West Lancashire Coronavirus Has Increased Its Harm Again

Sadly three patients have died at Ormskirk & Southport NHS Trust hospitals. One occurred on November 28th and two on November 29th. There have now been 243 losses in our community.

West Lancashire has also shown increased levels of coronavirus infections. We report on 25 new cases, that’s now 4,619 infections, 4,040.9 per 100,000 of the population.

Road Monster Spotted In Halsall

Angry residents from Moss Road, Halsall have yet again contacted their Parish Council regarding contractor’s vehicles arriving and departing the construction site on the Birkdale Cop Road. The latest and most disturbing incident was a HGV, registration number GB18 VEP owed by Van Elle Ltd (see photo below) which drove through Moss Road on 30th November 2020.

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The HPC writes “The vehicle registration and company details can be confirmed via site entry and access logs from the site office. I think we can safely assume that this vehicle exceeds the 7 1/2 ton road weight limit by a considerable amount and is one of a number of ever increasing infringements of HGV’s abusing the road weight restrictions emanating from the housing development.

“On investigation, we believe this HGV is from Van Elle’s depot located at the Genesis Centre, Garrett Field, Birchwood, Warrington, WA3 7BH. The blatant abuse of weight restrictions on Moss Road together with contractors ignoring site traffic management plans and planning conditions is making life for residents in this area a misery and appropriate Police action is unfortunately very necessary.

“We hope Lancashire Police will conduct a full investigation and an appropriate prosecution and licence endorsement being the outcome.

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“What can Lancashire Police do in the short term to enforce the weight restriction on Moss Road to reduce HGV infringements?”

Perhaps the answer lies with the willingness or not of the Lancashire Constabulary to act on evidence supplied by the public? They do use checkpoints.

When will they use them on Moss Road in Halsall? The evidence is there, the public have provided it. We hope to publish details of a successful prosecution of the firm and driver in due course.

They prosecute for drink drive, what’s the difference in risk to lives?

Male Political Haircuts

If you haven’t heard of “Male Political Haircuts”, read on, as a twitter compares haircuts according to “A niche combination of politics (Mainly British but a bit of international dabbling) and mens’ haircuts! This account aims to be non-partisan”.

It’s only published here because of some local interest. To celebrate Lancashire Day four West Lancashire politicians had their hair styles compared,

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There was then a vote for the best, of which, despite a miss spelling of one there was a tie! Male Political Haircuts Nov 27 Best @Westlancsbc Cllr hair? #LancashireDay. Cllr Ian Moran 38.6%; Cllr Andy Pritchard 10.5%; Cllr Gareth Dowling 12.3%; Cllr Samuel Corrie 38.6%

And for the county, another four runners were

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And the votes were Best @LancashireCC Cllr hair? #LancashireDay
Cllr Charlie Edwards 45.2%; Cllr David Foxcroft 16.7%; Cllr John Potter 28.6%; Cllr Paul Greenall 9.5%
. Sadly, dapper Cllr Greenall was last.

As it happens, we already knew how important it was for our elected representatives to become well known by their individual styles, and we have this on record from a few years ago.

A New UK Fishing Industry

By John Redwood, making eminent sense of no sacrifice to the EU.

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“Remembering past experiences of EU negotiations some fear another sell out of our fish. Unrelenting Remain supporters tell us as the fishing industry is so small, we should make concessions to secure other unspecified advantages in a general agreement. If the industry is as unimportant as they say it is to us, why would the EU be so keen to win concessions on it?

“Isn’t the truth that it is small today for the UK only because most of our fish are taken by continental boats and often taken away for processing far from our shores?

“Fish is one of many important wins from Brexit for the UK. It is also totemic, because most agree our membership of the EEC, now the EU, came with the sacrifice of our once large and healthy fishing industry. We have gone from good surplus and plenty of stock in our seas, to overfishing from abroad and an astonishing net deficit in fish.

“The government needs to take action to make the most of this opportunity. They must of course hold firm in negotiations and refuse to make any sacrifice of our fish. A Free Trade Agreement makes sense for the EU, so there is no need to sweeten the deal with a gift of fish.

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“The government should also get on with the following policies
1. Announce freeports, including our best fishing harbours, with favourable tax and regulatory conditions to found and grow a high quality food processing industry on the back of more landed fish.
2. Offer a fund to finance or guarantee finance on the purchase of new vessels from a UK yard or second hand vessels from a non UK owner, to undertake a rapid expansion of the UK fishing fleet.
3. Offer more training and training support packages to people wishing to undertake work in the industry.
4. Add Enterprise Zones to our Freeports, encouraging food manufacturers to make up great fish recipes, provide frozen product and help identify new markets for our food at home and abroad.

“I am sending this to the government for consideration”.

West Lancashire Coronavirus Reports Remain Encouraging

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Our West Lancashire Ormskirk & Southport NHS Trust hospitals have recorded 12 new coronavirus infections again today, bringing the cumulative total to 4,594 cases, that’s 4,019 per 100,000 of the population.

NHS England has updated our borough and again reported no coronavirus related deaths in West Lancashire. The total losses remain at 240.

The Serco Creed

In February 2017, in the fourth year of the great Beacon Park Golf Course landfill royalty swindle, we read about the Serco creed. It makes wonderful pantomime script.

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“Serco-Our culture is based on a set of four values – Trust, Care, Innovation, Pride – that shape our individual behaviours and hence the way the company behaves. They ensure we are all working from a commonly understood base that can be consistently applied across our organisation.

Trust us…with your golf course

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“Our values need to be lived every day, used to help us work through any challenges we may face and help us recognise and celebrate our achievements. They guide us in our dealings with colleagues, customers, suppliers, partners, shareholders and the communities we serve. It is important that we hold ourselves and others accountable for our values every day and have defined a set of behaviours that are expected from all of us. They describe how our behaviours bring Serco’s values to life.

We care…about your golf course

“There are also some additional expectations for those of us who have a responsibility for managing people as well as our leaders. Joint venture partners-Serco is involved in a number of joint ventures with commercial partners and customers. Strong relationships, based on mutual trust and respect and clarity of roles, are essential ingredients if a joint venture is to deliver excellent customer service.

An innovation…on your golf course
, mud, glorious mud.

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“Our divisional management teams are responsible for relationships with our joint venture partners, supported by members of the Executive Committee and Board as appropriate. This includes holding regular strategy and review meetings with our partners. As with our suppliers, we continue to enhance the systems and processes to seek to ensure that our joint venture partners meet the standards we have set ourselves in our policies and through our values.

Our pride…in your golf course, it’s like no other!

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“Strategic partners-We often deliver services as part of a consortium, either as prime contractor or as a subcontractor. This allows us to bring together companies with the skills to meet the precise requirements of a bid. This includes working with voluntary sector organisations, which often lack the scale and experience to access major government programmes. Responsibility for relationships with our strategic partners lies with the relevant contract and divisional management”.

Our partners, Oakland Golf & Leisure Ltd, have been and gone, just like the landfill royalties. Mission accomplished, our values intact.

No Surrender!

On Friday in a desperate attempt to salvage a deal on fishing, Michel Barnier attempted to persuade EU politicians and apparatchiks to drop their insistence on continued full access to UK sovereign waters. It has been reported that the offer to Lord Frost is now that the UK might be allowed “12-18%” of the catch of fish in UK waters after 31 Dec 2020!

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Under the EU our fishing industry has been decimated. Below we present facts researched from the UK’s official Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and its official antecedent organisations, from the EU’s official statistics agency Eurostat, and from DEFRA, the government department responsible for fisheries.

“On 01 January 2021 the UK will automatically become an independent coastal state. The UK’s 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) will then apply. The UK will automatically regain exclusive sovereign rights over all waters and resources within its EEZ under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

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Without an explicit agreement to the contrary, the EU has no legal right to fish in UK waters after 2020, nor to claim inflated quotas for resources that are predominantly in British waters. It will be forced under international laws and conventions to reduce the amount of fish its member states’ fleets can catch in all other waters – dramatically.

“The EU’s last documented position is that it is demanding that the UK must “uphold existing reciprocal access conditions, quota shares and traditional activity of the Union fleet.” In other words it wants full and unconditional access to the UK’s waters and its fish, exactly as if the United Kingdom were still an EU member state.

“Either the United Kingdom becomes a sovereign country on 01 January 2021 or it doesn’t.

“One of the many litmus tests for this is what happens to the UK’s control of its waters. As a nation with a long maritime history, it is essential that the UK regains full control. This should not be mitigated in any way by anything written into a ‘trade deal’ with the EU”.

it’s being claimed by the French that all the fish are French, but most of them just happen to swim in UK waters! C’est de la merde ce truc. 

Municipal Golf Course To Close

No, it’s not the landfill corruption riddled Beacon Park Golf Course, not yet! The nationwide ban on golf will be lifted in England this coming Wednesday but one course won’t be joining the throng of re-openings.

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All facilities at Brandon Wood Golf Course are now closed indefinitely and any access to the site is prohibited. Brandon Wood, located in Coventry, has fallen victim to desperately challenging economic conditions brought about this year by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A statement on its website revealed that the course, operated by Coventry Sports Trust, has welcomed its last golfer. “It is with regret that we have to announce that Brandon Wood Golf Course will not reopen once lockdown ends on Wednesday 2 December 2020,” read the statement.

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“The golf course is operated by Coventry Sports Trust on land owned by Coventry City Council and has been loss-making for some time. These challenges have been exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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“Coventry City Council has in the past supported the Trust with additional funding so that the facility could remain open. However, with well-documented financial pressure faced by the local authority, it cannot provide ongoing financial support – a position Coventry Sports Trust understands.

“Therefore, Coventry Sports Trust has decided that the facility is no longer viable to operate without additional funding. A consultation period has started with staff affected by this decision”.

The local authority now intends to undertake an appraisal of the site to establish whether or not it can be sustained as a golf course or redeveloped for an alternative use. Social media users have responded to the news, with one saying “I’ve played this course countless times and I’ve always thought it was well maintained and a good track for the price of a round. Thoughts are with the staff at this time”.

Nestling in the heart of the Warwickshire countryside on the banks of the River Avon, Brandon Wood opened for play in 1977. They state “We thank all of our current and past users for their loyalty and custom over the years”.

Will the “landfilled for the royalty grabbers Beacon Park Golf Course” be next?
The latest un-confirmed news we have on BPGC is there is apparently no qualified green keeper, until January, and the Serco managers are using “voluntary artisans” at the site! Maybe the top secret WLBC leisure contract will soon see the light of transparency shining through it for the benefit of its owners, we council tax payers?

West Lancashire Encouraged By Low Coronavirus Infections

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West Lancashire has today recorded the lowest daily rise of coronavirus infections in the county. 12 new infections were reported. The borough is now reported to have an infection rate lower than the national average. The borough total is now 4,582, that’s 4,008.5 per 100,000 of the population.

There were no losses reported today in the borough, and the total losses remain at 240.

Sunday Satire On Tory Pipsqueaks

From the Independent, MPs rebelling against coronavirus tiers should try “carrying bodies to the mortuary” says Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson.

Specifically, he is fuming that a growing group of Tory MPs, led by Steve Baker, are rebelling against that tier system.

“When I hear this fella arguing we should let Covid rip, this little pipsqueak” he says “I say to him, you come up here and work as a porter in the Royal Liverpool Hospital and you see the people that are dying and then tell us we should just allow this to continue and not have a tier structure. You have a shift carrying the bodies up to the mortuary.

“Come up here and talk to the doctors, and nurses like the one who had to ring me at quarter to ten on a Friday night to tell me my brother had died. You do a shift with them, Steve Baker”.

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It is Friday morning and Joe Anderson, the directly elected mayor of Liverpool, should, by rights, be feeling relatively satisfied. Twenty-four hours earlier, the city he leads became the first and so far only region of England to have dragged itself out of the toughest coronavirus restrictions.

When the national lockdown ends next week, Liverpool which in October had the country’s highest Covid-19 rates, will be one of the few patches of the north where contagion is considered low enough for it to be placed in bracket two of the government’s new three-tier system.

A combination of mass testing and an early acceptance of previous restrictions – both vigorously demanded by Anderson – have brought the deadly bug under some control here. Rates currently stand at 138 cases per 100,000. Barely four weeks ago, they were skyrocketing at 680. But, despite this, when the 62-year-old first picks up the phone to The Independent for a conversation ostensibly about what’s gone right, he’s fuming.

It is a theme he will come back to repeatedly over a 90-minute conversation. “You have to put the lives of people first” he says. “It’s the number one priority. Then, of course, the economy is important. But, first of all, what are you if you don’t prioritise lives?”

His age, weight and heart condition all make him vulnerable to Covid-19. “I’m a fat grandad-of-six” he says at one point. “And you can quote me on that”. Few leaders, if any, have had to deal with the savagery of this pandemic to the same extent as him. The deadly bug has brought devastation to both his city and family.

His older brother Bill died in October just days after contracting the illness while having a flu jab. The 70-year-old woke up one morning short of breath and was in hospital by 2pm. His wife tried to phone Anderson who declined the call because he was in a Zoom meeting about skyrocketing infections. By the time that had concluded, Bill was in intensive care. “By 10.30pm, he was dead” says the mayor. “We never spoke”.

The last time they had seen each other was at their other brother Henry’s funeral just six weeks earlier. He himself had died following a long battle with cancer. “I’ve done my fair share of shedding tears when I go to bed at night and say my prayers” says Anderson. “I’m no tougher than anyone else. And I’ll shed more before this is over”.

Some people have asked him if his own experience has inspired him to fight this virus harder. “I tell them no,” he says bluntly. “I wouldn’t insult my brother’s memory by saying that because what inspires me is the same as always: trying to do my best for the people of this city. And I know that sounds like the kind of thing a politician would say. But it’s the truth. It’s the truth. This is my city and I’ll always do my best for it”.

His leadership will perhaps now always be defined by Covid-19. At worst, he may be remembered, he acknowledges, as a leader who accepted a Conservative government imposing restrictions, in October, that shuttered large parts of the city and caused irreparable economic damage, all while Labour leaders up the road in Manchester fought tooth-and-nail against the very same measures. “I took a political kick in for that decision and it was painful” he says. “People saying I was fit to burn. I had to have police patrols coming past my house because I was getting threats”.

He points to the city’s NHS as proof his decision was correct. For a period in October, hospitals here were running at 95 per cent capacity. The situation was so bad, one senior medic, Oliver Zuzan, told the BBC the whole system was “hanging by a thread”. Now those numbers have come right down. The health service stayed standing.

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Crucially, too, perhaps, it was in those October conversations with the government that Anderson says he first raised an intriguing possibility with Boris Johnson’s then chief adviser Sir Edward Lister. “We were discussing resources for dealing with Covid and I told him we needed the armed forces” he says. “His mouth dropped: a Labour mayor asking a Tory government to send in the army”.

Within days, Matt Hancock was in touch. He asked if Liverpool would be interested in piloting a mass testing scheme which would see 2,000 soldiers deployed to the city. The programme, the health secretary explained, would aim to screen every single resident as often as they wished at more than 30 specially set-up sites. “I grabbed it with both hands” says Anderson.

Debate rages even now about the merits of the scheme which has seen 200,000 tested since it started three weeks ago. There are questions about its cost, accuracy rates and ability to reach poorer neighbourhoods.

Yet one statistic stands out: some 995 people here have been detected as having the virus through testing. By effectively taking those individuals out of circulation early, the city has, Anderson argues, been able to drive contagion down. The result is that, bizarrely, Liverpool has become a sort of poster child for a Tory government policy. Anderson, meanwhile, has been repeatedly praised by both Johnson and Hancock. How does that sit?

“Look, I’ve been on the end of austerity since 2010, dealing with a Tory government that doesn’t care about my city” he says. “But this isn’t about political colours. I don’t get pleased or displeased about what they say as long as I’m confident in my skin I’m doing the right thing. Which I am”.

All the same, for his part, he has no similar reciprocal praise. He blames mistakes repeatedly made by Johnson and Hancock for the UK having one of the world’s worst death tolls. Their attempts to return life to normality in the summer was, he says, especially egregious.

“They told people go back to work, go shopping, go out to eat, go back to university, all unfettered,” he says. “They told us to do all of the things that the virus thrives on”. People died because of that? “Absolutely, absolutely they did. There’s no question of that. Thousands”.

A failure to have an earlier autumn circuit breaker also added unnecessary deaths, he feels. His brother Bill, he says, would still be alive today if action had been taken sooner. How does he work with a government he believes effectively caused the death of his own brother?

“It makes me angry,” he says. “But I don’t believe that Boris Johnson or Matt Hancock are evil. I don’t believe they deliberately done what they did by commission. It was through incompetence, making .”

His own thoughts are now turning towards Christmas. Even with Liverpool moving into tier two from 2 December meaning pubs can open and small crowds can watch sports events he has already cautioned the city to live with care, and to keep getting tested.

He won’t be rushing out to watch his beloved Everton; nor will he and wife Marg, a care worker, be seeing any of their five children or six grandchildren. “We’ll drop presents at the bottom of the garden,” he says. “Wave through the window”.

Doesn’t he miss them? “Every day” he says. “It’s a parent’s and grandparents’ worst nightmare. It’s horrible, for me as a grandad but also to know that it’s being replicated all over the city.”

But he says
Liverpool has suffered too much pain to relax. Some 1,876 have died in the region’s hospitals after testing positive for coronavirus and, whatever happens, that number will go up over the next few months. “It’s about limiting that” he says. “We shouldn’t just be thinking about this Christmas, but next Christmas and the one after that. We’re getting close to a vaccine. We just have to stay safe until then”.