29 Jun 2011

Fair pensions are worth fighting for

Unlike Labour which is happy to take millions in funding from trade unions but offers little in return, the Green Party stands behind public sector workers. Below is the statement from Caroline Lucas on tomorrow's industrial action.


Commenting ahead of the public sector strikes across the country tomorrow, Brighton Pavilion MP and leader of the Green party of England and Wales, Caroline Lucas, said:

“Many teachers and other public sector workers have contacted me over the past week to express hope that striking wouldn’'t be necessary – that the Prime Minister would start taking their pension concerns seriously. Sadly the Coalition Government’s relentless attack on this country’s public servants has left them with no choice.

“We know that public sector pensions are affordable – this is really about piling the UK’s debt burden onto the people who did the least to create it. I believe that fair pensions are worth fighting for, so I will be joining the picket lines in solidarity with my constituents who have been abandoned by the other main Westminster parties.

“This isn’t something I do lightly. I regret the disruption caused by industrial action and think it must only be used in special circumstances – and would urge trade unions to work hard to ensure support from the wider public.

“Yet when teachers are being expected to pay 50% more in pension contributions, work longer and get less pension when they retire – and when negotiations are failing – targeted and considered action is clearly necessary.”

13 Jun 2011

Trinity Lane update: Labour's arrogance laid bare

The print edition of the Wirral Globe includes some fascinating detail not published on-line. Incredibly, Labour Councillor Harry Smith gives the reasons for the Council's climb down as "objections from an adjacent business"

Nothing about the overwhelming objections of the local community; nothing about the sustained campaign against Council intransigence; nothing about the needless stress and aggravation caused by the abject failure to consult adequately.

And, of course, nothing about Labour ignoring the views of their own constituents.

9 Jun 2011

New bin for Whetstone Lane

I've been on to the Council recently about the lack of litter bins at the bottom of Whetstone Lane. I've just had the following email which is good news:

Good afternoon Mr Cleary

The old open style yellow bin was removed from this location and was to be replaced with a new enclosed style bin. I inspected the site this morning and the new bin has been installed at the wrong location. (at the 3rd bus stop). Rather than resite this bin, I am intending to install an additional litter bin near the benches situated between the first and second bus stops. I will forward an instruction to our contractor this week, they then have 40 days in which to install the litter bin

7 Jun 2011

Latest Activity Report

Welcome to the latest update of Green Party activities across Birkenhead and Tranmere. First off this month a big thanks to all who voted Green in the recent local elections. Our vote surged to 1,133 or 35% of the total. We were the only party to see a vote increase and the gap between Labour and Green has shrunk dramatically. Our hard work will continue and I’d like to thanks all those residents who sent their best wishes both before and after May 5th.

The election was a disaster for the Liberal Democrats and their demise has allowed Labour to resume control of the Council following a 12 month break. The last Labour administration saw the fiasco of the proposed mass closure of libraries and leisure centres. Unfortunately, the same people are now back in control of the Town Hall and we will be scrutinising their behaviour carefully over the coming year.

At the same time the Green Party will do everything we can to improve the quality of life for people across Birkenhead and Tranmere. Our annual residents’ survey has already covered the Paterson Street area and the issues raised will be tackled over the coming weeks. We will ensure that every part of the ward is covered over the course of the year but, as ever, if there are any issues of pressing concern in your neighbourhood then don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Green campaign saves right-of-way in Birkenhead

Regular contact with residents is a basic rule of good local politics and something that has been sadly lacking across Birkenhead and Tranmere for many years. I’m proud that this has changed under the Green Party and that we have managed to secure real improvements for many residents. This month saw a dramatic example when Wirral Council backed down over its attempts to close Trinity Lane which is an important walkway linking Price Street and Cleveland Street. You can read more details on my website or follow the Wirral Globe’s reporting on the issue here.

While I’m delighted that Trinity Lane has been preserved for the many hundreds of people who use it on a regular basis, I am dismayed that it has taken several petitions, two court hearings and almost two years of stress and worry for local residents before victory was achieved. The fact that none of the other political parties including the local Labour councillors were prepared to get behind this campaign speaks volumes in my view.

Labour shows complacency on fly-tipping

The Green Party takes a strong line on the fly-tipping which blights the lives of so many residents. In our view Wirral Council is far too lax when it comes to prosecuting those who willfully spoil our neighbourhoods. Unfortunately, this seems unlikely to change under the new Labour Council if this week’s press reports are anything to go by.

The Birkenhead News has picked up on our anti fly-tipping campaign and it makes interesting reading. Frankly, I find the comments attributed to local councillor Brian Kenny who is now in charge of environment to be totally inadequate. If he seriously thinks that current measures to tackle fly-tipping are sufficient then I’m sure there are many readers of this message who could advise him otherwise.

Streets update:

Work to repair the collapsed wall on Pearson Road is due to start later this month and should take about 10 weeks. Watch out for road closures and diversions. * Following complaints from residents on Holt Hill Terrace and Argyle Street South, Harbour Housing has promised to improve security at their property on Whetstone Lane. * Graffiti cleared on Seymour Street and Borough Road. * Fly-tipping removed on Claughton Road and Allerton Road. * Faded yellow lines on Lowwood Road now scheduled for repainting. * Thanks to the empty property team who quickly addressed our request to secure the Vale Pub on Oxton Road. The same unit is also following up concerns raised by residents about an empty property on Whitfield Street.  * A tree blocking the entry on Water Street has now been cleared.  * Day burning street light in St.  Catherines Gardens repaired, broken light on Sidney Road reported.  * The Technical Services Dept. has promised to prioritise the Market Street/Argyle Street area in its anti-littering campaign and to extend its reach to include Duncan Street. * The Council has promised to replace missing brickwork on Holt Road. * Fly-tipping cleared from alley way on Liversidge Road.

Fly-tipping campaign in the press

The Birkenhead News has picked up on our fly-tipping campaign. It seems the local Labour Councillor who is now responsible for such matters is happy with issuing warning letters and "formal notices". I suspect residents take a different view!

6 Jun 2011

Trinity Lane features in Wirral Globe

The Wirral Globe has picked up on our campaign to save Trinity Lane.

You can read the full story here.

1 Jun 2011

Green action saves ancient right of way

Residents in Birkenhead are celebrating a landmark victory for people power thanks to a Green Party campaign. With no consultation and backed by councillors from all the mainstream parties on the planning committee, Wirral Council tried to ban pedestrians from using Trinity Lane.

The lane is an important short cut linking Cleveland Street and Price Street. It is used by hundreds of people and has been a public right of way since 1840.

Fortunately, the Council needed a court order to close the lane. On two occasions the Green Party’s Pat Cleary persuaded the court to delay its decision so that the views of local residents could be heard in full. Petitions and surveys of users of the lane were raised. Faced with such an overwhelming response, Wirral Council has now backed down and withdrawn the case.

Commenting on the Council’s climb down Pat Cleary says. “It has taken almost two years but, finally, common sense has prevailed. However, I am deeply concerned that Wirral Council has displayed such a cavalier attitude in trying to remove this important local amenity. A lot of time, stress and taxpayers’ money could have been saved if  the Council had taken its own advice. After all, the Council is supposed to prioritise walking as part of its healthy travel policy.  However, this case clearly shows a lack of joined up thinking. I’m delighted that Trinity Lane has now been preserved for local people.”