As we previously reported in our Reds Go for Greens post the most interesting battle at local elections in May will be in the Birkenhead/Tranmere ward where the local Labour group are determined to oust lone Green councillor Pat Cleary. Accordingly we’ve been keeping a keen eye on the frantic electioneering.
As Cllr Cleary’s support for both the Birkenhead & Tranmere Neighbourhood Forum and their concerns over the annexing of The Lauries by the Wirral Chamber of Commerce and Birkenhead Market Trader’s Association claims that they are being ‘ignored’ by Wirral Council in the latter’s ‘transformation’ plans indicate he is seen very much as the fly in the Birkenhead/ Tranmere ointment and needs to be swatted away come May . We’ll have much, much more on these two stories at a later date : Birkenhead Market Traders
However today’s post concerns last week’s return of the Birkenhead Constituency Committee after a near six month hiatus. The choice of venue for the meeting was particularly interesting. The Committee meetings have hitherto always been held in Birkenhead Town Hall . However on this occasion it was held at ‘The Deen Centre’ on Borough Road. At first we thought the building was a misspelt tribute to Tranmere Rovers/Everton footballing legend Dixie Dean. We then discovered that ‘Deen’ is an Arabic word with several meanings but most usually taken to mean ‘religion’ or ‘faith’.
We understand that ‘The Deen Centre’ has been establishing itself not only as a resource for increasingly influential local Muslim community but the wider Birkenhead/Tranmere community . This may explain the choice of venue for this particular Committee meeting. Although with Beaconsfield Community House and Birkenhead YMCA the area seems particularly well served with community resources for the hungry and the homeless.
Viewing the John Brace footage of the meeting it appeared to be the usual series of presentations . About one of which we’d like to ask – when did it become OK to discuss someone’s personal circumstances in a public meeting? She who shall remain nameless describes a 56 year old woman as ‘old’ and is met with cries of “that’s not old” and raucous laughter . “If you met her – she looks 80″ came the response” !
However keeping it classy the meeting wouldn’t have been complete without a Foulkesy face-palm moment. Whilst encouraging people who attended the meeting to continue to report crime Cllr Steve Foulkes uttered these words of wisdom :
Some people are confusing reporting crime with being labelled , I’ll say the word – a Birkenhead word – ‘ a grass’ ……………If anyone wants to give names of criminals who are operating in the area , use us ( councillors) – we’re very good at being copper’s narks
So having tried to downplay the use of a pejorative term to describe someone raising legitimate concerns with the right authorities (grass) Foulkesy then goes and uses a different but equally insulting word (nark) to describe an informant ! – fine work. But then from what we know of Foulkesy and his ilk they’re not that keen on people behaving in such a way – unless of course they’re tooled up with a recording device and are willing to smear political opponents #Wirralgate.
Talking of which it just so happens Wirral Leaks has the names of some senior politicians who it is alleged have been involved in potential criminal acts. We would have forwarded them to Foulkesy but then suddenly remembered that there might be a slight conflict of interest!