Wednesday, 29 July 2009

IT restricted!

I am not going to be able to blog or check the blog for a short while. Apologies.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Licensing issue - Garston Old Road

I am currently following up on an issue about a licensing application on Garston Old Road. This is for an "alcohol off sales only" license from 6 am to 11pm 7 days a week at number 81, which is the old Spar shop - currently closed. I have been speaking to some residents and there is some concern about potential problems here. Some objections have already been sent in but Licensing Laws are a bit barmy so in order for the elected councillors to make comments/objections on any application we need to be specifically appointed by a resident (apart from those instances where we live very near the premises and very means very in these cases). Anyway, there is a useful page on the City Council website about how to comment on applications ( - then look for the section on Licensing Act 2003) which spells out the four licensing objectives and gives an explanation of the process. The deadline for comments on this one is in early August. I don't know when the licensing committee will meet but I will post any news on this on the blog.

Friends of Garston Park

Big thanks to everyone who helped with the Friends of Garston Park stall last Friday. We got some new names of interested people and so we are still making progress. Sadly on the way back from the park Peter Millea and I walked past some rather obvious vandalism to the trees, which we have reported. Still now that a group is getting together I think we can do more to improve and promote this bit of Garston.

Putting Cressington First event

Friday evening saw a different type of "meeting" being tried out. For the last year or so the City Council has been paying for ward based events for residents, councillors, agency reps etc. (LCVS would do the organisation and publicity) I had felt that our ones in Cressington weren't quite hitting the mark - you never really got in depth discussion of an issue but people who wanted to make a quick contact on a single issue were forced to sit through a lot of other stuff. So we tried a different format which was a series of stalls - Councillors, PCT, police etc - with a general invitation for residents to come and talk to whoever they wanted to. We invited along organisations like Bulky Bobs, Rotters etc as well. We were reasonably lucky with the weather and set up outside Garston Leisure Centre (the idea being that this was a time and place with a lot of people around). It felt a lot fresher and easier and I did manage to speak to some people who had not been at the previous meetings. And obviously where a more in depth follow up is needed it will happen.

We will probably try some other formats and venues over the next year.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Smoking and films consultation starts

The PCT is asking Liverpool Licensing Authority to exercise power to give 18 certificates to films that show smoking (apart from those showing it in a bad light).

There is a consultation which has just started. Here is the link. The closing date is in October.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Motion on Whiston Burns Unit

At the Council meeting last week I proposed a motion about the threatened closure of the serious burns unit at Whiston Hospital. The motion was passed. It was actually proposed not just by me but by colleagues including Flo Clucas, Barbara Mace, Colin Eldridge and Paul Twigger (although the printed minutes only show my name for some reason)

I am pasting the extract from the minutes below.

The material from the Council meeting also includes the report of the Liverpool Commission.

This will all now be available at

Motion by Councillor Paula Keaveney:

Council notes with alarm the proposal to close the Burns Unit at Whiston Hospital.

Council notes that there is a proposal that in future this service should be provided elsewhere as a result of a review of service provision across the North West. The suggestion is that patients needing to be treated by a specialist unit will have to go to Manchester.

Council notes that currently the unit exists to serve around 4 million people in Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales and the Isle of Man. Should there be no service at Whiston, patients would have to be transported some distance for vital treatment. Rapid treatment is important in the case of serious burns and Council is alarmed that this might hinder patients’ prospects of recovery.

Council notes that a community campaign has already started to resist these proposals.

Council calls on the Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for Health and the North West Strategic Health Authority giving Council’s views on this and calling for a rethink on the decision not to shortlist Whiston as a future major burns unit.

Amendment by Councillor Ian Jobling,

seconded by Councillor Flo Clucas OBE;

That the Motion be agreed subject to the wording “and Alder Hey Burns Unit” being inserted each time after the words “Whiston”

Monday, 13 July 2009

Question to Council - cabinet meeting

My other (see previous post) question at Full Council was on the cost of the Labour Cabinet meeting in Liverpool. I have been pressing for some time saying the government ought to pay the policing costs of this. The police authority wrote to ask for the money. Sadly they have been turned down by the government (thus turning their PR into definitely negative I would have said)

In my supplementary I asked whether the authority would be pushing government to reconsider. The answer to that was yes.

Amazingly I didn't get heckled this time. On the previous occasions I have asked this question about the money Labour councillors decided to heckle. They now obviously realise the money should be paid.

Anyway, here is the written answer. The supplementary was verbal so I don't have that in print.

Question to the Representative of the Police Authority

By Councillor Paula Keaveney


Has the police authority yet received any money to pay for the policing of the Cabinet Meeting in Liverpool?


The Authority and the Force received a response from the Home Office in respect of the matter yesterday, 30th June 2009.

After considering the request for reimbursement against the special grant guidance, the Home Office has concluded that after removing the opportunity costs element which the Force would have had to meet anyway, the remaining additional cost is of a level that a Force of Merseyside's capability should be able to absorb.

Although not awarding a grant on this occasion, the Minister of State commended officers for the successful manner in which the operation was performed and asked that his thanks be passed on.

Question at Council

I asked a couple of questions at Full Council last week. (As an executive member I am not allowed to ask questions of other exec members but I can ask questions of the councillors representing the police authority, the transport authority and so on)

I asked about the facilities for cyclists at Liverpool South Parkway station. We are losing more than 60 spaces which will, when work has been completed, be replaced by about half that number.

Now I know that many of the bike stands were actually not used. But my argument is that to encourage people to use bikes more they have to repeatedly see that there will be enough space for them. I am not at all sure that the eventual replacements will serve that psychological function. (Annoyingly between submitting the question and the date of the council meeting my own bike was stolen from the temporary stands outside the station !)

Anyway, in my supplementary question I asked the rep to go back to the transport authority - MITA - and see if the planned number of places could be expanded. I think the comparison with Southport is flawed here.

The written answer is below (pasted on). You can only see the written answer as my follow up supplementary was verbal - but it's watch this space as far as cycles and the station go.


Prior to alteration work starting at Liverpool South Parkway Station, the station had inside parking spaces for 63 bicycles. There was a level of security because the bike area was constantly in sight of station staff.

How many spaces will there be as a result of the alterations?

How much shelters will there be for bikes as a result of the alterations?

What will be the level of security?


LSP was designed with space for 63 cycles. However, patronage has been low since the station opened with the maximum number of cycles using the facility only 9.

One of reasons for this is that Merseyrail permit cycles onto trains free of charge.

Cycle storage will consist of 2 shelters as per Southport station, with capacity for 20 cycles under cover, and 12 cycle lockers.

The new location is covered by existing CCTV. Merseyrail are installing lighting within the shelter, 2 no lighting bollards either side of the shelter and a secondary lighting pole to illuminate the lockers.

The new location is freely visible from within the station concourse; this was in contrast to the old location that was dark and slightly obscured.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Airport noise

Liverpool John Lennon airport is organising a consultation on its noise action plan. It is asking people to comment by 21st October. You can find the material on the website here. You can also e mail them asking for a hard copy (

On a linked point, I have been appointed by the City Council to be one of two councillors to serve on the Noise Monitoring Sub Committee, which brings together people from the airport and people from a number of organisations. I am happy to raise any noise related points. I am not sure yet when the next meeting is but in anticipation of a meeting you are welcome to pass things on to me. If you don't want to paste on the blog, please do e mail me at

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Garston waste plans - update

They've done it again!! Because there was information missing in the Jack Allen planning application the Council is having to write to residents again to give them an extra chance to comment. Part of this missing information is to do with the height of a building

If you have sent in an objection its important to know that your original objection still stands as this change isn't enough for the whole process to start again. You can of course add to your objection.

This may well have a knock on effect in terms of the timing of the planning committee meeting. I had expected this in early August. It now looks as if early September is the likely slot. I will update when I can. Meanwhile the three Lib Dem Councillors in Cressington remain opposed to this mad scheme.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Are you a tenant of LMH?

With a few other Councillors, I have a meeting on Friday with the Chief Executive of Liverpool Mutual Homes. This is the organisation that took over the remaining City Council properties in the stock transfer and so is responsible for maintenance etc of these homes.

If you live in Cressington or near to Cressington, and have an issue you want me to raise, please let me know. If you issue is very private to you its probably better to e mail me personally at If its a general one about site maintenance etc, do post on the blog( although please be specific enough about location for it to be followed up) I'll need to hear from you by Thursday lunchtime.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Thousands object

The closing date has now gone for people wanting to send in objections to and comments about the planning application from Jack Allen Holdings to build a waste site at Garston Docks.

There are a good two boxes full of objections.

The planning department say that anything coming in late will be added to the total up until the report goes to the planning committee, so if you are sitting on an unsent objection it is still worth putting it in the post.

The planning committee date isn't known yet but it is more likely to be next month than this. The minute we know I will make sure the details are posted here.