May 2012 Archives

WITH the current crisis consuming Merseytravel, could it be the end of the line for chairman Cllr Mark Dowd?

The Liverpool Labour faction on the passenger transport authority has effectively accused Cllr Dowd of putting his feet up (though not on the seats, of course) while the brakes were taken off scrutiny of corporate governance of the body.

Cllr Dowd is steaming, and has hit out at city Merseytravel member Cllr Joe Hanson for revealing himself as the author of the "anonymous nonsense" contained within a dossier about alleged failures to make sure payments to consultants were properly tendered, amongst other things.

alex_phillips.jpgLiverpool born Alexandra Phillips is in the running to be deputy leader of the Green Party.

Ms Phillips, who is the daughter of BBC Radio Merseyside DJ Roger Phillips, attended the city's King David High School.

The Green Party said that as a socialist, she campaigned in the city for the Labour Party alongside her mother, but quit the party in 2003 over the invasion of Iraq.

The 26-year-old is now a councillor in Brighton and Hove and has thrown her hand in to be deputy leader of the Green Party.

Yesterday I posted an item about the wrangling going on over the selection for a Labour candidate for the forthcoming by-election in Allerton and Hunts Cross.

Lynnie Hinnigan lost her appeal, sparking much gnashing of teeth within certain elements of the Liverpool Labour party.

It means that Clare Devaney and Miriam Sawyer go forward to tomorrow's selection.

chris_blakeley.jpgIn happier times: Cllr Chris Blakeley, Bart Schmeink, ex-Merseyrail chief executive, Cllr Mark Dowd and Merseytravel ex-chief executive Neil Scales.

The former leader of the Conservatives on Merseytravel Chris Blakeley has now added his voice to those calling for Labour chairman Mark Dowd to resign.

Cllr Blakeley, who recently stood down as Tory leader on the transport authority, has become the latest player to publicly demand Cllr Dowd's head.

Here is his statement in full:

Hot on the heels from the Labour party row that has thrown Merseytravel into crisis, the party is enjoying the rough and tumble of selecting its candidate for police commissioner.

Jane Kennedy and Peter Kilfoyle have been busy securing endorsements from high-profile party members.

Andy Burnham has come out to bat for Killer. Which in turned sparked a email from Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson.

I know it has been doing the rounds for a couple of days.

But here it is, enjoy.

Stuart_Kelly_hs.jpgTHE CRISIS engulfing the political leadership of the chairman of Merseytravel Mark Dowd shows no sign of subsiding tonight.

Senior Wirral Liberal Democrat Stuart Kelly has now waded in and says the situation is evidence that the troubled transport authority should be disbanded.

Rarely has a political crisis on Merseyside been played out in the public eye like this, with senior members of the main three parties lining up to take a shot at the Labour chairman of Merseytravel Mark Dowd.

Here is what Cllr Kelly has to say:

John_Dodd_and_Les_Rowlands.bmpLabour chairman of Merseytravel Mark Dowd is now facing calls from the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives to resign.

In a joint statement Cllr John Dodd, Lib Dem rep, and Cllr Les Rowlands, Conservative rep (pictured above) have added their voices to those of the eight of the 16 Labour councillors that want Cllr Dowd to resign.

Here is their statement:

As the Labour party starts to ponder whether it is addicting to fixing, a row has flared up in Liverpool over the selection for a forthcoming by-election.

Labour in Liverpool is expected to strengthen its grip on Liverpool council when two byelections are held later in the summer.

But first it has the small issue of selecting candidates for the two seats (Riverside, vacated by Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson and Allerton and Hunts Cross, when the seat of the late Vera Best is being contested).

Yes he made big mistakes over student fees, Iraq, our nation's relationship with the US and his relationship with Parliament, yes he was ultimately defeated by his inability to control his once close political ally and yes his dealings with the media are the cause for many problems we now face - but Tony Blair showed at Leveson what a good political operator and leader he was. Is even.

Even clearer than his strength was the stark difference Blair's performance drew between himself and David Cameron.

If we are to believe the press this weekend then Hunt has indicated he will stand aside from frontline politics after the Olympics and Baroness Warsi is also not long for this political world when a Cabinet reshuffle finally comes later this month.

joe_hanson_hs.jpgJoe Hanson, the man who wrote the damning report into Merseytravel, has explained why half the Labour party on the transport authority believe their colleague and chairman Mark Dowd needs to resign.

He said: "It was with great disappointment that I had to come to a position were I had no alternate other than to sign a letter of this nature to Cllr Mark Dowd Chairman of Merseytravel.

"Every organisation has a defining moment in its history and I believe that Merseytravel has now reached that moment.

Dale Street Associates

David Bartlett

David Bartlett

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