On being asked by Richard Evans (Twitter) “Is it true WLBC has £100 million pounds in the bank?” Cllr Sam Currie replied “Must confess Richard I’m not the portfolio holder for finance so I can’t help there. A freedom of information request could help you though. For me, this is simple though: Local councillors are there to represent our areas. And that’s what I’ll do- openly and honestly”.
So, Sam Currie, Tory, elected in Aughton & Downholland 5th May 2016 still doesn’t know what’s in the Borough Accounts, and is thus unable to help “because he isn’t the portfolio holder for finance”. Neither am I but I do know where to find it! Could Cllr Currie be handed a copy of the Borough accounts at the Full Council meeting, tonight isn’t it?
The Borough Council is advertising briefings for people interested in being a candidate or an agent in the forthcoming local elections, in May . They are taking place on 19 March 2018 at 2pm and 5.45pm in the Council Chamber at 52 Derby Street, Ormskirk.
Kim Webber, Returning Officer for these elections says “The events will cover what you need to know about the election process. There will also be the opportunity to speak informally to Electoral Officers after the event. People who are interested in standing are invited to come along to one of the briefings. There are no set qualifications or experience required to be a Councillor. For example, skills gained through raising a family, volunteering or being active in faith or community groups are just as valuable as skills gained in employment or training. The role is a responsible position which allows you to make a real difference to the area you represent”.
Already preparing for May are the OWLs, as they offer surveys for people on what representation people want, rather than party politics.
Public Health England (PHE) has issued cold weather alerts and health warnings following the arrival of colder weather in some parts of England.
Further snow and ice warnings across England have prompted PHE doctors to warn people in areas likely to be affected, to plan ahead now. Forecasts from the Met Office suggest large parts of southern England will see freezing temperatures, significant snowfall and possibly even frozen rain over the next few days.
PHE’s Dr Thomas Waite said “With more cold and for some snow on the way, now is the time to think ahead. Consider what you need to stock up on. Do you need food or essential supplies such as medicines? It may be harder for some people to get out later this week when more snow arrives, so if you know someone at risk, someone with heart or lung conditions, young children or someone who is over 65, please take the time to check and see if there’s anything they need”.
Doesn’t the Health Service have better things to spend its (our) money on? Are we all without common sense? This is gratuitous in the extreme, and many of us have experienced over 70/80 winters. Many of my neighbours are over 65 and I will be knackered if I have to check on them all! But I’ll be out when THEY come to check on me!
The West Lancashire Wally Party has announced “Sam Currie is a Conservative Councillor in Aughton and Downholland. He was elected in May 2016. He lives in Haskayne. Sam was the 2017 County Candidate for Skelmersdale Central. Sam was the 2017 West Lancs Parliamentary Candidate for the Conservative Party. Sam is now the Association Press Officer” .
Since the appointment he has become involved in a public spat with someone he describes as “making thinly veiled threats” and adds “I’m not sure what it is that makes people say things from a keyboard that they wouldn’t necessarily say in person but frankly, it’s disgusting and needs to stop” .
Among his previous gems from his own keyboard used to assess his suitability for the post was this statement about OWL Cllr Owens “Sam Currie @Samuel_P_Currie Follow @Samuel_P_Currie Replying to @Visiter Has he ran out of potholes to gently caress? Paul Moon is one of the best cllrs at @Westlancsbc and we are damn lucky to have him”
He clearly scored high on grammar and judgement on a given subject then, depending on who appointed him, of course!
Rumours abound in the press that Wyre Council may well have broken election rules by potentially influencing the outcome of the recent election in Preesall (incorporating parts of Knott End). This is due to the fact they announced the Knott End to Fleetwood Ferry Service had been saved for an 8 year term, when in fact no contract had been signed at the time. The announcement was made prior to the election and the truth came out following it. The possibility now exists for a re-run. The Wyre Council Residents Concerns and Action Group will announce more news as and when they have it.
Last month, Wyre Council announced the ferry was to enter a new eight year contract with Wyre Council and Conservative-led Lancashire County Council, with agreement struck with an as yet un-named operator. The deal was said to have saved the ferry after a year of uncertainty and political arguments between the Tories and Labour.
But this week there have been rumours and postings on social media that the deal with the contractor is off. Wyre Council would not confirm this, however. A spokesman said: “The tender process has not yet concluded. Therefore, it would be inappropriate to comment at this present time”. But Fleetwood councillor Lorraine Beavers, leader of Wyre’s Labour group, said there been a deal struck in 2016 between Wyre Council and the then Labour-led County Hall to keep the ferry going. The Wyre leadership later denied this.
Coun Beavers said this week “I am very angry about this uncertainty, because a better deal had been struck before the Conservatives even came to power in May. At that time there had been two tenders and the Labour leadership at Lancashire County Council had offered to gift the ferry boat to the successful tenderer, not a mortgage arrangement like this latest deal. Under this new deal, there has only been one applicant, which runs the risk that if there is a problem, there is no one left to run the ferry. The Conservatives have simply used the ferry as an election tool and put politics before the people of Fleetwood and Knott End.”
There are signs of turmoil at South Ribble Conservative Association with news that David Bird , Deputy Chair Membership & Finance, has quit the ruling group, claiming it has broken its promise to electors not to bring in charges for garden waste. Cllr Bird is to continue on the authority as an independent. But his departure leaves the Tories with the slenderest of majorities just a week before the council votes on next year’s budget.
The state of the Council is now Conservative 26; Labour 18; Liberal Democrat 3; Penwortham Independent 1; South Ribble Independents 2.
South Ribble council states “If you do not wish to subscribe to the new Garden Waste Service you will no longer get a brown bin collection from the 9th April 2018, and you can either compost the garden waste at home or dispose of it at your local Household Waste Recycling Centre for free”. So far only 9,000 residents have signed up for the controversial new brown bin service leaving an estimated 29,000 homes likely to opt out.
It is public knowledge that the councillor for Howick and Priory Ward in Penwortham claimed there had also been other issues which contributed to his decision. But the row over charging for bin collections had been the “final straw.” “I’ve not been happy with the decision-making process over the last 12 months” he said. “It’s come to a head and I couldn’t remain any longer. I’m sad, but it’s been a difficult 12 months and I’ve really been at loggerheads with the group over a number of issues I have disagreed with. I can imagine it puts them in a very difficult position, but I had to do something”.
Cllr Bird, who was elected in May 2015, said his campaigning literature at the time and that of other Tory candidates stated there would not be a charge for garden waste collection. He said he was “coerced” by his party into voting for its introduction last year on the understanding the council would do everything in its power to find an alternative. I don’t believe that was ever their intention,” he said. “And now I’ve had enough”.
Tory council leader Cllr Peter Mullineaux told the press “At this time I’m not really willing to comment.” A resident claimed “Cllr Bird would appear to be rather more honourable than his leader and the other Tories”.
South Ribble Tory membership includes West Lancashire Cllrs Blane, Two Hat Moon, Cairns, and Ashcroft.
Some people are never pleased. Cllr Sam Currie tweeted “Out in Burscough today delivering leaflets for @Conservatives #campaign18. Coffee @BoothsCountry first naturally. If you live around here and see me do say hello/hurl some abuse. It makes me feel relevant”.
So having asked for abuse he got some after which he tweeted “One chap just told me he would wipe his arse with my @Conservatives leaflet. I felt awful. Nobody should put up with that. Fortunately I’ve just been shopping so gifted him a roll of my Andrex aloe vera. To his credit he laughed and thanked me. Always happy to help!”