June 2011 Archives

This Liverpool Direct Limited badge was found at one of the Liverpool council's One Stops (and then posted to me).

My summer reading recommendations

By David Bartlett on Jun 29, 11 07:41 AM in

As regular readers will have noticied, prior to yesterday I did not update Dale Street Blues for three weeks.

This was due to two weeks holiday and then a week of illness.

Anyway I spent a delightful fortnight in France with my wife and eight month-old son, during which I read two books that I would recommend to anyone with an interest in politics or social affairs.

Spare a thought for transport authority Merseytravel Liberal Democrat leader Andrew Makinson.

Yesterday he failed to get the Labour controlled authority to change its rules so that members can only receive one 'special responsibility allowance'.

Instead the status quo of allowing members to have multiple allowances will continue.

He is now in for an awkard few days as he will be attending the LGA conference in Birmingham along with Merseytravel chairman Mark Dowd and other Labour councillors.

"We will be catching the train, but I will be keeping well away from the platform edge," he quips.

Yesterday I sat through a couple of hours of the Liverpool Direct Limited (LDL) scrutiny panel to hear the result of the council's negotiations with BT to get a better deal.

It is not often that you hear straight talking like the words that came from Nathan Marsh, Liverpool director of consultants Ernst and Young, at a council meeting.

Mr Marsh and two of his colleagues recommended the council to renegotiate a better deal with BT rather than cancel the contract, because there were too many unknowns and it was too complex and expensive to get out of.

I see trouble ahead in the quest for councils to share services.

Today we report how Merseyside councils are looking sharing everything from lawyers and payroll, to gritting.

This is exactly the type of thing that Communities Secretary Eric Pickles wants councils to do. In fact the meagre government settlement means that local authorities have little choice but to do this.

Merseyside local authorities already cooperate through the Merseyside Pension Fund, and the system works well. Planning long term investment for workers' retirement is very different though to services that deal with fast moving situations.

I was going to avoid blogging about this until I heard Tony Snell admit on Radio Merseyside this morning that he has a bit of a thing for Wirral West MP Esther McVey.

Yes, it seems everyone is talking about the cheeky website sexymp.co.uk and I can ignore it no longer.

Our very own Wavertree MP Luciana Berger is currently top of the poll, followed closely by Ms McVey.

A woman who rang in Snelly's radio show admitted she likes Halton MP Derek Twigg - he was the highest rank male MP from our region when I checked this morning.

Dale Street Associates

David Bartlett

David Bartlett

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