Southport Lib Dems confused on police station issue

A Southport Lib Dem councillor has been accused of wasting Sefton Council’s time and money by submitting a petition on an issue over which the council have no control.

The decision by Cllr Tony Dawson to submit the 42 name petition to the cabinet meeting this Thursday, February 26th  was described as “bizarre” by Dukes ward Labour candidate Cath Cookson.

Cath remarked “I think councillor Dawson might have made a mistake. This petition, which must be one of the smallest ever submitted to the cabinet, calls for the council to take action on the reorganisation of police services in Southport. Surely he knows that this is beyond the remit of the council. I know that local Liberal Democrats are adept at blaming everything on Labour generally and the council in particular but this really takes the biscuit. His colleague and Southport’s MP John Pugh voted for police cuts and for the introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners so he’s clearly sent this petition to the wrong place.”

Labour’s parliamentary candidate Liz Savage said “Don’t the Lib Dems realise that actions like this simply cost the council money to administer and bog them down in dealing with the real issue which is dealing with the appalling cuts dealt out by their own government to local authorities?”

Macmillan Cancer Bus Comes to Southport

photo_2.JPGToday I met with Macmillan Cancer to discuss issues which they have been campaigning on in relation to cancer care.  Both Macmillan and I want to ensure that Cancer Care and treatment is high on the political agenda.

By 2020 almost 50% of people will receive a cancer diagnosis at some point in their lives.  The earlier cancer is found the better survival rates are and that’s why it’s important that politicians ensure that people are aware of the signs and symptoms of cancer and why standard diagnosis tests are important such as mammograms and cervical smears.  It’s crucial that people are diagnosed at the earliest opportunity and are able to access the best treatment that is right for them.  Once the all clear has been given it’s also vital that people are supported as the fear of cancer returning is high. In the UK 70% people who are diagnosed with lung cancer will die within the year whilst in Sweden this is only 56%.  In Southport alone, there are 4200 people living with cancer.

Labour have promised a new cancer care fund so that the 40,000 patients a year who are currently missing out on radiotherapy can access this vital treatment.  I personally know how important early diagnosis is.  My mum was routinely examined in 1999 and was found to have breast cancer.  With a combination of drugs and radiotherapy she is still alive today.  On the other hand, my father died of a brain tumour in 2010 following misdiagnosis.  I therefore feel strongly that cancer treatment, diagnosis and care have to be addressed as cancer is one of the most important issues facing our society at the present time.

It’s also important that people are given the dignity to die where they wish to.  Be this at home, a hospice or in residential care.  The vast majority of people wish to die at home and therefore it’s vital that adequate adult social services are provided.  Labour have already stated that they will bring adult social services under the NHS and will guarantee tests and results within one week for cancer patients.  We have also stated that within six months of becoming the government we will have a new cancer strategy.   

Brookdale Resource Centre set to be saved

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Southport Labour candidate Liz Savage expressed her delight at news that Ainsdale’s Brookdale Resource Centre is not earmarked for closure on recently published Sefton Council cabinet papers. The  specialist facility is the only one of its kind in the area, which caters for elderly people with dementia. “I recently visited the centre with Sefton Council’s cabinet member responsible for Older People and health Cllr Paul Cummins. We met and listened carefully to what the service users and staff were saying about the vital work the centre does in dementia care. Both Paul and I know from personal family experience how much day centres like this mean to dementia sufferers and their families and carers. The coalition government has massively cut the amount of money received by Sefton council so there is inevitably going to be cuts to some services which will lead to some job losses.  However, I’m certain that the council is doing the right thing by prioritising essential services such as the Brookdale Resource Centre and increasing and improving other daycare services.  The papers before the cabinet seek to increase places in Southport for day care provision from 495 to 600” 

 

Paul Cummins commented  “I want to ensure that despite the cuts that Southport’s MP voted for, elderly people in the town still have excellent daycare provision.  Sadly we have had to temporarily close one of our centres in Southport due to the poor standard of the building which has deteriorated over many years.  However, should we be unable to re-open this centre we will ensure that it is replaced with more places within better facilities.

Paul also remarked “This decision shows that even when budgets are tight, Labour councillors will always prioritise essential services like adult social care.”

Liz Savage looks to United Utilities CEO to help solve Southport’s damaging sewer collapses

IMG_0534smaller.jpgSouthport Labour parliamentary candidate Liz Savage has written to the Chief Executive of United Utilities, Steve Mogford, seeking assurances that the recent sewer collapse on Liverpool Road in Birkdale won’t be repeated elsewhere in the town with potentially devastating consequence for Southport’s economy.

“Because we have a combination of a high water table and sandy ground conditions our sewer system in Southport is vulnerable to the sort of collapses we’ve seen in Birkdale. Just a small fracture or joint failure can cause an inflow of wet sand into the sewer which over time causes  this type of failure. I want to know what UU are doing to detect places where this might happen again. There are already a number of roads where there’s been repeated subsidence of surface repair patches in the vicinity of sewers. I have written to UU’s chief executive to ask him if they will take a proactive approach and carry out an urgent CCTV survey of the sewers under all our principal roads. Survey teams to carry out this sort of work cost around £600-£700 per day and I would be surprised if it took more than a couple of months to survey all UU’s sewers under our main routes. For a company that made in excess of £600 million profit last year this should be achievable. This collapse is affecting the small businesses in Birkdale Village and I’m concerned that the next one could seriously harm our town centre economy, inconvenience thousands of residents and be a major public safety incident.”

Liz Savage announces pledge on fuel bill fairness

pay_meter.jpgTo coincide with Cold Homes Week, Southport Labour’s parliamentary candidate Liz Savage today sets out her second election campaign pledge.

Liz will promote changes to pre-pay meters and will commit herself to fairness on household fuel. Liz says “Members of Parliament have the opportunity to put forward changes to laws either as Early Day Motions or Private Members Bills.  I would take that opportunity to promote change to pre-pay meters for Gas and Electricity.  Many people who are on or below the poverty line are forced on to these more expensive meters and are forced to pay for the meters as well as being on some of the most expensive tariffs.  Currently 4.3million people are on Electricity pre pay meters and 3.2 million are on Gas pre-pay meters. This could mean that in Southport there are as many as 6,000 electricity and over 4,000 gas pre- payment meters. I would seek to make this fairer with energy companies having to apply to the regulator before enforcing a pre-pay meter.”

Liz continued “As your Labour MP you can be certain that I would vote for Labour’s cap on household energy bills and support fixing the broken energy market with a tough new regulator to curb rip-off bills.”

“I am also committed to Labour’s plans to end the scandal of cold homes and fuel poverty by upgrading the energy efficiency of at least five million homes over the next ten years, saving the average household £270 a year on their fuel bills.”

To find out more about Cold Homes Week and the Energy Bill Revolution visit:

http://www.energybillrevolution.org/