Monthly Archives: January 2021

West Lancashire Records Landmark Losses To Coronavirus

The West Lancashire Ormskirk & Southport NHS Trust hospitals have reported 84 new coronavirus infections today. The cumulative number is now 6,778, that’s 5,929.7 infections per 100,000 of our community. Public Health England has suggested Lancashire currently has some of the highest rates of infection in the country. New cases in the last complete 7 days West Lancashire: 555+4.5% vs prev week.

Sadly we have reached the terrible level of 301 deaths in our community today. Our hospitals recorded one death on January 13th and one on January 14th.

Vaccine Scams

Lancashire Constabulary remains concerned by the despicable vaccine scams. The message remains “please be aware of and alert to Vaccine scams circulating in the Lancashire area”.

The NHS will never ask for payments for the vaccine, nor bank details, nor identity by documents. Stay alert!

West Lancashire Coronavirus Losses Increase

Sadly, the West Lancashire Ormskirk & Southport NHS Trust hospitals have today reported four deaths from coronavirus, with one on January 10th, one on January 12th and two on January 13th. We have now lost 299 valued members of our community.

A report released very late today of infections in our West Lancashire hospitals shows an increase of 94, the cumulative total is now 6,694, that 5,856.2 infections per 100,000 of our population.

Poor Catch By Fishing Minister

Boris Johnson has backed the under-fire Fisheries Minister after she admitted not reading the Brexit trade deal because she was busy organising a Nativity trail at Christmas.

Victoria Prentis has faced calls for her to quit after the comments, but the Prime Minister is standing by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) minister.

The revelation today came after delays shipping goods to the EU, with the Scottish fish exporters warning that prices are “collapsing” due to the problems.

Asked if her jaw had dropped when she saw the deal with the EU on Christmas Eve, Ms Prentis told the Lords EU Environment Sub-Committee “No, the agreement came when we were all very busy on Christmas Eve, in my case organising the local Nativity trail.

“We had been waiting and waiting, it looked like it was coming for probably four days before it actually arrived. I, for one, had gone through, as I’m sure members of this committee had, a gamut of emotions over those four days”.

A Number 10 spokesperson said that the Prime Minister had confidence in Ms Prentis to organise local Nativity trails. His problem is that nobody else does? Meanwhile Jacob Rees-Mogg has said fish were “happier” now that they’re fully “British”.

We predict Ms Prentis has a future as Under-Minister for Nativity Trails.

A Fish Rots, And Stinks, From The Head Down

We read today that “Jamie McMillan, the boss of world-renowned Loch Fyne Seafarms has been left with box upon box of fresh lobsters, langoustines and hand-dived scallops which he cannot sell.

“UK seafood exporters have been hit by a ‘perfect storm’ of bureaucracy, IT problems and confusion since the EU trade agreement kicked in on January 1st. There were complaints of shellfish rotting in ports as the ‘disastrous’ hold-ups meant they could not be sold in Europe.

“Prime Minister, and Michael Gove,I can assure you if Scottish exporters can’t get their product to market next week, we will be at the gates of Westminster and we will be dumping our shellfish on your doorstep, rotten. The same way the Westminster UK government is rotten to the core”.

Mr McMillan has complained the fishing industry on the West Coast of Scotland is in an ‘absolutely disastrous situation’ with perishable shellfish stuck at customs, meaning boats have been told to stay in port as there is no-one to buy their catch.

Can’t speak fairer than to state how rotten the fishermen have been treated?

Boris Bullshittery

It comes as no surprise that Downing Street has defended the Prime Minister‘s 80-year-old father for receiving two doses of Covid vaccine within three weeks, despite others having to wait 12 weeks between jabs.

Stanley Johnson sparked outrage when he revealed he was getting his second and final dose of the jab despite only getting his first 21 days earlier, on December 18. Speaking on Good Morning Britain Stanley revealed “I had my first jab on December 18 and three weeks on is today and I’m very much looking forward to it. I don’t have to go far “. 

But No 10 defended the move, claiming Stanley was in the “first wave” of recipients to receive both jabs before the rules changed. It is pertinent to ask how long the first wave lasted. Yet people older than Stanley Johnson, in the supposed “first wave” didn’t receive the second dose.

To accelerate the rollout of the vaccine, the Government recently opted to extend the gap between the first and second jab to 12 weeks to allow it to be administered to a greater number of people.

As an example, a resident of West Lancashire, almost 82, attended for the first vaccine dose on December 20. He provides proof here.

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He was told just two days before the second dose it was cancelled but instead to attend when recalled within 12 weeks. It is good to know we are all in this together, just some more so than others.

As ever. “You will have the best protection after two doses”, whenever!

Is West Lancashire Local Democracy To Be Denied Again?

Who can forget the atrocious misspending of £800 by WLBC for an opinion of Counsel that a Labour borough councillor absent for six months should stay in office with no loss of publicly paid allowances? Or the continued absence of a Conservative borough councillor who, having moved lock, stock, and barrel to London and having publicly given notice to his party leader found himself the fortunate ongoing recipient of the same publicly paid allowances?

Both, of course, could have done the right thing and formally resigned. But now it appears they will extend their sucking from the public teat by virtue of cononavirus. It seems elections due to take place on 6 May will “almost certainly” be postponed due to the coronavirus, Conservative MP Steve Brine has said. And Labour’s Meg Hillier said she could not see “any option but for some delay”.

2021’s elections are set to be the biggest for years, with seats up for grabs in more than 140 county councils, district councils and unitary authorities, including 118 which should have happened in 2020. 13 mayoral contests are also due, including in London, Greater Manchester, the West Midlands, Liverpool City region and Bristol, while the London Assembly’s 25 members will be elected.

The Cabinet Office said it was working with electoral and public health officials to enable people to participate safely and to ensure polling stations were Covid-secure. The government has signalled it will not allow a postal-only vote, saying this would “remove choice” from those who wanted to vote in person and increased the risk of fraud.

But

Mr Brine said “I’ve been talking to my local party about it and I’ve been talking to [Conservative] Central Office about it. I just cannot see how you could do that”. He said some activists were already “out delivering leaflets, they’re opening gates, touching letterboxes, putting bits of papers through doors in a lockdown with a highly virulent virus. It is deeply dangerous, it is deeply irresponsible. if you push the election back it pushes back that temptation”.

Chair of the Public Accounts Committee Ms Hillier said she was “surprised the government hasn’t thought about this before”, adding that election organisers would be making decisions about the 6 May polls this week.

“I can’t see any option but for some delay” she said but added “I would hate to see a very long delay because it’s really bad for democracy. And actually, politicians standing for election want to get on with their elections usually because being held to account by the electorate…we rather relish that”.

What, we wonder, can be in the minds of the two WLBC elected members who are the face of “Bad for Democracy”. Might they be invited to avoid the shame of ongoing public greed and humiliation and do the decent thing for council tax payers?

They might, by resigning, even be remembered as forward thinkers for the policy for reduction in the size of our Council by two towards the publicly discussed target of one third less? What a legacy!

Subject: Draft WLBC Revenue Budget 2021-22

Cabinet: 12 January 2021

“The Council must set a budget before the start of each financial year, and this budget will set out the financial basis for the Council’s corporate and service plans. The budget that is set must enable the Council’s priorities to be delivered but must also be affordable. In addition, it should comply with best practice requirements on budget setting, and must meet statutory and accounting regulations.

“The Council meeting on the 24th February will provide all Members with the opportunity to debate and agree this budget. 4.2 The Council agreed the Sustainable Organisation Review Project report in July 2019 and a range of proposals encompassing both staffing reductions, efficiencies and income generation were approved.

“Because of the Covid 19 pandemic, progress against some of these objectives and savings targets has been severely impacted upon, in particular, those items relating to income generation which has meant that financial performance has been worse than budget. The adverse forecasted financial effects on the Council’s finances are significant.

“Some of key areas affected are shown below £000’s

· Leisure operations £400 · Planning income £300 · Car parks £444 · Collection Fund £960 · Debtor legal cost recovery £280 · Commercial property £150 4.3 Whilst government grants have been received that will offset a considerable proportion of this loss, it is expected that the projected out-turn for 20/21 will be a £0.563m overspend and this will clearly impact upon next year’s budget setting”.

What should be explored intensely is the subject of lousy Leisure operations by Serco Leisure Operating limited, and how circa seven years of its management/lease of the Beacon Park Golf Course has delivered landfill devastation and unexplained landfill royalty destination. But it won’t be!