About John Brace

John Brace
John Brace

My name is John Brace. I write (and edit) this blog about Wirral Council and local politics in Merseyside.

I film public meetings I go to, which can be viewed on my Youtube channel. If you’d like to be notified when videos are uploaded, please subscribe!

You can also follow me on Twitter.

I used to be a member of a political party (along with my wife), but left the political party I was a member of in January 2012.

I am happily married to Leonora Brace, who is a retired paramedic.

If you would like to contact me or Leonora and have a problem you’d like to bring to our attention or mentioned on this blog you can do so in a variety of ways listed below or alternatively leave a comment (which can be done anonymously) on this blog:-

By mail:

Mr. John Brace
134 Boundary Road
CH43 7PH

Phone: 0151 512 2500
Email: john@johnbrace.com

Leonora’s contact details can be found on the contributors page.

There’s also a Facebook page for this blog.

20 thoughts on “About John Brace”

  1. Erm, John,

    Unless I’m very mistaken, you were not elected for public office. You came second. Well done for that, of course, but let’s not confuse the issue here.

    The person with the most votes gets elected. Taking part does constitute a “win”.

    Good look with your future political career, but brush up on those simple rules!

    1. I thank you for your comment.

      Wirral Council elections don’t have an electorate of 17,000; it’s nearer to ten thousand. The election I was referring to was student union elections over in Liverpool in which I came first in 2007 and 2008.

      You are right the person with the most votes gets elected; in that case it was me!

      As student unions are bankrolled by the taxpayer it is classed as a form of public office.

      You’re correct I haven’t been elected to Wirral Council. I have never said I was; and the table above shows the election result last time. I wasn’t intending an About Me page to be a long autobiography. I hope that clears things up.

    2. "Good look with your future political career, but brush up on those simple rules!"

      Would one of those being getting facts straight before publishing? 😉

    3. I’ve updated the page to make it crystal clear as to what happened. Yes, I would’ve preferred to win, but 2nd is still a good result.

  2. In your message to the voters of Bidston and St James Ward to chide the overwhelming majority of voters who chose the Labour candidate thus: ‘In voting Labour you…helped them cut the Police budget through Labour-run Merseyside Police Authority’. Are you a political liar or merely stupid?

    (i) the funding available for Merseyside Police Authority to use in setting its budget is almost entirely in the hands of the Tory/Lib-Dem government with only a small percentage raised via the precept, which was itself effectively capped by the same Lib-Dem supported government;

    (ii) The Merseyside Police Authority is not ‘Labour-run’ it has a mix of appointed councillors from the three parties (1 Tory, 2 Lib Dem and 6 Labour) together with 8 Independent members. So Labour has just over a third of the seats on a body noted for its non-partisan and consensual decision making.

    Can I suggest that if you ever wish to gain public trust and confidence you start by getting your facts right?

    1. A Labour councillor chairs Merseyside Police Authority hence the “Labour-run” comment.

      The funding available for Merseyside Police Authority for financial year 2011/2012 was planned to be cut under the previous Labour government. The new Coalition government did make some changes to its funding (in some cases increasing it such as the Council Tax Freeze grant which was offered if the precept wasn’t increased).

      In response to your points:-

      (i) The breakup of funding for Merseyside Police Authority for this financial year is as follows:-

      These figures are from the net budget requirement:

      precept (the amount raised through Council Tax) £61.504 million (18.4%)
      Business Rate income £101.966 million (30.7%)
      Revenue Support Grant £31.518 million (9.5%)
      Police General Grant £137.764 million (41.4%)

      (ii) Merseyside Police Authority is chaired by a Labour councillor, hence the “Labour-run” comment. As you so helpfully point out, there are more Labour councillors on it than of the other two political parties put together.

      Can I suggest that if you ever wish to gain public trust and confidence you start by getting your facts right?

      If you can find a problem with the facts I’ve stated, as opposed to an opinion (which seems to be where we differ), please point it out.

  3. In response to Justin Dunn you refer to getting your facts straight – do you intend to amend your misleading comments earlier regarding Labour and the Merseyside Police Authority?

    1. Justin Dunn initially stated in a comment I had won the election in Bidston & St. James, but later asked me to correct his comment.

      Your comment regarding Labour and the Merseyside Police Authority is currently awaiting approval. However I will briefly comment here, I was at the Merseyside Police Authority budget meeting last year which set the Budget for this financial year. Cuts to the 2011/2012 Police Budget had already been planned under the previous Labour government. Yes, there are independent members of Merseyside Police Authority, but the councillors tend to be the driving force behind the Budget proposals. As you point out in your comment, a majority of the councillors are Labour.

      However the Merseyside Police Authority is going to be abolished in November and replaced with the Police and Crime Commissioners, so it makes more sense to discuss this.

  4. I have heard recently about the closure of wallasey fire station. I am very concerned about this and am struggle to understand the reasoning behind it. Also the safety aspect. They are planning to use Birkenhead for wallasey and only have 1 engine on. Who is making these decisions?

    1. The decision to have a 12 week consultation on closing Upton and West Kirby fire station (and possible replacement at Greasby) was made by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority on October 2nd 2014.

      The option of closing the Wallasey Fire Station is an option for future years. If it closes, there will first be a consultation on it. There have been various decisions made regarding Wallasey Fire Station, but it’s not going to close in the short term future (months) but could (if politicians decide to) in the near term future, after consultation and after a further decision following consultation.

      The decisions are made formally by the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority based on recommendation from Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service. This comprises local councillors from the local authorities such as Wirral Council which make up Merseyside. Councillors are paid extra for representing people’s views on the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority in the political decision making process.

      The full list (I put the Wirral Council ones first and the rest alphabetically). Please note there has been a recent resignation on the Fire Authority and someone has been replaced by someone new (Cllr Tony Newman resigned effective midnight 30/9/14 and Cllr Ray Halpin replaced him 1/10/14). I think the below list is updated with that though.

      Wirral Council (4)
      Cllr Steve Niblock, Wirral Council, Labour
      Cllr Lesley Rennie, Wirral Council, Conservative * Lead Member for Operational Preparedness
      Cllr Denise Roberts, Wirral Council, Labour
      Cllr Jean Stapleton, Wirral Council, Labour * Lead Member for Finance, Assets and Efficiencies

      Also (13)
      Cllr Robbie Ayres, St Helens, Labour * Lead Member for Operational Response
      Cllr Peter Brennan, Liverpool City Council, Labour
      Cllr Leslie Byrom CBE, Sefton Council * Note Vice-Chair of the Fire Authority, Labour
      Cllr Roy Gladden, Liverpool City Council * Lead Member for Prevention & Protection
      Cllr Ted Grannell, Knowsley, Labour
      Cllr Ray Halpin, Knowsley, Labour
      Cllr Dave Hanratty, Liverpool City Council, Labour * Chair of the Fire Authority
      Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council, Labour
      Cllr Linda Maloney, St Helens MBC, Labour * Vice Chair of the Authority
      Cllr Barbara Murray, Liverpool City Council, Labour * Lead Member for Strategy and Performance
      Cllr James Roberts, Liverpool City Council, Labour
      Cllr Tony Robertson, Sefton Council, Liberal Democrat
      Cllr Sharon Sullivan, Liverpool City Council, Labour * Lead Member for People and Organisation

      Hope that helps! Do you need contact details for any of these?

  5. De esta forma, el considero que compras para un cánido de la raza Poodle no puede ser
    el mismo que para un Beagle.

  6. John, Birkenhead markets accounts have come out, it’s negative to the tune of 2.7 million and is being supported by the council

    Taxpayers money????

  7. Highway and traffic planning meeting today.
    Devonshire Road traffic calming measures.
    Figures quoted for speeding vehicles to support plan seemed exceptionally high.
    It appears that the survey was taken for a one hour period not at peak time.
    The equipment was in place for weeks – yet no figures to demonstrate whether this was the norm, or unusual.
    Can’t help but feel that they looked at the results and then chose an hour which served their purposes.
    Still – they got what they wanted, and will doubtless boast about it in the next party circular

    1. Sorry I missed the Highways and Traffic Representation Panel meeting.

      With such matters you get three cracks at it before it’s finally agreed (although once the Panel has rubber stamped it it’s pretty hard to stop it).

      The minutes get referred to this meeting on the 13th September, then its draft minutes are referred to the Cabinet Member for such matters, the details of the current post holder Cllr Stuart Whittingham is here.

      In theory you can ask to speak at the meeting on the 13th September too, although whether a request would be agreed to I’m not sure…

      As to the figures given by the survey, unfortunately figures are given by a Wirral Council employee the people don’t elect. Merely the councillors are elected and then the councillors pick the person with political accountability for that section of Wirral Council (Mark Smith).

      Although at public meetings councillors have been known to make basic errors like only give figures from traffic going one way along a two way stretch of road. You can make a FOI request for the full details recorded by the equipment (the answer which unfortunately will be too late for your campaign).

      The only other way I’ve managed to get something stopped by the Highways and Traffic Representation Panel in the past was pointing out the traffic order they were asked to rubber stamp was in fact unlawful.

      Having the press point that sort of thing out before the decision is made is somewhat embarrassing and led to changes.

      Claughton ward that it’s in is sadly a seat with big Labour majorities, if it was a marginal seat there’d be more incentive on the local councillors to object more loudly when residents found something was unpopular.

    2. The draft minutes of the Highway Traffic and Representation Panel you refer to have been published on Wirral Council’s website for approval by the Business Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the 13th September 2016.

  8. G’day John

    Looks as though you have been in demand whilst sitting in court for a few days.

    I wonder if “Sir Git” was missed for 10 days sitting there doing nothing other than occasionally looking down at the fruits of his Labor that effing big footballers watch?

    At least you were busying yourself and not sitting there feeling sorry for yourself and looking pathetic.

    On £80,000.00 per annum.




    Nice to see you, is the snake still about?

    1. I’m always in demand, but I get more readers even if I don’t mention the bits about sex, drugs, money… hey it’s starting to sound a lot more interesting now isn’t it?

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