January 2011 Archives

I know the Red half of Merseyside is tonight obsessed with the comings and goings of Andy Carroll and Fernando Torres, but here is a lighthearted tale from budget negotiations of a whole different order going on at the city council...

While Chelsea prepare to splash somewhere around £45m for Torres, the city council has to save double that figure (£91m) and 1,500 people will lose their job as a result.

Anyway, it is really is pleasantly surprising to see all the parties on Liverpool council working together to help solve the city's cash crisis.

Such is the intensity of work required that the key budget negotiators gathered in the council chief executive's office in Municipal Buildings on Sunday to continue discussions.

Today's news that 1,500 jobs will be cut at the city council is just the start of the bad news.

Over the next few days and weeks more detail will trickle out on the detail of these painful cuts.

Council leader Joe Anderson says it not actually about cuts. Now it is about prioritising what to keep. The effect will be profound.

Do the Conservatives care about Liverpool?

They don't have any MPs here and haven't had a councillor on the council for more than a decade.

Politically they have no reason to, and the way they have gone about implementing their cuts programme suggests they really don't care.

We are getting to make your mind up time for English Heritage on whether the huge Liverpool Waters scheme will or will not damage the World Heritage Site.

Heritage are currently sat firmly on the fence and clearly don't really now which way to twist.

Stick the boot into the project and they face an angry confrontation with Peel and the city council.

But if they truely believe the plans will damage the World Heritage Site and say nothing their view will be irrelevant.

Full council meetings at Liverpool are often a lively affair.

The agenda is often packed full of motions from that vary to from political attacks on the government of the day to practical ways of improving life in Liverpool.

I've seen agendas with dozens of motions on them and only a handful ever get debated at council, and even less make the pages of the Post and Echo.

So I've decided to start a regular round up of the motions on Dale Street Blues.

At a time when politics is dominated by the huge problems of debt and deficit, to talk about a change in the voting system may seem a little off the point.

And yet later this year citizens will have the chance to have their say on whether to make the UK Government a lot more democratic. And this weekend supporters of the campaign for change in Merseyside will be getting together to plan their fight.

When the referendum comes, we'll all be voting on whether to change the way we elect our MPs. And that change could make the people who represent us REALLY represent us.

I'm sure readers of this blog have already heard about the referendum on AV or the Alternative Vote. People will be asked to choose between this new system or the old First Past the Post.

It it time for the Conservative party in Sefton to wake up and smell the coffee.

The latest spat, which has driven a huge wedge through the party, was yesterday's news of the suspension of Cllrs Sir Ron Watson, David Pearson, and Tom Glover and seen the defection of Alf Doran to UKIP.

Read the full story HERE, with today's folloy up HERE.

About a year ago we reported another rift which left Brenda Porter's campaign to become Southport MP in total dissaray.

The new look Dale Street Blues

By David Bartlett on Jan 11, 11 09:39 PM in

Welcome to the new look Dale Street Blues.

The design is fresher and has more features, such as my Twitter feed (should you wish to see it!)

We've introduced a new category system and the most commented posts are now displayed.

Well, I hope you all like the new look and features and keep coming back to take part in lively debates.

The employment tribunal of the man who was overseeing the LDL investigation has potential to be one of the most explosive cases involving the city council in recent times.

Previous employees - like Capital of Culture chief executive Jason Harborow and city treasurer Phil Halsall - who felt mistreated were given huge pay-offs as part of their exit.

Mr Cosgrove, who knows all the internal workings of Liverpool Direct Limited like the back of his hand, could make potentially highly embarrassing revelations as part of his case.

Imagine the scene at the Garmoyle: Lib-Dem activists hurrying around, printing off leaflets, stuffing envelopes.

Weary souls will slump down in the Liverpool Lib-Dem HQ returning to the office with very little sleep after spending days in the run up to the general election pounding the streets.

"We don't want to get carried away yet, but we are quietly confident that Colin will beat Luciana," one campaigner will look at the camera and say.

It could possibly be the opening sequence of "Winning Wavertree".

Dale Street Associates

David Bartlett

David Bartlett

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