Month: April 2019

Fewer Councillors And Fewer Elections?

Tory leaflets are coming thick and fast in Aughton.

The latest is Westley repeating the aim of savings “£150,000 a year to spend on key frontline services”. He admitted in writing to wanting less councillors in 2010, but changed his mind in under two hours. Probably under senior Tory orders. He’s wasted £1,350,000 of public money by sitting on his ass and doing nothing. Believe it or not, he’s the local Tory party leader. What does that say about the rest of them?

On 16th August 2010 at 2.04pm he wrote “The number of Borough Councillors is set by the Government and the Boundary Commission. My personal view is that there are too many and that the number could be reduced by 50%”.

On 16th August 2010 at 3.55pm he wrote “I would not want to waste money on a Boundary Commission Review or the resultant election. There are far more important matters and it would only be an unnecessary distraction”.

Now, that “unnecessary distraction” has cost us the £150,000 a year he claims to save. For 9 years! Political trust is in short supply in 2019. It was just the same on 16 August 2010!

Reported Crime Quadrupled In Aughton

Has reported crime quadrupled in your area?

We finally noted the publication of the Aughton Parish Council (APC) March minutes. They reveal some horrific increases month on month.

“March Minutes 11078 Chairman/Vice-Chairman/Parish Clerk’s March [Secret!] Meeting With The Local Police – a brief report was given on the meeting held 5 March 2019”. Crime is rising steadily to an alarming level. In December 2018 there were just 7 reported crimes. Three months later reported crime has multiplied to 32.

January 2019 11051 Chairman/Vice-Chairman/Parish Clerk’s January [Secret] Meeting With The Local Police – a brief report was given on the meeting held 9 January 2019. There had been 17 reported crimes since the last meeting

February 2019 10063 Chairman/Vice-Chairman/Parish Clerk’s February [Secret] Meeting With The Local Police – a brief report was given on the meeting held 6 February 2019. There had been 20 reported crimes since the last meeting.

March 2019 There had been 32 reported crimes since the last meeting including: 1 fraud/forgery; 9 domestic incidents; 4 criminal damage to a dwelling excluding vehicles (Sandy Lane, Brookfield Lane, Noel Gate, Prescot Road); 1 theft of a pedal cycle (near Quarry Drive); 8 burglary domestic (Middlewood Road, Cromfield, Church Lane, Shepherds Lane, Redsands, Victoria Road, Bold Lane, Butchers Lane); 1 attempted burglary (Bold Lane); 4 vehicle crime (New Lane, Liverpool Road, Mickering Lane); 1 burglary at Sports Pavilion (recrimed Criminal Damage); 1 malicious communication; 1 civil dispute; 1 assault (Nursing Home). No further issues had been reported in the Cherry Tree Lane/Delph Park Avenue area.

The minutes don’t reflect any concern shown by the APC

West Lancashire Borough Council’s CCTV system and the company who operate it are continuing to help the police tackle incidents and keep crime low in the borough. Not in areas outside the main towns!

Lancashire Police Authority 2017/18 + 5%, 2018/19 budget +7.25%, Lancashire Police Authority 2019/20 +13.52%. 

It was reported that Aughton now came under the new area Ormskirk/Aughton/Burscough/Westhead/Neighbouring Policing Team. That’s what these seemingly unaccountable organisations do, rearrange the chairs, call it re-organisation, and nothing improves.

OWLs Putting Residents First And Foremost?

Changing Council Culture

Our West Lancashire is a group of independent and civic minded people from across the Borough. It is easy to see that two party politics in West Lancashire is broken. OWL was founded as an antidote to the two local parties; their squabbling; and tribal attitudes. At OWL we believe in sensible, pragmatic policies that benefit as many people as possible, and a major part of this is reforming how local politics works.

Here, you’ll find a list of some of the problems in council culture and you’ll find our solutions. If you agree with us please get in touch to get involved and be part of the solution.

Councillors are ignoring the needs of their voters. There is a long list of scandal, dereliction of duties, favouritism, and misinformation. The first problem as we see it is that there are councillors who don’t seem to take their duties seriously. Here are some examples:

30 July 2014, a Halsall residents’ association complained to the Champion about a councillor not responding to a petition. The Labour transport portfolio holder “did not even have the manners to reply” when sent the petition about local bus services. An Ormskirk resident made a similar complaint about the same councillor to the same paper in the summer of 2015.

Conservative Councillor Paul Moon was unveiled as having withheld information about his seat on Wyre Council when standing for West Lancashire Borough Council. He stood for, and was elected to the ward of Hesketh Bank in May 2016, as a Conservative Party candidate. During his campaign he never mentioned the two ‘hats’ he would have to wear if elected. Of course, the main concern was whether it is possible to effectively represent your ward when you have two of them? Cllr Moon finally resigned in May 2018, after a lot of pressure from Cllr Adrian Owens. Only 9 out of 54 elected councillors attended a WLBC council meeting that they had asked for! It was a meeting about the council’s responsibilities relating to Health and Safety for residents, we’d hope Councillors regard as important.

Conservative Councillor Sam Currie seemingly thought being in the audience of BBC Question Time was more important than a council meeting. In February 2018, instead of doing his duty and attending a council committee meeting, he could be seen in the TV audience.

On another day, there was a presentation regarding the West Lancashire economy, and attendance was little better. Three quarters of the Conservative councillors failed to attend and the Labour turnout was only a slight improvement. We believe that such important matters should be top of a councillor’s list of priorities.

10% Tory Tax In 2 Years?

Labour have issued their Aughton & Downholland election manifesto

for Paul Hennessy. It refers to taxation by Conservative LCC of 10% in two years. “while cutting, we are informed, road safety, street light maintenance, support for the elderly, children’s services, health and wellbeing, disability support, special education needs, police support, and increasing home and residential care by 15%”.

We must assume this is the same Conservative party of Wally Westley, whose manifesto whinges about Labour increases in WLBC for 12% in four years? Isn’t that hypocritical? 

Observe The Primary Care Commissioning Committee

Whoops, the CCG has confirmed this notice to be a cockup! The meeting will be later in May!

NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

will be holding its next Primary Care Commissioning Committee meeting in public on Tuesday 14 May 2019 from 2.30pm – 4pm in Ormskirk.

The local health commissioners have responsibility of commissioning primary care services locally in West Lancashire and lead on decisions of how funding is allocated. To avoid conflicts of interest, the committee does not offer any local GPs voting rights.

Members of the local community are welcome to observe the Primary Care Committee. Questions can be taken around agenda items only in advance and will be answered on the day when appropriate at the chair’s discretion.

The agenda for the meeting will be made available on the Primary Care Committee page of the CCG’s website one week prior to the meeting, and anyone wanting to submit a question about the agenda can do so by contacting the secretary to the board directly on 01695 588 144 by noon on Monday 11 March 2019 (www.westlancashireccg.nhs.uk)!

Printed copies of the papers are available on request for those without access to the internet by calling 01695 588 000. The next committee will be held in the Boardroom of the CCG offices in Hilldale on the Ormskirk Hospital site. For instructions on how to find the office, please contact the CCG via 01695 588 000.

Readers must be wondering why his important meeting is closed to questions on the day. Isn’t a public service accountable to those who bother to attend? 

Why Use Taxes To Fund Computer Game Development?

The government is spending £4m on new computer games

John Redwood says “It will make £4million cash available to help “the creators of Peaky Blinders and Wallace and Grommit”

“develop new games based around their famous creations”.

Why does it need government cash for such a commercial prospect? Is this a grant or gift, or does it buy taxpayers any equity in the project? Why on earth is the government involving itself in difficult commercial questions of which game will be better and more popular than other games?”

Probably because of all those MPs you see on their iphones and tablets while sitting on the green benches?

They don’t realise they are being spied on by a foreign government! Idiots!

A Labour Parish Council?

We in West Lancashire

don’t usually see political parties paying out for advertising to take control of parish councils. So it comes as a shock that Labour has done just that, as seen on Sefton Focus.

It’s not about Brexit, it’s not about Corbyn, it’s about 13 Labour like-minded people to work for their Derbyshire community. They disown unpopular people and policies that surely wouldn’t be parish affairs anyway. 

Meanwhile, down at the old Cock and Bull parish council

Aughton, we have the usual ineptitude. Minutes of meetings lag behind actual meetings. The minutes of the previous meeting are approved and can be issued on the parish website. So the April 2019 meeting duly approved the March minutes. Yet here we are, almost in May, and the last minutes published are from February.

Talking of May, Theresa that is, who knows what the West Lancashire parish councils think. Surely nothing so crude as those claims of Tory swivel-eyed lunacy being the voice of the people a few years ago? But you never know…!