Democratic Deficit



Bullets Over Birkenhead : Paranoid Power Boy Pip plays the petulant diva

If evidence was needed that we are dealing with an increasingly controlling, paranoid and insecure Labour administration at Wirral Council we need look no further than last night’s council meeting where sole ,lonesome councillor Pat Cleary wasn’t ‘allowed’ to speak.

Democracy eh? –  don’t- cha just love it?.

Cllr Cleary tells us on his blog :

Arrangements for the Liverpool City Region Authority are being finalised this month and debated tonight by Wirral Council. Well, they were due to be debated but the dysfunctional outfit that Wirral Labour is they abused their majority to deliberately shut me out and refused to let me speak. How that makes them look anything other than completely ridiculous only they will know.

Of course to Wirral Labour Cllr Cleary  presents a clear and present danger to their hegemony as his recent appearance on the Tony Snell programme on Radio Merseyside testifies. Whilst council “leader” Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies demonstrated all the strong leadership qualities we’ve come to expect of him by conveniently planning a trip to China the week the controversial Wirral View newspaper website was launched and news reached us (not via Wirral View) that plans for revamping Birkenhead town centre had been thrown overboard. Cleary proved be both eminently sensible and eloquent when discussing the recent Neptune Developments debacle. He put the case that Wirral Council needed to present a viable , coherent vision for Birkenhead and not be at the behest of opportunistic businesses and property developers offering a piecemeal and unco-ordinated approach to regeneration.

What we’re  dismayed at is that we presume that Pip & Co  must have known their plans at a previous Council meeting held in October but in true “Keeping Residents Informed” style the opportunity to inform us of a change in plans was dumped in favour of a debate about banning the The S*n newspaper , which as worthy as it is, is one of those debates that we thought Wirral Council  had foregone in favour of realpolitik?.

The Core Strategy Local Plan – Wirral Retail & Leisure Study Update discussed at Cabinet in July was included in the Council meeting agenda but was not discussed or debated. The report was prepared by  Wirral Council’s “retained retail consultants” Nathaniel Litchfield & Partners . Wirral Council tell us they intend to use the findings of this report to shape their “approach to supporting small businesses and high streets to succeed.”

Click to access 41303_03%20Wirral%20Retail%20and%20Leisure%20Study%2021-07-15%20(Complete).pdf

The report is dire news for Birkenhead town centre  – basically the retail sector is dying on it’s feet share with its market share plummeting. Despite Pip’s aspiration of Birkenhead becoming a “Destination” . We have our doubts whether a drive-in Maccy D’s makes Birkenhead  a “destination” – unless that destination is diabetes.

In the light of all this we anticipate that the way things are going the local Labour group will be throwing everything at the Tranmere ward in an attempt to oust Cleary at the next council elections. Based on previous experience it can only be a matter of time before the smear campaign starts or should that be renewed ? ………………..

I Can See Cleary Now The Labour Reign Is Gone

The most heartwarming news of the local elections was the astonishing result of the Green Party ‘s Pat Cleary taking the Birkenhead & Tranmere seat.

And so we say “Bye Bye Bri” and farewell then to Labour cabinet member Brian Kenny who was very much part of Labour group power elite.

Meanwhile a less than gracious Power Boy Pip dismissed the momentous event as a “protest vote”   Displaying his usual lack of political acumen he failed to elaborate on what this was actually a protest against and at the same time displayed his contempt for the voters of Birkenhead and Tranmere. Could it be they were voting for someone who actually bothers to be active in the community and can cogently explain the Green Party’s ideology?

Meanwhile the usually mute Alison McGovern ,who apparently is a Wirral MP ( who knew?),popped up out of hibernation and offered the unique insight that only a MP can bring to the party  by saying  “you can get funny results at elections”.
Thanks for that Ali Bongo – you can get back in your (ballot) box now.

No reaction so far from Birkenhead MP Frank Field in whose constituency this remarkable result took place in – but then this is a man so much in denial he’ll say that the outcome of the election in fact endorses the wonderful work that he and his team are doing in the area.  No, Frank dearie it’s not,it’s really,really not.

Also on the way out is pesky (former ) Councillor Ian Lewis. We can only hope that his peskiness proves to be more of a potent force outside the Town Hall than inside because we need as many people as possible who are willing to shake up the political scene on Wirral.

Finally might we suggest that the result in Birkenhead/Tranmere will do more than any damning report to rattle the ruling Labour group out of their political complacency.
Whilst it wouldn’t surprise us if the resounding result is dismissed by these golf-obsessives as the “rub of the green” (geddit) we must remember that power is what these people crave and when one of their own is taken down these people must finally sit up and take note that they can no longer rely on a docile and compliant electorate – which can only be a good thing for democracy and the people of Wirral.