, From Council Parking

Do you see a geometric problem when the car park you’ve entered is full?

Apparently a car park that fitted 500 cars in a rectangular scheme could take 619 with judiciously angled white lines.

According To John Redwood

“Shopping in many town centres can require a difficult journey, can pose difficulties sometimes in finding a car park space, and results in a charge. It’s an important part of the background to the decline of many a town shopping centre.

“What can be done? The first thing is to get the most out of the car parks we have. You can get more cars into a piece of land and it is easier to park if the spaces are marked out at 45 degrees to the access and not at 90 degrees as most currently are. Private and public car park owners could sort this out and benefit from doing so. Convention should dictate you park front in. A one way access and exit route then minimises loss of parking spaces.

“Councils could increase the ratio of parking spaces to shops when authorising new developments or improving their centres. There is often spare public land near a centre that can be used. In Council car parks they could allow a charge free period to encourage shoppers. Where this represented unfair competition to private car parks the Council could pay the private car park to make free time available on a similar basis as public car parks from its town centre promotion budget”.

WLBC could vastly improve on its car parks, particularly Derby Street which provides little income because staff park free all day as a job perk. But there could be another 50/100 places available if this was considered. 

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | August 18, 2019

The End Is Nigh?

Brexit Secretary signs “Commencement Order”

Whilst MPs voted for the EU Withdrawal Act which repealed the original legislation making us members of the EEC, it required a “Commencement Order” to come into force, It’s reported that Stephen Barclay, the Brexit Secretary, has now signed that order to trigger the end of the supremacy of EU law in the UK in a major moment on the path to the country’s exit and freedom.

Political historians know that nearly half a century ago the Commons was obsessed and convulsed for a year by a whole series of meaningful votes on whether Britain should join the European Community. The europhile Prime Minister Edward Heath had persuaded President Pompidou of France to rescind his nation’s veto on Britain’s entry. But Heath faced a monumental struggle to get the necessary legislation through Parliament.

He knew he couldn’t command a majority on Tory votes alone, as he was up against a band of forty anti-Europeans in his own party, led by Enoch Powell. Nor could the PM rely on Labour votes. Harold Wilson had reversed his party’s previous pro-Europe stance, to the dismay of the large body of Labour europhile MPs led by Roy Jenkins.

The first big vote on the principle of joining Europe came in October 1971. It followed weeks of open and covert pressure by the party whips on both sides. Disinformation, bluff and counter-bluff were matched by what the Euro-historian, Uwe Kitzinger, described as “nose counting, arm twisting, weak knees and stiff upper lips”. As the great debate began, the galleries in the Commons were so crowded that one world-weary doorkeeper confided “I haven’t seen it so full since we used to matter in the world”.

The debate lasted six days. Among the 176 MPs who spoke were the party leaders, including the Jeremy Thorpe, as well as Jim Callaghan, Dennis Skinner, Tony Benn, Enoch Powell, and Jeffrey Archer.

In his speech, Wilson declared that if he were returned to Number 10 “if the Community refused to renegotiate the Tory terms, we would sit down amicably and discuss the situation with them.” The House, crowded and tense, just laughed at him.

In his summing up speech Heath said “I do not think that any Prime Minister has stood at this box in time of peace and asked the House to take a positive decision of such importance as I am asking them to take tonight”. And whipping became important. While Labour imposed a three-line Whip instructing its MPs to vote against the government, Heath, himself a former Chief Whip had been more cunning. He had eventually agreed with his own Chief Whip, Francis Pym, to have a free vote. This made it easier for Labour’s pro-European MPs to defy their own party. In the division sixty-nine of them did so, while thirty-nine Tory eurosceptics led by Enoch Powell voted against their government. The Prime Minister had won by over a hundred but that big margin was illusory. The real problem he faced was to pass the legislation he needed to turn the vote into law.

Wilson declared that the result was a one-off. He would allow no more voting in support of Heath. As he put it “I cannot imagine a single Labour Member who, faced with this legislation, will not be in the lobbies against the government”. Heath and Francis Pym realised that they would need to deploy all the dark arts of whipping to deradicalise the Powellites. And they would need a number of Labour europhiles to support them or at least abstain.

In the Second Reading debate, Michael Foot, Benn’s fellow frontbench sceptic, furiously denounced the bill as “a lawyer’s conjuring trick, the government has decided to treat the House of Commons with contempt”.

Heath said if the government were to be defeated “this Parliament cannot sensibly continue”. His special advisor Michael Wolff had written a resignation speech for him. With the country in chaos, in the middle of a miners strike, with much of Britain blacked out and Northern Ireland in bloody turmoil, a general election was an uninviting prospect. Many Tories, both pro and anti, risked losing their seats.

During the Parliamentary battles, Ken Clarke, then “a fresh-faced young barrister turned Tory MP”, was among those who, as he put it “had to work out how many rebels we had at a particular time on a particular issue and how the devil we could get the Bill through”.

As a new and relatively unknown member of the whips office, he had been chosen to form an unlikely alliance with the Labour europhiles. Clarke had become friendly with a fellow member of the 1970 intake, the young pro-European Labour MP John Roper, who was one of the Jenkinsites’ quasi-whips. The two men would liaise regularly.

“We might not have got into the Community if we hadn’t had an unofficial arrangement in which I was the go-between” said Clark. “I would meet John each day and discuss with him how many Jenkinsites should fail to turn up that evening. We’d have to negotiate it because they all had troubles with their constituency associations. I would suggest the number we needed to match the number of Conservative rebels we knew we were going to have that night. I would always request a number that we thought essential and John would try to help his colleagues by negotiating me down to the absolute minimum that would avoid real risk”.

Roy Jenkins felt reluctantly he could not himself defy the whips and abstain, but he described those who did “The abstainers were made up in almost equal proportions of old men who had decided their fate no longer mattered and young men with the gallantry of 1916 subalterns. Typical of the latter was Michael Barnes the MP for Brentford and Chiswick. “They at once provided us with an essential little shield behind which to shelter and made our political calculations rather tawdry. It’s never comfortable to be dependent on men braver than oneself”.

The battle over the European Communities Bill was the longest of its sort on record. Between March ‘72 when the Bill went into Committee and the Third Reading on 13 July there were 104 divisions. “On one occasion we nearly lost the Bill” said Clarke, “when John Roper and I made a serious miscalculation, or he had pressed me too strongly. The majority fell to just four. That was the narrowest squeak that the Bill, the government and the Whips office had throughout the whole process”.

On the Third Reading division, Francis Pym was still taking no chances. Seven sick Tories were brought to Westminster to be ‘nodded through’. With the Bill so close to being enacted, a record number of thirteen labour europhiles abstained and helped the government to a relatively comfortable final majority of seventeen. Clarke said later “I hugely enjoyed my unseen and minor role in these momentous proceedings. At the historic moment when the Bill finally received Royal Assent I firmly believed that at the age of 32 I would be extremely satisfied with my political career if it went no further”.

When the result of the Third Reading vote was announced in the House to resounding cheers while the Tory antis sat in sad silence, the Chief Whip, Francis Pym, said in rare public statement “It has been a terrific battle full of tension and drama. I am immensely relieved it is over, and that goes for the whole House of Commons. The determination and patience of the Conservative Party has been remarkable”.

In the Commons after the Division, Prior said “Francis Pym gave vent to his feelings. Much to the amusement and delight of us all, this cautious and phlegmatic character danced a jig on the floor of the House”. Nearly fifty years on, what are the odds that there will be more dancing in the Commons as we are freed from the shackles of the EU?

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | August 16, 2019

The Blame Game

Who to blame?

Rebel Tory politicians have begun their preparations in earnest against a no-deal Brexit. The most important part of these preparations, of course, is deciding who to blame when it doesn’t happen.

The plan appears to be as follows. The Conservatives will blame the EU, for not offering a good enough deal. Labour will blame the Conservatives, for not getting a good enough deal. The Lib Dems will blame Labour, for failing to prevent a no-deal. Labour will blame the Lib Dems, for refusing to support Labour’s idea to prevent a no-deal. And the Conservatives will blame both Labour and the Lib Dems, for being so obstinately anti-Brexit that they made any kind of deal impossible.

Should we be surprised? Hardly, because there are some other truly crackpot theories out there. One was published by the Irish Times

yesterday. It goes like this. “The Brexit voting cycle is plain to see. The referendum result was 52 per cent for leave and 48 for remain. But the “leave” option was so vague that it in effect combined at least two options. One option is to leave but only with a negotiated deal”.

This is news to me. I didn’t recognise “at least two options” to leave. And the article goes on “Many leave voters were voting for different things. We’ll never know how many leave voters were in each camp, but it’s safe to say that each contained more than 2 per cent of voters. So, while there was no majority for remain, there was no majority for leaving with a deal and no majority for a no-deal Brexit”. But then again, the writer seems not to apply that 2% theory to remainers!

The writer apparently knows that “EU negotiators still have a little something up their sleeves for when the holidays are over. They have to. They’d be criminally negligent if they didn’t. The beauty of that little something is that it’s not yet been made public…So a deal on Brexit is still on the table. This does depend, however, on Johnson realising he’s only pretending to play chicken with Brussels. What he should be doing is listening carefully to his supporters so he can figure out how to spin that little something the EU surely still has up its sleeve, so he can make “winning” it seem like a great victory. When skilled negotiators get to work, everyone walks away a winner”.

And, crackpot theory extraordinaire, the father and mother of all partnerships, that of Father of the Commons Ken Clarke and Mother of the Commons Harriet Harman to lead an emergency government to avoid a no-deal Brexit, according to Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson, because they “both command respect across the House” and “they both put public duty first”. Really? Well, 17.4 million leavers might dispute that, it being the case that the Remain fanatic Clarke was a whip for the liar Edward Heath!

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | August 16, 2019

Burscough Floods Highlighted Again

Just four days ago

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper confirmed with the Environment Agency that they are to undertake maintenance work on the Dyers Lane stretch of Hurlston Brook in the coming weeks. Concerned residents of Dyers Lane have again contacted MP Rosie to report the brook’s banks being overgrown and their worries about potential flooding.

But, while Dyers Lane celebrates this important news, just a week or so after disclosure of the First Tier Tribunal decision that Gavin Rattray had unanimously won his appeal, reference EA/2018/2019, against The Information Commissioner and West Lancashire Borough Council, it seems that the flooding problems at Martin Mere, including the Boathouse Sluice

Burscough’s main drain, are back in contention.

Burscough Flood Group (BFG) has ascertained and disclosed that the ongoing causes of flooding in Burscough are currently centred on the Boathouse Sluice, Burscough’s main drain. And BFG contends it is a failure of the Environment Agency (EA) to balance the wildlife need of Martin Mere with maintaining all of the Boathouse Sluice. Readers might remember the Whaley Bridge dam crisis that has indications of neglect of duty by our so-called responsible public agencies?

BFG has long contended that there is a lack of sewer capacity through unwillingness of United Utilities to invest. And it goes further by including the failures of WLBC and LCC, failures between them that include ensuring adequate infrastructure is provided, scrutinising and discarding false evidence about flooding provided to planning, preventing Martin Mere impounding larger quantities of water without flood mitigation, failing to gather the available evidence in S19 major flood reports and publicly identify problems, and failing to oversee and enforce the maintenance of watercourses.

These are damning claims. There is video evidence available, see below, now widely spread on the internet. They might embarrass the relevant agencies, and if they don’t they should. Residents of flood risk Burscough might conclude that embarrassing these failing public agencies is the least of their problems? Perhaps it’s time for Rosie Cooper to be photographed at the Boathouse Sluice while it is raining this weekend?

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | August 15, 2019

Being Prepared? Not West Lancashire Tories?

It seems that local Tory Associations are contributing to the worst-kept secret in Westminster,  that we are soon heading for a general election, by posting a slew of adverts for campaign managers as they ramp up preparations for Britain going to the polls.

Great Yarmouth, Harrogate, East Regional Campaign HQ, St Ives, Cheshire West and Chester, Chelmsford, and Havant are mentioned.

So, wondering if West Lancashire Tory Association is also preparing, we took a quick peek at their website. But what a disappointment. The “Feature Story” is of snow on a windscreen, circa 22 January 2019. “News” is the same story. “Articles” consists of “Getting Britain back to work” April 2015!

“People” provides some amazing news! It includes Jacqueline Foster and Sajjad Karim as MEPs, yet there are now no Tory MEPs in the North West of England! False news?

“Our Newsletters are produced around every four months” but while there were 7 in 2018 there have been none in 2019. Presumably there is no local Tory news worth writing about? It seems that the WLCA Annual General Meeting in March 2019 had nothing to report, not even if those attending enjoyed their hotpot meal!

The assumption must be that WLCA is not preparing for a campaign. Would they have a candidate? Would they pay the going rate, circa £22,500-£27,500 for a campaign manager? Or would Wally be in charge. Only time will tell. Rosie Cooper MP might not be too bothered!

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | August 15, 2019

Welcome To Constitutional Wonderland

By Maverick Austin Mitchell who reminds us “It’s the liberal intellectual who is always against his country” Harold Macmillan, August 1956

“Stopping Brexit is becoming a desperate game. It’s produced a manic inventiveness which is turning out more constitutional crap than thirty years of Liberal Party conferences.

“Only the EU can impose “No Deal” by refusing to admit that Theresa May’s deal is as dead as May, so a new government means a new negotiation. Logically therefore Remainers should cart their flags and whinges off to Brussels. They don’t, because their aim is to weaken Britain’s negotiating position, even though that’s the quickest way get the no-deal they deplore.

“Which is why they’re trundling every past Prime Minister out of the museum to denounce Brexit as a disaster greater than any they created. It’s also why they’ve begun a desperate search for devices to lock Boris Johnson into a constitutional straightjacket. When they were in power they didn’t mind that Britain has no constitution because it left them free to do what they wanted. Now that Johnson is boss, they’re inventing a constitution to stop him doing what the people want.

“This drags the Queen into politics by asking her to use a power she hasn’t got to eject her no-deal government and install an unelected government of National Unity though they can’t say who’ll run it. Can’t be the leader of the opposition. He’s not reliable. How about Margaret Beckett, a reformed ex Brexiteer? Or young Jo Swinson. She wants to be Prime Minister and won’t need parking for her caravan in Downing St, or much accommodation for her MPs.

“They call on Parliament to do a job it hasn’t got, by governing instead of the Government. They think Speaker John Bercow will be Euro-daft enough to get Parliament to delay D Day or reverse the vote to implement Article 50. Or both. The Commons can’t do that, but our DIY constitutionalists work by Brussels rules not British. So it can.

“Then a confidence vote to stop Johnson, though if it’s passed, the Queen would have to ask Jeremy Corbyn. They don’t want that so there would have to be an election. Labour doesn’t really want that because in its present state it would lose. So it’s now calling for a people’s vote, though it can’t say when. Or what on.

“To get out of that, Labour’s now written to the Cabinet Secretary to ask him to tell Johnson not to be naughty. When that doesn’t work (as it won’t) Corbyn will be forced to call a vote, which he’ll lose for the same reason that prevents any Government of National Disunity.

“Uniting Remainers is as impossible as getting Donald Trump to shut up. The daring Change Party fell apart in weeks. Ms Lucas’s Ladies Against Leaving Cabinet will never untwist its knickers. So bringing senior politicians together cross party would be like packing pit bulls in a sack. The SNP and Labour are deadly enemies in Scotland and (pace John McDonnell) any attempt to conciliate the SNP weakens Scottish Labour, ruling out any possibility of a Labour national majority. So in a vote the few sensible Labour MPs will abstain. Most will hold their noses and vote. The Tories will pull together, desperate to retain power, which is the point at issue in a confidence vote.

“McDonnell will then have to cancel the taxi to take Corbyn to the Palace and Johnson will be free to call an election when and if he wants one. He can even win that. Electors tend to prefer a party with clear policies and an impetus. Only Johnson has both.

“That’s why people who’ve denounced austerity for years now claim that turning on the money spiggots as Johnson has done is dangerous lunacy, ie, it might help him win where people should be kept miserable so they’ll blame it on Brexit. Everything Johnson has done or proposed, however useful, must be rubbished and Dominic Cummings denounced as a malevolent Machiavelli controlling Johnson’s brain.

“All this is played out just when Johnson and the EU are locked in a high stakes game of bluff. So in undermining Johnson to ensure that Britain fails, Remainers weaken Britain and help the EU they’re so keen on (Let’s Make Europe Great Again) to inflict as much damage as it can on Britain. Not exactly a popular approach in a nation that voted to come out.

“They’re doing it because they’re desperate and that makes them anxious to rewrite a constitution we haven’t got. It’s so crazy that I’m writing a new guide “Creating a Constitution to keep the British People in their Box” – should have an enormous sale in Brussels. Perhaps I’ll even beat Dominic Grieve for the Juncker prize: a model of the Brussels boy pissing on the people”.

“Sour grapes delivered direct to your door! Contact Hammond Vinyards for details “These are English grapes as I like them-piquante- and cheap” (E.Macron) “Give us more” ( Guy Verhofstadt) “Haec,hoc, hic” (J.C.Junker)!”

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | August 14, 2019

The James Callaghan Way To No Deal Brexit?

Jim Callaghan’s

brief premiership ended in 1979 when with no overall majority he succumbed to a vote of no confidence and then lost the subsequent general election.

Bercow and Hammond are in full Remain mode today. Asked if parliament can stop a No Deal Brexit, Bercow said: ‘Yes.’ Hammond echoed Bercow’s optimism this morning when he was asked whether he believed MPs would be able to find a way to stop No Deal. “Yes. I am very confident that the means exist for Parliament to make its voice heard and to pass legislation that gives effect to the clear view of parliament”. As if Parliament hasn’t been making its voice heard!

Perhaps they should read the views of Andrew Roberts

a distinguished historian and journalist. A Visiting Professor at the Department of War Studies, Kings College London, he is the President of the Cambridge University Conservative Association. He recently put the Remain plots inside and outside the House of Commons under the microscope.

Particularly, that “Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the former foreign secretary, has stated that if Boris Johnson refused to resign as prime minister immediately after losing a no-confidence vote in the House of Commons next month, “he would create the gravest constitutional crisis since the actions of Charles I led to the Civil War”. Dominic Grieve has further suggested that the Queen might have to demand Mr Johnson’s resignation.

“If there is one thing that we can take for granted as we enter the new constitutional ground laid down by the (staggeringly ill-advised) Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011, it is that the Queen will act with perfect propriety. She is not about, in the sixty-seventh year of her reign, to play fast and loose with the constitution after having adhered to it with such punctilious respect for so long. Under the Act, the prime minister may call a general election on a date of his choosing after losing a confidence vote, and all that Dominic Cummings was saying in his press briefing was that Mr Johnson will do that, which takes us out of the European Union before a general election takes place.

“Assuming that no government can be formed in the 14 day period after the vote of no confidence – an easy assumption to make, as who would be the prime minister who could command the confidence of a majority of this House of Commons?. Then the general election would be held in early November, with Britain safely independent once again. All the fury and resentment of the bitter Remainers – Gina Miller, Tony Blair, Mr Grieve, The Times, John Major and so on – will have achieved absolutely nothing, although they could always start a campaign to try to rejoin the EU if they wanted. (Good luck with that!).

“Of course Mr Johnson does not need to resign the premiership immediately on losing the confidence vote in the event that no-one else can form a government, any more than James Callaghan did when he lost his confidence vote on 28 March 1979 but stayed on at No 10 until 4 May, in the only postwar example of a government losing a no-confidence vote.

“Further, as prime minister, it would be up to Mr Johnson to advise the Queen on whether to give Royal Assent to a bill passed by the Commons and Lords blocking a no-deal Brexit. It would be well within his rights to advise the Queen not to sign such a bill into law, for reasons that go back to the Civil War that Sir Malcolm mentioned. For since the mid-seventeenth century, it has been the People whose will has been sovereign in this country, as almost every political philosopher has agreed since the days of John Locke and David Hume.

“The Civil War was fought to establish that very principle, overturning Charles I’s Divine Right of Kings concept in the process. In the Civil War, the sovereignty of the People was championed by the Parliamentary forces of Oliver Cromwell and the New Model Army, the victors in that struggle. Today the People’s will when clearly expressed comprehensively trumps that of the Crown, both Houses of Parliament, and even that of the BBC.”

“When the will of the People was expressed on 23 June 2016 in the referendum vote to leave the EU, the Remainer Parliament lost its moral right to subvert it. Remainers argue that no deal was not on the ballot and therefore has no democratic legitimacy, but that is specious. The only thing that was on the ballot was to leave or remain, and no fewer than three attempts were made to leave with a deal, each of which failed. The sole way now, therefore, to honour the referendum result – at least in the face of Brussels’s refusal to do a trade deal that permits a meaningful Brexit – is to leave without one.

“So when the moment comes […] that the Queen is presented by the Commons and Lords with a bill that bans a no-deal Brexit, Mr Johnson should emulate the ministers who advised Queen Anne not to sign the Scottish Militia Bill on 11 March 1708. On that occasion, her veto was recorded in the statute book with the words “La Reine se avisera” (The Queen will consider it). It is highly unlikely that Elizabeth II will depart from the most important of the provisions in our unwritten constitution, that the monarch acts upon the advice of her ministers. Every member of today’s Cabinet is now committed to a no-deal Brexit if necessary.

“The way that the bitter Remainers could really now serve the country they profess to love – despite not wanting it to be independent – would be to persuade Brussels to dump the Withdrawal Agreement as any kind of template for Britain’s future relationship with the EU, and to negotiate a comprehensive free-trade agreement in good faith. In the eyes of history, it might even mitigate their three year campaign against democracy”.

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | August 14, 2019

Loss Making Outdoor Market Under “Privatisation Threat”?

Do it yourselves outdoor market, from the Champion


A check of the West Lancashire Borough Council Statement of Accounts 2018/19 shows that under Trading Services “The Council operates a market in Ormskirk on Thursdays and Saturdays under a market charter”. “Market Expenditure 2019/19 £274,000 Income £237,000. Deficit £37,000. Previous year deficit £20,000”.

But car parking makes a profit, how much extra parking profit is made on market days? We subsidise the Motorfest, will that be next?

The WLBC cabinet made the decision which is challenged by traders and Our West Lancashire. It’s a pity that the full council didn’t have an opportunity to debate it. The WLBC spokesperson claims the Ormskirk market to be the best street market in the North West. But the statement claims “WLBC has given a great deal of thought to how it can improve the market….” Give us a clue how this new policy improves “the best”!

Perhaps they should think again, by finding other ways to save public cash. The crackpot decision to give cash rich Aughton Parish Council £5,000 for playground improvements is just one area that needs public scrutiny.

And when will we hear of the cut in council elected members by one third of the current number? Let’s have some meaningful changes, not the top management jobs musical chairs that costs us too much payola!

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | August 13, 2019

How Aughton Parish Council Keeps Its Vast Cash Resources Intact

Cash rich Aughton awarded £5,000

As reported, Aughton Parish Council Accounts for the year ending 31 March 2019 show “The Section 2 Accounting Statement for the year 2018/2019, approved on the 26 June 2019 shows “Balances carried forward” from 31 March 2018 £117,750 to 31 March 2019 “£130,047”, an increase of “£12,297”.

But despite its wealth, Aughton Parish Council has applied for and received approval of a bid of £5,000 from the WLBC Capital Partnership Scheme 2019, towards an Aughton Play Area.

Minutes Of The Annual Meeting Of The Council Held On Monday, 13 May 2019,. In Aughton Village Hall Annexe, Commencing At 7.15 Pm

CHAIRMAN: Councillor Graham Jones

WilliamArnoldSilcock MemorialPlayingField,WinifredLane(15.90acres) (1.14acres–VillageHall&Gardens–AughtonVillageHallManagementCommittee) (14.76acres–AughtonParishCouncil–RecreationField,CarPark,SportsPavilion, Children’s Play area,BowlingGreen,3PublicTennisCourts/5-a-sideCourts(dual purpose), 2CricketSquares, 7mini soccer pitches

Minute 11121 WEST LANCASHIRE BOROUGH COUNCIL: Capital Partnership Scheme Bid 2019 – it was reported the bid for a scheme of £5,000 APC/£5,000 WLBC for the replacement of some of the safety surfacing at William Arnold Silcock Memorial Playing Field Play Area had been successful. Scheme to be completed within 2 years of acceptance of conditions.

Why should WLBC council tax payers be subsidising cash rich Aughton in this way? Doesn’t this bring shame on the Aughton beancounters?

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