The bad state of repair of the road at the junction at Grove Road/Wallasey Village has been an ongoing issue for many months now, so I’m pleased that council officers have finally agreed to fully re surface the road. The resurfacing will start at the crossing in Wallasey Village and finish at Spring Vale. From the junction it will be re surfaced along Grove Road to Dean Avenue.
This is good news. Not only is the area rampant with potholes but has succumbed to ‘very heavy crazing’ which is the official buzz word for ‘it’s a mess’. The condition of the road is appalling and despite the council’s quick fixing of potholes, they reappeared with great regularity.
Work will start this coming week and, when the roundabout at the Bayswater Road junction is complete in September the area will be a huge improvement to all those travelling through the Village to the new development on the prom.
There will be 4-way temporary traffic signals in operation tomorrow, Monday 13 June, at the junction of Sandy Lane and Claremount Road. This is to allow access to ‘carriageway boxes’, it’s only for one day from 9.30am to 3.30pm – so only slight delays, then it’s back to normal.
It’s hard to know where to start. I’ve said it before, but just to confirm, it’s not April 1st.
The last eight days have seen Labour-led Wirral Council:
- Call an Extraordinary Meeting of the Council to consider revisions to the Constitution. In effect, this now means that as a Councillor if I put forward an issue for debate it will be referred to the Labour Cabinet for approval first - which may or may not be given; if I ask a question at a Full Council meeting, I have to wait until all questions regarding the issue have been asked and then the Labour Cabinet Member will give a ‘group’ answer (but for no longer than five minutes), or, if they wish – no answer at all; and finally Area Forum have been scrapped, to be replaced by a new, bigger committee with Labour Councillors from Seacombe, Leasowe and Moreton. Is bigger better? who knows, but I’ll be making sure that local Wallasey residents have a voice. I wont be gagged.
- Send an email to all Wirral Council staff warning that the entire workforce faces being fired and re-hired. According to the email despite extensive negotiations, trade unions have indicated they’re not prepared to sign an agreement over revising employees’ contracts. The email makes it clear that no council employee will be made compulsorily redundant through this process, however, ‘all staff who accepts their amended contract will be re-employed without any break in service’. There’s no mention of what will happen to those who don’t want to accept a new contract, would it be a sackable offence? And how much will it cost to carry out this firing and re-hiring or employment tribunals? The Globe has more here.
- Proposed drafting in external consultants to review Wirral Council’s Leisure Services at a cost of £15,000. It wasn’t so long ago that Labour ordered a ‘Strategic Asset Review’ and wanted to close 11 of our 24 libraries as well as swimming pools and community centres. Labour have also made a great noise during the last twelve months about how they ‘listen’ to what the public want which was the basis for their recent ‘What Really Matters’ consultation exercise – I think they must be deaf. Read more here. This will go before a special cabinet meeting on May 23 at Wallasey Town Hall – members of the public are welcome to attend.
- Advertised for a project manager to oversee its garden waste collection service (or the bin tax) at a salary of £30,000. Yes, that’s right, but it does seem a little premature – there may be no project to oversee. So far, just over 10,000 people have paid the Bin Tax, but the Council’s own ‘break even’ figure was 30,000 households signing up. So 91% out of the 112,000 who received the previous service, haven’t paid and why should they? A service for which they were already paying for is now being charged for. There’s no mention of a contingency plan if not enough people sign up? Read more here
- Defended the fact that they’ve given less than 2% of the £1 million received from the Government to help with the bedroom tax has been handed over. This fact was exposed by my colleague, Cllr Ian Lewis here. There is help out there and at a time when many people are struggling with increased housing costs, either because of rent and council tax increases or cuts to council tax benefit and housing benefit, this money could really help those coping with the changes they are facing since April.
After complaints from residents, I asked the highways inspector to examine Probyn Road which is in a bad condition. They agreed and have added the road to the Highways Structural Maintenance Programme for this year.
It’s dependent on resources, however the road is being monitored for safety and any potholes which meet the criteria (I know it’s madness, even a pothole has a criteria these days) will be repaired.
While Labour bang on about ‘one nation’, behind the scenes they’re planning to tax people who live alone, including thousands of pensioners who are on fixed incomes and who have paid into the system all their lives.
This would affect more than 55,000 Council Taxpayers across Wirral who could see their bills go up by a third under plans by Labour to scrap the discount for people who live alone. Labour Councils across the UK have asked for power to end the discount offered in recognition of the fact single people place fewer demands on local services. More than seven million are thought to benefit from the discount, at a cost of around £2.7 billion a year.
If town halls get their way a single person living in a typical Band D property would see their council tax bill rise from £1,083 to £1,444 – an increase of £361 a year, or £30 per month.
Council are also demanding the removal of a rule that forces them to hold a referendum if they want to increase council tax. They said town halls should be free to raise council tax by as much as they like.
Why are Labour so afraid of letting people decide by way of a referendum? Here in Wirral, they have done everything possible to avoid a referendum, not least through their new ‘Bin Tax’ of £35 for garden waste. This is supposed to raise around £1 million and avoided the need for a Council Tax referendum - the introduction of the Bin Tax has enabled the Council Tax rise to be kept below the 2% threshold that triggers a local referendum.
Same old Labour, same old tricks. The campaign to end the discount is being driven by Labour authorities including Liverpool, Sheffield, Islington and Exeter.
The ‘Collective Switch, is a scheme organised by Wirral-based charity, Energy Projects Plus, (based in Wallasey) together with the Liverpool City Region local authorities, and aims to reduce people’s energy bills by using collective buying power to negotiate cheaper tariffs.
How does it work?
- Register by 3 June by visiting www.LCRenergyswitch.co.uk or call Freephone 0800 043 0151
- Energy suppliers will be invited to offer a deal for the collective switch. You’ll be informed what the offers are and then it’s up to you if you want to accept.
- You’ll see how much you could save before you agree to switch. If you decide you don’t want to switch you don’ have to – there’s no obligation.
Potholes in Mayfield Road are to be treated as a high priority and work will be completed this week due to the deteriorating state of the road.
There is also subsidence in the road towards the junction with St George’s Road. United Utilities have been asked to investigate the subsidence and carry out any necessary work to resolve the problem – the council will monitor the road for safety until work is carried out.