The members of Halsall Parish Council (HPC)
and local residents who attended the Annual Meeting on Wednesday were disappointed not to be able to question LCC Cllr O’Toole about his meagre annual report. He was “not able to attend”.
He wrote “Report to Halsall Parish Council April 2019. Chairman, members of the Parish Council. Please accept my apologies for not being able to attend your annual meeting in person.
“I have pleasure in providing you with my annual report. The last twelve months have been extremely challenging at County Hall due in part to the tremendous deficit we inherited and the ever increasing demands on adult social care and children’s services. [Not to mention my own Tory Government’s austerity policy!]
“With regard to childrens services including looked after children and other children in care I am pleased to report that although this whole department faced being put into special measures we have seen a massive improvement in all sections and recently received a much improved ofsted report .
“Twelve months ago I was receiving up to 20 complaints a week regarding potholes. I have worked with my colleague County Councillor Iddon to both identify and repair hundreds of such road defects across my Division with the result that in the last three months I have only been told of two such problems both of which were dealt with very quickly. [We won’t mention the awful pavement at the Town Green Co-Op/Granville Park, also in my Division, reported in January, still not repaired]
“This in part is due to new work practices but largely due to the fact that we put several more millions into the highways budget, this action was acknowledged by the government who awarded us several more million earmarked for highway repairs.
“We have continued our pledge to reopen libraries closed by the previous administration with two more reopening this month alone thus making the total of 22 libraries previously closed now open once more. This action has been extremely well received by all affected communities.
“However it has not been possible in some cases as a number of the premises were sold off and the books destroyed, in such cases we are negotiating with local authorities and others to secure suitable premises unfortunately at a considerable and unnecessary cost.
“I would like to record my thanks to your diligent and hardworking clerk Dave Bond who regularly contacts me on behalf of the parish council”.
David O’Toole. County Councillor. West Lancashire West Division
Residents of Halsall
must be wondering what relevance this report has to Halsall? its roads are generally in a mess. Nothing in the report relates to Halsall, which has no library so no destroyed books. This report is what it is, a political statement by Halsall’s County Cllr probably trying to justify his existence and income from the council tax payers of LCC.
Cllr O’Toole received, from LCC 2017/18, £10,466 basic + £6,865 Special Responsibility Allowance +£150 ICT Allowance + £143 Subsistance + £2,535 Mileage, all = £20,159. For 2018/19 the basic has been increased to £10,675. Source LCC
Cllr O’Toole received, from Lancashire Combined Fire Authority for 2017/18, basic £2,612.93 + Special Responsibity £4,962.87 + Travel& Subsistence £304.65, Total = £7,880.84. For 2018/19, O’Toole basic £2,784.96 + Special Responsibility £5,289.60 + Travel & subsistence £785.25 Total = £8,859.81 He is “Majority Opposition Group Spokesperson”! Almost £1,000 increase year on year! Source LCFA. https://vault.ecloud.co.uk/lancsfire/2019/04/2018-2019_Member_Allowances_Paid_STMT.pdf
Cllr O’Toole received, from WLBC for which he claimed £4,842 + £107.96 Travel & Subsistence = £4,949. 96. Source WLBC.
Three official hats
=Total Income £33,968.77, a living example of why the number of elected members should be cut from whatever the authority council tax payers are increasingly funding, many from lower incomes.