June 2009 Archives

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With a heavy heart I cancelled my subscription to The Economist tonight.

My wife bought me a subscription to the publication for our first wedding anniversary (we will have been married five years next month).

I've finally read through the report of the Liverpool Commission on democracy liverpool_commission.doc.

I can't help but agree with Dr Stuart Wilks-Heeg, a democracy expert, who says much of what is suggested is a quick fix.

One problem with the commission is that it decided not to look at issues that would require changes at a national level.

Should councillors be full time?

By David Bartlett on Jun 28, 09 06:29 PM in

Paula Keaveney (ethics leader at Liverpool Council) has responded to my post about whether councillors should be paid more, by looking at whether they should be full time.

She concludes that they should not:

Being in employment elsewhere also means you keep a real world connection. Now I know that we all do a lot of talking to residents, joining in things, sharing ideas etc and that is all great. For the most part we live in or near the wards we represent and we are with constituents every day. But it is so very easy, if you do nothing but politics, to lose some of the real world perspective. If nothing else those Councillors with jobs are better at ensuring that meetings are accessible to working people than those without!

I responded to Cllr Keaveney saying:

Although I may have advocated councillors being paid more, I still can't make my mind up whether councillors should be full time. If there were the numbers would have to be drastically cut. It strikes me that the current half way house may not be perfect, but is probably the best least worst solution (if that makes sense). Dare I mention the words elected mayor?

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Prince Charles has given his thumbs up to the recent regeneration activity in Liverpool.

Liverpool Council leader Warren Bradley revealed last night that he had spoken to the Prince about the recent changes to the city's urban environment, saying: "Prince Charles think's we've done a wonderful job.

"It will take 30 to 40 years of regeneration to put right 30 to 40 years of degeneration."

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Above is part of a Liverpool Liberal Democrat party nomination form for candidates for elections.

As you can see it clearly states: "Please confirm you are not barred from standing due to any of these reasons:

"Corrupt and illegal practices - people who have been guilty of corrupt or illegal practices under the Representation of the People Act are disqualified from being a candidate."

This would appear to disqualify in fairly categorical terms Steve Hurst, convicted of breaking the Representation of the People Act.

Here is the full email from RBS to Liverpool FC fans justifying the bank's continuing support for American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

----- Original Message -----
From: ~ Public Affairs
To: ~ Public Affairs
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2009 10:57 AM
Subject: RBS & Liverpool FC

Thank you for your email expressing concern about RBS' banking arrangements with Liverpool FC and it current owners. We are aware of the strength of feeling of a number of fans on this matter and have corresponded with many during the course of the past year or so.

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Today the papers have been ripping in to West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper over her expenses for a range of snacks including Kit Kats, Maltesers and crisps.

She says the snacks were claimed for by young, unpaid "interns" who volunteered to assist in her parliamentary office to gain work experience.
But the tone of the coverage suggests that because she is a size 16 she must have gobbled all the stuff herself.

Yesterday I spent a good while perusing through Liverpool Council's statement of accounts.

There were a couple of things of interest in there. One thing I noticed was the amount collectively paid to councillors in allowances over the past year £1.2m.

The accounts also give a glimpse into the level of pay rises currently been given out at the council. The number of officials earning between £110,000 and £120,000 more than quadrupled in the year from three to 13.

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LIVERPOOL's very own St George (Cllr Phil Moffat) has won his battle with city planners who wanted him to remove railings from his listed building.

Cllr Moffatt, who owns Churchills Emporium in West Derby Road, was given temporary planning permission for the black steel railings in December 2006.

I always seem to go on holiday when there is a busy week of news, and so it happened again.

So I thought it worth writing a post about the week that was, if only for my own sake to help catch up with the news properly.

Dale Street Associates

David Bartlett

David Bartlett

City editor of the Post and Echo covering politics, regeneration, and urban affairs.
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