What’s in the nomination papers for the Labour candidate in Bromborough and the Green and Conservative candidates in Clatterbridge?

What’s in the nomination papers for the Labour candidate in Bromborough and the Green and Conservative candidates in Clatterbridge?

What’s in the nomination papers for the Labour candidate in Bromborough and the Green and Conservative candidates in Clatterbridge?

                                              

Returning Officer for Wirral Council Eric Robinson 25th March 2019
Returning Officer for Wirral Council Eric Robinson 25th March 2019

Pictured above is Wirral Council’s Returning Officer Eric Robinson. The Returning Officer does have the legal power to determine a nomination paper is invalid (which has the effect of disqualifying a candidate) if either:

(a) the particulars of the candidate or the persons subscribing the paper are not as required by law; or
(b) that the paper is not subscribed as so required.
Continue reading “What’s in the nomination papers for the Labour candidate in Bromborough and the Green and Conservative candidates in Clatterbridge?”

What’s in the nomination papers for the Labour candidate in Bidston and St James and the Green and Labour candidates in Birkenhead and Tranmere?

What’s in the nomination papers for the Labour candidate in Bidston and St James and the Green and Labour candidates in Birkenhead and Tranmere?

What’s in the nomination papers for the Labour candidate in Bidston and St James and the Green and Labour candidates in Birkenhead and Tranmere?

                                      

Returning Officer for Wirral Council Eric Robinson 25th March 2019
Returning Officer for Wirral Council Eric Robinson 25th March 2019

Pictured above is Wirral Council’s Returning Officer Eric Robinson. The Returning Officer does have the legal power to determine a nomination paper is invalid (which has the effect of disqualifying a candidate) if either:

(a) the particulars of the candidate or the persons subscribing the paper are not as required by law; or
(b) that the paper is not subscribed as so required.
Continue reading “What’s in the nomination papers for the Labour candidate in Bidston and St James and the Green and Labour candidates in Birkenhead and Tranmere?”

Election Result (Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, 2017): Mayor: Labour (Steve Rotheram)

Election Result (Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, 2017): Mayor: Labour (Steve Rotherham)

Election Result (Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, 2017): Mayor: Labour (Steve Rotherham)

                                 

Polling station 4th May 2017 resized
Polling station 4th May 2017 resized

Please note we would have been happier reporting from the count centre but the Combined Authority Returning Officer Ged Fitzgerald was not happy with us being there.

Election Result (Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, 2017): Mayor: Steve Rotheram (Labour Party)

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (Mayor) (2017)
 
Name of candidate     Description (if any)  Votes   %
Rotheram
Steve
 Labour Party  171,167   59.3%   Elected
Caldeira
Tony
 Conservatives  58,805   20.4%   Not elected
Cashman
Carl  
 Liberal Democrat  19,751   6.84%   Not elected
Crone
Tom
 Green Party  14,094   4.88%   Not elected
Walters
Paula
 UK Independence Party   11,940   4.14%   Not elected
Bannister
Roger
 Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition   7,881   2.73%   Not elected
Morton
Tabitha
 Women’s Equality Party   4,247   1.49%   Not elected
Breen
Paul
 Get the Coppers off the Jury   729   0.25%   Not elected

There were 2,789 rejected ballot papers. Turnout was 26.1%. The turnout for the Wirral area was 27.8%. The electorate was 1,116,495. Any candidate with less than 5% of the first preference vote loses their £5,000 deposit (Tom Crone (Green), Paula Walters (UKIP), Roger Bannister (TUSC), Tabitha Morton (Women’s Equality Party) and Paul Breen (Get the Coppers off the Jury).

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4 week consultation on closure of Lyndale School starts: does Wirral Council really know how many pupils are there?

4 week consultation on closure of Lyndale School starts: does Wirral Council really know how many pupils are there?

4 week consultation on closure of Lyndale School starts: does Wirral Council really know how many pupils are there?

                                                                  

Councillor Phil Gilchrist explains his amendment on the minority report on Lyndale School to councillors, officers and the public 2nd October 2014 Council Chamber, Wallasey Town Hall (c) John Brace
Councillor Phil Gilchrist explains his amendment on the minority report on Lyndale School to councillors, officers and the public 20th October 2014 Council Chamber, Wallasey Town Hall (c) John Brace

Following the Council meeting on the 20th October 2014 when Labour councillors voted to go ahead to the next stage on closure of Lyndale School, Wirral Council started on the 22nd October 2014 its four-week consultation on closure which finishes on 19th November 2014. After this consultation is finished, the results of this consultation will be reported back to Wirral Council’s Cabinet.

Proposal to cease to maintain the Lyndale School

Complete Proposal

You can also ask for copies of the proposals by calling 0151 606 2020 during office hours or writing to:

Julia Hassall
Director of Children’s Services
Hamilton Building
Conway Street
Birkenhead
CH41 4FD

The above files I’ve linked to are the new files in this current consultation.

You can respond to the consultation in one of two ways, either by email to specialreview@wirral.gov.uk or by mail to:

Julia Hassall
Director of Children’s Services
Hamilton Building
Conway Street
Birkenhead
CH41 4FD

I am unsure at this stage which Cabinet meeting the outcome of this four-week consultation on the closure of Lyndale School will go to. At the time of writing the following Cabinet meetings are scheduled for after the end of the consultation:

27th November 2014 | Special Meeting, Cabinet | Committee Room 1 – Wallasey Town Hall | starting at 6.15pm
9th December 2014 | Cabinet | Committee Room 1 – Wallasey Town Hall | starting at 6.15pm

Personally as the 27th November is a special meeting and occurs exactly one week and a day after the consultation ends, I would guess that this will be the public meeting at which the outcome of the second consultation and a further decision will be made. As agendas and reports have to be published at least a week before holding a Cabinet meeting, 27th November 2014 would be the earliest date it could be held.

However if this matter is called in after the Cabinet decision after the consultation and there are more delays in the process taking it past February 2015, it would make setting the 2015-16 Schools Budget problematic.

The reason is that if a final decision on closure is not made before February 2015, a contingency of funding Lyndale School from the proposed date of closure (January 1st 2016) to the end of that financial year (March 2016) would have to be added to the schools budget for 2015-16 of ~£140,000.

There are legal limits on when the 2015-16 Schools Budget has to be decided by and as there were delays earlier this year, I can see the next stages moving as fast as is humanly possible at Wirral Council (which when you do things as fast as you possibly can inevitably leads to mistakes).

However I would like to point out that the current consultation has at least one contradictory fact in Surjit Tour’s letter to me of the 30th September 2014 (although Mr. Tour obviously has to rely on what he’s told and take it at face value as I seriously doubt (although I could of course be wrong) that Mr. Tour visited Lyndale School and started asking children how old they are). I’ll explain what I mean (with references):

Here is the 13 page response from Mr. Tour. In it he states:

“8. Background

8.1 Lyndale School is a special school providing specialist educational provision for primary aged pupils, the majority of whom have Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (“PMLD”). There are 21 pupils currently on the roll, nine of whom will be transitioning to secondary school by the end of the 2015/16 academic year. The declining number of students admitted to Lyndale over recent years has drawn into question The Lyndale’s financial viability for the future.”

When I read Surjit Tour’s reply a few weeks ago, I thought it a bit odd that out of the eight year groups at Lyndale School, that almost half the school (nine out of twenty-one) would be in the final year and therefore leave to secondary school in September 2015 and not be affected by the proposals to close it. It seemed unusual at the time.

Mr. Tour repeatedly states throughout his letter that I have not provided evidence of my facts. However the evidence that proves him wrong on this was in fact published by Wirral Council on the 22nd October 2014 as part of the current consultation. Here is the table published as part of the Complete Proposal. The table is Pupil admissions and numbers.

F1 F2 Y1 Y2 Y3 Y4 Y5 Y6 Total
October
2014

Boys
Girls

3

2
1

1

0
1

3

1
2

2

2
0

3

3
0

1

1
0

6

2
4

2

1
1

21

12
9

December
2015

Boys
Girls

0



3

2
1

1

0
1

3

1
2

2

2
0

3

3
0

1

1
0

6

2
4

19

11
8

Number in each year group in December 2015 assumes that all current pupils remain on roll, that no new children are admitted to F1 (Nursery) in September 2015, and that no further children join or leave other year groups from October 2014 onwards.

As you can see from the table above there are two children (one boy and one girl) in year 6 at Lyndale School who will start at a secondary school in September 2015, not nine as claimed by Surjit Tour in his letter.

This then has an effect on other numbers used in his letter.

According to Surjit Tour 21-9 = 12 (twelve pupils left in September 2015)
According to Julia Hassall 21-2 = 19 (nineteen pupils left in September 2015)

So who do I trust to give the correct figure for pupils at the Lyndale School? The Head of Legal and Member Services (Surjit Tour) or the Director of Children’s Services (Julia Hassall)? They can’t both be right, can they?

On the balance of probabilities because:

a) Julia Hassall actually works in the area of Wirral Council with responsibility for schools
b) that it seems highly unlikely that nine of the twenty-one pupils at Lyndale School (spanning eight year groups) would be in the last year group

I’m veering towards believing Ms Hassall (although I never really relish taking sides when two people in Wirral Council’s senior management team are giving out contradictory information).

There is also the point that someone could have misread the table above and used the total number of girls presently at the school (nine) instead of the number of pupils in year six (two) and given that information to Surjit Tour to use in his letter.

Isn’t it weird though that when Wirral Council makes a mistake like this, it always coincides with their world view of a “small school” (in this case seven pupils less than it actually is)?

If Wirral Council can’t get basic facts such as how many pupils of what age are at Lyndale School right, is it any wonder that there are problems of trust between those associated with Lyndale School and Wirral Council?

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A Martian tries to understand the incredible Lyndale School situation (episode 2)

A Martian tries to understand the incredible Lyndale School situation (episode 2)

A Martian tries to understand the incredible Lyndale School situation (episode 2)

                                                  

Marvin the Martian from Disney's Looney Tunes
Marvin the Martian from Disney’s Looney Tunes

The below is a fictional interview with Marvin the Martian about Lyndale School. Marvin the Martian is trademarked to Warner Brothers Entertainment. Our legal team point out their trademark doesn’t actually cover its use on blogs but in case they try to argue this blog is an “entertainment service”, it isn’t, so no laughing! Yes I mean it, not even a smile! We also point out it’s not an infringing use of class 9 of this trademark as that refers to its use on goods rather than virtually.

We rely on s.30 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and class this as “fair dealing” due to the acknowledgement above. When the The Copyright and Rights in Performances (Quotation and Parody) Regulations 2014 come into force in October, we’ll probably rely on them too and the new section 30A on parody.

Continues from A Martian tries to understand the incredible Lyndale School situation (episode 2).

JOHN BRACE: Thanks for agreeing to talk about Lyndale School (again).

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: You’re welcome, but I must admit we’re even more confused today.

JOHN BRACE: Why’s that?

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Well we just listened from our spaceship to the BBC Radio Merseyside broadcast.

JOHN BRACE: Ahh, I see.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: The way Lyndale was described it’s a hospital, not a school.

JOHN BRACE: I see why you’re confused. It’s both in a way.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Well thanks for clearing that point up. So now we can say the red politicians want to close a hospital?

JOHN BRACE: No the red politicians will say they invented free hospitals, that hospitals are very dear to their heart and that they don’t want to privatise them as it doesn’t fit with their socialist ideals. They’ll tell you that hospitals aren’t safe in the hands of the blues or the yellows (or any other colour than red).

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: But the blues, yellows and greens want to keep this “hospital” open! The reds keep voting at every stage to close it!

JOHN BRACE: The reds will say they just voted for “consultation”, won’t call it a hospital and if pressed, they’ll just blame it on the blues and the yellows.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Right there’s another point I want clearing up now too. The bureaucrats who work for the reds, say that the blues and yellows are giving the reds an extra £260,029 this year for special educational needs.

JOHN BRACE: Yes.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: But the blues and the yellows say that it’s not £260,029, but £364,135 and that the reds were told in January that they can spend this SEN Reform Revenue Grant to “choose how to spend the money in order to best meet local need” and that its purposes is (according to the blues/yellows) to “improve outcomes for children and young people with SEN; increase choice and control for parents; and promote a less adversarial system.”?

JOHN BRACE: The reds would prefer you didn’t mention that.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Why?

JOHN BRACE: Well their whole argument is blaming the blues and yellows for giving them less money, not more. It’s an “inconvenient truth”.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: And in politics you don’t talk about the inconvenient truths?

JOHN BRACE: Yes, it’s not diplomatic or tactful to do so. If you try that with a red politician they’ll call you “political”.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: And why is that a bad thing?

JOHN BRACE: Because like unravelling a ball of string, once you start plucking away at one bit the whole thing starts falling apart.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: So the reds believe if they repeat enough that the blues and yellows are giving them less money that people like BBC Radio Merseyside will repeat it?

JOHN BRACE: Yes, they’ve been on a media training course you see.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Oh, in how to deal with people like you?

JOHN BRACE: Partly, but anyway your arguments about money are pointless.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Why?

JOHN BRACE: Because Wirral Council has been given the money referred to above (at least the first two instalments), but they don’t officially have it.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: What kind of double talk is that?

JOHN BRACE: It’s not part of the budget that Labour agreed back in the Spring of 2014.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Was that deliberate?

JOHN BRACE: You mean they’d deliberately try to close the school, then suddenly magically find money they knew they had all along but tried to keep quiet and then use that to keep it open to make themselves look wonderful?

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: No, did they deliberately set a budget knowing they had this extra money?

JOHN BRACE: I don’t know, you’d better ask them.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Going back to the radio show, they said it should be about the children.

JOHN BRACE: Yes it should.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: So why do they keep getting talked out of the discussion?

JOHN BRACE: Because politicians would rather score political points.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: I listened to the parents, they referred to a “David versus Goliath” battle.

JOHN BRACE: It always is with Wirral Council, see the battles I had with them over filming meetings (until central government stepped in).

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: So they were worried you’d film them “scoring political points”?

JOHN BRACE: No.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Oh so they were worried you’d film them trying to close a school?

JOHN BRACE: No.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: So what were the reasons then?

JOHN BRACE: Health and safety.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Well that’s ironic in a way isn’t it? They’re bothered about the health and safety implications of you filming meetings but not the health and safety of the Lyndale children?

JOHN BRACE: You might put it that way, I couldn’t possibly comment.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Well, the parents seem to think it’ll affect their children’s health if the school is closed.

JOHN BRACE: A lot of people think it would.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: And if the school closes all the staff are out of a job too.

JOHN BRACE: Yes, but the reds are the “party of the workers”.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: What does that mean?

JOHN BRACE: It means they side with the unions and the workers.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Ahh, so the unions want to close Lyndale?

JOHN BRACE: No, the unions are against closure. See UNISON’s response starting on page 37 which states the consultation was “misleading” and compared to Children’s Centres that there is no “equality or fairness” for Lyndale staff. NUT (National Union of Teachers) also states the consultation was “misleading” and that if Lyndale was closed “some of our most vulnerable pupils will be left without access to a local school.”

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: This whole politics thing is starting not to make any sense!

JOHN BRACE: Now you know how people feel about the whole thing.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: So to recap, the blues and yellows gave the reds more money for this sort of thing that the reds won’t spend (yet). The reds say the blues and yellows are giving them less money.

The blues, yellows, reds and greens all say they’re on the side of the people and the reds say they’re the party of the unions. The unions seem to be on the same side as the blues, yellows and greens?

JOHN BRACE: No because a lot of those involved with the unions to put it mildly dislike the blues.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Your whole political system makes no sense whatsoever!!!

JOHN BRACE: That’s “democracy” for you.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Don’t people get frustrated having to live under such a system?

JOHN BRACE: Yes which is why they get a vote.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: And what does a vote do?

JOHN BRACE: It allows people to pick the politicians out of the reds, blues, greens, yellows, purples et cetera.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: So if your political system is as it is it’s the public who are to blame?

JOHN BRACE: Well no, our system ignores a majority of their votes. Let’s give an example. This year in Pensby and Thingwall 4,086 people voted.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: OK.

JOHN BRACE: Roughly one in three of those voted for the red party, the rest (two in three) voted for someone else.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: So someone else won?

JOHN BRACE: No the red party won, although most people voted for someone else.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: So you’re saying the red party is now in charge making the decisions, even though most people who voted in Pensby & Thingwall didn’t want them in charge?

JOHN BRACE: Yes.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: So your voting system means you ignore the wishes of most people and then just pick someone that most people don’t want?

JOHN BRACE: Sometimes.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Well doesn’t that mean whoever is in charge is unpopular?

JOHN BRACE: Well that’s the weird thing about our political system, since the red party have been in charge, they’ve become slightly more popular with the public.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Well according to what you just told me they weren’t very popular to start with!

JOHN BRACE: Indeed, but if you look at that election I just mentioned it was between a red and a former red that had switched to the blues. The reds really really did not want their former colleague to win.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: So the public were asked to vote to choose between a red and a former red who is now a blue!

JOHN BRACE: Yes.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: So let’s get this straight, the reds are in charge not because they’re terribly popular but because of your voting system.

JOHN BRACE: Yes.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: And most people don’t vote or when they do vote often their vote doesn’t count (which is why they often choose not to vote)?

JOHN BRACE: Yes.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: And that’s called democracy?

JOHN BRACE: Yes.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: But the children of Lyndale are not allowed to vote?

JOHN BRACE: No.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Why not?

JOHN BRACE: I don’t make the rules here.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: So Lyndale School can be closed by a bunch of red politicians that most people never voted for and in some places a majority don’t want, that claim to be the party of the unions (who are against the idea), claim to the party of the people (who are also against the idea) and the ones who will be affected (the children) don’t even get a say in whether the politicians are red, blue, yellow, green (or something else) this year?

JOHN BRACE: You left out the bit about the reds blaming it all on the blues and the yellows.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Oh yes, the red politicians say they don’t have any money because of the blues and the yellows, but the blues and the yellows say well that’s the reds’ fault but they’ve given the reds more money anyway?

JOHN BRACE: As usual it is more complicated than that.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: And you call that “democracy”, sounds like disorganised chaos!

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