Monthly Archives: March 2021

West Lancashire Provides Optimistic Report On Coronavirus

The Ormskirk & Southport NHS Trust hospitals stated 7 new people had a confirmed positive test result reported on 31st March 2021.

Between 25th March 2021 and 31st March 2021, 67 people had a confirmed positive test result. This shows a decrease of 17.3% compared to the previous 7 days.

There were no deaths within 28 days of a positive test for coronavirus reported on 31st March 2021.

Between 25th March 2021 and 31st March 2021, there have been 0 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test. This shows a decrease of 0% compared to the previous 7 days.

Former Serco Directors “Hid £12m Profits”

Reading The Times,

it comes as no surprise here in West Lancashire to learn the saga of services outsourcer Serco corruption rolls on. Ten years on, the alleged tagging fraud, admitted by the company, and two former Serco directors are accused of fraud over electronic tagging contracts with the Ministry of Justice, conspired to conceal £12 million in profits, a court was told. Nicholas Woods, 51, former finance director of Serco home affairs, and Simon Marshall, 59, former operations director of field services, allegedly encouraged an unnamed man to submit fictional costs to the Ministry of Justice between 2011 and 2013.

Michael Bowes, QC,

prosecuting, said that the company set up a subsidiary, Serco Geografix, to falsely claim £500,000 a month in costs “which were completely fictitious”. Between October 2010 and September 2012, Serco allegedly reduced its apparent profits from £27 million to £15 million, concealing an extra £12 million.

Serco lost its contract to tag criminals in the UK in 2013. One of the largest government contractors, Serco is valued at £1.7 billion and operates in the immigration and prisoner services, hospitals, defence and transport sectors. Mr Bowes said that it was not possible to calculate the precise amount gained by the company or lost by the Ministry of Justice. “This is about a fraud on the taxpayer, on public funds, carried out by the defendants to benefit Serco, the company which employed them,” he told Southwark crown court.

“The false reports as to costs were made in order to conceal Serco’s high profit margins and to stop the MoJ from taking steps to recover any of Serco’s previous profits or otherwise reduce the revenue stream Serco was obtaining through its operation of the contracts for the tagging”.

Woods and Marshall are jointly charged with fraud said to have occurred in August 2011. Marshall faces two further counts of fraud in 2012 and 2013. They deny the charges. Mr Bowes said that as part of the Ministry of Justice contract, Serco was obliged to submit a regular financial report on the project.

“The information in that financial model had to be given to the MoJ, under the contract, had to be true and accurate, not false, misleading or fictitious,” Mr Bowes said. “The prosecution’s case is that the submitted costs were not true and accurate and so were false, misleading and fictitious. The prosecution’s case is that the defendants knew that and so acted dishonestly.” The trial, which is expected to last up to 12 weeks, continues.

Skelmersdale Town Centre Progress

“We are delighted that the Skelmersdale Town Centre Project is moving along well with over 23 earthwork vehicles currently on site progressing the groundworks! We are very happy to say that works are being delivered by local firms (11 out of a total 13) and we have many local employees working on the ground to make this town centre plan a reality”.

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Councillor Ian Moran, Leader of West Lancashire Borough Council, said “As a resident and a councillor, I’m delighted to see this level of progress on site – and seeing local people and businesses at the heart of the scheme is another reason why this project is so important for the people of West Lancs.

“Next month, you will be able to see the steelwork beginning to appear on site and we can’t wait for the day to come when we welcome you all in to have a look around!”

Golf Driving Range Being Built By Council

No, it’s not the destructive West Lancashire Borough Council. But it is municipal, just down the road in Bootle. Whereas WLBC developed golf landfill, Sefton develops municipal golf.

Work has begun on a quarter of a million pounds golf driving range at a municipal golf club, which should capitalise on the current demand to play the game. Sefton Council’s Bootle Golf Course has seen the work on a 10-bay driving range facility start after the council consulted with local residents and found there was a desire for it to invest in both golf practice facilities and upgrades to the course.

The council has also appointed contractors to support the installation of new fencing and outfield improvements to the site. The new driving range will include practice facilities and a dedicated coaching bay. Floodlighting will mean golfers can take advantage of evenings to practice their swing and technique during the winter months when it’s too dark to play on course.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said “As well as enhancing the already-popular Bootle Golf Course, this new driving range will help to make golf more accessible and attract new players, and enable existing golfers to improve their game.

“When we consulted them, local residents and golfers highlighted the importance of new practice facilities and investment in course infrastructure. No matter what the weather or time of year, these new facilities mean existing golfers can practice their game and people who have not played before can give the sport a try.”

Beacon Park Golf Course, below, landfilled by West Lancashire Borough Council planning consent!

West Lancashire Coronavirus News

The Ormskirk & Southport NHS Trust hospitals have indicated 9 new people had a confirmed positive test result reported on 30th March 2021.

Between 24th March 2021 and 30th March 2021, 63 people had a confirmed positive test result. This shows a decrease of 24.1% compared to the previous 7 days.

There were no deaths within 28 days of a positive test for coronavirus reported on 30th March 2021.

Between 24th March 2021 and 30th March 2021, there have been no deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test. This shows a decrease of 0% compared to the previous 7 days.

Vaccine Diplomacy?

John Redwood discusses the UK coronavirus vaccine success.

“The UK is likely to have a substantial surplus of vaccine doses over home needs, thanks to its early and substantial actions to help firms develop and produce them including placing advance orders. The UK success also included working with Astra Zeneca who came up with the cheapest vaccine on offer and promised to sell it profit free, thanks to the UK taxpayer backing the project in its early days. It is perhaps understandable that some other countries, some higher charging companies and the EU are jealous of this success.

“The UK took a big risk, as no-one could be sure which companies if any would succeed when the UK made investments and offered contracts. As a result of good choices the UK will have substantial supplies of vaccines from other companies as well as Astra. This will allow the UK to offer many millions of doses of various vaccines to others. The issues arise, which countries should we choose and on what basis should the additional vaccines be supplied? [Not EU countries!]

“There is a case to be made to supply some of our surplus free of charge to low income countries who did not have the rich country advantages of a strong domestic industry to develop the products, or the cash to forward order in quantity. This would be a good use of our overseas aid budget, paying for the vaccines from that source. It is difficult to see why we should similarly supply free to any higher income country that would like our diverted orders.

“There is a case for charging them what they cost us. Some might argue we should charge them a higher market price. In the case of Astra product that would raise the issue should any part of a UK taxpayer profit be shared with Astra who otherwise have a break even price, and might raise issues for Astra about their promises over general pricing and supply. There is also the issue of what criteria we should use to select the countries that we help. I suspect many UK taxpayers would be unhappy to help any country that had recently imposed trade bans, restrictions or sanctions on us or who had tried to undermine the reputation of Astra product”.

Bang on the money, Sir John, and well said. And from now on, manufacture ALL our vaccines here in England, create jobs and vaccines at home!

West Lancashire Coronavirus-It’s Not Over Yet

The West Lancashire Ormskirk & Southport NHS Trust hospitals recorded 12 new coronavirus infections today. We’ve had 8,849 cases, that’s 7,741.5 per 100,000 of our population.

Between 23 March 2021 and 29 March 2021, 63 people had a confirmed positive test result. This shows a decrease of 25.9% compared to the previous 7 days.

There were no deaths within 28 days of a positive test for coronavirus reported on 29 March 2021.

Between 23 March 2021 and 29 March 2021, there have been no deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test. This shows a decrease of 0% compared to the previous 7 days.

Fight Against Greedy Centene

Centene, a profit-greedy US health insurance giant, has been allowed to take over 49 NHS GP practices. This is a scandal but the fightback for our GP surgeries is starting now in parliament.

Apsana Begum, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, has just introduced a motion that your MP can sign to show they want to get Centene out. Can you ask Rosie Cooper to sign on to Apsana’s motion?

“We are aiming to get 100 MPs to sign this motion. That number is perfectly achievable if your MP signs on. So far, 19 MPs have already signed the motion, including Labour, Liberal Democrat, Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Independent MPs”.

“You might say “But my MP is a Conservative and they won’t sign.” We are already seeing support from Conservative councillors in London for this campaign, so if you have a Conservative MP, please email them.

“They also need to be made aware that people in your local area won’t stand for this. You might also say, “I have a Labour or LibDem or SNP or Pliad Cymru or Green or DUP MP and they might support this, but our local area isn’t affected.”

“The truth is, Centenes are growing right across the country. They are applying to run GP practices everywhere, and your local area may be affected tomorrow. Please help by emailing Rosie Cooper MP today”. 

Rosie@RosieCooper.net

I just did.

What Really Lies Under The Beacon Park Golf Course Landfill?

From the Liverpool and Knowsley Files in respect of developer landfill and corruption. Horrendous dumping, including asbestos, a known killer! See below.

In the case of the Liverpool Sports Park/Cottage Homes Playing Fields debacle the landfill dumped on it was atrociously dangerous. Who is to say the same materials, asbestos, do not lie under or form part of the Beacon Park Golf Course landfill? Same developer!

In Liverpool they are listed in the breach of covenants inasmuch as the company imported on to the site excess topsoil, deleterious and noxious deposits and materials, asbestos, asbestos related materials, refuse, fly tipping, and to put it in perspective, “The premises are in a worse situation than the ‘existing condition’ in which they were demised to you in the commencement of the Lease”.

Should we imagine that what happened in Liverpool/Knowsley was repeated in West Lancashire? Back in the day, neighbours of the BPGC complained of obnoxious smells from the 9holer. The complaints were dismissed. Are we suspicious enough that there is some noxiousness there? We should be told.

“The premises are in a worse situation than the ‘existing condition’ in which they were demised to you in the commencement of the Lease”. That’s precisely the same now at the Beacon Park Golf Course. Serco was required by law to remove excess landfill. Does it need a government inspector to visit West Lancashire Borough Council? Of course it does.

Home Alone?

According to reports, Leeds City Council has spent almost £900,000 in the past year on equipping employees to work from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a document has revealed.

An investigation is set to finish next year into ongoing work by the authority to sell off a number of its office buildings and instead to equip large parts of its workforce to work from home instead.

A document updating councillors on the authority’s “agile working” and “estate rationalisation” work is set to go before members of the council’s Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee next week.

It claims most staff surveyed are happy with the support they are receiving from the authority, and that the inquiry should be completed next year. “There are very few positives to be derived from living through such a tragic pandemic, however what it has served to highlight is the potential for greater organisational change based around a more flexible model of working for staff that takes greater account of work life balance and mental health and well-being whilst also maintaining a strong focus on effective service delivery”.

Is this a model to be copied? Perhaps West Lancashire Borough Council could indicate who among the staff we pay for has done some “agile working”, and which, if any, office buildings it might sell off?