March 2011 Archives

beadle.jpgI'm sure Richard Kemp has played the odd prank in his time, but he is more well known for his rousing speeches in Liverpool council's chamber and his turns on national telly and radio.

Tomorrow is of course April Fools and the BBC has used the picture above to illustrate a story on the art of the perfect prank, which you can read HERE.

A colleague thought this picture of Jeremy Beadle has a passing resemblance for the Liberal Democrat councillor. Click HERE to see his council profile page to judge for yourself.

As we are on the topic of April Fools it would see a shame not to remind ourselves how Liberal Democrat Colin Eldridge fell hook, line, and sinker for the Daily Post's April Fool story last year, read about it HERE.

Once again we find ourselves reporting on Tom Hicks collapsed sports empire.

We've known for a while that many banks and finance companies have lost a great amount of money on both sides of the Atlantic.

In the latest GSP Finance, a New York-based company, accusess Hicks Sports' Group of fraud and is suing KPMG claiming among other things that the global accountancy giant assisted in the fraud.

Rarely has a running story like this involved so many big players from across the world.

Liverpool Labour chief whip Alan Dean (or Deano as he is known by councillors) is investigating poke-gate at the town hall on Tuesday evening.

You can read the full story HERE, but that the basics are that Cllr Anna Rothery prodded Cllr Nick Small in the head after a row over institutional racism.

The incident took place near to midnight on Tuesday and happened after a meal being held to celebrate Cllr Hazel William's year as Lord Mayor of Liverpool.

I'd have thought that at worst Cllr Rothery is looking at a slap on the wrist if the party chooses to do anything about the incident.

I can't believe that it almost a year since the 2010 election.

Twelve months ago Labour were poised to take power locally, and nationally and the Conservatives seemed to be heading for power.

March 2011 and we all know how it turned out. Cleggmania became Cleggphobia, and the Liberal Democrats brand is now more toxic than it has ever arguably been.

I've covered numerous elections and normally by this time of the year politicos are starting to get geared up for the big day. But this year seems very muted.

Former Conservative North West MEP Den Dover has been hit with a bill of £345,289 from the European Court of Justice after it ruled it was paid out for "unjustified" claims.

It is the latest in a long running story over his allowances.

Mr Dover, 72, an MEP from 1999 to 2009, was suspended and then expelled from the party in November 2008 for "gross misconduct" after the Parliament demanded repayment of £538,000 in allowances officials said should not have been claimed.

He stood down at the 2009 European elections and launched an appeal in the European Court against the decision by European Parliament administrators to seek the return of the cash.

george_osborne_budget11.jpgChancellor George Osborne appears to have ripped up a substantial part of the Conservatives localism agenda with his announced changes to the planning system in today's budget.

He reckons the "planning system has held back investment and created distortions in the way that businesses compete, deterring development and growth".

So the government wants to:

- introduce a new presumption in favour of sustainable development, so that the
default answer to development is 'yes';

Today we report the latest in the ongoing negotiations between the council and BT over the controversial Liverpool Direct Limited.

The spectre of legal action has reared its head in what is a highly complex set of negotiations.

Council leader Joe Anderson says that critics should take comfort from the fact he has been critical in the past and that he will get the best deal possible.

mike_storeypic.jpgFORMER Liverpool city council leader Mike Storey will deliver his maiden speech in the House of Lords tomorrow.

He took his seat in the Lords in February.

Convention dictates that he is not allowed to ask any oral or written questions until he has spoken in the house.

Lord Storey will speak on a debate about early intervention in the lives of children.

Politics can be an expensive business in many ways.

Politicians will tell of the dramatic effect it can have on their families, or careers put on hold.

Liverpool Liberal Democrat Paul Twigger is today counting the cost in a financial sense.

A long running defamation case with Green councillors Sarah Jennings and John Coyne has finally reached an end with Cllr Twigger agreeing to payout £6,400.

Buried away at item number 20 on tonight's full council meeting at Liverpool is a two line motion.

"As a council committed to ensuring equality and celebrating diversity, this council expects elected members to comply with the standards in public life at all times," reads the motion by Richard Mclinden, Pam Thomas and Janet Kent.

If debated it could lead to an explosive debate in the wake of Cllr Kent's resignation from the standards committee in protest at how the panel took no action against Liberal Democrat Sharon Green, who was at the centre of a row over pictures mocking the disabled on her Facebook page.

Dale Street Associates

David Bartlett

David Bartlett

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