West Lancashire Coronavirus News

Our West Lancashire Ormskirk & Southport NHS Trust hospitals have announced three new people had a confirmed positive test result reported today, 22nd April 2021.

Between 16th April 2021 and 22nd April 2021, 20 people had a confirmed positive test result. This shows no change compared to the previous 7 days.

There were no deaths within 28 days of a positive test for coronavirus reported on 22nd April 2021.

Between 16th April 2021 and 22 April 2021, there have been no deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test. This shows no change compared to the previous 7 days.

Merseyrail Profits Turn To Pie In The Sky

The massively subsidised Merseyrail has slumped into the red, after making profits of almost £20m in 2019, because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Its profits are shared between Serco and Abellio.

It has revealed its passenger numbers plummeted by up to 90% during the lockdowns imposed across Merseyside in 2020 which also forced the company’s turnover to fall by more than £25m.

New documents filed with Companies House show the business posted a pre-tax loss of £2.5m for the 12 months to January 9, 2021, compared to a £18.1m profit in the prior year. Its turnover also declined from £175.1m to £150m over the same period.

Before the pandemic, Merseyrail operated more than 600 train services from Monday to Saturday and 340 on Sundays. A total of 110,000 passenger journeys were made each weekday and 30m every year. Because of Covid-19 restrictions, passenger journeys dropped up to 90% during lockdowns and  Merseyrail reduced the number of trains per day to about 350.

A statement signed by the board said “Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the directors have closely monitored the results of the group and the impact the pandemic has had on UK public transport and the wider economy. Whilst the impact of Covid-19 evolves we continued to consider several scenarios and the impacts on passenger revenue, costs, profits and cash flow.

“Since the start of the first national lockdown for the UK, passenger revenue has fallen dramatically. This had started to recover slightly from mid-2020 with the easing of the national lockdown, however, passenger revenue was much lower than what it was in 2019 and the directors continue to monitor passenger revenue on a daily basis. The fall in passenger revenue has had a significant impact on the results of 2020”.

Perhaps this monopoly might issue some cheap services to and from Ormskirk and Liverpool after the pandemic? It’s our taxes that assist this Serco company to make its regular profits? Free off peak travel for West Lancashire pensioners is regularly denied by Serco, and no West Lancashire Labour councillor bothers to seek parity. It’s discrimination!

You Really Couldn’t Make It Up?

The Liverpool Echo reports on a planning decision made after an hour-long debate at Sefton Council last week has turned out to be invalid thanks to a paperwork error.

Several councillors expressed frustration during a planning meeting last Wednesday (April 14) where they were left with little option but to accept a significantly reduced contribution towards affordable housing from the developers behind a new care home on the site of the former Mayflower Industrial Estate in Formby.

The developers had claimed the project, which is nearly complete, would not be financially viable if they were forced to include the 10 affordable homes that had originally been promised and instead offered £266,000 towards affordable housing elsewhere in Sefton.

But confusion over who the developers actually are means that last week’s decision is no longer valid and the proposal has to be consulted on and debated again at a later date.

The application to reduce the contribution was made in the name of Ascot Property Group as a result of a mistake by the applicant’s agent. Ascot has had no involvement in the site since selling its interest in 2017.

At a planning committee meeting Cllr Bob McCann said “What we are being asked to do is to effectively write off £1.2m and by doing so I think this application has crossed the line”.

The Sefton Council Website declares “Planning & Building Control – Main Functions • Technical Support: • Validation of Planning Applications”.

“Serve Enforcement Notices when required” but not against Sefton Council!Can’t imagine what salary the Chief Planning Officer receives?

How Desperate Is The Local Tory Party To Destroy Independents?

Today we bring you the face of the West Lancashire Tory party as it seeks to damage the independent opposition to it. It’s contained in a Facebook poster, below.

And the party then states “Covid-19 has had a huge impact on Ormskirk Town Centre Rebuilding it needs major collaboration between Government, County and the Borough Councils pulling together. For the sake of Ormskirk, please don’t lose that opportunity by wasting your vote on a fringe protest party”.

No surprise to read comments published and we offer a few below.

“SCUM of the earth Tories picking on independent parties at local elections a bloody disgrace I’m Labour through and through but come on. We all have one thing in common we want the best for our local communities apart from Tory voters”.

“Voting for anybody else ain’t going to rescue OTC from the present crisis. The Tories do sod all locally and that goes for Labour as well. At least OWL cares about what goes on locally”.

“The Conservatives are a pile of egotistical idiots who don’t care one jot for anyone other than themselves and their rich mates. I never have and never will vote Conservative”.

Remain Cautious Of Coronavirus In West Lancashire

The Ormskirk & Southport NHS Trust hospitals have confirmed five new people had a coronavirus positive test result reported on 21st April 2021.

Between 15th April 2021 and 21st April 2021, 17 people had a confirmed positive test result. This shows a decrease of 19.0% compared to the previous 7 days.

West Lancashire has declared 8,916 infections, that’s 7,800.1 per 100,000 of our population.

There were no deaths within 28 days of a positive test for coronavirus reported on 21st April 2021.

Between 15th April 2021 and 21st April 2021, there have been 0 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test. This shows no change compared to the previous 7 days.

Misleading The Public During An Election Period Isn’t On!

When reading about experienced politicians, regardless of party, apparently misleading the public during an election period, is annoying, to put it mildly.

But there’s a lot of it going on. The political “relationship”, if that’s the right word, which indicates that WLBC cares because it engages with residents, voters, when it hasn’t, and doesn’t, is reprehensible.

And shifting blame for flooding away from WLBC and United Utilities won’t help a single flood victim. Instead it will make their misery worse. When found out, writing “We would be happy to make the position clearer in future literature” doesn’t really cut it.

If WLBC’s group is to have any success, it should be separate from any partners and be open, honest and accountable to the community. So the question is “As this group doesn’t propose to challenge WLBC’s past and present mistakes, is it just there to blame all the other partners and filter the outputs from the Flood Action Groups?”

The historical “Appeal Reference: EA/2018/0219, 9th May 2019)” tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” about WLBC. Readers of it will relish Paragraph 32 and its generous references to West Lancashire Record. We can always rely on the Judiciary to conclude that reading the West Lancashire Record is good for West Lancastrians.

Independent Questions For The Establishment

Which pockets will the Cllr O’Toole proposed “New investment in Flood Prevention Schemes” be picked for? Public pockets as taxed!

From the Independent candidate for Halsall.

“It’s funny when you read statements of intent such as we see here when Mr O’Toole states that his priorities are “campaigning for investment in drainage schemes” yet it’s over 2 weeks now since Halsall Parish Council contacted Mr O’Toole in regards to where is our much promised capital investment funding for New Cut Lane Halsall road drainage programme.

“The Parish Council has received complete silence on the matter, just shows you that some councillors don’t know when their sell by date has expired but are still happy to treat the electorate as fools!

“Mr O’Toole’s leaflet says he is delighted to be the conservative county council candidate for Aughton, Downholland and Great Altcar, is he now stating that he no longer wishes to represent Halsall as part of his division?

“Many of us in Halsall have suspected this for some years now, so this pledge is could be one that has for once, an element of truth. It’s about time some of these old time councillors who are riding on the expenses “gravy train” actually do what they pledge or can we suggest they get off at the next station”.

James Upjohn For Ashurst?

The Independent Candidate for Ashurst wants to be a councillor to tackle problems nobody else bothers about. As usual, probably as in every ward in this Borough, flooding is featured. The culprits are named. And it’s worth remembering the ward has been minus one councillor who chose not to attend and represent the public.

One phrase from James Upjohn tells you why Ashurst needs him. He wants to be “A Councillor with a passion for transforming Ashurst from decent to AMAZING”. 

His mandate?

1) Introduction of mobile CCTV to deter nuisance off road bikes, fly-tippers & litter louts.

2) Better education in schools around litter to encourage a generational change in Skelmersdale.

3) Continue to Lobby United Utilities, LCC and WLBC to find a solution to our flooded Subways.

4) Lobby for change to the bulky waste collection service policies to allow provisions for those that are not in a position to use the service effectively.

5) Continue to Lobby LLC to provide more grit bins.

6) Establish an events committee at WLBC to discuss introducing some annual town events.

7) Introduce more litter bins, especially at our litter hotspots, like bridges. Also add anti-litter signs across the ward in highly littered areas.

8) Work to create a more business friendly council that encourages business growth so that we can benefit from increased business rate receipts.

9) Continue to monitor and report the potholes all over Ashurst and Lobby LCC to fix them.

10) Continue to fight for our green spaces and cloughs to be given the proper recognition and routine maintenance that they deserve.

11) Create schemes to give volunteers the proper recognition they deserve.

12) Encourage local schools to make better use of our outdoor spaces and look at setting up and supporting outdoor classrooms in our Cloughs and heritage sites.

13) Encourage better use of social media use to keep residents informed.

14) Re-establish monthly surgeries to encourage residents to speak up and have their voices heard.

15) Work to fix local issues from within our existing councils to make sure we already receive adequate services for all the services we are currently paying for.

16) Look to increase our clean & green team numbers to be more in line with neighbouring councils.

Stop Press

A local poll has provided an indication of a drift away of support from the large political parties in West Lancashire. The furore over attacks made against Independent candidates suggests people may use their votes to protest. Issues include flooding and drainage, the probable development of greenbelt land, the regular uncontrolled council tax increases, and the appalling state of roads that cause damage to cars.