November 2009 Archives

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If transport authority Merseytravel has been unable to get funding for Merseytram in the past few years, it would seem unlikely that it could do it in four months.

But that is the task that it has been set by the region's council leaders.

The make or break demand, revealed today, seems to be saying we are happy to support Line 1 from Liverpool to Kirkby, but...

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The Liberal Democrats in Liverpool have become the first party in the city to have all five parliamentary candidates in place for the General Election.

The party already had Colin Eldridge lined up for Wavertree, Paul Twigger for West Derby, and Paula Keaveney for Garston and Halewood.

We now know that former city councillor Pat Moloney will be taking on Labour's Peter Kilfoyle in his Walton safe seat.

And Richard Marbrow, selected quite a while ago, will be going up against Louise Ellman in the Labour safe seat of Riverside.

All eyes will be on Colin Eldridge in Wavertree where the party stands the most chance of winning.

It looks like the Labour party members in Wavertree and Sefton Central are going to have to wait at least three weeks to find out if they will be having all women shortlists.

The National Executive Committee's (NEC) special selection panel will not meet again until December 17 at which it is likely to decide on Wavertree and Sefton Central.

Which means that each Labour constituency party is not likely to have a candidate in place until late January at the earliest.

Last night was a mixed picture for by-elections in Knowsley and Wirral.

Labour had a good night in Knowsley's Halewood South ward taking a seat from the Liberal Democrats, and further increasing their massive majority in the borough.

The by-election was called after Lib Dem Sue Smith stood down due to work commitments.

The result is a big set back for the Lib Dems who were hoping to make in roads at the Labour council.

Where now for Everton FC after the Government has rejected the club's plans to build a new stadium in Kirkby?

We were told there was no plan B by former chief executive Keith Wyness.

But staying at Goodison as it is is not really a long term option, back in July 2007 Mr Wyness said over the next decade there would be some real issues as to whether the ground would get a safety certificate.

It would appear these are the options:

Labour's NEC special selection panel has not yet ruled on whether Wavertree and Sefton Central should have an all women short list.

Apologies for the delay in posting this, the meeting happened yesterday. I'm not in work today.

I had been told that Sefton Central would be considered - but in the event was not. And there was a possibility Wavertree might also be considered, but also was not.

I don't know exactly why that was the case. And I don't know when the panel will meet to consider Sefton Central and Wavertree.

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It's set to be another big week in Merseyside politics.

Everton FC will find out on or before Friday whether the Secretary State for Communities and Local Government John Denham will grant the club permission to build a new stadium in Kirkby.

The planned ground forms part of a £400m development with Tesco, which includes 50 shops.

The 500,000sq ft of retail space would reposition Kirkby from 11th in the region's shopping hierarchy to possibly 4th.

It was the sheer size of the retail element in 'Destination Kirkby' that saw it get called in for a public inquiry back in August 2008.

Never mind the battle for Wavertree, what about the battle of the famous Mastermind chair.

Following in the footsteps of Liberal Democrat party colleague Paula Keaveney, the city's environment leader Berni Turner will be on Mastermind tonight.

So what is Berni's specialist subject likely to be?

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Further evidence of how seriously the Liberal Democrats are taking the battle for the Wavertree constituency has emerged today.

The party's candidate Colin Eldridge was today in London after being handpicked for "leadership training".

A party colleague told me the other day that the resources the Lib Dems were throwing at the contest were "phenomenal".

The race for the seat will be very tight, and if Labour hang on, it will not be because of a lack of resources or time invested by the Lib Dems in trying to win over the voters of Wavertree.

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Foreign Secretary David Miliband paid a 'secret' private visit to Liverpool yesterday to meet Labour party members.

Liverpool Councillor Louise Baldock spills the beans on her blog, about the meeting at the Devonshire House Hotel in Edge Lane.

Apparently he was "impressive, open, honest, frank, aware, alert, totally on top of his brief, funny, dynamic, questioning, thoughtful and very engaging," according to Cllr Baldock.

He apparently also paid a warm tribute to Wavertree MP Jane Kennedy who will be standing down at the next General Election.

Dale Street Associates

David Bartlett

David Bartlett

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