Monthly Archives: November 2020

West Lancashire Coronavirus Reports Remain Encouraging

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Our West Lancashire Ormskirk & Southport NHS Trust hospitals have recorded 12 new coronavirus infections again today, bringing the cumulative total to 4,594 cases, that’s 4,019 per 100,000 of the population.

NHS England has updated our borough and again reported no coronavirus related deaths in West Lancashire. The total losses remain at 240.

The Serco Creed

In February 2017, in the fourth year of the great Beacon Park Golf Course landfill royalty swindle, we read about the Serco creed. It makes wonderful pantomime script.

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“Serco-Our culture is based on a set of four values – Trust, Care, Innovation, Pride – that shape our individual behaviours and hence the way the company behaves. They ensure we are all working from a commonly understood base that can be consistently applied across our organisation.

Trust us…with your golf course

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“Our values need to be lived every day, used to help us work through any challenges we may face and help us recognise and celebrate our achievements. They guide us in our dealings with colleagues, customers, suppliers, partners, shareholders and the communities we serve. It is important that we hold ourselves and others accountable for our values every day and have defined a set of behaviours that are expected from all of us. They describe how our behaviours bring Serco’s values to life.

We care…about your golf course

“There are also some additional expectations for those of us who have a responsibility for managing people as well as our leaders. Joint venture partners-Serco is involved in a number of joint ventures with commercial partners and customers. Strong relationships, based on mutual trust and respect and clarity of roles, are essential ingredients if a joint venture is to deliver excellent customer service.

An innovation…on your golf course
, mud, glorious mud.

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“Our divisional management teams are responsible for relationships with our joint venture partners, supported by members of the Executive Committee and Board as appropriate. This includes holding regular strategy and review meetings with our partners. As with our suppliers, we continue to enhance the systems and processes to seek to ensure that our joint venture partners meet the standards we have set ourselves in our policies and through our values.

Our pride…in your golf course, it’s like no other!

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“Strategic partners-We often deliver services as part of a consortium, either as prime contractor or as a subcontractor. This allows us to bring together companies with the skills to meet the precise requirements of a bid. This includes working with voluntary sector organisations, which often lack the scale and experience to access major government programmes. Responsibility for relationships with our strategic partners lies with the relevant contract and divisional management”.

Our partners, Oakland Golf & Leisure Ltd, have been and gone, just like the landfill royalties. Mission accomplished, our values intact.


No Surrender!

On Friday in a desperate attempt to salvage a deal on fishing, Michel Barnier attempted to persuade EU politicians and apparatchiks to drop their insistence on continued full access to UK sovereign waters. It has been reported that the offer to Lord Frost is now that the UK might be allowed “12-18%” of the catch of fish in UK waters after 31 Dec 2020!

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Under the EU our fishing industry has been decimated. Below we present facts researched from the UK’s official Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and its official antecedent organisations, from the EU’s official statistics agency Eurostat, and from DEFRA, the government department responsible for fisheries.

“On 01 January 2021 the UK will automatically become an independent coastal state. The UK’s 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) will then apply. The UK will automatically regain exclusive sovereign rights over all waters and resources within its EEZ under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

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Without an explicit agreement to the contrary, the EU has no legal right to fish in UK waters after 2020, nor to claim inflated quotas for resources that are predominantly in British waters. It will be forced under international laws and conventions to reduce the amount of fish its member states’ fleets can catch in all other waters – dramatically.

“The EU’s last documented position is that it is demanding that the UK must “uphold existing reciprocal access conditions, quota shares and traditional activity of the Union fleet.” In other words it wants full and unconditional access to the UK’s waters and its fish, exactly as if the United Kingdom were still an EU member state.

“Either the United Kingdom becomes a sovereign country on 01 January 2021 or it doesn’t.

“One of the many litmus tests for this is what happens to the UK’s control of its waters. As a nation with a long maritime history, it is essential that the UK regains full control. This should not be mitigated in any way by anything written into a ‘trade deal’ with the EU”.

it’s being claimed by the French that all the fish are French, but most of them just happen to swim in UK waters! C’est de la merde ce truc. 

Municipal Golf Course To Close

No, it’s not the landfill corruption riddled Beacon Park Golf Course, not yet! The nationwide ban on golf will be lifted in England this coming Wednesday but one course won’t be joining the throng of re-openings.

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All facilities at Brandon Wood Golf Course are now closed indefinitely and any access to the site is prohibited. Brandon Wood, located in Coventry, has fallen victim to desperately challenging economic conditions brought about this year by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A statement on its website revealed that the course, operated by Coventry Sports Trust, has welcomed its last golfer. “It is with regret that we have to announce that Brandon Wood Golf Course will not reopen once lockdown ends on Wednesday 2 December 2020,” read the statement.

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“The golf course is operated by Coventry Sports Trust on land owned by Coventry City Council and has been loss-making for some time. These challenges have been exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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“Coventry City Council has in the past supported the Trust with additional funding so that the facility could remain open. However, with well-documented financial pressure faced by the local authority, it cannot provide ongoing financial support – a position Coventry Sports Trust understands.

“Therefore, Coventry Sports Trust has decided that the facility is no longer viable to operate without additional funding. A consultation period has started with staff affected by this decision”.


The local authority now intends to undertake an appraisal of the site to establish whether or not it can be sustained as a golf course or redeveloped for an alternative use. Social media users have responded to the news, with one saying “I’ve played this course countless times and I’ve always thought it was well maintained and a good track for the price of a round. Thoughts are with the staff at this time”.

Nestling in the heart of the Warwickshire countryside on the banks of the River Avon, Brandon Wood opened for play in 1977. They state “We thank all of our current and past users for their loyalty and custom over the years”.

Will the “landfilled for the royalty grabbers Beacon Park Golf Course” be next?
The latest un-confirmed news we have on BPGC is there is apparently no qualified green keeper, until January, and the Serco managers are using “voluntary artisans” at the site! Maybe the top secret WLBC leisure contract will soon see the light of transparency shining through it for the benefit of its owners, we council tax payers?

West Lancashire Encouraged By Low Coronavirus Infections

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West Lancashire has today recorded the lowest daily rise of coronavirus infections in the county. 12 new infections were reported. The borough is now reported to have an infection rate lower than the national average. The borough total is now 4,582, that’s 4,008.5 per 100,000 of the population.

There were no losses reported today in the borough, and the total losses remain at 240.

Sunday Satire On Tory Pipsqueaks

From the Independent, MPs rebelling against coronavirus tiers should try “carrying bodies to the mortuary” says Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson.

Specifically, he is fuming that a growing group of Tory MPs, led by Steve Baker, are rebelling against that tier system.

“When I hear this fella arguing we should let Covid rip, this little pipsqueak” he says “I say to him, you come up here and work as a porter in the Royal Liverpool Hospital and you see the people that are dying and then tell us we should just allow this to continue and not have a tier structure. You have a shift carrying the bodies up to the mortuary.

“Come up here and talk to the doctors, and nurses like the one who had to ring me at quarter to ten on a Friday night to tell me my brother had died. You do a shift with them, Steve Baker”.

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It is Friday morning and Joe Anderson, the directly elected mayor of Liverpool, should, by rights, be feeling relatively satisfied. Twenty-four hours earlier, the city he leads became the first and so far only region of England to have dragged itself out of the toughest coronavirus restrictions.

When the national lockdown ends next week, Liverpool which in October had the country’s highest Covid-19 rates, will be one of the few patches of the north where contagion is considered low enough for it to be placed in bracket two of the government’s new three-tier system.

A combination of mass testing and an early acceptance of previous restrictions – both vigorously demanded by Anderson – have brought the deadly bug under some control here. Rates currently stand at 138 cases per 100,000. Barely four weeks ago, they were skyrocketing at 680. But, despite this, when the 62-year-old first picks up the phone to The Independent for a conversation ostensibly about what’s gone right, he’s fuming.

It is a theme he will come back to repeatedly over a 90-minute conversation. “You have to put the lives of people first” he says. “It’s the number one priority. Then, of course, the economy is important. But, first of all, what are you if you don’t prioritise lives?”


His age, weight and heart condition all make him vulnerable to Covid-19. “I’m a fat grandad-of-six” he says at one point. “And you can quote me on that”. Few leaders, if any, have had to deal with the savagery of this pandemic to the same extent as him. The deadly bug has brought devastation to both his city and family.

His older brother Bill died in October just days after contracting the illness while having a flu jab. The 70-year-old woke up one morning short of breath and was in hospital by 2pm. His wife tried to phone Anderson who declined the call because he was in a Zoom meeting about skyrocketing infections. By the time that had concluded, Bill was in intensive care. “By 10.30pm, he was dead” says the mayor. “We never spoke”.

The last time they had seen each other was at their other brother Henry’s funeral just six weeks earlier. He himself had died following a long battle with cancer. “I’ve done my fair share of shedding tears when I go to bed at night and say my prayers” says Anderson. “I’m no tougher than anyone else. And I’ll shed more before this is over”.


Some people have asked him if his own experience has inspired him to fight this virus harder. “I tell them no,” he says bluntly. “I wouldn’t insult my brother’s memory by saying that because what inspires me is the same as always: trying to do my best for the people of this city. And I know that sounds like the kind of thing a politician would say. But it’s the truth. It’s the truth. This is my city and I’ll always do my best for it”.


His leadership will perhaps now always be defined by Covid-19. At worst, he may be remembered, he acknowledges, as a leader who accepted a Conservative government imposing restrictions, in October, that shuttered large parts of the city and caused irreparable economic damage, all while Labour leaders up the road in Manchester fought tooth-and-nail against the very same measures. “I took a political kick in for that decision and it was painful” he says. “People saying I was fit to burn. I had to have police patrols coming past my house because I was getting threats”.

He points to the city’s NHS as proof his decision was correct. For a period in October, hospitals here were running at 95 per cent capacity. The situation was so bad, one senior medic, Oliver Zuzan, told the BBC the whole system was “hanging by a thread”. Now those numbers have come right down. The health service stayed standing.

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Crucially, too, perhaps, it was in those October conversations with the government that Anderson says he first raised an intriguing possibility with Boris Johnson’s then chief adviser Sir Edward Lister. “We were discussing resources for dealing with Covid and I told him we needed the armed forces” he says. “His mouth dropped: a Labour mayor asking a Tory government to send in the army”.

Within days, Matt Hancock was in touch. He asked if Liverpool would be interested in piloting a mass testing scheme which would see 2,000 soldiers deployed to the city. The programme, the health secretary explained, would aim to screen every single resident as often as they wished at more than 30 specially set-up sites. “I grabbed it with both hands” says Anderson.

Debate rages even now about the merits of the scheme which has seen 200,000 tested since it started three weeks ago. There are questions about its cost, accuracy rates and ability to reach poorer neighbourhoods.

Yet one statistic stands out: some 995 people here have been detected as having the virus through testing. By effectively taking those individuals out of circulation early, the city has, Anderson argues, been able to drive contagion down. The result is that, bizarrely, Liverpool has become a sort of poster child for a Tory government policy. Anderson, meanwhile, has been repeatedly praised by both Johnson and Hancock. How does that sit?

“Look, I’ve been on the end of austerity since 2010, dealing with a Tory government that doesn’t care about my city” he says. “But this isn’t about political colours. I don’t get pleased or displeased about what they say as long as I’m confident in my skin I’m doing the right thing. Which I am”.


All the same, for his part, he has no similar reciprocal praise. He blames mistakes repeatedly made by Johnson and Hancock for the UK having one of the world’s worst death tolls. Their attempts to return life to normality in the summer was, he says, especially egregious.

“They told people go back to work, go shopping, go out to eat, go back to university, all unfettered,” he says. “They told us to do all of the things that the virus thrives on”. People died because of that? “Absolutely, absolutely they did. There’s no question of that. Thousands”.

A failure to have an earlier autumn circuit breaker also added unnecessary deaths, he feels. His brother Bill, he says, would still be alive today if action had been taken sooner. How does he work with a government he believes effectively caused the death of his own brother?

“It makes me angry,” he says. “But I don’t believe that Boris Johnson or Matt Hancock are evil. I don’t believe they deliberately done what they did by commission. It was through incompetence, making .”

His own thoughts are now turning towards Christmas. Even with Liverpool moving into tier two from 2 December meaning pubs can open and small crowds can watch sports events he has already cautioned the city to live with care, and to keep getting tested.


He won’t be rushing out to watch his beloved Everton; nor will he and wife Marg, a care worker, be seeing any of their five children or six grandchildren. “We’ll drop presents at the bottom of the garden,” he says. “Wave through the window”.

Doesn’t he miss them? “Every day” he says. “It’s a parent’s and grandparents’ worst nightmare. It’s horrible, for me as a grandad but also to know that it’s being replicated all over the city.”

But he says
Liverpool has suffered too much pain to relax. Some 1,876 have died in the region’s hospitals after testing positive for coronavirus and, whatever happens, that number will go up over the next few months. “It’s about limiting that” he says. “We shouldn’t just be thinking about this Christmas, but next Christmas and the one after that. We’re getting close to a vaccine. We just have to stay safe until then”.

The Critical Coronavirus Situation In West Lancashire

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West Lancashire Ormskirk & Southport NHS Trust hospitals report 17 new cases of coronavirus infection today, that’s now 4,570 infections, and 3,998 infections per 100,000 of our population.

NHS England has sadly notified two deaths recorded at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust. There have been 240 deaths in West Lancashire.

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Almost a quarter of Lancashire hospital beds, and nearly all of those in critical care, were taken up by coronavirus patients when the county’s Tier 3 lockdown future was decided. There was widespread criticism in Lancashire towards the Government’s move to place the entire region under the toughest Tier 3 rules, ignoring a plea from councils for the fate of each of Lancashire’s 14 local council areas to be considered separately.

The Government has since released the reasoning behind its decision about the regulations that will come into force across Lancashire when the national lockdown ends on December 2.

The brief summary acknowledged that Covid rates had shown “improvements in some areas” but noted that “pressure” remained on the health service in the county.


NHS data reveals some of the considerations that have weighed on the controversial call to impose Tier 3 status.
As of last Tuesday (November 24) just 24 hours before the final tiering decision was made, there were a total of 682 people being treated in hospital for Covid across Lancashire.

Although it was marginally down on a week earlier, when the 700 mark had been crossed for the first time during the pandemic,
it was far higher than the 563 peak reached at the peak of the first wave in mid-April.

Of the 682 Covid patients in Lancashire hospitals earlier this week, 617 were occupying general and acute beds, with a further 15 in a high dependency unit and 50 receiving treatment in level three ventilated beds. That meant Covid patients accounted for 48 percent of all those in critical care across the region and 24 percent of those in general and acute wards.



Saturday Satire, Press Releases From “Great!” Leaders

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The leader of Lancashire County Council has called for local politicians to have more say in the decision making process behind the Government’s Covid-19 tier system. Well, spare us from this verbal tripe!

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The leader has a CBE. I doubt it was awarded for excellence in Covid-19 and what that pandemic has brought us. Some political nonentities are routinely given these meaningless gongs just because they turn up and take the party line and the allowances that go with them.

The leader said he was extremely disappointed that the whole of Lancashire will be placed in Tier 3 restrictions when the current lockdown expires on Wednesday. Actually I’m disappointed in the bullshit that divides the county and the boroughs. Opinions don’t count, it’s facts, science and professionalism that do. Just down the road from us Liverpool’s main Hospital Trust has the third highest number of Covid-19 deaths in England. And as we showed yesterday, within our own borough, in the last week, contrast Skelmersdale Ashurst that recorded a total of 406 infections, up 9.1% (24 new cases) with Hesketh Bank & Tarleton recorded a total of 92.2, down 66.7% (8 new cases). Which tiers would he put them in?

Alongside leaders from other councils in Lancashire the leader had proposed that the county be divided into two different tiers to reflect the areas different coronavirus rates.


This would have meant Fylde, Wyre, Lancaster, Chorley, South Ribble, Ribble Valley and West Lancashire going into the lower Tier 2 restrictions. The rate of Coronavirus cases might be reducing right across the county, but there is a wide gap between the highest and lowest rates. The leader said it is always a balance between protecting lives and protecting livelihoods, and getting that balance right will always be difficult. Sorry but it’s too difficult, and dangerous, for me to be in his hands.

He said we know there are still serious pressures on the hospitals and we really want to see that number come down. We also know rates have come down significantly since the time when we were placed in the original Tier 3, three weeks before this lockdown began and in the west and north of the county this is particularly pronounced.

He said was naturally disappointed by the decision to put the whole county into the same tier, and would be speaking to the Government about what the measures will be for coming out of Tier 3. He also thinks it is important that local leaders have more input on these decisions as we know our areas best. Rubbish. What does he know about West Lancashire?

He will also be stressing that more support should be available to people who test positive so that they can afford to self isolate. He would ask that everyone in Lancashire continues to work together and follows the rules to drive the infection rate down even further to strengthen our argument that restrictions should be eased. And he would also like to thank everyone for their sacrifices throughout this difficult and unprecedented time.

I don’t want his thanks. I want a national spirit of stubborn defiance against this pandemic by everyone isolating safely and helping our NHS. Have you noticed the fleeting mention of the NHS in his speech, of “hospitals”? This Lancashire leader has forgotten the scenes we all see. Perhaps it’s because his party has put it up for sale, what with the Virgin Care sell-out in our borough to name just one?

So while he contemplates his navel from the comfort of the leader’s parlour, or whatever, the real fight against Covid-19 takes place in hospital wards and operating theatres. They are the nearest places to complete devotion and commitment any of us will ever see.

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And now turn to Rosie Cooper who yesterday wrote “Once again, the Government has used a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Instead of dealing with Coronavirus based on the science and figures, lazily they have just decided on their tier levels at a County level without due regard to local variances.

“Ignoring the facts of the situation, including falling Covid rates locally here in West Lancashire and the calls by local leaders, Government has continued with restrictions, disruption and misery for my West Lancashire constituents and businesses who will now remain in severe restrictions until at least 16 December despite the reducing levels of Covid”.


Local variances? Science and figures? Skelmersdale Ashurst and Hesketh Bank & Tarleton? Which tier for them, Rosie?

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And our third great leader, WLBC’s Ian Moran who writes “The news that West Lancashire will be placed in Tier 3 which is the “very high alert” level when the national lockdown ends next week is a devastating blow to our business and local communities.

“We have all worked so hard to get the number of Coronavirus cases down and this decision today does not feel consistent especially as we are in a better place here than some areas of the country who have gone into a lower tier.

“All the Council Leaders across Lancashire requested a more targeted approach so for areas such as West Lancashire businesses could operate safely and keep our local economy moving and this request has not been considered. We do want everyone to be safe but this blanket approach means that communities and businesses are being restricted unnecessarily by this decision.


“I am very angry about this decision and that we have not been listened to. I am extremely concerned that the hospitality sector which is so important in West Lancashire may not fully recover from this decision today and we will continue to keep working to get out of this tier as soon as we possibly can”.

Consistency? Skelmersdale Ashurst and Hesketh Bank & Tarleton? Which tier for them Ian? Which will you target? And how?

Here’s where we stand

West Lancashire Coronavirus Report

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In West Lancashire the Ormskirk & Southport Hospital NHS Trust reported 20 new infections today, and the total is now 4,553, that’s 3,983.2 infections per 100,000 of the population.

NHS England reported the Ormskirk & Southport Hospital NHS Trust has recorded another fatality on November 21. The total losses are now 238.

The North West R rate has dropped to 0.7.

In the last week, Skelmersdale Ashurst recorded a total of 406 infections, up 9.1% (24 new cases). Hesketh Bank & Tarleton recorded a total of 92.2, down 66.7% (8 new cases).

WLBC Apologises For Misleading A Resident And Rosie Cooper

“Flooded of Burscough” writes about his recent experience of contact with “Authorities”. It’s something we all try to avoid, contact with them, but sadly never achieve.

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He writes “Readers will detect a very different tone to my submissions to WLR today. This is because I am rather conflicted. Throughout life I have been brought up to be decent, and when someone offers an apology, then I should be man enough to accept it with grace. I would love this still to be the case, but very nearly 5 years battling to save my home from flooding has brought me into very close contact with persons in Authority and though I had always been respectful of them throughout my life, it has come as a bit of a shock to me to finally realise my unerring faith in their honesty and integrity was seriously misplaced.

“In correspondence with the Authorities, I have learned to focus on what has not been said, rather than any replies that are made, as it seems to be the case than many within the Authorities do not want to be found out telling lies, but neither do they wish to tell you the whole truth, so this is regularly withheld and this is to the detriment of the Public that the Authorities serve.


There are many people who are as good as their word. I hope that everyone who knows me believes that to be the case. There are those who will make their way through life making promises of good deeds in the future which never materialise. These people quite often get to the ‘top’, leaving a catalogue of broken promises and disappointed people behind them. They don’t care if that is the case, they have a different mindset and can fall asleep at night without any thought for those who they have trodden upon.

“So the question here is, “Is this a sincere apology”? I don’t know, but because of my background I will accept it as such, but it is conditional. It needs to be more than empty words, it needs to be backed up by positive steps to support the Public you serve and do the right thing. Please show the residents of Burscough, and particularly Crabtree Lane, what positive steps have been taken by WLBC to resolve the plight of the residents you serve over the last 5 years.

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You may also wish to consider whether misleading our MP Rosie Cooper was acceptable.


WLBC Letter below;


“Hello

“I am in the process of reviewing the correspondence that has either come in directly to the Council from yourself or via the MP and will respond fully in the very near future. However, I must express my sincere apologies for not sending on the notes of the meeting that was held with the County Council, Lead Local Flood Authorities and United Utilities. This was entirely my error, and having checked my emails I have realised that, whilst we did send them to the MP, they were never sent directly to you. I now attach them for you and am quite happy for you to share them with your fellow residents. I will be in touch shortly.
Regards”.


Readers might wonder why it takes “reviewing the correspondence” by an officer paid to work for the public before bothering to reply?