Labour Rose: Election Special

Whilst out today with my wife, I spotted Cllr Harry Smith on Worcester Road and sure enough when I returned home there was a Labour leaflet delivered.

It seems both the Lib Dems and Labour agree that the nearly £2 million spent on Cathcart Street Primary School is a good idea. The very spot Cllr Smith and former Cllr Cocker are standing in in a photo on the leaflet was where we were told by a caretaker that photos couldn’t be taken! I have also listened to the concerns of John Cocker and the headteacher which they have aired at a number of public meetings when the future of the school was under threat.

It was however not Labour’s decision to make. It was Liberal Democrat and Conservative councillors that decided to close Cole Street Primary School, save Cathcart Street Primary School and invest money into Cathcart Street Primary School (in fact they will be making a decision on the contractor on Thursday).

Onto the second story in the leaflet, as Cllr Smith knows it was Liberal Democrats that campaigned for road safety measures on Fender Way. We were the ones who handed in a petition over over a hundred residents. We lobbied the local councillors, showed them photos and kicked up such a fuss we were told (after Cllr Smith complained to Cllr Roberts) never to bring a petition to an Area Forum ever again!

His claim that he "made sure resources were allocated from local Area Forum funding" is a strange one to make. The decisions over the local Area Forum funding allocation for road safety for this financial year were made by Wirral Council’s Cabinet (comprised of Conservative and Lib Dem councillors). We have an email from Wirral Council stating that no decisions are made by the Area Forum panel in respect of this. Wirral Council may have it wrong, so we will look into the matter and report back in a later more detailed post.

Cllr Harry Smith then takes credit for "more than £250,000" allocated to road repairs on Wirral. Going by a press release about pothole repair, the figure is £625,931 and judging by the large difference in the amounts, Cllr Harry Smith seems to be referring (despite writing "the recent cold spell" to not last Winter, but the Winter before when a Liberal Democrat Cabinet member for Streetscene and Transport Cllr Jean Quinn decided to put extra money towards potholes.

Cllr Smith then goes on to mention the Liberal Democrat Party. He states "Are you aware that the Liberal Democrat Party has long been in favour of votes for prisoners?"

Jeremy Brown, Lib Dem MP for Taunton and spokesperson for the party said in the House of Commons, "It was said that my party favours votes for prisoners, but that was not in our manifesto and the Leader of my party has made it explicit that he does not favour them."

In February MPs voted 234 to 22 against giving prisoners the vote. I will write an article further on this. However if you wish to view the debate in the House of Commons on this issue it can be viewed on the BBC’s website.

Birkenhead, Merseyside, UK

Author: John Brace

New media journalist from Birkenhead, England who writes about Wirral Council. Published and promoted by John Brace, 134 Boundary Road, Bidston, CH43 7PH. Printed by UK Webhosting Ltd t/a Tsohost, 113-114 Buckingham Avenue, Slough, Berkshire, England, SL1 4PF.