Reasons to Vote Liberal Democrat in Bidston & St. James ward on May 5th – Day Seven

Reasons to Vote Liberal Democrat in Bidston & St. James ward on May 5th – Day Seven


Following on from my blog post about the voluntary, community and faith sector I was out delivering on the Beechwood today and passed the Beechwood Community Association (which has a large sign pointing out Cllr Harry Smith is one of its trustees).

Its stated activity is “to work for the benefit of Beechwood residents” (which to me sounds very much like a job description for a Bidston & St. James ward councillor!). According to the Charity Commission, its accounts for 2005/2006 are over 4 years late! The accounts for the financial years ending 2008 and 2010 were both received over a month late and the accounts for 2009 are overdue by a year.

Its annual return for 2006 was submitted nearly a year late, the 2009 one was 23 days late and the 2010 annual return is currently over 2 months late. Cllr. Harry Smith is not the sole trustee, there is also a Mr. John Bernard Fletcher. Yet how can the public have confidence in a charity spending over ten thousand pounds most year when it can’t comply with the Charity Commission requirements?

You can read more about the Beechwood Community Association on the Charity Commission website.

Cllr Harry Smith is also a trustee of the Gautby Road Play and Community Centre Joint Management Committee. Although this charity with an income of over £100,000 a year has its paperwork up to date, it has come under a great deal of criticism from local residents for keeping its playground locked and not available to be used by the children of Bidston of St. James.

So vote Lib Dem because:-

a) Your Lib Dem candidate is in favour of healthy exercise for children in local play areas and against padlocking them (which doesn’t to my knowledge happen anywhere else on Wirral).

b) Your Lib Dem candidate believes in openness and transparency when it comes to local charities. Everyone should be able to view a charity’s accounts and annual report. There are also strict rules on charities and political parties.

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.