Tory Fighting General Election On Local Politics?

Jack Gilmore, Tory candidate for West Lancashire

seen canvassing in Alma Hill, who ignores the 22,000 or so elderly and disabled residents in the borough and has no stated policies to improve their lives has instead apparently attacked the Labour controlled Borough Council for undermining’ the existing Local Plan by not completing the required 5 year review, thereby opening the door to rogue planning applications on protected land.

Aren’t these the failed politics we are used to hearing from Wally Westley? 

Mr Gilmore claims “The existing Local Plan 2012/27 approved by the previous Conservative administration was due for the 5 yearly review in 2018 but Labour failed to carry this out and instead chose to embark on their failed attempt to impose a new 30 year Local Plan, with the release of a further 1,500 acres of greenbelt land.

“Local Conservatives successfully forced Labour to scrap their ideas for a new 30 year Local Plan but Labour are still refusing to protect the existing Local Plan by not doing the 5 year review. Instead the Labour Cabinet have opted to start work on a new 15 year Local Plan which will take at least 2 years to complete.

“This delay potentially opens the door to rogue developments on protected sites like the scoping planning application recently submitted for the Parrs Lane sites in Aughton and risks the same moves for other sites across the Borough like the protected half of Yew Tree Farm in Burscough.

“And let’s not forget that Labour’s mismanagement comes at a financial cost to the council tax payer with £300k already wasted on their attempted 30 year Local Plan”.

And let’s not forget the Labour commitment to funding the successful legal action against developers at Parrs Lane? Neither party is lilywhite about development. But where is there any Gilmore policy to help elderly and disabled residents, voters, to travel on all buses on Sundays, or any rail services at discounted rates to and from Liverpool? 

Rosie Cooper Comments On Parrs Lane Developer Attack

West Lancashire’s Labour Election Candidate Rosie Cooper

Supports Aughton residents as she writes “Once again the Parrs Lane area is under determined attack from developers. I have always been clear, it is important to build houses especially to provide for young and first time buyers but developments should always be in appropriate settings.

“Housing decisions should be made based on where there is a need. Developers should not be allowed to cherry pick where they believe they can make the biggest profits. I have written to West Lancashire Borough Council and will continue to support the residents”.

Who in Aughton can forget the infamous “wall” of place names

created to recognize local politicians involved in the previous “Local Developers’ Plan” for Parrs Lane? Nobody, and it all has to start again!

Fishing Industry Seeks Support For December 2020 CFP Exit

The fishing industry

is urging politicians to support its goal of exiting the Common Fisheries Policy within one year of the general election. Scottish Fishermen’s Federation

chief executive Elspeth Macdonald said it was now clear to representatives of all political parties that the fleet would prosper when control over who gets to catch what, where and when in UK waters is restored to the country’s governments.

But because of the well-established round of international negotiations at which coastal states meet to set quotas for the year ahead, it is vital for the implementation period for fishing to end – as proposed – in December 2020.

Ms Macdonald said “We recognise that there will be challenges in the year ahead if we are to meet this timetable for a managed transition for the sector. However, the industry stands ready to address and overcome obstacles to us in leaving what is widely seen as an excessively bureaucratic and at times punitive and contradictory framework in the shape of the CFP.

“We hope politicians of all parties will recognise the benefits to our coastal communities and the wider economy of a larger, more prosperous and sustainable industry, where the potential to double the amount of raw material caught by the Scottish fleet could result in an uplift of £500 million in value and up to 5,000 new jobs, according to a Scottish Government report.

“This can only be achieved when control is restored to the UK as a sovereign Coastal State”

Ms Macdonald observed that the industry’s requirements had been clearly and consistently stated since the referendum of June 2016:

• That the UK becomes a sovereign Coastal State and regains full control over its own waters, known as the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

• That in doing so the UK and Scottish governments will have the power to determine, in relation to our fisheries resource, who gets to catch what, where and when for the benefit of our coastal communities and wider economies.

• That the whole Scottish fleet is able to seize the “Sea of Opportunity” that exiting the EU presents, securing early gains in the form of quota uplift and year-on-year gains thereafter.

• That sustainability of our fisheries will be enhanced by leaving behind the practice enshrined in the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) of allocating some 60% of fishing opportunity in UK waters to non-UK EU vessels, moving instead to zonal attachment, a modern and evidence-based method of allocation according to where fish stocks actually are.

• That no linkage should be made between access to UK waters and access to EU markets.

But who has the balls to do it? Johnson? Corbyn? Swinson? Don’t hold your breath, there are people with long memories of sellouts. Around 20 years ago, fishermen in Fleetwood, Lancashire, managed to make national news by inviting several dozen Spanish trawlers to join their cooperative. This “unprecedented marriage of convenience” provoked fury from other British fishermen. The Spanish vessel owners in question were (and still are) known as “quota hoppers” – fishermen from other countries who had bought British boats and licences to gain access to the UK’s fishing quota.

By last year well over a quarter of the UK’s fishing quota, 29%, was in the hands of just five families on the Sunday Times Rich List. The reach of this tiny domestic elite dwarfs the holdings of the many quota hoppers, who in total hold 13% of UK quota. Overall, more than two thirds of the UK’s fishing quota is now in the hands of just 25 companies. Over the decades, British fishermen have developed a deep frustration with the CFP, which in turn has driven huge support for Brexit among coastal communities.

Fleetwood in Lancashire was once the third biggest fishing port in Britain but its industry has all but disappeared.

New Economics Foundation researcher Griffin Carpenter suggests “Every year, quota is allocated to the same holders, and there is a legitimate expectation that that continues in future. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and other organisations are too scared to break that hold on the quota and say ‘This year we will allocate quota differently.’ It has not been done; it is basically privatised now the claim is so strong. If there is ever a point to break that link, it is now”. 

Who has the balls?

 

I’m Jack!

I’m Jack, the candidate who forgot to mention elderly and disabled people in my (Wally’s) election glossy

Psst…a word of warning about being seen with prime ministers. Sam Currie, the last great Tory hope for West Lancashire, met Theresa May. He’s now more famous for his hedgehog haircut!

“I was born in 1995 [a snowflake?] and always lived here in West Lancashire, until going to Durham University in 2013. My parents have run a local business for nearly thirty years, and since September 2018 I have worked as a Parliamentary Researcher and stood for the local council here in Up Holland in 2019 [unelected]. 

“In 2016 I campaigned for Leave and I was lucky enough to work alongside the likes of Boris Johnson, Theresa Villiers, and even Sir Ian Botham. Consequently, it will come as no surprise I believe that the results of the referendum should be honoured. Brexit should be delivered and there shouldn’t be a second referendum.

“If elected as the MP for West Lancashire I will fight to protect our greenbelt by prioritising brownfield developments, support our Prime Minister in ensuring we get a fair share of the 20,000 new police officers and work alongside fellow MPs to ensure that our roads and railways are improved.

“Specifically, I will campaign to reopen the Burscough Curves, get a new rail link for Skelmersdale and improve the quality of our roads. I will also ensure that West Lancashire benefits from the Conservative Government’s extra funding to improve health services, safeguard Ormskirk Hospital and fight the stigma attached to mental health.

“At this election people will have to ask themselves, is Jeremy Corbyn the man to be Prime Minister? I truly believe that a Corbyn led Government would be an absolute disaster for West Lancashire and the Country as a whole. Whereas a Conservative majority Government will deliver Brexit by the end of January, reinvest in our hospitals and police and help build a better Britain”.

Now, about all these elderly and disabled West Lancastrian voters?

Court Disposes Of Election Debate Challenge

The Lib Dems and SNP

have lost their legal challenge to be included in an ITV head-to-head debate ahead of the general election on 12 December.

In the High Court in London

Lord Justice Davis and Mr Justice Warby said the case was not suitable for judicial review as ITV was not carrying out a “public function” in law by holding the debate. However, the parties had the right to complain to Ofcom about the programme after it had been broadcast, they said.

Lord Justice Davis said “The clear conclusion of both members of this court is that, viewed overall, these claims are not realistically arguable.”

But, no surprise that Lib Dem education spokeswoman Layla Moran tweeted “the fight must continue”, adding “It is outrageous that the Remain voice is missing from the ITV debate”.

The SNP’s “Westminster Windbag” leader, Ian Blackford, also condemned the decision, saying it “discriminated against Scottish voters” and “treated them as second-class citizens”. He added “That is, quite simply, a democratic disgrace, and the fact that election law and broadcasting codes allow such gross unfairness is unacceptable”.

We are quite used to him using the “democratic disgrace” argument, when the democratic vote of 17.4million being ignored by the Limp Dumbs and SNP is apparently acceptable for them? As said “The 2016 EU referendum was a UK vote it, was the one before in 2014 that was a Scotland only vote and what did we decide, oh yes to stay in the UK!”.

It took the two judges just a matter of 10 or 15 minutes to reach a decision about the claim that the Lib Dems and SNP should be allowed access to the head-to-head debate.

The Judges came back and said they would not agree to that and effectively refused to even hear the judicial review. Their legal argument was that ITV was not exercising a public function as it is a private broadcaster, albeit regulated, therefore could not be subject to judicial review. Nice one!

Wanted By WLBC

Jobsworths are wanted at WLBC Towers. What’s a job worth? See below

A Council which is ‘Ambitious for West Lancashire’

Chief Executive Kim Webber wrote “We expect commitment, a public service ethos, creativity and teamwork from our employees, and in return you can expect a warm welcome and opportunities to be developed, and to excel in your role”. Her commitment has ended as she left with a considerable exit package! 

There are 8 current vacancies at WLBC

Interim Head of Corporate and Customer Services
Closing Date: 25 November 2019. Job is worth £56,093 to £56,943 per annum

Waste Services Manager
Closing Date: 06 December 2019. Job is worth £42,683 to £45,591 per annum

Human Resources Business Partner
Closing Date: 18 November 2019. Job is worth £26,999 to £28,785 per annum

Business Engagement Officer
Closing Date: 19 November 2019. Job is worth £29,636 to £31,371 per annum

Electoral & Administration Services Apprentice
Closing Date: 01 December 2019. Job is worth £8,166 to £15,411 per annum

Principal Economic Regeneration Officer
Closing Date: 01 December 2019 Job is worth £35,934 to £38,813 per annum

ICT Strategic Client Manager
Closing Date: 25 November 2019. Job is worth £48,545 to £51,381 per annum pro rata

Procurement and Contracts Manager
Closing Date: 25 November 2019. Job is worth £42,683 to £45,591 per annum.

So, what’s a job worth at WLBC apart from the salary?

“There are ample car parking facilities at all of our sites and all Council employees receive free car parking”. Well, it’s paid for by council tax so its hardly free!

“The Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) is a valuable part of the pay and reward package for employees working in local government and is often viewed as one of the most valuable financial rewards of the job”. It’s paid for by council tax!

“Protection for your loved ones – in the form of pensions for dependents if you die. Life cover of three years pay – from the second you join. No medical required – unlike other forms of life insurance, it’s open to all. All members can take a tax free lump sum as part of their benefits package”. All supported by council tax!

“Other benefits are available. There is Healthcare insurance with a range of 21 benefits; Costco Wholesale membership; CSSC Sports and Leisure; Discounted membership with West Lancashire Community Leisure; Corporate rate of membership for Edge Hill Sport; Health and beauty; Unify Credit Union”. All supported by council tax!

The Institute for Fiscal Studies has written “Local government has become increasingly reliant on local taxes for revenues. Council tax paid by local residents makes up almost half of revenues, up from just over a third in 2009–10, and retained business rates account for 30%, up from nothing. After most councils froze their council tax during the first half of the 2010s, over the last four years council tax revenues have grown nearly 15% per person in real terms. This reflects an 8% real terms increase in tax rates since 2015–16 and at least a 4% real terms reduction in how much councils spend on helping low income households pay their council tax bills”.