Monthly Archives: December 2020

Coronavirus Infections Surge Continues In West Lancashire

The West Lancashire Ormskirk & Southport NHS Trust hospitals have reported 65 new coronavirus infections today. The cumulative total infections are 5,557 and the infection rate is now 4,861.5 per 100,000 of the population.

Sadly another three people have died at our hospitals, including one on Christmas Day, one on December 27 and one on December 29. We have lost 276 members of our community.

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS England’s national medical director, said staying at home and seeing in 2021 “within the rules” will reduce infections and relieve pressure on hospitals.

We Now Have A Hostile Foreign Power On Our Doorstep?

John Redwood MP

“The Government are right to take back control and to recreate our sovereignty in the United Kingdom. We do not just want legal sovereignty; we also want practical sovereignty…”

“I have a couple of worries about this agreement. The first is fishing. One of the great prizes of Brexit is to recapture control of our fishing stocks and to rebuild our coastal communities and our fishing industry. Will the Government today promise to legislate immediately to prevent pulse fishing and over-large trawlers, which are doing enormous damage to our marine environment and to our fish stocks?”

“I am also worried about the position in Northern Ireland. To what extent is our sovereignty damaged or impaired by the special relationships and special provisions of the withdrawal Act? I thought they were going to be changed in this latest agreement with the EU”.

Owen Paterson MP

“It will take real political determination to get fish back in five and a half years’ time when we think that in the channel, for instance, the EU will be going down on cod only from 91% to 90.75%, when it [the EU] should be on 25% according to zonal attachment. We will need real determination.

“I would love to vote for the Bill today, but I really cannot vote for a measure that divides the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland will have a different tax regime and, as part of the customs union, it will be under the ECJ, the Single Market and so on”.

Boris Johnson MP

“By signing this deal, we fulfill the sovereign wish of the British people to live under their own laws, made by their own elected Parliament”.

Facts4EU

“On this last day as a colony of the EU, however, it is perhaps a good moment to reflect on the real challenges we face as a result of the EU’s Withdrawal Agreement (which remains in place) and the wholly unprecedented impositions placed on the UK by the ‘Trade and Cooperation Agreement’ now an international treaty.

“As we have pointed out many times, those who inhabit the Brussels corridors are ideological extremists working for their vision of an EU superstate, subsuming all individual European nations into one and governed by technocrats from the centre”. For the EU it’s not enough that tomorrow: It rules a sovereign part of the United Kingdom: Northern Ireland; Its access to the UK’s sovereign territorial waters will continue as part of this deal; The UK has granted access to the EU’s financial firms whilst the EU has not reciprocated; The EU has locked in its massive surplus in goods trade, whilst offering nothing for UK services (80% of our economy); The UK must stick to EU standards on the environment, climate change, carbon pricing, human rights, social rights, labour rights, tax transparency, and State aid.

“No, none of these things will be enough. Not for the EU. For them, the United Kingdom must not succeed as a free, independent, and sovereign country. To allow this to happen would be to allow the peoples of other European countries to see a brighter future outside the EU, and to have hope. All hope must be extinguished”.

Remember this, that the EU’s trade surplus with UK topped £1 TRILLION in 20 years from year 2000. No wonder we were referred to as “Treasure island”!

Coronavirus Costs West Lancashire More Lives

Ormskirk & Southport NHS Trust hospitals have recorded four coronavirus deaths, including three on December 26 and one on December 28, Sadly, we have now lost 273 members of our community to this appalling pandemic.

In a shocking disclosure, the West Lancashire coronavirus infections rose by 52 cases, the third highest number of infections in the county. We’ve now suffered 5,492 infections since the pandemic began.

Have you received your first Covid Vaccination? I have, it’s a piece of cake, please do not hesitate if it is offered to you. Can’t wait for my second dose!

Statement From Lancashire Director Of Public Health On Tier Change

Hi. For everyone reporting on the change of tier in Lancashire here’s a comment from Dr Sakthi. Tier 4 is currently the highest level of restrictions that are imposed on a district or area. If you live in Tier 4 you must not leave or be outside of your home or garden except where you have a ‘reasonable excuse’. 

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, director of public health for Lancashire, said “We are at a critical point in this pandemic and I would urge everyone to play their part to stop the spread. The restrictions in tier 4 will mean even more disruption to people’s lives, and I know that this decision will bring hardship to many.

“However it is vital we get the virus under control and bring down the number of people being infected and having to be admitted to hospital. Tragically we are still seeing many people lose their lives as a result of this virus. There is hope. Already hundreds of people in Lancashire have been vaccinated, and today’s announcement about another type of vaccine is very welcome.

“I would really urge people to stick to the rules. Everyone can minimise their chances of catching Covid 19, including the new strain, by fully sticking to the guidance. Please follow the simple advice of washing your hands, wearing a face mask and keeping a safe space between yourself and other people”.

Using Our New Freedoms

By John Redwood

“The government should now turn its attention to the many opportunities our departure from the bureaucratic and restrictive single market and customs union will bring.

“Let me begin with a few ideas for a better maritime strategy. The UK is a global trading nation with a proud history of maritime success. The EU Ports Regulations have cramped the expansion of our harbours and docks. The Common Fishing Policy led to a big decline in our fishing fleet and fish processing. A combination of EU and UK rules led to a big decline in international marine owners using our flag for their merchant ships. During the EEC/EU years we witnessed a major decline in shipbuilding.

“We could now set about rebuilding by

1. Repeal Ports Directive. Offer planning permissions and other support for dock and harbour expansion.

2. Offer Freeport status to many coastal towns, with simplified planning and tax breaks for new investment in those areas. Allow non payment of VAT on items for re export.

3. Add an Enterprise Zone to such ports, with additional tax breaks from Business rates and from Corporation Tax on investment.

4. Government to offer grants and cheap loans to U.K. citizens and businesses wishing to buy a new trawler made in a U.K. yard, to expand fishing capacity.

5. UK to order all public sector vessels from UK yards assuming there were at least 2 compliant UK tenders for the work. UK to strengthen Customs and naval fleets of coastal patrol vessels.

6. UK to review rules over sailing under our flag

to encourage more to use our flag and related marine service, without lax employee standards. We should also look at requiring ships trading in our waters to comply with high standards for employees and safety.

7. Government to assist coastal towns and cities wanting growth to attract more fish processing, meal preparation and frozen and chilled foods business. Good quality new housing investment to go alongside new industrial and marine activities.

8. Private sector will bring ship repair, chandlery and support services as these policies are implemented.

And if our freedom is to mean anything, just do it!

West Lancashire Borough Council Folk Law

In the famous Gavin Rattray “First Tier Tribunal victory decision over West Lancashire Borough Council” it was stated by the Judge that “The Council Also Places Reliance On An Anonymous Social Media Post Dated 4 October 2018 By The West Lancashire Record entitled “If At First You Don’t Succeed, Become Vexatious”.

And in due course WLBC itself became vexatious, with a vexatious octogenarian in an anorak,

and his MP. Nothing too remarkable, you might think. It’s generally supposed that older, senior, people become irritable. The vast majority of the Beacon Park Golf Seniors Club became so irritated by the landfill for royalty, still heaped and muddy, seven years after landfill first arrived, they left to play golf on proper golf courses. Some, sarcastically, congratulated Serco Leisure Operating Limited and WLBC on their amazing skills in golf course management.

And all the while, WLBC, in June 2020, was stating “I can confirm that WLBC are currently in the process of finalising a contract extension with Serco that covers all WLBC facilities including Beacon Park Golf Course…designed to enable the Council…finalise the re-profiling of Beacon Park Golf Course and to consider future operational models”…one with few golf members?

Are you wondering just what marriage vows keep WLBC and Serco Leisure Operating Ltd tied together so tightly? I know I am. Perhaps 50,079 viewers of the Golf Mates video are too?

Did You Sigh With Relief When Council Exit Payment Cap Regulations Came Into Power?

Well don’t celebrate yet, as a High Court judge has given LLG (Lawyers in Local Government) and ALACE (the Association of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers) permission to bring a judicial review challenge over the Exit Payment Cap Regulations.

Quentin Baker the President of LLG said “We are pleased that this important issue which has a potentially significant impact upon our members’ pension benefits will be subject to full consideration in the High Court”.

And Ian Miller, Honorary Secretary of ALACE, has said “We are pleased that our claim with Lawyers in Local Government has been granted permission to proceed to a full hearing. Deep concern about the regulations is shared widely across unions in the public sector, and it is important that the courts now clarify whether the Government will have to change its approach”.

Deborah Evans, chief executive of LLG, said “In a year when local authority key workers have given their all, LLG has fought to preserve pension rights for those suffering redundancy at a late stage in their career, rights which were purportedly stripped away by the Exit Cap Regulations. LLG has fought for clarity for local authorities undertaking large scale restructures in the midst of conflicting legislation. The granting of permission to apply for judicial review gives us all a glimmer of hope that common sense and justice may prevail in 2021”.

LLG said that up to 86% of officers facing redundancy over the age of 55 were likely to be adversely affected. The group also claimed that at a time when local government needed to transform the way it provided services, this retrospective removal of a key employment benefit would hamper attempts to reorganise council services.

LLG and ALACE said that the Government could choose to remove the pension strain from the calculations completely, or the changes could apply solely for future pension contributions, protecting those rights earned to date.

Who, we might wonder, will protect the rights of council tax payers who foot the enormous pensions bill for these overpaid officers? “In a year when local authority key workers have given their all…” Well, haven’t council taxpayers given their all? To WLBC, to LCC, to the Police Commissioner, old Uncle Tom Cobley and all, and haven’t we got pension strain?

West Lancashire Coronavirus Report

Public Health England has reported our West Lancashire Ormskirk & Southport NHS Trust hospitals having recorded 36 new coronavirus infections today, bringing the cumulative total to 5,363 infections. The overall infection rate per 100,000 of the population for each area since the start of the pandemic is not available today.

No further coronavirus deaths have been recorded by our hospitals over Christmas. Our losses remain at 269 members of our community.