Bully-boy tactics and politics on the rates


Perhaps we should rename this lovely Town Hall the Liverpool Kremlin?!

You have probably never heard of Liverpool Express. It’s a little known blogsite run by the Liverpool City Council which effectively acts as a mouthpiece for Mayor Joe.
Yesterday it published an article about the Lib Dems claiming that it was doing so because we were spreading erroneous information about Calderstones Park and bin collections in the city.
Regular readers of this blog will know that the Council claim that they are not selling off any part of Calderstones Park but are instead selling off for housing the Harthill Estate. How they maintain this fiction when the people of the area keep telling them they have always called this land Calderstones Park is beyond us. Even more bizarre is the fact they are selling off the former Calderstones Park depot which must be in Calderstones Park and they claim it isn’t in Calderstones Park!
We, local residents and park users maintain that the land between Harthill Road and Yew Tree Road has always been known as one Park. In fact the council have recognised for years the “Friends of the Harthill and Calderstones Park”. What the council wanted us to do was to print and pay for corrections in our leaflets which were approved by the Chief Executive.

As we haven’t made a mistake we declined to do so and after 3.5 months during which we had to push the council to respond to our questions they decided that they could not force us to do this. Instead they have spent taxpayer’s time and money to make a political point.
Ironically the Labour Party have had to publicly admit this week that they were lying about the same piece of land. Last Monday the local Labour Councillor had to tweet an apology and ring the leaders of Beechley Riding Stables for the Disabled after the local ‘Labour Rose’, another irregular and little known publication, claimed that the Stables were derelict and disused. This came as a major surprise to the Stables who run a thriving community based stables there with horses in the peak of condition.
We said publicly they were wrong on the day that their publication slithered onto the streets. They apologised 5 days later on Monday this week but incredibly although apologising and saying they would publish a retraction were still delivering their pathetic little effort today (Friday).
The Labour party (whoops sorry – the Council) also object to us saying that there is a possibility that the council will move to a four-weekly bin collection instead of the fortnightly one. We have justified that in 50,000 tabloid newspapers which we are delivering throughout the City. We say this because of the number of Labour councils who have already moved to three weekly collections and the published reports which make clear that other Labour councils are considering four weekly collections.
This concerns Labour because they do not want people to remember that at the last mayoral election Anderson pledged to keep weekly collections and even got £10,000,000 from the Government to do just that. He then had to send the money back when the officers showed that he could not meet recycling objectives and that doing what he wanted would cost even more money than the amount he was borrowing.
I don’t mind having differences of opinions with other Parties. In fact that is what makes democracy tick. Lib Dems are always out in the community with our newsletters letting people know what is happening in their communities and trying to involve residents in local affairs. In my own ward we put out a monthly Focus newsletter which we pay for and deliver ourselves. The Party puts its hand in its pocket and we have 26 magnificent deliverers who help us take our message out.
By contrast the Labour Party, with massively more resources, are currently delivering their second Labour Rose since last May. Anyone would think there was an election coming up!
We believe that councillors and politicians should be out on the streets all year round and not just at election time. We believe that we should pay for our own leaflets and campaigns and not get hidden help from the Council or attract sponsorship from big name companies with contracts or partnerships with the Council.
If Mr Anderson really wants to disagree with us why won’t he accept the challenges to debate the issues which I have issued time and time again in the past few months? Mr Anderson only debates when he can control the meeting. He won’t come out for a fair ‘question time’ style discussion in the community with a neutral chair.
So although he is coming to our Ward, ironically, just near the part of Calderstones Park that is discussed above Erica and I will not be there. He has stated on Radio Merseyside and in the Council Chamber that he would not attend a meeting with us present. The issues of the Heron Eccles Playing Field is too important to our constituents to give him an excuse for not attending a meeting with them.
So when the meeting takes place at 10.00 tomorrow (19 March) at Calderstones Comp, Harthill Road perhaps someone else will ask him if he is prepared to come back for a wider discussion with me during the election period when we can put views fairly and openly in a place, venue and time that the people of Liverpool can see us in action, listen to our arguments and decide how to vote.
Frankly I won’t hold my breath!!


About richardkemp

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool. Deputy Chair and Lib Dem Spokesperson on the LGA Community Wellbeing Board. Married to the lovely Cllr Erica Kemp CBE with three children and four grandchildren.
This entry was posted in Liverpool Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Bully-boy tactics and politics on the rates

  1. Paul Traynor says:

    More lies from Anderson and his spin doctors

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