Defend Our NHS : public meeting, film show and discussion TOMORROW 30th July

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Dear friends of the NHS

Two announcements:

  1. A reminder of next Tuesday’s (30th July) public meeting, film show and discussion in Birkenhead Town Hall. See the flyer below. PLEASE SHARE and make every attempt to be there. The film will start promptly at 7:00pm. A collection will be taken.
  2. Following a shocking decision on our walk-in services last night by a Wirral Council committee we invite you to an emergency gathering in the nearby Stork Hotel immediately after the film show ends. A brief discussion will include agreement on further imminent urgent action.

Best wishes on behalf of Defend Our NHS

 

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Planning An Intervention ?

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There was a timely reminder this week about just how incompetent Wirral Council’s Planning Department is with the publication of the full Court of Appeal judgment from April in the case Regina (Thornton Hall Hotel Ltd) v Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council.

The full citation can be read here

Someone who had read The Times law report contacted us and posed these questions :

Good Afternoon

So yet again, the marquee saga at Thornton Manor has managed not to reach the local press, I wonder why?

The planning permission quashed by the high court, Appeal dismissed with more criticism of WBC and Thornton Manor. It even made The Times on Wednesday!

Are weddings at risk now the Marquees are continuing to operate without planning consent?

Is WBC going to do anything about it?

Is planning permission worth the paper it’s written on (or not written on) should you bother with it if you can just carry on regardless?

All very pertinent we’re sure you’d agree. However could help be on the horizon for our exasperated source as it would appear that they’re not the only one getting increasingly frustrated with Wirral Council’s ineptitude when it comes to planning  issues.

There is another report from earlier this month which once again seems to have bypassed the local mainstream media but potentially has serious implications for local planning.

Indeed a recent contact commented to us :

Any update on the Green Belt? I’ve heard that MHCLG are about to trigger an intervention on Wirral soon due to constant delays and lack of capability.

Could this have been prompted by the following damning report which can be found on the Planning Resource website  ?

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As you can read below the worst of all was, yes you guessed it- Wirral Council! It is interesting to note that under the government’s special measures programme, Wirral Council could have planning decisions taken out of its hands by the Planning Inspectorate if they fall below specified thresholds for the speed and quality of their decision making. And as we can see from the Thornton Manor marquee saga case study above speed and quality is not exactly a strong point ! Never mind at least Wirral Council are top notch when it comes to getting artist’s impressions of planning developments in the local press. It’s just such a shame they never make it through the planning process!…

 

The councils that determined the fewest applications within government time limits up to March 2019

2 July 2019 by John Geoghegan

Eight local authorities are now below the government’s ‘special measures’ threshold for the proportion of application decisions made within the statutory timescales, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

Wirral Town Hall: council determined the fewest major applications within government time limits up to March 2019

Under the special measures programme, councils can have planning decisions taken out of their hands and dealt with by the Planning Inspectorate if they fall below specified thresholds for the speed and quality of their decision making.

Authorities that decide fewer than 60 per cent of major applications within the statutory deadline of 13 weeks or 70 per cent of non-major applications within the eight-week deadline face the sanction.

In December 2018, the government announced the programme would continue until 2020.

However, no council has been penalised under the initiative since January 2015, despite many falling under the sanction thresholds.

Last week, the government updated its figures showing how many major and non-major decisions that each English local planning authority determined within the prescribed timescales in the two years up to March 2019.

It shows that a total of eight councils fall below the thresholds for major and non-major decisions: Wirral, Craven, Barrow-in-Furness, Ealing, Wakefield, Stoke-on-Trent, Southampton and Worcester.

In the previous quarter’s data, the two years up to December 2018, a total of ten councils fell below the three thresholds for speed of determination.

The latest data for major decisions shows that Wirral, Craven and Barrow-in-Furness councils are below the 60 per cent threshold (see below).

Wirral Council is still the worst-performing authority in this category, deciding just over than half of its 75 major applications within the 13-week deadline. Wirral and Craven remain below the threshold from the last quarter’s data.

For ‘county matters’ major application decisions, which covers mineral and waste development, Ealing and Wakefield Councils remain below the threshold (see below).

However, both authorities only dealt with one ‘county matters’ major application each over the two-year period.

They are joined below the threshold by Stoke-on-Trent, which only determined two applications.

For non-major decisions (see below), the data shows that Craven, Southampton, and Worcestershire are all below the 70 per cent threshold – the same three councils as the last quarter but with Craven now replacing Southampton as the worst-performing authority.

Out of a total of 1,070 decisions, Craven Council made 65 per cent of them within the eight week deadline.

Last December, the MHCLG announced that designation decisions in the first quarter of 2019 for speed of decision-making would consider the two-year timeframe between October 2016 and September 2018.

Meanwhile, for quality of decision-making, the assessment period would be between April 2016 and March 2019

 

Aldermen and Straw Men

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Pictures have arrived of hasbeen Labour councillors Ron ‘Ruined’ Abbey, Chris Meaden and Phil “Power Boy Pip’ Davies alongside long serving Tory councillors Thingy and Whatsit and current mayor Cllr Tony Smith and his consort.

Apparently ‘Alderman’ badges were being bestowed at Wallasey Town Hall at a surprisingly low key event for a self-aggrandizing group of people. Now we neither know nor care what an ‘Alderman’ badge is  – all we do know is that former Labour councillor Harry ‘Pottymouth’ Smith received one so we assume it isn’t much of an accolade!

However we must say Ron looks to have gotten over his deselection as a Labour councillor and seems much happier now he has a useless pendant dangling from him.

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This picture in particular got us thinking about such awards and how in recent times the Mayoral appointment especially among the Labour ranks has become not only a reward for failure but a form of ‘reputation rehab’ for ‘men of straw’. First, there was Cllr Moira ‘Matron’ McLaughlin and her woeful record with adult care services and then there was Cllr Steve ‘Foulkesy’ Foulkes , well  we wouldn’t know where to begin with this one and now we have Cllr Tony Smith  who was to children’s services what Matron was to adult services – a monumental failure.   And as for Cllr Smith’s Deputy (and next Mayor) why , it’s none other than Foulkesy’s partner in crime Cllr George Davies…

We rest our case.

 

Good News ‘For Trees’

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Thank you for all your kind thoughts asking us whether we’re frazzled in the South of France. We are, but it could be worse – we could be dodging bullets in Birkenhead!

It seems to us your concerns are obviously prompted by our lack of recent reporting. You’re right – C’est finis. Why wallow in Wirral merde when we can dip our toes in the Med?

So the next few weeks will be us tying up a few loose ends before we sail into the sunset.  First off we bring you some good (ish) news stories courtesy of campaign group ‘For Trees’ that have been languishing  in our inbox . We thank them for their past contributions and wish them best of luck with their future campaigning  :

Dear tree supporter,
Thankyou if you came to support the SUCCESSFUL protest call for Climate Crisis vote at Wallasey Town Hall on Monday. Please feel free to quote from the e-mail below to hold your Councillors to their word that they have acknowledged the Climate Emergency (it was a unanimous vote!) and that they intend to act on it:
Copy us in at ‘For Trees’ if you are happy to share. The letter was also copied to Margaret Greenwood MP.
The extraordinary meeting can be viewed on the webcam recording on the wirral.gov.uk website.
Things are moving fast…a glyphosate motion was also passed (with amendments) on Monday so keeping the pressure on is definitely having BIG results
WELL DONE! 
 
Dear Councillor,
Thankyou for voting the Climate Emergency through on Monday. I hope it isn’t just ‘on paper’ so to speak, but that the Council now take actions, accordingly, to make change; learning from the good practices, and leads that other Councils are taking; For example; NOT building on the Greenbelt, and as Dir. Greenpeace, Ed Gillespie said; avoiding demolitions and the “Wimpy-fication” or in Wirral’s case “Red-Rowification” of our towns but moving (….and quickly) to eco-build practices such as can be seen on Lang Lane, West Kirby (No. 21) with a focus on insulation, photo-voltaic inclusion, triple-glazing,etc.
And extreme weather buffering, and effective flood defense, by trees;
At the climate Crisis / Cool Partnership last week, held at Port Sunlight, Ed Gillespie quoted a current annual loss of 10 billion trees.
With the enforced ‘roll-out’ of 5G technology, thousands of trees are being lopped and felled; trees and hedgerows are being removed from our cities and countryside. Many telecommunication papers state that trees are a ‘problem’  for the 5G radiation frequencies. Wirral has been no exception…felling has been relentless over the last 10 years…and is accelerating! We need to protect our existing trees from the ruthless telecommunication companies whose priority is to make billions in profit. Us, our trees and wildlife depend on us to protect them.
 
 While planting is ESSENTIAL if we are to try and address the climate emergency. We must not be hood-winked into believing that planting schemes REPLACE mature tonnages of timbers, that are being removed at an accelerating rate; I would refer you to the 90,000 tree saplings that perished last year, which were planted under the HS2 terms of contract ‘in mitigation’ of the loss of woodland caused by the rail construction and had no care programme included.
 
As an ecologist, I address the loss of habitat, as well as the carbon released and the flood mitigation lost/loss of pollutant filtering/ loss of harmful radiation blockage/ loss of buffering of severe weather systems etc, when mature trees are removed. Many trees can live over 1,000 years old maintaining an ecosystem that cannot exist on young timbers. Hollow trees are strong (as are hollow wind-turbines and hollow bones) and it is by no means an indicator that a tree is unhealthy; the majority of our most ancient trees are, in fact, hollow and yet this is being rolled out as a ‘reason’ for felling. Wirral Council has accelerated its programme of felling systematically over the past 10 years (as can be evidenced in the ‘tree-loss monitoring document’, L. Stothard)
No-one can predict which trees will fall, but cutting and removing their limbs will make trees vulnerable to diseases and will unbalance them; trees balance themselves; lollipopping them renders them top-heavy. Tree-loss is contributing to lung and respiratory diseases, birth defects from increased particulates and heavy metals in our atmosphere and loss of general health and well-being.
 
 
There is very little acknowledgment of the fact that many of our indigenous tree species can take literally decades before they fruit (eg Quercus robur, the English oak, once called the common oak)-another reason that we need to RETAIN any mature trees as well as plant new ones. ….it’s all about the carbon lock-up of course too, which saplings cannot even come close; the suggestion of the loss of a mature tree being replaced with a minimum tree mass of the age of that tree is more appropriate;  For example; removing a 50 year old tree needs to have a minimum of 50 years worth of trees put back; such as 10 trees of 5 years old or 25 trees of 2 years old ;and most importantly ALL WITH A CARE PROGRAMME .
 
A falling tree is simply an act of nature; 92% of accidents linked with trees are where people are carrying out ‘tree-work’ (cutting or felling). And yet this statistic is not considered in the HSE table of risk where, even so, the risk is merely 1 in 20 million…well BELOW negligible risk.
Wirral cannot afford to lose ANY MORE of our mature trees. The Council is committing willful blindness in their continuation of tree-fellings and Councils and the Government face retrospective litigation linked to tree-loss because they KNOW. Please help to stop the felling and prove that the declaration of Wirral being in a Climate Emergency is being addressed;
no trees =no life….literally I’m afraid
yours Sincerely
Diane Johnson, BSc Ecology, PGCE, 
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Dear tree supporter,

Great news! The motion to have a glyphosate-free Wirral HAS BEEN PASSED! Well done to every one of you who were involved in pushing for this. Wirral will be a lot healthier because of this decision. Here is the motion;  
GLYPHOSATE-FREE WIRRAL Proposed by Councillor Steve Hayes Seconded by Councillor Chris Cooke Council notes:
 The use of pesticides such as glyphosate in the UK has increased by 60% in real terms since 1990 [1]. Italy, Portugal and the Canadian city of Vancouver have all banned the use of glyphosate [or glyphosate-based weed killers] and France is working towards this. Mosanto and German owner Bayer face 9,000 lawsuits in the USA from those that believe their illnesses are caused by their products, the first plaintiff won unanimously with many more to follow [2]. Recent studies published in ScienceDirect show a 41% increased risk of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma caused by exposure from glyphosate-based weed killers and products [3]. Council believes:  There is compelling evidence that glyphosate and a wide range of other herbicides and pesticides may be harmful to human health  The use of pesticides and weed killers reduces biodiversity, impacting negatively on insects, birds and bees, in a time when the world is losing 2.5% of its insect population per-year [4].  Harmful weed killer residues can creep into the food chain.  Pets and children should not be playing in parks, in our streets or any area treated with such chemicals. Council recommends that cabinet resolves to:  Phase out the use of all pesticides and weed killers on council land.  Cut out all use of glyphosate-based treatments in all council-owned parks within one year and across all council-owned land within two years.  Trial pesticide-free alternatives during this period. Particularly those adopted by the likes of Hammersmith and Fulham and Lewes Councils who use biodegradable foam or hot steam treatments on weeds.  Grant an exception to the above ban regarding the control of Japanese knotweed, or other invasive species, where there are currently no effective mechanical techniques available. However, in this case chemicals such as glyphosate will only be stem-injected, rather than sprayed, to reduce its spread in the environment.  Grant an exception on sprays only in relation to Giant Hogweed where it’s not safe to be dug out or safely removed by other means and then cordon off the surrounding area.  Write to the prime minister to inform the government of this Council’s opposition to glyphosate-based pesticides and to call for a UK-wide programme to phase out their use. 1. http://www.pan-uk.org/pesticides-agriculture-uk/ Link to external page/site 2. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/oct/07/monsanto-trial-cancer-appeal-glyphosatechemical Link to external page/site 3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1383574218300887 Link to external page/site 4. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/10/plummeting-insect-numbers-threatencollapse-of-nature- Link to external page/site (5) VERGES AND POLLINATORS 
An amendment to the motion which was passed proposed that this should be banned AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. ; Thus we will hopefully avoid ANY further spraying (although park workers were recorded spraying in Grange Park, West Kirby on 17.7.19….AFTER the motion was passed in Council.
 

The shared letter below was sent to all the Councillors who voted AGAINST the ‘Glyphosate-free Wirral’ motion on Monday- in the meeting ‘Spartan grass’ was quoted as a ‘reason’ for this (we understand that beach spraying had been proposed as an amendment although it didn’t get passed). The Climate Crisis is NOT a party political issue, For Trees is working cross-party to try and bring everyone on board.
As always, feel free to share this or use as a template to support your letters
Many thanks,
The ‘For Trees’ Team

Dear Councillor,

In response to your vote on Monday’s Council meeting, on the motion; “Glyphosate-free Wirral”.

I don’t know if you are aware that Spartan grass; from the genus Spartina; Spartina anglica and Spartina maritima are native to Britain and are considered as coastal ecosystem engineers.
The grass establishes as primary vegetation which provides food for pollinators and thus encourages bird-life. Accumulation of sand is enabled where the grassy clumps can establish and, in time, other species are able to establish such as marram grass or Ammophila.
These grasses ‘capture’ sand and are able to thrive under conditions of high winds and shifting sands. This allows the accumulation of a more fertile layer and has an essential role in stabilizing to PREVENT COASTAL EROSION.
The three-fold system that follows is;
1. The establishment of a rich ecosystem of dunes as can be seen at Red Rocks, for example where protected species inhabit, such as the natterjack toad.
2. An influx of tourism, such as can be seen in Formby dune system. And….
3. The development and retention of a natural flood defense system.
…..Which costs NOTHING…and yet is highly effective and essentially permanent.
My nephews live besides Hoylake beach and stay well away from the herbicide spraying zone (all year round). They move as far out as is plausible to play in the sand as their parents are more than aware that any inevitable traces of glyphosate, which has clearly been linked to illnesses such as non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and, as such, is a threat to their health.
Now that Wirral Council has “got on board” with the Climate Emergency, I wonder how many Councillors went to hear Ed Gillespie, Director of Greenpeace’s talk on; Climate change, and what we need to do, or changes we need to make; IMMEDIATELY, to reverse the crisis?
Education is needed to address those people who cry;
“but trees will spoil the view” and
“But it might look like Parkgate”
……Yes; but we will all still be breathing, with any luck, and Britain/Wirral won’t be a part-sunken, infertile desert! 
I was privileged to have studied for a degree in Ecology, in the days when people would ask me ‘What is ecology?’ but really, people have little excuse now, not to understand the need to pull together to protect and enhance our natural environment. There has been enough public education and call from the youth to say; Look after the environment, it’s an emergency!
and, as a Councillor bound to the laws of the Aarhus Convention, it is your statutory duty to educate others as to the actions that you take in making these changes.
I look forward to your response.
Yours Sincerely

 

CCG and Mrs Jones

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Our health correspondent Dr Love provides us with a commentary on recent events concerned with the proposed closure of two local walk in centres and the role of the  Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Cllr Christine Jones. It really makes you wonder whether they’ve ‘got a thing going on’…

Dear chum

Councillor Christine Jones is the joint chair of Wirral’s Joint Strategic Commissioning Board.

She acquiesced when their recent meeting was turned into – for the most important item on the agenda – a meeting of the CCG Board. ‘Legal’ because Council and NHS budgets aren’t ‘pooled’ for the related purpose, but a smack in the gob for councillors. (And see the John Brace reference below.)

The CCG agreed unanimously to close two walk-in centres.

Cllr Jones forgets to say that ANY closures had been opposed unanimously the previous week by a joint meeting of Wirral and Cheshire West and Chester Councils attended by Labour and Tory councillors.

She repeats the argument that people were ‘confused’ about existing services. NO reasonable evidence has ever been presented for this.

She accepts that there will be improvements in NHS111 (now rechristened variously ‘Ask Alexa’ and ‘Fuck off and die’).

She accepts that axed services will allegedly be covered by extra GP appointments, ignores the 100,000 missing NHS doctors and nurses, and accepts the CCG’s clear statement that this appointment system won’t necessarily be with a GP but with various assistants (less skilled, lower paid).

She fails to follow her own Council’s and her Party’s policies to oppose any closures.

She forgets that her party’s policy (nationally and locally) is to oppose the whole ‘sustainability and transformation partnership’ edifice, of which the CCG and its cut and pasted plans are part.

Her colleague who follows her is also worth listening to – for different reasons.

Here’s the video of the meeting with Cllr Jones’ comments from 31 minutes in. https://wirral.public-i.tv/…/webcast_interactive/429803

But the most jaw-dropping feature of this sorry episode is that last month she wrote to a local campaigner and said, “The community consultation the CCG delivered on the urgent care review proposals showed unequivocally strong opposition to any closure of walk in centres. I stand by the wishes of Wirral residents and council and will oppose any closure of services”.

Campaigners expect councillors (especially from the ‘people’s party’) to have a grasp of the ideology behind the rapid dismantling and demoralisation of the NHS. Our little local difficulty is simply a tiny part of the ambitions of those who would beg a trade deal from Trump and leave any bits which they haven’t already plundered to the slavering jaws of United Health of Minneapolis (the previous employer of NHSE boss Simon Stevens and with huge existing NHS contracts including via its Optum system).

BTW the other joint chair (and chair of CCG) Dr Paula Cowan is a key part of the whole unedifying process. She has form in forcing through cuts https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/fertility-treatment-cut-back-part-12583527

So is it the ‘aristocratic embrace’ that subverts Cllr Jones? Or is it just lovely to sit next to the NHS’s own Emily Maitlis?

She’s going to feel rather conflicted when her council colleagues refer the decision back to the Secretary of State for Health especially now that the whole process has been exposed by local video man John Brace https://johnbrace.com/is-the-decision-to-close-2-walk-in-centres-at-moreton-and-new-ferry-last-week-unlawful/?fbclid=IwAR3fGmjIDxS7NSjvNft2xoyqmX38vmOUERnSCo9tQP4U9P-5qIepFTQXrqw

The meeting video also shows Cllr Tony Norbury saying what a blow this is to the people of Birkenhead. Perhaps he’s failed to notice that elements within Birkenhead Labour – as well as Frank N Field and the local GP who runs an excellent ‘saved’ walk-in centre – are jubilant because ‘their’ Globe-splashed campaign had such a victory.

Yours, Dr Love

 

KKK KO 4 BJ

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Tory hasbeens in happier times. Enter our caption competition and win something in pink silk

No doubt you’ve all been reading about Tory Councillor David Burgess Joyce who has been all over the mainstream media  for all the wrong reasons. His insulting and imbecilic tweets comparing black Labour MP David Lammy to a member of white supremacist murderers the Ku Klux Klan was low even for a Wirral councillor but let’s face it, not a new low . As we know their standards are lower than a rattlesnake’s belly and ignorant racists are two a penny at Wallasey Town Hall (yes, we’re talking about you Cllr George Davies…)

Needless to say we had BJ – as we like to call him- nailed as a Grade A arsehole in our A Fair Cop post in 2016 :

Her Ladyship and I have always asked each other who on earth was that preening, self -regarding pompous windbag  who with faux sincerity talked ever -so – slowly – and – in – a -way – that – made – you – think – that -what -he-was -saying – was – ever – so- important – and – profound – when -really – it -was – the – usual – mix -of -blather – and – BS.

And now we know – Mr B-J !!!

 

BJ has now been suspended by the local Tory Party – fortunately for him not in a manner approved by the Klu Klux Klan. Might we suggest that he should now spend his time arranging his collection of lurid silk pocket handkerchiefs and reflecting on the fact that he is one of many Wirral councillors who should never, EVER have been in a position to make decisions about other peoples lives…

Meanwhile here’s a history lesson in song for BJ  :

 

DON’T WALK ON BY – Defend Our NHS: Wirral walk-in centre scandal

Here’s the latest from our friends at Defend Our NHS. Misleading local press reports?   You don’t say!

 

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Dear friends of the NHS

We have some very bad news.

Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group board members (CCG) have decided to CLOSE two local walk-in centres.

They have ignored the protests of:

  • 45,000 petitioners;
  • Over 60% of the two thousand detailed responses to their ‘consultation’; AND
  • The unanimous decision of Wirral & Cheshire West and Chester Joint Health Scrutiny Committee (made up of councillors from Labour and Conservative parties, representing Wirral and Cheshire West and Chester councils)

What was billed as a meeting of the Joint Strategic Commissioning Board on 9th July was turned into a meeting of the CCG Board and they approved their own plan unanimously*.

Sadly they were supported by some GPs (including one who at least declared an interest as his practice would benefit from the change). And shockingly by a councillor who had previously written to DONHS to say, “The community consultation the CCG delivered on the urgent care review proposals showed unequivocally strong opposition to any closure of walk in centres. I stand by the wishes of Wirral residents and council and will oppose any closure of services”.

What now? We must renew our efforts to educate and inform (and if necessary expose) Wirral councillors. Of ALL parties. All opposed the plans, all say they love the NHS, and we doubt that very few of them are aware of the source of the deeply ideological changes to our NHS (in Minneapolis!) of which this is just part.

What can you do?

  1. Please write to Wirral and Cheshire West councillors asking them to support a ‘reference back’ of the decision to the Secretary of State for Health.
  2. Attend our next public meeting. It’s on TUESDAY 30th July at 7.00pm at a venue to be confirmed. Tell your friends and neighbours about this.
  3. Consider becoming more involved in NHS campaigning. Our AGM is in September and we would welcome new enthusiasts onto the DONHS executive committee. Details will follow soon.

See our Facebook page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/groups/defendournhs/

Best wishes on behalf of Defend Our NHS

* The story this week in the Wirral Globe and Liverpool Echo about the protest is misleading in several serious ways. 45,000 people (not 30,000 as they report) and the overwhelming majority of those who sent detailed responses to the CCG consultation protested against ANY closures. And it is important to note that, while DONHS has serious concerns about the behaviour of some councillors, the vote to close the centres had nothing to do with councillors; it was a decision of Wirral CCG and was opposed UNANIMOUSLY by Wirral and Cheshire West Councils…

WALK ON BY – Defend Our NHS: 45,000 people or a committee?

In all of the recent local press coverage about the proposed closure of Wirral’s NHS Walk–In Centres  it seemed to us it was a case of mutual arse-kissing with Frank Field/Abhi Mantegni/Wirral Globe thanking each other for saving us all from the bleeding obvious decision that closing local NHS Walk-In Centres makes no sense whatsoever – economically or politically.

Meanwhile our unrelenting friends at Defend Our NHS were dismissed and unnamed in these reports as ‘campaigners’.

So let’s give these true defenders their due and support their efforts to save us from a fate worse than a total fuck up.

 

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‘For Trees’ Feedback

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Dear Tree Supporter,

Below is a summary of the meeting held at Wallasey Town Hall on 2nd July. You can view the meeting for yourself on:

WirralCouncilWebcasting; Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee 2.7.19. Last item on agenda presented to Cllr Chris Blakeley (chair) by Cllr Christina Muspratt :

Thank you to all the tree supporters who attended.

On 2 July 2019 Council Officer David Armstrong reported that the Council are “currently engaged in a programme of extensive backlog maintenance to do with trees” He stated: “I assure you we are just carrying out maintenance and we have got a lot of work to do”…”people are polarised, people who want it done and many who are absolutely opposed”…”this is having implications for people trying to carry out the works”…”I can understand why people are upset “. He then continued to emphasize the wish to move onto the tree removal from school grounds; Considering the ‘student strikes for climate’ this is a grotesque proposal; schools need to invest in cleaner air for which trees and dense vegetation around schools are essential. He referred to the policing which is needed increasingly as the public stand up against the felling; Yet the Aarhus Convention legally obliges us as members of the public to protect our natural environment.

The council has a responsibility to educate these “people who want it carried out” to understand the implications of habitat removal and destruction, now that we face the Climate Emergency. Of course the profiteers from the timber will be amongst this group; Beyond Mancoed; who are these profiteers?…What do they have to gain?….they have everything to lose, as do we all…

Now so many of us have paved gardens as car parks, we are all reliant on public trees being our oxygen banks.

The good news is; the ‘For Trees’ team have been working on a tree strategy/policy for Wirral and as an outcome of the above meeting there has been a ‘Tree Strategy Councillor Group’ set up to meet twice a year. Will this be sufficient and in time to save the trees ear-marked in the Council’s “workload backlog” ??!

Please relay to your three local Councillors that we need them to help save Wirral’s trees. And feel free to share your correspondence, anonymously or otherwise

Many thanks,

The ‘For Trees’ team

I attach a table of risk for your information to consider the disproportionate actions that Wirral Council are taking while destroying our natural environment;

Fatalities in ‘Daily or Normal Life’

The following table compares the calculated risks that are experienced in ‘daily or normal life’.

Annual risk of death Annual risk Annual risk per million
All causes, aged 45-64
(England and Wales, 2003) (1)
1 in 190 5263
All causes, aged 30-44
(England and Wales, 2003) (1)
1 in 940 1064
Accidents in the home, all ages
(England and Wales, 2004) (3)
1 in 17,000 59
Road accidents
(Great Britain, 2010) (2)
1 in 32,000 31
Injuries to all employees in different industries
(Great Britain, average 2001/02-2005/06) (4)
 

1 in 140,000

 

7

Insignificant or Trivial Risk (HSE) 1 in 1,000,000 1
Lightning (5) 1 in 19,000,000 0.05
Trees on public land (incl. tree surgeons and fellers; statistically the majority group) 1 in 20,000,000 0.05
  • Office for National Statistics Focus on Health
  • Department for Transport Road Casualties Great Britain: 2010
  • Office for National Statistics Mortality Statistics – Injury and poisoning
  • Health and Safety Commission Statistics of Fatal Injuries 2005/06
  • Deaths and injuries caused by lightning in the United Kingdom: analyses of two databases, D M Elsom, Tornado and Storm Research Organisation, 2000

Additional Reference: National Tree Safety Group-Common sense risk management

The High Peak of Hypocrisy : Norbury’s Buxton Bolthole

We can’t take any credit for this latest revealing insight into the warped mindset of Wirral politicians but we are more than pleased to publish it.

Now we have no problem with prospective parliamentary candidate Cllr Tony Norbury buying a property in Buxton nestled as it is in newly-Labour controlled High Peak Borough Council but please, please, please we don’t want him to give us that bleeding heart socialist rhetoric whilst he’s at it.

Oh, and as far as we’re concerned his spelling (Yavonne Nolan???) , having the handwriting of a 7 year old and a preference for “PVC Wood Look Alike (sic) Double Glazing”  would be reason enough to exclude him from high public office forever…

Norbury 1

Norbury 2.jpg

Norbury 3

In the 1st picture you can see Cllr Tony Norbury’s declaration on Wirral Council’s website.  He states he owns NO property in Birkenhead or anywhere within the boundaries of Wirral Council.  He states that he only RENTS a property in Birkenhead.

The 2nd picture is from his Facebook page, Tony for Birkenhead.  He has been out with his ‘comrades’ campaigning for Yvonne Nolan in Rock Ferry and talks about pursuing socialist policies that will “keep OUR wealth in Birkenhead”. Whilst he calls on keeping “our wealth in Birkenhead” he doesn’t appear to think that applies to him.

Picture 3 shows 50 West Road in Buxton, Derbyshire, which according to Rightmove was bought in July 2015 for £135,000.  The link shows a planning application made to High Peak Council by a Mr Tony Norbury (with the same mobile contact number Cllr Tony Norbury lists on Wirral Council’s website) submitted in March 2018.

http://planning.highpeak.gov.uk/portal/servlets/AttachmentShowServlet?ImageName=413162

Tony has decided not to invest in the ward he represents as a Labour councillor, not to invest in the parliamentary constituency he wants to represent as a Labour MP,  not even within the Labour controlled Liverpool City Region…