October 2010 Archives

Blogging break

By David Bartlett on Oct 30, 10 12:53 AM in

Regular readers out there (you know who you are) may have been wondering what had happened to Dale Street Blues recently due to a lack of blogging activity.

I am currently on paternity leave after my wife gave birth to our wonderful baby boy last week.

I'll be back in work in a couple of weeks and shall return to blogging then.

rising_damp_screen_Shot.jpgScene from Rising Damp TV series

Debate continues to rage to this day about how relative poverty should be defined after Adam Smith used his famous Linen shirt quote*.

And it looks like councillors on the Wirral are set to continue debating the definition of a luxury hotel for some time.

Today's page 11 story in the Daily Post is likely to tickle a few readers after two councillors refused to go to a conference in London after being booked into a hotel with shared toilets and bathrooms.

Today we starting to see the first signs of growing pains for Labour now that they are in power in Liverpool.

Dave Hanratty, who advised council leader Joe Anderson on housing has resigned after a row over selecting candidates for next year's local elections.

Since May Cllr Dave Hanratty served as assistant cabinet member for housing to Cllr Anderson who is taking the lead for housing.

Merseyside's economy has been given a massive boost today with the news that the chancellor George Osborne has approved the Mersey Gateway.

The second river crossing is a vital piece of infrastructure investment if the region's economy is going to be able to compete.

The area around Runcorn and Widnes is already a logistics centre (home of Stobarts Transport to mention just one). But the new bridge is vital to it remaining competitive. The bridge will also help the expansion of the Port of Liverpool.

john_henry_air_punch.jpgHaving spent the past couple of weeks reporting on the soap opera saga of the Liverpool FC ownership battle, I thought it only right for Dale Street Blues to have a look at the politics of the club's new owners New England Sports Ventures.

John Henry, who leads the consortium, has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Democrats and NESV chairman Tom Werner good friends with former president Bill Clinton.

In contrast former owner Tom Hicks was a friend of that other former American president George Bush.

jeffgreenblog.jpgCongratulations need to be sent to Wirral council leader Jeff Green who has launched a blog.

Cllr Green becomes the first Merseyside council leader to start his own blog. In terms of engaging with the electorate this is clearly a great move.

tony_caldeira_hs.jpgTony Caldeira, is a busy man. As well as being chairman of the Liverpool Conservatives he also runs a successful cushion manufacturing empire.

Here he finally finishes off his Conservative party conference diary, better late than never.

luciana_berger450.jpgWavertree MP Luciana Berger has lived up to her rising star status after joining Labour's front bench just five months after being elected to parliament.

She has been appointed an energy and climate change spokesperson in Leader Ed Miliband's new shadow team charged with taking on the coalition government.

"I am delighted, excited ...amazed, to be honest," the 29-year-old said.

angela_and_maria_eagle.jpgAngela and Maria Eagle

It is pleasing to see two of our local MPs - the Eagle sisters - elected to serve in the shadow cabinet.

Angela, MP for Wallasey, came joint fourth with Andy Burnham in the entire vote and should therefore be in line for a top job.

Their success will also be useful for Merseyside in having a direct line to the party leader Ed Miliband.

The furore over abolishing child benefit for higher rate taxpayers shows how difficult it is to make changes to the benefits and taxation system.

The government has chosen the £44,000 individual limit to cap child benefit because it is simple and easy to manage. Go into the higher rate tax band and you will no longer be eligible for child benefit.

It is however manifestly unfair that a couple jointly earning £80,000 would still be eligible for the benefit because neither has an income in excess of £44,000, especially when the objective of this exercise is that coalition buzzword - fairness.

Dale Street Associates

David Bartlett

David Bartlett

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