Saturday, 22 October 2011

Liverpool Lib Dems - give us your views on long term vision.

Liverpool Liberal Democrats this week launched a discussion document and listening exercise.

The document makes suggestions about the long term vision for Liverpool and asks for views from individuals and organisations.

Copies have been mailed to organisations across the City and the party is keen to get views from as many people as possible.

The document and a survey is available here.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Statement on the Liverpool Riots

Liverpool Liberal Democrats were shocked and saddened at the actions of a minority who took part in the riot in South Liverpool overnight. 

The actions involved were nothing short of criminal and it is hard to see what if anything could be gained by what they did. 

The real Liverpool however was clearly visible this morning when communities spontaneously arranged clean ups and showed real support for each other.

We are concerned that reports are saying that children as young as ten were involved or were close by.  It's really important that parents make sure that they know where their children are and make sure they are not out putting themselves in danger.

The police and emergency services deserve real praise for their actions in attemping to deal with the events last night.  The police put themselves at risk in some cases.  We too often take the emergency services' work for granted and it's important that we don't do this.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

We need tighter rules on opaque glass says South Liverpool Councillor

Lib Dem Councillor Flo Clucas is calling for tighter rules in Liverpool on opaque glass in planning agreements.

Cllr Clucas, who represents Allerton and Hunts Cross, raised the issue in a motion to the City Council.

The problem is that sometimes planning permission involves the need for opaque glass, but officers allow material which can be stuck on and peeled off.

This means that windows that overlook private areas and are meant to be opaque to prevent this are in fact perfectly clear.

Cllr Clucas is worried that this could lead to a "snoopers charter".

The motion will go to the Cabinet member for regeneration for a reply.  The text is pasted below:

Council notes that where ‘opaque glass’ is specified in planning applications, that often an opaque film, stuck on the existing glass is accepted by the Planning Department.  For those with children, or women living alone, such a practice can be most upsetting, as the film can easily be removed from the glass, leaving a clear view of gardens, bathrooms, and other sensitive areas of homes, creating a ‘snoops charter’.  It is particularly distressing where the Planning Inspectorate has specified ‘opaque glass’, yet a removable film covering of clear glass is deemed adequate by officers.  This has recently happened in Allerton and Hunts Cross to the distress of those women whose homes are overlooked.

Council requests the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport to consider that the practice of accepting the use of sticky backed film, on clear glass instead of opaque glass is no longer approved and that opaque glass is required, where it is specified within the application.’

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Lib Dems demand explanation about bus service

Woolton's Lib Dem Team is demanding an explanation from Merseytravel after news that the 173 and 174 bus services won't run next week (beginning 11 July).

The company that ran the two services has had its contract stopped early because of its poor record.  But Merseytravel says the new company can't start until 18th July, leaving people reliant on the service with no bus for a week.

Says Lib Dem Malcolm Kelly " We can't understand why this action is being taken hastily at the eleventh hour without an immediae replacement.  Our area has many elderly residents who depend heavily on local buses for essential travel"

The Lib Dem Team in Woolton is delivering a special leaflet across the area affected by the bus cancellations to let as many local people as possible know not to wait at a bus stop in vain next week.

Information about the services is available at

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

First Councillors Call for action in Liverpool - Erica Kemp.

Liverpool’s 1st Councillor Call for Action
Liberal Democrat councillor Erica Kemp, ward member for Church Ward is set to become the first Liverpool councillor to use the ‘councillor call for action’ powers.

The power for members to use the ‘councillor call for action’ has been in place since 2009 but since then no Liverpool councillor has used this power to help residents.

Cllr Erica Kemp has been forced to use this little known local government power due to the failure of the council to address a road resurfacing issue in the
Heydale Road
Meredale Road
Bleasdale Road
Rosedale Road
Mapledale Road
Limedale Road
Elm Hall Drive
, L18 area of her ward over the last 3years.

Cllr Erica Kemp said, ‘Back in April 2009 I held a site visit with officers to discuss complaints from residents about the council’s resurfacing of ‘the dale’ roads. Since then the council has taken too long to deal with this issue. They have procrastinated and failed to resolve the problem.’
‘Prior to 2009 the council resurfaced these roads using a temporary blue chip surface dressing. The council has since abandoned this method of road treatment but my residents are still suffering from the bad job done 2 years ago. It’s an utter disgrace’.
‘I’m not asking for these residential roads to be bumped up the resurfacing list for the City. I’m simply asking that the problem created by the council is resolved by the council.

Mr and Mrs Coton, Residents of L18 have welcome Erica’s efforts saying; ‘Cllr Erica Kemp has tried everything to get the council to take action but we are being ignored. The blue chips from the road surface get everywhere, they are regularly trodden into our carpets causing damage and the councils promise to sweep the pavements has come to nothing. This ‘Cllr call for action’ is, as far as we can see our last ditch attempt to get something done’.

Letter from Liberal Democrats re budget setting - 20 June

20th June 2011

Dear Cllr Anderson

I write in response to your offer to the Liberal Democrats to take part in a joint budget process and your outlining of conditions attached to that.

I have now discussed this with Shadow Cabinet and Liberal Democrat Group members.
We have decided not to join the joint process. 

I think it important to outline the reasons.

Firstly, we do not believe it to be realistic to ask any party, or any individual Cllr to sign up at the beginning of a decision making process to all the outcomes whatever they may be.  This effectively asks people to ignore strongly held opinions as well as the opinions of the people they are elected to represent. We believe it is the duty of Cllrs to speak up for the people who elect them

Secondly, we believe that effective, robust and questioning opposition is good for the City This does not mean that we intend to oppose everything the administration does but it does mean that we intend to ask probing questions and, when we think a decision or potential decision is wrong, to say so. 
The good of the City is not served by the suspension of democracy and while there are clearly areas on which parties can work together (examples would include my member officer relationship group and Cllr Moores work on emergency preparedness) it serves no one if there is no effective opposition.

Thirdly, we have clear Liberal Democrat positions on some of the key service areas in the City which we intend to argue for. You will, for example, be aware of the disagreements last time over the Sure Start Children’s Centres which we want to protect.

I am disappointed that someone saw fit to leak your letter to the party leaders to the Post and Echo on the very day it was received.  I understand that this leak did not come from your office and want to assure you that it did not come from mine. I have treated the letter as private and therefore restrained from taking public issue which some of the points you made about the Liberal Democrats.

However I will say that not only do we have written confirmation from the City Treasurer that what we suggested in our budget amendment last year was legal, I believe if the LDL option had been selected you would have put your considerable influence behind speeding things up.

Finally,I do want to say thank you for making the offer.  You told me previously to my face that this would not happen and it is refreshing to see a politician who is not afraid to change their mind. I know that Cllr Storey made offers in the past to Labour of some joint budget working, something I understand Labour turned down at the time. I don’t question your reasoning then so I trust you won’t question ours now.

Liberal Democrats intend to take an active role in scrutiny, in holding the cabinet to account for their decisions on behalf of the people of Liverpool, and in the development of our own ideas . I will be contacting officers to confirm previous reassurances about the availability of papers.

Cllr Paula Keaveney
Liberal Democrat Group
Liverpool City Council

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Let's boost reading say Liverpool Lib Dems

More Books for Children to boost skills

Lib Dem spokesperson for Education & Children Services Cllr Rosie Jolly is calling action to get children reading more books.  

The call comes in a motion to next week's Education and Children's Services Select Committee,  as evidence  published by the Institute for Social and Economic Research shows that reading helps to boost children’s’ social skills and tackle difficult behaviour.

Councillor Jolly said ‘Reading at home with children is something that should really be encouraged. Often it’s the one thing that gets squeezed out of a busy day’.
 “Schools and parents need to work together to maximise the benefits of reading for children.’
 ‘The Council should be promoting reading at school and at home. It’s a simple thing that can make a real difference.’

Full text of motion to Ctte: Education Select Ctte – 23rd June
Committee notes with great interest the findings of a recent study by the Institute for Social and Economic Research ‘ Reading to Children Boosts Social Skills’.

Committee welcomes the study, which examined 15,000 children born in the year 2000 and its key outcomes pertaining to the benefits of home tutoring, particular reading to children outside of core school hours. Committee acknowledges that reading on a daily basis is one of the strongest ‘predictors’ of early child development and as such should be encouraged within the cities primary schools as part of the school, parent/carer partnership.   

Committee accepts the studies findings that the activity of parents/carers reading together with children in the home environment also helps to foster emotional security and develop verbal skills. Furthermore it also accepts that reading plays a key role in preventing children from becoming difficult and/or hyperactive in school and that the activity is also a contributory factor in reducing the social and/or emotional problems in three to five year old children.

Committee requests that the Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services writes to all primary schools in the City to establish how local schools embrace, encourage and monitor home reading activity in partnership with parents/carers, in order to support the early year’s development of all primary school children.