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Sunday, 12 January 2014

Laurel and Hardy Politics?

Ainsdale’s ‘Laurel and Hardy’ politics:  residents deserve better!


Asking for basic assistance used to be quite a straightforward matter for Ainsdale’s trusting voters when they required help from their political representatives. Up until recently this help was very positive and there at hand when required, just as it should be.

However, like the weather, things can change and sadly they have!

I have been busy in the past by way of recording what I have discovered about the filthy nature of our Southport political situation. 

Some of this data found its way into one of my previous books, Dirty Politics. 

 Dirty Politics

Many of the more credulous types of observers had erroneously thought that my desire was ‘only’ to expose the fun and games within the Liberal Democratic Party, under Dr John Pugh's regime. This however is not so!

My aspiration has always been to access the ‘truth’ and that includes exposing the gutter politics that reside within all political parties. At times the local media have also caught onto this lead, yet it times they have not! The old maxim about being able to take a horse to water but not being able to force it to drink rings quite true herein! 

My view is that news is news and 'must' be brought to public attention, whether it is positive or negative in nature! 

Councillors 'against' a community volunteer group?

My disappointment in the ‘current’ duo of Conservative councillors is every bit as ghastly as that which I wrote about in Dirty Politics. But why is this so you may rightly ask?

I must initially therefore refer readers to what has occurred within a local community venture, the Woodvale Woodland Project (WWP).

I have been a principal member of the Project since last March, when work actually commenced. This scheme was directed by ex-policeman, Tory Cllr Ted Hartill, a man who lives in another Southport ward. However, as he was frequently away on holiday, work continued along without him. 

Cllr Hartill is also the Chair of the Woodvale and Ainsdale Community Association (WACA) and the WWP group fell within the remit of WACA.

No Confidence in Councillor! 

In a nutshell, WWP members have ‘refused’ to work alongside Conservative Cllr Ted Hartill. We believe that his direction within our Project has been lackadaisical, unprofessional and primarily dangerous. 

We have furthermore presented the Council with much evidence to substantiate such a claim. 

Prior attempts by WWP members to convince Cllr Hartill's political superior, Cllr Terry (Group leader) Jones, to mediate with his Tory colleague failed. We reasonably asked Cllr Jones if he could meet us to discuss the growing problems between the WWP group and Cllr Hartill.

Cllr Jones however failed to meet with WWP members (yet liaised with Cllr hartill in private) and the situation unfortunately escalated. Again, Cllr Jones was asked to help sort out his colleague's conduct but again 'no' help was given! In fact he simply ‘ignored’ the last request!

Cllr Jones had previously indicated that he ‘may’ intervene but in effect he did not! He actually stated that he would welcome” the result of us taking the matter further to allow him to “take necessary actions if warranted.” 

Concerned WWP workers  in fact raised many serious concerns about ring-fenced WWP funding being misused by Cllr Hartill and the Woodvale and Ainsdale Community Association (WACA); plus matters of serious disregard for ongoing insurance requirements (relating to unauthorised use of power tools and fire-starting) etc. Some of this was later ‘verified ‘by One Vision Housing and the Council.

For the full story regarding ‘why’ the original WWP team will not work with Cllr Hartill please check this link. 

WWP members are currently awaiting to hear from the Council who are allegedly arranging a meeting between our group and WACA representatives. 

Does political 'togetherness' overrule basic consideration for hard-working community members? 

So, one may ask, has Cllr Jones simply ‘dismissed’ all factual evidence as inconsequential and instead backed his Tory comrade Cllr Hartill ‘against’ the local community volunteers and if so why exactly?

Is this how these current Tory politicians in Ainsdale work 'beneficially' within the local community? Is this how they 'repay' honest volunteers who have worked so hard for many months? This is a totally unacceptable disgrace and it stinks! WWP invites any 'caring' members of the press to examine the facts, which are fully documented! 


WWP members, including young people who have received prestigious eco-awards for their long-standing voluntary efforts, are totally disgusted by these odious politically-based actions; actions that seem to be orientated more towards 'political allegiance' than any genuine concern for good residents of the area!

Deep Concerns over councillors' actions! 

Nevertheless, other politicians from different parties have articulated critical anxiety for the way in with the original WWP team has been treated within this atrocious fiasco by the Tory Twosome in question. Will this honest exposure affect the future political map of Southport? Time will tell!

Of course ‘some’ politicians like to blow their own trumpets and sound off on social internet networks etc about their allegedly splendid attempts to help us trusting residents, yet the truth herein frequently resides in the reverse. The facts remain well-documented and they speak loud and clear. We are NOT impressed by such ‘Laurel and Hardy’ politics in our Ainsdale area! 

I for one am disgusted at this type of pathetic political intransigence mixed with egotism and as always will do what I can to highlight the truth.

Libdems - missing the boat - but it's their own fault

I must add here that I do ‘not’, like some multi-party local politicians, troll out streams of bizarre mind-screw under various unidentified AKAs on chat-room hate sites but write under my ‘own’ name with accurate data, rather than party political propaganda!  

I will not labour the pathetic Tonio/Cherie brandie/Victory V issue here, but we all know what (WHO) lies 'behind' much of the Southport chat-room abuse. The local Liberal Democrats have my deepest sympathy having to put up with such nonsense from one of their 'own' minions. Foolishly, this party is still 'tolerating' this little clown and this is in fact their Achilles Heal. Even some chat sites have called him a "liability"

Furthermore, even some Libdems have confided in me that he is a "waste of space" and "just as bad" as Tories who habitually berate him. How encouraging it therefore is to learn that one or two Libdems are finally seeing the light! Yet, if they sensibly jettisoned this irate flea they would soon discover that the whole 'new' world of possibilities was there for the taking... but alas due to their (or their MP's) apathy over this childish buffoon, I fear they will remain wedged in the past! Tonio has of course been featured in the local press many times over the very same mind-screw conduct that threatens to destroy his party. One can only warn! 

Some of us work for the local community and  not for what we can 'bleed' out of it because was basically ‘care’ about it! We try and infuse this holistic community ethos into our children too and at times it really does work! 

Local people must know the facts instead of unhelpful rumours put about by those persons with ‘vested’ interests related to keeping us all in the dark!

I must also say that recent flippant Tory attitudes to Woodvale’s black-spot have been most uninspiring? I highlighted all this in the Southport Visiter.

It's worth reiterating that within the Visiter article the Liberal Democratic councillor for Ainsdale, Haydn Preece, 'agreed' that extra investment should be pumped into the black-spot area of Woodvale. Alternatively, Cllr Ted Hartill bizarrely 'rerouted' the debate about the dismal situation faced by local Woodvale pensioners into what seemed more like a back-handed 'advertisement' for his WACA facility, wherein he remains chairman. 

Waving an imperial-type wrist at serious social matters may seem acceptable to some, but others are not impressed. 

The point is that ALL areas and problems of Ainsdale's residents 'should' be addressed by our paid councillors and not just selected parts that hold a personal, ‘hobby-orientated’, recreational fixation for a tiny minority of the population.

Above: rotting fences on Sandbrook Way

Fly Tipping - Sandbrook Way 

To add insult to injury, residents on Sandbrook Way also have to put up with additional fly tipping.

This rotting rubbish has been in evidence for weeks on Sandbrook Way with no attempts to collect it. 

Graffiti on Sandbrook Way is also problematic at times. This above scrawl has been like this for many months. 

Woovale of course has some lovely areas, yet the parts in question are 'still' more like a bombed - out Beirut and have been for a long time. Moreover, highlighting these serious issues may be seen by overtly sensitive councillors as someone 'having a go' at them. Yet the truth is that if we leave them to their own lethargic devices previous experience shows that NOTHING will get done!

How fast are our councillors today... ?

Another fine mess... 

Subsequent to all my previous efforts to highlight Sandbrook Way's decline on my websites and in the press,  I noted that Cllr Jones had stated the following (10/1/14) on his latest Facebook page.

"Cllr Ted Hartill and myself met with the relevant officials nearly two months ago to discuss our concerns on the Brook and shops area. Due to legal issues it's being delayed but we were promised it would be made safe,,,it hasn't so a stronger request has now being sent."

So why exactly have these two politicians waited "two months" before going back on this one complaint? Leaving it so long has proven to be dangerous with large pieces, as we have seen, flying off the building! This decay has been apparent for ages so ...? 

Cherry picking time? 

Cllr Jones cannot  be accused of 'rushing' about in anyway when we examine the following quote, which he also left on his Facebook page on the same day as the latter one.

"Cllr Ted Hartill and myself by listening to and working with residents, managed to stop OVH building on Cherry park. We are now meeting with OVH to discuss how it can be cleaned and improved for all ages to enjoy."

The Cherry Road/OVH  issue is also a long - standing one and my daughter Jasmine actually did more than any councillor to highlight this issue publicly. She actually raised a petition and also had the following article printed last year in the Southport Visiter.

Crime Concerns 

Crime figures of course fluctuate due to various conditions, yet parts of Woodvale have to do better. These are figures accessed off the Police website concerning  just one Woodvale area that previously featured as a Crime Hotspot. We can see that antisocial behaviour tops the list of reported crimes. 

Crime on or near The Brookdale 

2 crimes were reported here in November 2013.
Anti-social behaviour 1
Public order 1

1 crime was reported here in October 2013.
Anti-social behaviour 1

2 crimes were reported here in September 2013.
Anti-social behaviour 2

4 crimes were reported here in August 2013.
Anti-social behaviour 2
Drugs 1
Violence and sexual offences 1

6 crimes were reported here in July 2013.
Anti-social behaviour 4
Burglary 1
Violence and sexual offences 1

3 crimes were reported here in June 2013.
Anti-social behaviour 3

The Southport Visiter also covered the Brookdale crime issue last year.

by Joe Thomas, Southport Visiter - 24 Jan. 2013. 

Hot spot shock due to anti-social activity 

ONE of the surprise entrants to the top 10 of Southport’s crime hot spots this year is The Brookdale.   A small cul-de-sac off Sandbrook Road in Ainsdale, it is one of the few areas outside the town centre to feature in the top 10.   On closer analysis of the figures the reason behind The Brookdale’s prominence is anti-social behaviour – with the small street hosting crimes reported in the surrounding area, including nearby playing fields.   Anti-social behaviour appears to be the biggest threat to the security of homeowners in Southport, with reports – though down on previous years – still accounting for the majority of crimes.   Author and environmental campaigner Pat Regan, who lives near to The Brookdale, explained the issues the area faces.   He said: “The Sandbrook Road/Way area, which is opposite the Brookdale spot, does still attract quite a flurry of anti-social activity at times.    “This creates a lot of concern for the elderly residents who live in the flats on the Sandbrook Way etc.   “Much of this anti-social conduct is clearly the result of weak parenting and neglect. Gangs do hang about the shops in Sandbrook Road and around the church on the Sandbrook Way precinct and this again worries senior citizens, many who live alone, in the area.    “Sadly, the eyesore of a building on the corner of Sandbrook Road and Way has never been properly addressed, regardless of promises by politicians, and this further exacerbates the feeling of dilapidation in the area.   “Some youths have little respect for property and run amok into private gardens around The Brookdale. But again a lot of this I personally blame on poor parents who have no concern about what their children get up to.    “Drinking and drugs are also problems that the politicians and police must address. I have not seen a police officer in the area for ages in fact.  The area is basically a good one but the anti-social issue is serious and must be addressed.”   Another of the surprise hot spot entries this year is the area around Ainsdale beach.    With 63 crimes reported on or near the beach it makes 10th place in the list, just one place and one crime below The Brookdale.   The figures for the beach are far harder to explain, with crimes there including violent crime and criminal damage, as well as anti-social behaviour.    Official  sources believe  the beach’s prominence in the statistics are partly down to greater efforts to police it in the summer, with Operation Beachsafe, which ran from March to September. cracking down on criminal activity.

How the figures are recorded 

THE street-by-street guide to Southport’s crime hot spots is based on figures provided by the Home Office, released on its website.   The site records criminal activity within certain areas, attributing crimes to a specific location.   

NB. Not all crime is reported however (I know this from speaking with local people) and many incidents are naturally omitted from the official statistics. Elderly people living alone in particular may be too afraid to report antisocial conduct for fear of reprisals.  Moreover, it's always the question of a small antisocial minority spoiling it for the rest. 

"Councillor who?"

Many good people who live in the areas mentioned deserve better official representation and we must bear this in mind. Many used to know who their local Ainsdale councillor was, yet today I get a blank expression when I inadvertently mention the current politicians in office with a, "never heard of him" response!

An illuminating matter? 

Leaning on a political lamp post...? 

The latest 'bone' that local Ainsdale councillors seem to be tugging at is the heritage lamp post issue. 

Cllr Preece is apparently, and perhaps understandably, irate due to being 'ignored' over this matter. Cllr Jones has several lamp post photos (some of which are the same photo duplicated) currently on his new Facebook political  'lamp post' page... 

What will the 'Thrilling' conclusion be over this political tug of war? 

Damage limitation!

In view of the above, one could be forgiven for thinking that the very recent Tory attempts to highlight issues that 'should' have been dealt with ages ago are nothing but a classical damage limitation exercise to impress the more 'gullible' members of the community. 

I, like many others, am consequently not too sure what some local councillors 'today' actually get paid for, but in view of the above issues, helping residents PROPERLY now seems to be a very low item on their limited agenda.

Jump on lads..... Of course there are always available bandwagons to be jumped upon. And there are always issues (some in fact that are very worthy) started by 'others at an earlier date' that may be suitably utilised for self-promotion, and yes damage limitation, by ultra-shrewd politicians today.

The transparent old ruse of starting off a seemingly 'new' political crusade to deflect unwanted public attention away from other matters (that are 'unpopular' or embarrassing) is a crafty tried and tested political strategy of course that never fails to save the day for the more many desperate politicians in our midst!

Nevertheless, some of us feel there's more to life, the community and real politics than this...

One clumsy fiasco after another - Laurel and Hardy couldn't have done it better!

One could almost be forgiven for thinking that 'elections' are not that far away!

Poor old Southport - what a great shame!


Politicians involved along with equivalent spineless internet trolls with hidden political agendas who hide behind many pseudonyms, may of course seek to discredit the above data. Nevertheless, I put my money where my mouth is and state facts not spin! My 'agenda' is to freely expose what needs to be exposed and I do it because someone must to keep the good residents of this town up to speed with events. Please keep this in mind the next time you  hear negative  'rumours' that they may spread from their ivory towers (or damp bedsits)!

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