Posted by: westlancashirerecord | April 24, 2017

LCC Election Selections & Purdah

On 10th April I attended the Aughton Parish Council (APC) meeting, during which at public questions Halsall Borough Councillor Maureen Mills was introduced to mention a meeting that was on the APC Agenda “NEIGHBOURING PARISH OF HALSALL: Public Meeting held 21 March 2017 at Memorial Hall – a brief report from Aughton Parish Council representative who attended the meeting called to raise awareness ‘Do you want to be fracked’ – to note”.

APC Chairman Ian Grant agreed that Cllr Mills could make a brief statement but that she should note the “purdah period” (under which Councillors are still free to respond to enquiries received from the media in a personal capacity and Individual councillors can issue their own statements, write letters to the local newspaper(s) for publication, contact the media directly or say what they like in a personal capacity, but must not use council resources to do so). Naturally enough Cllr Mills was the epitome of self restraint and brevity in helping those who were listening.

On to 12th April for the Halsall Parish Council (HPC) Annual Meeting, the agenda including “Report from County Councillor David O’Toole”  [click to enlarge the back of his head] who elected to make a full verbal report from notes and was unrestrained by any mention of purdah. It was blatant electioneering including references to County Hall being fractious and difficult, unrest and disquiet, all the fault of the ruling administration and nothing to do with Government LA grant reductions year in year out! You can read the full report here   [click to read] and note he receives a tax payer funded party chief whip allowance of £2,959, a basic allowance of £2,730 plus a further allowance of £3,964 as senior spokesman on Lancashire Fire and Rescue Authority. LCC basic is £10,362 and WLBC basic is £4,842. As for county mileage it’s a staggering £1,881 from which we might contemplate the possibility he spends more time in his car than in council meetings?

No doubt we will hear more from his opponent for West Lancashire West Maureen Mills, who will surely question the lack of any mention of shale gas by fracking being introduced into the division by O’Toole’s national party through legislation and the courts.

O’Toole also mentioned the County “special measures” and threats relating to some extremely critical reports on some services. Perhaps total bankruptcy of the county might be the outcome at the hands of his national party?


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