Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Dangerous pavements - do they need more attention.

Today is the first real day of snow and ice for us here in Liverpool.  Worryingly there've been quite a few reports of people slipping and falling in the City Centre (not the Liverpool One bit).  This is odd as we were assured that the new product the Council was using could clear away dangerous ice from pavements and the weather forecast did flag up snow and ice overnight.

Along with a number of phone calls, I received this e mail today which (having taken off the gentleman's name) I am pasting below.  (It is possible that the high pressure hose mentioned is actually a reference to the Safethaw product, to give the benefit of the doubt in this case).

I have complained already about the decision to only use this pavement clearer in the City Centre.  But today it seems that it either doesn't work, or it hasn't been used properly there either.

If there are glitches in the system, its up to all of us to point them out so that we can avoid problems further on into the winter.

(E mail starts)

The reason for this email is because on my way to work this morning I slipped on untreated ice on Church Street. I have bruising to my shoulder, arms and a headache. I am a fit person, my concern is what happens if this was an elderly person, think of the damage that they could suffer!!!

That is the reason for my email. I saw a representative from Liverpool Enterprise and spoke to him. He was not interested and said he was paid to clean the streets. I am sorry but to deploy staff to use a high pressure hose in this weather beggars belief.

I then walked up to the Council Officers on Dale Street to inform them of the dangers of Church Street and that they need to make it a priority to avoid a major accident. I was give a form to complete about complaining and no one especially the manager on duty understand the point I was making. He in fact said “we do not keep grit here”. However I did notice that Dale Street was nicely gritted!!!

I am sorry but if this is the level of service that the City now offers its residents and workers it is a very sad day. It would appear that no one is prepared to make a decision to avoid would could have been a major incident. All I want was someone to pick up a phone and priorities’ the matter not add it to a computer list.

I was trying to do my civic duty and report the issue, however I got so frustrated that when again asked did I want to file a complaint I replied “I think I will let my lawyer talk to you” and then left.

New development for Speke Boulevard?

A planning application's come in from a company wanting to build a Garden Centre and some other stuff on Speke Boulevard.  For people who know the road, they are talking about the corner with the big airport sign and not a lot else.

There was originally a plan to put a multiplex cinema, restaurants etc on this corner but despite that going through back in 2004, nothing much happened apart from the hotel being built.

Information about the plans are available at

You might need to scroll down a bit.

The Planning Committee meets to make its decision on 7th December (next Tuesday)

Monday, 29 November 2010

Cash deserts motion -why should we pay for our cash? December 1st.

Along with colleagues Peter Millea and Ron Gould, I have a motion which should be discussed/voted on at the Regeneration Select Committee on Wednesday  night (1st Dec).

It's inspired by a local campaign we are involved in about the lack of non-charging ATMs (cash machines) in part of South Liverpool.

We are hoping that the Council can its communication channels to help create a more Liverpool-wide sense of where the problems are.

There is a blog set up to support the South Liverpool campaign.  It is at http://www.atmcampaign.blogspot.com/

Meanwhile, the motion is pasted below:

Access to Cash Notice of Motion by Councillors Paula Keaveney, Peter Millea, Ron Gould

Committee notes that in the UK nearly 40 percent of ATMs (cash machines) charge a fee to users who want to draw out money. The fees range from £1 50 to £2 00 per withdrawal.

Committee further notes that there are parts of the City in which, because of the withdrawal of banks or for other reasons, people have to travel long distances to find a cash machine that does not charge.

Committee agrees that this is a particular problem for those on low incomes who may not have their own transport to easily get to a non charging ATM.

Committee notes that there are localised community campaigns, such as one in the Cressington and Mossley Hill area, that are working to lobby for more free ATMs. This campaign is the brainchild of a local resident and currently has active support from the councillors in both wards. The initial problem was caused by the withdrawal of a bank from the Aigburth Road area and Councillors are currently pressing the bank to make good the lack of a cash machine.

Committee believes that no one should be without the means of withdrawing their own money without being penalised.

Committee therfeore calls on the relevant cabinet member to take the following steps to ensure that there is no part of Liverpool that is not served by a non charging ATM.

* organise research to provide a map of ATM provision in Liverpool, thus identifying areas of particular need

* work with district committees to support localised campaigns to ensure more non charging ATMs

* work with other organisations, including those representing retailers, to lobby for more non charging ATM sites

* use existing communications channels including City Magazine and the council's website to seek views on potential sites for ATMs

Committee further calls on the relevant cabinet member to organise a submission to the Commission on Banking about the need for non charging ATMs and the harm that can be caused when there is a lack.

Committee further calls on the Liverpool Poverty Commission to ensure that the provision of non charging ATMs is an item on its work programme

Crime figures in South Liverpool

I get regular bulletins from the local police (covering Speke/Garston and Cressington wards). 

They are getting a lot of information out these days (and even have a Facebook page).

What's interesting about the most recent one is the crime figures.

They've looked at April 2010 to the current time (I got this earlier in November so I assume the cut off is in October) and compared it with the same period last year.

For the vast majority of types of crime, the figures are down, in some cases quite dramatically.

Total crime reported is down by 17 per cent.

In some categories the reduction is actually 33 per cent.

Violent crime is down by 23 per cent and burglary by 28 per cent. 

There are some increases.  Drug offences and  theft of a motor car are both up.

But the police tell me that they are pleased with these figures and say that their work on crime reduction is having an effect.

Obviously if you are the victim of a crime, it doesn't help that much to be told that overall the figures are getting better.  But it's good to get these sorts of reports as I know our local police work very hard.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Merseyrail wrong to drop Xmas cheap tickets

Earlier this week Merseyrail announced they were not going to be re running the Christmas Cracker promotion.

This was a scheme which allowed people to travel more cheaply on certain days and times in the run up to Xmas.  It was aimed at people going into the City centre to shop.

Merseyrail are saying that they won't do it this year because they are worried about overcrowding, because they don't "need" to do it (meaning the marketing objectives have been met) and that it makes less sense now to highlight late afternoon and evening on one particular day as there is late night shopping pretty much all the time now.

Some writers have agreed with the scheme being dropped, the Post and Echo's David Bartlett among them.

However  I think Merseyrail is wrong for a number of reasons.

Firstly, as a general principle given all the worries about climate change surely we ought to be encouraging people to use public transport.  This sort of promotion is aimed partly at people who have their own transport and it is designed to help them make the marginal decision about the benefits of driving in or taking the train.  If the persuasion to take the train is removed, then surely they will drive adding to congestion and pollution.

Secondly although it is true that some trains are overcrowded (how about giving us  six car trains on all the rush hour services from Hunts Cross for example instead of the shorter ones we have to crowd on to ?) this promotion was aimed at shoppers travelling in to the City in the opposite direction to commuters coming home.  (Its also noticeable that Merseyrail is publicising more frequent trains on the line to and from Chester so surely that will help some of the crowding)

Finally if it is no longer logical to target the late night shopping day as it doesn't really exist any more, why not target instead the least popular shopping day as a way of helping both shoppers and traders?

Of course if there were going to be extra bus services in the run up to Xmas then it could be argued that the public transport option is still being promoted.  But I have been researching into this and I can see no signs of extra buses planned by either Ariva or Stagecoach.

I'll be asking a question to the representative of MITA at the next full council meeting.  As the administation has removed the right to ask supplementary questions however I may not get much from this.  Perhaps the Councillors who represent Liverpool on MITA can follow this up (if that is they think the removal was a mistake)

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Council tax scam

Some fraudsters have been phoning people in Liverpool and telling them they are due Council tax refunds.  They've then been asking for bank details.

So far the people who've reported this have not been conned but the Council is keen that as many people as possible know about the scam

There are some details posted about it here on the Council's website

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

LDL recordings and following up questions

I was at Overview and Scutiny last night where there was an interesting report about LDL.  It covered some of the operational issues like nunbers of calls, increases in answering rates etc.  It also touched on calls being recorded (something I am part way through researching).

So I took the opportunity to ask a few questions ( an earlier blog on this explains that I have come across the issue of recorded calls and judgements being made about tone of voice through doing a piece of casework for a constituent). 

I was told that calls are kept for 3 months (not the full 12 months) as there isn't capacity to keep them for longer.

I was also told that the City Council can ask for information about calls but that the information would be provided as a transcript of the call not the actual recording.  I asked about how this was controlled.  I am still not sure exactly who in the City Council would have the authority to do this but hopefully that is checkable. I also asked if a member of the public whose call had been recorded would have similar rights.  The answer to this is yes by using the Data Protection rules (a subject access request) .  Obviously though,  if something is being queried by the Council (say an account of an incident is in dispute) the problem would be that the citizen would not necessarily know this and so would not know to make a request.

Personally I always deal with LDL by e mail but I wonder if there is anyone out there that would want to try doing a Subject Access Request for transcripts of their calls to see if this would work.

UPDATE: The report on LDL will also be going to the LDL scutiny panel which I understand meets next week (details should be at http://www.liverpool.gov.uk/ in the meetings and agendas section)

Garston Hospital - is there a design flaw?

I was walking from Liverpool South Parkway Station down towards Garston village the other day and I saw what looked like someone flashing a light at me.

On closer inspection it turned out to be a reflection from the wall of the new hospital building (the sun was very bright and the outside wall stuff seems very shiny)

In all the discussions about the new build (and some may remember there was quite a row about  why the building couldn't preserve some of the older exterior) I don't remember anything about this outside being reflective.

But if it is reflective, and it stays like that, there could be quite a few problems for motorists when the sun is bright and at a certain angle.

Obviously the dark winter days don't provide many examples of this, but I will report the reflection I saw as I am not sure a health service building should contribute to potential accidents!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Big week for Edge Hill University

Later this week, Edge Hill University will find out whether it has won this year's University of the Year title.

The big awards ceremony is Thursday evening (25th November).

It's the second time in the last few years that Edge Hill has been nominated, so fingers crossed this time.

UPDATE: Sadly the University came second.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Good News on St Mary's Road

At last! The City Council looks set to compulsorily purchase the awful run down building opposite Somerfield at the bottom of St Mary's road in Garston

Well done to my colleague Councillor Richard Oglethorpe, who in his district committee chair role has been pushing on this (including site visits and so on) for some time now.

The CPO would also include a couple of numbers in James Street.

The info about this is in the paperwork for the Cabinet meeting on Friday which is in the meetings and agendas section of http://www.liverpool.gov.uk/

Friday, 19 November 2010

Following up on issues

I'm standing in for a colleague at the City Council's Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Monday.

As luck would have it there are items on both Freedom of Information and Liverpool Direct so I have an extra opportunity to follow up on the topics I've been blogging about recently.

Here is the link to the paperwork for the committee.  The report on FOI simply underlines that the information provided to me in July was wrong!

Questioning FOI figures

I've been having some trouble getting a clear account of how exactly Liverpool City Council is performing on Freedom of Information questions (and Subject Access questions - which are the ones you can ask about data held about yourself)

I've been given in the past two sets of figures which contradict themselves.  I think its important that we know how the authority is performing on this (particularly given the effort I put into improving the response rates last year)

Anyway, in frustration on the lack of clarity I asked a question of Cllr Paul Brant, deputy leader of the council, at the finance committee on Wednesday.  To be fair to him he did agree to go away and get an answer.  The question is pasted below.

Question to the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources

In a reply to a Council question to me in July, the cabinet member gave the most recent performance figures for FOI and SAR requests being met as

FOI 96%

SAR 100%

A report to the most recent O and S Committee however also reported on the figures but reported these as

FOI 83 %

SAR 45%

These figures are clearly very different.

I have been promised an explanation of how this happened by officers. This explanation has however yet to materialise.

Can the Cabinet Member, whose name appears on the Council answer, please tell me the reason for the discrepancy or give me a timeframe in which an answer will be provided?

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Petition on Tuition Fees

A party member recently asked  Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidates from the last General Election to sign a petition against tuition fees. The petition's been sent off to the party's MPs now. I was happy to sign the petition which I am pasting below. The names are not in alphabetical order and mine is about half way down the list.

Petition text starts:

During the General Election campaign many of our MP’s (and now government ministers) signed a pledge with the National Union of Students that they would vote against any tuition fee rises during the course of the next Parliament. The wording of this pledge clearly indicated that this would be unconditional; regardless of whether the party was in government or in opposition. The party has been very clear for many years about its view on tuition fees and that we feel they should be abolished.

However after the recent publication of the Browne review into university funding it now seems entirely likely that although tuition fees will be capped this will be done to an unacceptable level of somewhere between £9000-£9500 per year with almost all courses costing at least £6000 per year.

Stopping this from happening is vitally important. Not just for the benefit of students but also for the Liberal Democrats. There is one thing that sets the Liberal Democrats apart from other political parties; this is that when we say we will do something during election campaigns we then do it in government. This can be seen in how the income tax threshold will rise to £10,000 by the end of this Parliament, the AV referendum on 5th May 2011, the reduction of MP’s to 600, the Pupil Premium and the delay over the replacement of Trident. We have achieved this and more despite the compromises of being in a coalition.

Nick Clegg emphasised this best of all during the televised leadership debates when he said that the Labour and Conservative Parties have given us “Nothing but broken promises”, he also emphasised that “The Liberal Democrats are different”. Finally and crucially he announced how he wanted to create a “New politics” and part of this vision was for parties to do in government as they claim they will in opposition.

It is time for us to remind him of these important values. The rise in tuition fees is designed to fill in the £2.9 billion black hole that will be left in the teaching funds for universities after the announcement of cuts of 40% in the spending review. However in the context of reducing the deficit this is a drop in the ocean and these savings could surely be better achieved elsewhere. For example during much of Margaret Thatcher’s time as Prime Minister the top rate of tax for the highest earners was 60% and yet today in harder financial times it is 50%. Yet it is students (hardly the richest people in our society) who will be paying for the last generations mistakes. This may be a hard time economically but this is a battle we must win.

We are different and must show that we are; especially now that we are in a position to do so. Otherwise this party will rightly face many more years back in the political wilderness having been labelled as ‘just like the other lot’.

So are these savings of £2.9 billion worth it? Is this price worth the loss of our party’s integrity and our values? If not then we must let the leadership know how we feel and stop these fees from rising while we still can.

We, the undersigned Parliamentary Liberal Democrat Candidates at the 2010 General Election, call on Nick Clegg, Vince Cable and all the Liberal Democrat MPs to vote against any increase in tuition fees, as pledged to the National Union of Students and publicised as such during the 2010 General Election campaign.

There must be better alternatives and we must find the right one; or the else the party and the next generation of students will rightly feel let down for the next Parliament and beyond.

Signatures:Derek Deedman (Arundel and South Downs)

Godfrey Newman (Horsham)

Simon McDougall (Littlehampton and Bognor)

Martin Lury (Chichester)

5. Bernadette Millam (Brighton Pavilion)

Andrew Falconer (Runnymede and Weybridge)

Paul Elgood (Hove)

James Blanchard (Huddersfield)

Jon Underwood (Tiverton and Honiton)

10. Mark Chapman (Spelthorne)

Andrew Aalders (Central Suffolk and North Ipswich)

Wendy Taylor (Newcastle upon Tyne East)

Nick Perry (Hastings and Rye)

Peter Carroll (Maidstone and the Weald)

15. Alan Bullion (Sevenoaks)

Roger Barlow (Macclesfield)

Richard Baum (Bury North)

Nigel Quinton (Hitchin and Harpenden)

Nigel Bennett (South Suffolk)

20. Chris Nelson (Kettering)

Chris Bramall (Stourbridge)

Sam Boote (Nottingham East)

Adam Carew (East Hampshire)

David Ord (North Tyneside)

25. Adrian Collet (Aldershot)

Gareth Epps (Reading East)

Chris Foote Wood (Middlesbrough)

John Dixon (Cardiff North)

Philip Eades (Poole)

30. Steven Lambert (Aylesbury)

Philip Latham (Stockton North)

Lynne Beaumont (Folkestone and Hythe)

Michael Mullaney (Bosworth)

Brendan D’Cruz (Castle Point)

35. Jamie Matthews (Pudsey)

Helen Flynn (Skipton and Ripon)

Edward Fordham (Hampstead and Kilburn)

Alex Berhanu (Ilford North)

Richard Grayson (Hemel Hempstead)

40. Howard Keal (Thirsk and Malton)

Iarla Kilbane-Dawe (Edmonton)

Paula Keaveney (Garston and Halewood)

Steve Guy (Wycombe)

Rob Hylands (Gosport)

45. Martin Pierce (West Ham)

Tim McKay (Edinburgh South West)

Elizabeth Jewkes (City of Chester)

Daniel Roper (Broadland)

Stephen Glenn (Linlithgow and East Falkirk)

50. Chris Tucker (Slough)

Dave Raval (Hackney South and Shoreditch)

Margaret Rowley (Mid-Worcestershire)

Mike Willis (Loughborough)

Andrew Simpson (Northampton North)

55. Colin Ross (Wolverhampton North East)

Fiona Hornby (Devizes)

Paul Smith (Enfield North)

Tom Snowdon (Amber Valley)

Anna Pascoe (South West Devon)

60. Denis Healy (Hull North)

Tony Hill (Maidenhead)

Jane Lock (North Swindon)

Les Jones (Morecambe and Lunesdale)

Paul Brighton (Alyn and Deeside)

65. Ian Robertson (Rutherglen and Hamilton West)

David Harding-Price (Sleaford and North Hykeham)

David Rendel (Newbury)

John Loughton (East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow)

David Hall Matthews (Bradford West)

70. David Smith (Wakefield)

Jerry Evans (Birmingham Hall Green)

Carol Woods (City of Durham)

Denise Hawksworth (Bolsover)

Mark Blackburn (Westminster North)

75. Jonathan Bramall (Dudley South)

Jane Brophy (Altrincham and Sale West)

Peter Reisdorf (Wirral West)

Jill Wareham (Isle of Wight)

Jane Kulka (Reigate)

80. Paul Dixon (Sunderland Central)

Susan Gaszczak (Rayleigh and Wickford)

Sally FitzHarris (Kingswood)

Simon Partridge (Great Yarmouth)

David Rundle (Banbury)

85. Mike Collins (The Cotswolds)

Margaret Phelps (Witham)

Stephen Martin (North Warwickshire)

Graham Oakes (Exeter)

Nigel Jones (Newcastle under Lyme)

90. Trevor Carbin (South West Wiltshire)

Farooq Qureshi (Leyton and Wanstead)

John McClintock (Chatham and Aylesford)

Nigel Rock (Kinelworth and Southam)

Christian Vassie (York Central)

95. Linda Jack (Mid Bedfordshire)

Kevin Ward (Glasgow East)

James Monaghan (Morley and Outwood)

David Goodall (Southampton Itchen)

Joe Naitta (Derbyshire Dales)

100. Robin Lawrence (Wolverhampton South West)

Lucy Care (Derby North)

Richard Nixon (Brigg and Goole)

Sally McIntosh (Mid Derbyshire)

Alan Beddow (Warwick and Leamington)

What's happened to the Liverpool Poverty Commission?

Some time ago the City Council agreed to set up a Liverpool Poverty Commission.  The idea was to look at issues of poverty and to make concrete recommendations (not just to the City Council).  The membership was to be drawn from a range of sectors, including business, the voluntary sector, academia, politics etc.

In my exec member role I worked on getting the membership sorted out.  We found a Chair we had a list of members and a draft programme of potential meetings.

Then the election intervened.

Since then I have literally heard nothing about what is going on with this Commission (although my name still appears on the list of members on the Council website)  This is despite the Council actually agreeing back in July to ask the Commission to do some work!

Last night, at the finance and resources committee, I submitted a motion about this trying to see if this Commission is going to start work or not.  The text of the motion is below.  Obviously I haven't had an answer yet (it would be unreasonable to expect one so quickly) but I'll update when I know more

Motion by Councillor Paula Keaveney - Poverty Commission

Motion by Councillor Paula Keaveney -

This committee notes the decision of Full Council in July on VAT and the implications of a rise in the rate.

The Council motion included the following amendment (proposed by Cllrs Paula Keaveney and Paul Clein)

The addition of the following paragraph at the end, “Further Council calls upon the Liverpool Poverty Commission to bring forward details of how the rise in VAT could affect different vulnerable people and communities across the city by the 10th November 2010.

Committee notes that not only was the required report back not made, but the Liverpool Poverty Commission (which itself was set up following a Council motion) has yet to meet.

This committee deeply regrets the failure of the administration to convene a meeting of the Commission as requested by Full Council and calls on the relevant Cabinet members to ensure that the Commission meets and that the opposition members of the Commission are kept informed as to progress in convening an initial meeting.

Committee believes that if a decision has been taken not to proceed with the Commission, the administration should have reported this back to the Commission members and to all elected members. The committee therefore calls on the relevant Cabinet members to make clear in writing their intentions around this piece of work.

UPDATE: This Commission now shows signs of starting to meet in the New Year.  Will blog again when there are dates and themes confirmed

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Fire Safety Bill in Parliament this Friday

Lib Dem MP Adrian Sanders (represents Torbay) has a Private Members Bill which if passed would make landlords of privately rented accommodation responsible for making sure there are functioning smoke alarms.

The title of the bill is Fire Safety (Protection of Tenants) Bill.  It has its second reading in the Commons this coming Friday (19th).

This sounds like a sensible measure that could save lives.  I do hope Liverpool MPs will be on hand to help this Bill get through.

Full details are on Adrian's website or on the facebook page for the Bill.

Police help in Beechwood

A very quick post to say that a Police Community Support Officer will be out in Beechwood Road and Beechwood Gardens (L19) today to give advice and provide some SmartWater marking.  He'll be with a member of staff from LMH.  If you live in the Beechwood Estate area do look out for them.

Cash deserts campaign update

Last week the three Lib Dem Councillors representing Cressington ward (one of which is me) and the three representing Mossley Hill wrote to HSBC as part of the campaign against the cash desert in South Liverpool.

We are calling for HSBC to take some action itself to replace the cash machine that has gone as a result of the bank pulling out of the site at Mersey Road and Aigburth Road.

I'll update when we get a reply.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Liverpool Direct - recording of calls

A few weeks ago, in the course of helping a constituent with an issue, I discovered that a particular call to Liverpool Direct Limited (LDL) had been replayed to check someone's tone of voice. The suggestion was that my constituent was not particularly upset by an incident and this was shown by her tone of voice on the phone. The incident I was looking into included allegations of abuse by a bailiff and sounded very shocking indeed.

The incident is being followed up and hopefully we can get it resolved in a way which helps my constituent and stops bailiffs acting like that again.

But this investigation got me wondering how many of the calls to LDL do get recorded and what is actually done with the recordings. I also wondered about what sort of permission someone needed to replay a particular call.

I made a Freedom of Information request to find out the answers to some of this and have pasted the replies below.

The questions were:
1.What proportion of incoming calls to LDL are recorded?
2. For how long are these recordings kept
3.How are they stored?
4.What criteria are used for deciding whether a recording can be played back and to whom?

In the case of e mail enquiries and subsequent replies

5.What proportion of these are saved?
6.For how long?
7.Total number of inbound calls to LDL in a year
8.Total number of inbound e mails to LDL in a year


89.5% of all calls are recorded
Calls are stored for a maximum of 12 months.
They are stored securely on servers via the business IT network.
Calls are recorded for training and quality purposes. The Quality Management part of the system selects a number of random calls each month for each Contact Centre Team Leader.
All emails are archived.
Emails are stored for 12 months.
LDL receives 1,960,33 calls in a year
LDL receives 100,149 emails in a year

Now obviously answer number 4 is incomplete or misleading. I very much doubt if my constituent's call happened to be randomly selected and played back at the exact moment the officer was looking into the issue when I raised it. There must be some other way by which council officers can ask for recorded calls to be identified and played back and I have sent in another FOI to pursue this.

My other reaction however was that I was surprised that quite so many calls are recorded. If I had been asked to guess, I would have put this at about one third of calls. After all the message you hear says that "calls may be recorded for training and quality purposes". With these figures it would actually be closer to accurate to say "your call will be recorded and may be reviewed for training and quality purposes or if we want to check up on you at some point in the next year".

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Motion to City Council - litter and takeaways

Here's a copy of the motion I have sent in for tomorrow night's Full Council meeting. This one has a high chance of being debated (my other on battery recycling is likely to go straight to a committee)


Council acknowledges that while there are some take away outlets that are responsible neighbours, litter outside fast food takeaways is often a matter of extreme annoyance to neighbours and passers by alike.

Council recognises that while litter bins can be an answer to some of the problems, experience has shown that these do not always result in a lack of street litter outside and near the take away premises.

Council further recognises that some take aways are on busy main access routes and so can, by allowing litter strewn street areas, cause a poor impression of our City to visitors and potential investors.

Council notes that local authorities have the power, under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Clean Neighbourhoods Act 2005 to issue street litter notices to take away establishments.

These notices compel the businesses to take responsibility for keeping particular sections of the pavement free of litter.

Council therefore calls on the Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change to investigate how speedily the Council can start using the powers it is entitled to use and to report back to the Environment and Climate Change Select Committee within one cycle as to when a pilot scheme will be started. Council believes that elected members should have a say as to where this pilot scheme takes place and therefore requests the Cabinet Member to invite submissions from District Committees as to the areas to be initially targeted.

The link for the whole agenda is this http://councillors.liverpool.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=305&MId=10724&Ver=4

Monday, 1 November 2010

Jack Allen update

There've been various comments in the press and elsewhere maintaining that the Jack Allen plans can be stopped by simply asking a Government Minister to intervene.

I've been pretty sure this isn't the case but didn't want to write it off completely without checking up on the law. Having fired off enquiries in several directions, I today got replies from a Lecturer in Planning law, the City Council's planning department and the City Council's legal department.

The bad news is that ministers don't have the power to intervene now on this one (ironically they could have done so before the Public Inquiry but before the public inquiry the scheme had been turned down!).

But that doesn't mean it's all over. We are still exploring whether or not High Court action is possible. And we are still pushing for the Council to identify alternative sites for Jack Allen (in fact my colleague Peter has a meeting about this later this week)

The Council has so far refused to fund legal action but we are looking at whether we can do this anyway (if there is a good point of law there)