Posts by Marc Waddington
"FREEDOM of speech" is something we often hear about, but so seldom hear.
Unlike our American cousins, we do not enjoy a legally constituted right to free expression.
However, in the UK (and at least within Mr Brocklebank's profession), there is such a thing as fair comment.
But even this, recent headlines would suggest, is a freedom that the good people of Knowsley are not afforded.
ENGLISH Democrat Paul Rimmer believes he has "God as his guide" in his crusade to become Merseyside police commissioner.
The Cambridge University graduate, who lives in Toxteth, believes the police have lost the moral high ground and rather than be reflective of society they need to be an example of a "higher calling".
Mr Rimmer said: "My religious beliefs would be my guide. I believe in truth, honesty, integrity, treating people with respect, being strong and standing up to evil.
INDEPENDENT Kiron Reid believes Merseyside's new crime-fighting boss needs to be at the forefront of a police commissioner alliance to tackle cross- border gun and drug running throughout the North west.
Mr Reid, a law lecturer and expert on police powers, said there needed to be greater working across police forces to crack down on organised criminal gangs whose networks spread far and wide across the region and beyond.
Although the role of the commissioner would not be involved in operational policing, he said it would be his task to sharpen the focus of law and order priorities.
LABOUR candidate Jane Kennedy said as Merseyside's police commissioner she would revolutionise the whole of the criminal justice system in the region.
She stressed that the fact the role's full title is police and crime commissioner meant that there was an opportunity to knock every level of law and order into shape.
Former MP Mrs Kennedy, who represented the Broadgreen and then Wavertree constituencies for 18 years, said: "I believe there are real opportunities to examine the whole system and call to account all agencies who have a part to play in reducing crime.
LIBERAL Democrat police commissioner candidate Paula Keaveney said one of her key tasks in the role would be to make communities take a bigger hand in law and order.
University lecturer Ms Keaveney, who was leader of Liverpool's Liberal Democrat group until May this year, said the wall of silence in some areas needed to be broken down.
She added: "When I first moved into the area I live in I would see written on the walls that so-and-so was a 'grass'.
EX-policewoman Hilary Jones - the UK Independence Party's candidate to be police commissioner - said she will cut the red tape that keeps officers off the streets.
Serving magistrate Mrs Jones, who also spent time in the Women's Royal Army Corps, said she believed too much police time was spent on paperwork rather than frontline policing.
She said: "I am not criticising the bobbies but the system currently in place keeps constables off the streets and stuck behind desks dealing with paperwork.
"At one stage of my career I worked as a fines enforcement officer for Wirral Magistrates Court but these days many offenders are just given a caution and not even charged.
BUSINESSMAN Geoff Gubb said that despite being the Conservative candidate for Merseyside police commissioner, he is his own man and will put the people before party politics.
Mr Gubb, who joined the Toxteth Conservatives at the age of 18 and now runs an emergency planning consultancy firm on the Wirral, said he believed that with him in the role the people of the region would have someone on their side who would voice their concerns about the relationship between communities and the police.
He said: "I want to try to prevent crime, but then, how do you prevent crime? The community is the first port of call for police to gain information, but in certain parts of Merseyside that relationship has broken down.
CITY leader Joe Anderson has appointed six councillors outside of his cabinet to help cope with the workload of being Mayor of Liverpool.
The appointments, who will be known as 'Mayoral Leads', will cover areas including elderly people, looked after children, community safety, parks and improving and measuring the council's performance.
Some of the responsibilities, such as community safety, were previously held by cabinet members.
A youth urinating against a statue (yards from a portable toilet) near the tunnel stage of the Mathew Street Festival.
Now all the debris has been swept away, the beer cans removed and the vomit steam blasted from the pavements, it's time to begin the countdown to next year's Mathew Street Festival. Or is it?
Times are tight for the council, money-wise, and certain to get tighter. The outlay on the festival is one of the most costly single annual capital spends for the authority, costing the taxpayer £750,000 to stage. But, is it worth it?
From my point of view, no. For many people who live in the city centre - and many publicans, too - the approach of the last weekend in August is met with dread.