Labour - For The Many, Not The Few. Latest News...

liz_savage.jpgSouthport Labour has accepted a challenge issued by the local Liberal Democrat Party's new candidate to a debate in the town. 

The Lib-Dem's parliamentary candidate John Wright made an "Any time. Anywhere, On any issue" offer to Labour saying he has to "earn the right" to be the main challenger to the town's Conservative MP.    
His Labour opponents, however, highlighted that they have already earned that right through the ballot box after last year's general election result which saw the Lib-Dems pushed firmly into third place and as such any debate must also include the town's Tory MP who is their primary concern, not the Lib-Dems.  
Labour point out that John Wright has no known record of activity in Southport previously and so has much work to do before he can even be considered a challenger to themselves but welcomed the fact that the Lib-Dems have now appointed a candidate from outside the town, which after years of attacking Labour and the Tories for doing just that comes as an interesting about-face and change of approach, they say.  
Despite this, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Southport Liz Savage says she will happily meet the challenge but that a proviso must be met beforehand to ensure that respect is restored to local politics:    
" We believe strongly in a local healthy democracy so are happy to have an independently organised hustings style event across a range of topics with all of the major parties and their candidates. We want to bring respect back into local politics so a condition is that the current lowbrow tactics by the local Lib-Dems must stop.  
We realise that there can sometimes be a toing and froing of "X" is deluded with this policy or "Y" is foolish for this attitude during political exchanges but we feel the Lib-Dems have been sinking lower and lower for some time and in the last few weeks we have heard a series of increasingly reckless claims from them.  
lib_dems_in_bed.PNGTwo days ago they put out a bizarre and truly appalling allegation that Southport Labour were "in bed" with those who had committed a criminal act by hurling a rock through a car window in another part of the country in what they claim was a Brexit related incident, something that has absolutely no connection to us whatsoever except in the increasingly overheated imagination of the local Lib-Dem party.   
In the last days of the election they also claimed that instead of just being part of the normal democratic process, for us to have a candidate standing in Kew was part of a 'dirty tricks campaign to control Southport'. During that they described her as a "faceless" Corbyn candidate, despite the fact that Janis Blackburne is a respected local cub scouts leader and actually romped home with a 400 plus majority.  
fred_faceless_(3).jpgSimilar scare tactics were used in Norwood by the Lib-Dems, where we returned an even bigger majority of over 650. It doesn't appear to be doing them much good but we are concerned they will put residents off engagement with local politics through such behaviour.  
Both Cllrs Blackburne in Kew and Mhairi Doyle in Norwood are determined to represent their wards while respecting residents. We feel this has been sadly lacking for some time from the Lib-Dems.   
Much of the current animus from them locally stems from their electoral setbacks we think and also the reaction to their treatment of the Kew Park Campaigners. Instead of doing the decent thing and simply apologising for the attack they launched on the two young mums from the campaign at the Area Committee, the Lib-Dems dug themselves a deeper and deeper hole.  
They want to try to blame us and the campaigners for their own misfortune by wrongly claiming they have been smeared, rather than looking at their own actions which were the root cause of their problems.    
This week they complained that Labour were "opportunist" over the matter as if somehow we were supposed to simply stand back and let them get away with what we felt was a shocking display of contempt for local residents, as well as their subsequent shoddy treatment of the park campaign.    
The Lib-Dems might not like it but we won't stand idly by when we believe residents are being abused like that.  
Nor was it just ourselves at the time but also an independent, formerly Tory, councillor who felt standards had badly fallen at the Area Committee; even the official young observers took them to task at the next and final meeting for the behaviour and attitudes on display there.  
We have supported the park campaigners throughout and have long said we will help them if we can, so it would be remiss of us not to take this opportunity to call again for a full apology to finally be issued by the remaining Lib-Dem councillors to the campaigners for the treatment received at that Area Committee meeting and afterwards.    
If the Lib-Dems do that and agree to retract their recent wild claims against us, so restoring some much-needed civility back into local politics, then we will be more than happy to meet them and the local MP for this debate. Out of respect, UKIP and the Greens should be invited too."

Southport Labour Accept Lib-Dem Debate Challenge But Say It Must Mark New Era Of Respect In Local Politics

Southport Labour has accepted a challenge issued by the local Liberal Democrat Party's new candidate to a debate in the town.  The Lib-Dem's parliamentary candidate John Wright made an "Any...

local_elections.jpgNow that the boards have been taken down and those newly-elected councillors have begun to find out exactly what they've let themselves in for, it's a week after the local election results and time to take stock of what they mean on the broader political landscape in the town?

For Southport Labour, it was a truly historic campaign.  
For years Labour has had to endure local Liberal-Democrat taunts of "Labour can't win here". Local Lib-Dems would trot the slogan out in their leaflets, in press reports and anywhere they could think of. It was a glass wall that they built around Labour in Southport, desperate as they were to contain us.  
The reason was not just of opposition politically, it was one of their own political survival locally.  
The Lib-Dems know that they have always relied heavily on Labour votes in Southport. For decades the choice was presented simply and starkly as vote Lib-Dem or get Tory. So Labour supporters did just that. It was a sort of uneasy and unofficial local Lib-Lab pact with the Lib-Dems reaping the benefits of position and Labour voters feeling that at least they were keeping the Tories out.  
John Pugh was the last Lib-Dem MP to benefit from this and there was a clear reason why. The Lib-Dems broke that pact by going into Coalition with the Tories. Labour supporters had done their "duty", had voted Lib-Dem and still got Tory. The Lib-Dems then went on to collude in an austerity programme that saw havoc being wreaked on our services and our community.  
Labour supporters had had enough.  
Coupled with a very strong parliamentary candidate in Liz Savage and real endeavour from local party members, Labour has thrown the Lib-Dem 'ape' from its back. A near quadrupling of its vote since 2015 isn't just down to a "Corbyn effect" but as the beach rally last year in Southport showed, he has certainly been a big pull for many. As was the Labour manifesto, which offered a real chance of a fairer society. "For the many, not the few" is not just a Labour slogan. It is a credo. 
Even with the local Lib-Dems being pushed back into third place during last year's general election, Southport Lib-Dem councillors desperately clung to their favourite mantra like a comfort blanket. Now it has been snatched away. Labour can win here, it just did - twice in one night.  
With two resounding wins in both Kew and Norwood, Labour returned its first ever Sefton councillors (Cllr Janis Blackburne and Cllr Mhairi Doyle respectively) and has now built strong walls on to the very solid foundations laid over the last few years. The work isn't finished yet but it is looking like it could become a rather grand design at the next general election.    
The Tories no doubt will be pleased with their return on the night too but in terms of groundbreaking achievement, it lacked Labour's historic element. It was more of a lick of paint on the old semi-detached, or perhaps more accurately given their brutal austerity programme, the fully detached.  
In contrast, the Lib-Dems are looking ramshackle. They lost four seats in total, two to Labour (and nearly a third in Birkdale) and two to the Tories, in Cambridge and Ainsdale.  
That the roof is blowing off the local Lib-Dem house was also evident in how they lost another of their sitting councillors in Jo Barton.    
The one-time Meols councillor was pushed out into Dukes when Cllr Dan Lewis decided he suddenly had a hankering to be a Meols councillor himself, instead of carrying on in Norwood and facing the Labour challenge. A  desperate move for Dan that paid off but not so much for Jo, who lost, allowing the Tories their third win on the night.    
Despite the defeats and how the local electorate has repeatedly rejected the Lib-Dem's spin; such as the low brow campaigning they engaged in with leaflets such as this by their now ex-councillor Fred Weavers ( a tactic also employed in Norwood), the Lib-Dems still have not learnt.    
Now they are attempting to push the line that somehow they have jumped from third place to pole position in the constituency by counting the total number of votes across the town for all seven wards and blithely ignoring that this was not a general election vote but a local election. It is a rather different affair with lower turnouts and sometimes even different motivations for certain electors.  
It also used to be the Lib-Dem's stronghold in Southport... but no more, they have been seriously breached.  
So, in a bizarre response, they have tried to ramp up the very tactics that lost them their seats in the first place and feed local residents of this seaside town yet more political candy floss by claiming they are now in prime position to take back the constituency.    
It won't work. After being knocked into third place in GE2017 and now losing all those seats plus a sitting councillor, it is increasingly obvious that the only way to stop the Tories in Southport is to vote Labour. Labour offers a new direction and will fight to stop the cuts and return funding to our town and investment in our services and community. Our message is being heard. The glass wall is shattered.  
Local residents meanwhile are seeing through the Lib-Dems.    
Despite years of attacking Labour for having a parliamentary candidate who lives just a few miles over the constituency border in Tarleton, they have just selected their own - from even further afield. The Labour parliamentary candidate is now the most local of all three from the main parties and actually works in the town. So much for another much-loved local Lib-Dem slogan that "X lives here."    
Residents are also increasingly peering at the Lib-Dems and their lack of achievement over the last 20 years or so. Judging by the results, voters do not like what they see. They are now looking beyond the divisive tactics and through the Lib-Dem's constant misinformation.    
Perhaps then it is time for a new slogan? "Lib-Dems can't spin here" has a certain ring to it.  

A historic result for Labour - and time for a new local slogan

Now that the boards have been taken down and those newly-elected councillors have begun to find out exactly what they've let themselves in for, it's a week after the local election...

the_road_to_nowhere.jpgDirection is a funny old thing. Your perspective will determine what's left, what's right and also indeed, what's right and what's wrong. If your internal compass is off you can find yourselves in all sorts of trouble.

So what direction do you think Southport is heading in?

For 20 years or so it's been on a Lib-Dem path, it had all the councillors and the MP, even leadership of Sefton Council at the same time at a point. Where did that get us?

Look around you and you can see it wasn't very far. The story of their failure is writ large upon this town. 

Now, we still have mainly Lib-Dem councillors but with a Tory MP and yet we are treading the same old tired path, going round in circles.

There is nothing to split their parties locally, so there is no new direction.

Both prefer to ignore real concerns. Why for instance do they not address issues such as the record rate of foodbank use here? Weeks ago we revealed it had risen in Southport yet again and how with a month or so still to go it had already surpassed last year's amount.

Now, the final foodbank figures have been revealed... and it's even worse than we thought. Just under 60,000 meals have been given out to local families and single residents who are struggling - a record amount and up 13% from the previous year. It's an astonishing number from the biggest but not the only foodbank scheme in the area.

Sadly, most figures around foodbanks are astonishing these days thanks to austerity. rise_in_foodbanks.jpg

But it doesn't stop there.

Neither party supported Labour when we highlighted indicators that our local hospital was in real crisis; they prefer to gloss over crime being on the up in the region and, while quick to complain if local services are struggling, they rarely discuss why that's the case?

Why exactly do they want to constantly criticise the local authority instead of addressing these and other significant problems?

Quite simply, because they helped cause them. Local Lib-Dems and Tories want to try and point the finger anywhere but at themselves and it's clear to see why.

did_you_know_hard_hit.PNGBetween them, locally they will soon have cut nearly a quarter of a billion pounds from our local authority. It is another astonishing number.

Our borough will have lost 51% of its pre-cuts budget by 2020, money that could have seen greater investment in this town and its services. Instead, libraries have closed; children's services have to be re-organised; roads and amenities have suffered. Everything the council does for us has now become a real struggle as a result. Imagine the boost £233m could give to Southport and Sefton.

During their Coalition, the Lib-Dems and Tories also cut £2.3 billion from police funding and so we lost 21,000 police officers, more than that again in PCSOs and support staff. One in four Merseyside officers were lost. The Tories have cut hundreds of millions more money in real terms since.

Crime, which was falling, has now risen significantly in areas like gun and knife incidents. Vandalism and shoplifting go effectively ignored as the remaining officers are so overstretched. Early intervention work with youths on a crime pathway has all but halted.

Do you think Southport is a safer place for all those cuts? Our previous MP voted for them. Our current one just voted for more.

In a few weeks Southport is to feature in a Panorama about a crime blitz caused by police cuts. Southport, featuring in a Panorama on crime?! Who would even have dreamt such a thing before these brutal cuts?  did_you_know_detective.PNG

The police service is not the only one feeling the intense pressure brought about by the disastrous policies of the Lib-Dems and Tories. The 2012 Health and Social Care Act that both parties brought in has caused real problems for the NHS, as has the insufficient funding that's followed it.

When we recently raised concerns about the hospital, local Tory MP Damien Moore claimed all was well there and accused us of "scaremongering". How wrong and foolish he soon looked. The A&E 4hr Treatment Target figures released just days later showed how our hospital was a staggering 15% below the recommended safe level.

Sixty-eight A&E consultants, including one from our own hospital, then wrote to Theresa May to detail how "patients were dying in corridors" and systematic failure in the NHS. If you were one of the hundreds of local residents who were forced to wait, often for hours, in the back of an ambulance before being admitted to A&E recently, you will have seen it first hand.

The hospital has just had another disappointing report from the Care Quality Commission, there are major problems there caused by various factors but it basically now comes down to one thing - the Tories, who are underfunding and mishandling our NHS. The local MP though still blindly tramples on, unable or unwilling to see the damage being caused.

5_times_increase_in_zero_hours_contracts.PNGThe austerity measures that the Lib-Dems and Tories brought in have resulted in stagnant wages and local families being hit hard. Perhaps that's why Southport foodbank numbers are so disturbingly high?

Unemployment might be down but it is at the cost of a huge growth in zero-hours contract, low paid work. A five-fold increase since 2010. So, many working families still need benefits or have to turn to foodbanks. Sure, a few of those already comfortably off may be doing even better under this government, many more are not.

Average wages are lower in real terms than a decade ago - and even that figure is being massively skewed by the increasingly wealthy few. One in eight British workers are now classed as in poverty. Perhaps that's why nurses have to use foodbanks too? A wage increase that doesn't match inflation is still a wage cut in real terms. It's an appalling situation. One where many people are working harder than ever before for less and less reward, while a few see their wealth rocket. 1_in_8_British_workers_in_poverty.PNG

The town's former MP, John Pugh, voted for those austerity policies and its current MP, Damien Moore, supports them. Little wonder then that both loudly cry "Wolf!" and have named it 'Sefton'. Look over there, they cry, anywhere but at their voting records and policies. 

Since John Pugh returned to local politics as a councillor, the pair and their parties now form something of a double-act on the matter. Let's call them, the "Fellow Travellers".

Little encumbered by having to put their political differences aside, they prefer instead to attack the local council at every opportunity. It is now a clear and well-trodden path among local Tory and Lib-Dems parties. They devastate Sefton's funding and then try to round on it as it does its best to continue moving forward.

These fellow travellers offer little vision for Southport, only division for Southport.

So instead of trying to utilise the local authority and the Liverpool City Region as the engine to get Southport moving again, all they want to do is burn bridges, not build them.

So they point at the Strand purchase and demand to know why the money was spent there not in Southport, as though Bootle does not have its own problems that need solving and as if Southport gets nothing. In this dark fantasy world of "them" and "us" where Sefton constantly deprives Southport; no light can be found.

So they have to pull a blind over the £21m spent on the Atkinson; the £25m on the Floral Hall redevelopment; the £8.5m on Splashworld; the £7m on Southport Business Park; the same again on Marine Way Bridge; the £5.6m on King Gardens and the various other capital investments that altogether come to just under £94m invested in Southport.

Not a mention of the millions Labour has put into the town since it took control of the council in 2012, all the while battling the cuts the "Fellow Travellers" inflicted. No, instead, just their incessant cry "Wolf! Wolf! Wolf!!"

Even now when its budget is down to the marrow, the council still pumps money into the town, constantly looking for ways to boost business and tourism. Money like the huge sums to the convention centre, the Atkinson, last year's Open golf, etc. etc. Instead of a wolf, "Sefton" is more like some poor faithful hound being constantly maltreated and kicked by those it is duty-bound to serve. It could do more, if it had more.

Then there are the bogus claims that Southport has lost "its voice" due to the Area Committee being superseded by a new Southport constituency forum.

The very idea of this change is actually to give residents themselves a greater voice! To make it easier and less intimidating for them to interact with the council and their representatives.

It's to hear the voice of the people and not the hectoring, berating and braying bawling of a number of local councillors who have forgotten that they are there to listen to and work for their residents. It is not to leave them feeling "bullied, humiliated and intimidated" as occurred to two young mums at the penultimate Area Committee meeting - a sorry incident that resulted in changes to the Sefton's Code of Conduct for members and mandatory retraining for all councillors. 

The Area Committee was not "Southport's voice", it had become a toy megaphone for a number of councillors who had forgotten they are the representatives of local residents, not their masters. What resulted was harsh, discordant and rarely intelligible.

When even the Area Committee's official young observers take them to task for belittling residents, as happened at the final meeting, things needed to change. Local Lib-Dems protest but care little for true local democracy, they simply want their toy back. 

Lib-Dem___Tory_cuts_.jpgThe time has come to stop their viciousness and their vacuousness. To ask the Lib-Dems and Tories some basic questions:

*Let's ask them why foodbank usage is now at a record amount in the town and do they think their austerity policies have contributed to it?

*Let's ask why they like to claim they care about crime but then voted to cut all those police officers and staff? Why our town feels far less safe for many?

*Why they have ensured that Southport isn't getting the funding it could have had? Why they constantly cry "wolf" but are the ones who have torn the financial flesh from our town and borough's bones?

*Why they try to blame "Sefton Labour" for every Southport ill under the sun when Labour has only had control of Sefton since 2012 and has had to struggle under the burden of their cuts from day 1? 

Let's ask them to stop running Southport and Sefton down and instead look at ways of building it up. To stop trying to falsely pin the blame for Lord Street's empty shops on a council that does not set business rates, does not set the rents and does not control the global trend to online shopping... and instead help look for solutions to boost the local economy.

Real solutions, not yet more unreal spin.

So they can stop empty talk of projects like tidal lagoons in Southport, which they know would require funding in the billions when, due to the cuts they've made, we struggle to raise capital in the millions. Nevermind that other sites are far more practical for it. Labour supports tidal lagoons, we do not support castles in the sky.

Let's have real change, not yet more phoney "friendship".

tory_cuts_graphic_LI.jpgLet's ask them why they want to follow the same old circular path? The road to nowhere.

If you want Southport to find that new direction, come with us.

We'll show you a way out by investing in our town and borough, investing in our services, investing in our residents. There is no bigger issue that faces Southport. Virtually everything else flows from it.

It will revive our community and help boost our tourism and economy.

We also want councillors in Southport who will treat residents with respect and work for them, not achieve little but their own tenure.

Councillors who will strive to protect what we have and push for better. Not sit back while their party destroys our services and amenities and then try to blame others. Who will work cooperatively with colleagues elsewhere to get the best for our town.

Despite having only two local councillors who recently crossed over from the Lib-Dems tired of their active opposition to progress, we've already had notable successes.

After strong representations from ourselves and Southport BID, Sefton Council listened and we achieved the return of the 30-minute parking charge. The other parties simply attacked, we persuaded.  

We also managed to secure £30,000 from Sefton to help the Kew Park Campaigners save their playground, despite the hostility of local Lib-Dems. We are already getting deals done for the good of our town and we are already talking to local businesses about how we can best help to move us forward.

Labour is now a real presence in Southport and is doing much good. We've thrown ourselves into a variety of community action projects from hiring skips to help residents clear, to cleaning beaches and also planting 500 young trees. Our councillors work hard on local issues for residents. We can do more if elected and we will do more if elected.

We also want residents to have the opportunity to contribute in an economy based on solid jobs with decent salaries. Have decent housing and a town we can feel safe in. Instead of giving huge tax breaks to those already wealthy and corporations, we believe in wealth creation for all, not just a few. 

We should all be able to enjoy a great NHS and social care system; to watch our kids get a good education.

Make no mistake though, the cuts have to stop and the investment has to start or Southport will continue to suffer. 

You can help us achieve that. Let's send a message that enough is enough.

Vote Labour on May 3rd in the local elections and take Southport forward. 


The same old tired path for Southport, or a new direction?

Direction is a funny old thing. Your perspective will determine what's left, what's right and also indeed, what's right and what's wrong. If your internal compass is off you can...

group_candidates.jpgLabour has confirmed its candidate team in Southport for the local elections on May 3rd. The deadline for nominations passed yesterday afternoon and Labour will contest each of the seats up for election in the town's seven wards. 

The party has had a resurgence of support in Southport in recent years, nearly quadrupling its vote in general elections since 2015.   
Last year it displaced the Liberal Democrats as the main opposition to the Conservatives in the town, coming second for the first time since 1966 and with it's best ever vote here.     
(From left, Labour's ward candidates are: 
Janet Harrison -Meols. Sahar Dehghani-Berenji - Dukes. Janis Blackburne - Kew. Danny Burns -Birkdale. Mhairi Doyle MBE - Norwood. Frank Hanley - Ainsdale. Steve Jowett -Cambridge.)
The local elections on May 3rd are its first big test since and Labour hopes to make local political history again by gaining its first elected Sefton councillors in the town.
Liz Savage, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Southport, welcomed the news saying that the candidates are committed to the local community and to fighting for funding for Southport and the local authority:
"Local services have been severely affected by the brutal cuts brought in by the Liberal Democrats and Tories. The libraries closed, the children’s services being reorganised, the local amenities that have suffered; potholed roads, all that and more is all down to those cuts."   
"Then there's the problems at our hospital and the huge losses in police officers, PCSO's and support staff and the rise in crime in the region too. Ask yourself a simple question, does Southport feel a better or safer town in the last eight years as a result of all those cuts?"   
"The Lib-Dems and Tories try and blame Sefton for Southport's problems but it's misdirection and little more than a back-alley scam. Sefton did not make those cuts, it just suffers under the burden of them." 
"To add insult to injury, the bill for those drastically reduced services and police is increasingly being pushed to you, the council tax payer, as central government offloads its responsibilities. So you are paying more for far less."   

"It's a bigger and more unfair picture than even that though as there have been tax breaks for the wealthy while those austerity cuts have occurred and while local families struggle in increasing numbers. So the rest of us pay more for less as the rich and corporations pay less though having more. Does that seem fair?" 
liz_savage.jpgLabour claims that their opponents, despite making the cuts, are also the first to complain about the consequences of them in an attempt to make political capital. Liz Savage explains:   
"Crime; anti-social behaviour; tough decisions over services; decline; they like to make noises about such problems but stay resolutely silent about their role in them. Locally they also prefer to constantly squabble with Sefton instead of working with it for the good of our town. They offer no vision for Southport, only division for Southport."   
"We want to see councillors who want to build bridges with our neighbours, not burn them and who know that we have to work with Sefton and the Liverpool City Region as the engine to get Southport moving again, not stall it with constant pointless bickering about problems that they themselves have caused."   
 "They hope that by creating a "them and us" attitude locally that people will fall for their tricks and fail to see who has really blighted our town."  
The Labour politician also pointed to a string of recent successes, which she says proves Labour can get things done locally that the other parties with their less constructive approach simply cannot:   
"Our recent assistance to the Kew Park campaigners helped secure a £30,000 guarantee from Sefton Council to save the park, despite bitter opposition by the local Liberal-Democrats. We've also helped manage to ensure the return of 30-minute parking to help local businesses along with Southport BID, something the other parties were simply unable to achieve."    
"Our candidates and members have been busy with community action projects such as cleaning beaches, weeds from thoroughfares and helping residents clear their clutter in Norwood. We can do more and will do more if we get councillors elected."   
"Our two current councillors actually crossed over from the Liberal Democrats in large part because they were so tired of the negativity and lack of a constructive approach that the Lib-Dems increasingly displayed." 
"Our candidates will fight for their community and for more funding for our town and local authority."

Labour to Contest all Southport Wards in Local Elections

Labour has confirmed its candidate team in Southport for the local elections on May 3rd. The deadline for nominations passed yesterday afternoon and Labour will contest each of the seats up...

hunt_tory_cuts_hurt_(1).jpgCalls have been made by Labour's Liz Savage for Southport Hospital to receive greater levels of support and funding after the latest Care Quality Commission report about standards there. 

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals found several areas of concern across Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust and rated services unchanged at Requires Improvement overall. 

The Trust was rated "Requires Improvement" for being safe, effective and responsive. It was also rated "Inadequate" for being well-led and "Good for Caring". 

At Southport Hospital the ratings for services stayed the same - "Requires Improvement". A number of problems were identified from not securing patients' notes securely to their risk assessments not being completed consistently.

It found that while mandatory training levels had improved, records for surgery showed that not all theatre recovery staff had completed immediate or advanced life support training. Across the hospital staff did not follow the trust’s infection control policy in relation to nursing patients with communicable diseases.

At the time of the inspection areas within the hospital were also not visibly clean. This included areas within spinal injuries, urgent and emergency care, surgery and medical wards.

The rating for the North West Regional Spinal Injuries Centre which is located the hospital, actually went down to "Requires Improvement" from it's previous "Good" standard.

Ellen Armistead, Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals, North, said:

"While we saw some improvements they were limited. At the 2016 inspection we raised concerns regarding patients’ privacy and dignity... Unfortunately, at this inspection we observed patients were being cared for on the corridor in various states of condition and undress.

“The North West Regional Spinal Injuries Centre is based at this trust and it’s very disappointing to report that the rating for this service has fallen to Requires Improvement. 

“The pace of change needs to be addressed and the trust remains Requires Improvement overall.”

Ormskirk Hospital was also found to "Require Improvement" but the children's emergency department service was rated "Good". 

liz_savage.jpgLabour's Parliamentary Candidate for Southport, Liz Savage, says:

"The trust has been going through a tough time over the last couple of years, staff are under huge pressures due to the Conservatives handling of the NHS and it has also had local management issues. It needs greater funding and more support to help ease it through this difficult period. 

Damien Moore recently accused us of 'scaremongering' when we raised concerns about what was happening at Southport Hospital, claiming all was well there. Will he now accuse the CQC of the same?

When will the town's MP stop his charade and realise that there are serious issues that need to be addressed here? Our hospital and trust needs strong support and funding, not his weak platitudes."  


Latest standards report for local NHS Trust means MP must stop the "charade"

Calls have been made by Labour's Liz Savage for Southport Hospital to receive greater levels of support and funding after the latest Care Quality Commission report about standards there.  England’s...

Free_School_meals_spec.pngSouthport’s MP has been urged to reject Government plans to leave thousands of the poorest children in the town and across Sefton without a free school meal.

Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Southport, Liz Savage, has written to Tory MP Damien Moore urging him to put the children before party loyalty next week and oppose a plan the Government had tried to sneak through without a vote.

The policy could mean over 5,000 children across Sefton, many growing up in poverty, will not be able to access a free school meal, say the Children’s Society. 

The charity estimates it could affect over a million children across the country and may be the difference between them eating a hot meal that day and going hungry.damien_moore_pic.jpg

The plan will see an income threshold imposed on families receiving universal credit and the government is also planning to remove free childcare from those earning above the threshold.

For local families affected, the income threshold will create a cliff-edge, meaning some parents could be better off either reducing their hours, or not taking additional hours or pay rises. That’s because moving just above the income threshold would leave them worse off, which directly undermines the Government’s stated aim of Universal Credit - to make work pay.

The Government scheme to restrict free school meals and free childcare will be brought to the Commons next week, following an intervention from Labour to bring what it calls “these heartless and short sighted plans” to a binding vote.

liz_savage.jpgSpeaking about the scheme, Liz Savage said:

“The Tories are trying to dish up a particularly unpalatable plan to remove free school meals from up to 5,400 children in our area alone. 

It seems milk snatching wasn’t enough, they now want to remove the whole plate. 

“If Damien Moore wants to literally take hot dinners away from the children of his constituents, then frankly I’m not sure how much lower he can stoop.”

“The vote on Tuesday gives him an opportunity to show just whose side he is on; the poorest kids in his constituency, or this Tory government imposing heartless cuts on low income families. 

He needs to consider his priorities on Tuesday and I’ve written to him asking that they are the children rather than career ambition.” 

Southport MP urged to put local children first and keep their free school meals

Southport’s MP has been urged to reject Government plans to leave thousands of the poorest children in the town and across Sefton without a free school meal.Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for...

seftonj_parking_3_(2).jpgSefton Council has brought back cheaper 30-minute parking after strong representations from Southport Labour and also Southport BID.  
Parking meters will now accept a reduced fee of 80p after both groups pushed for the return of the half-hour charge which was scrapped two years ago. The one-hour parking charge will remain at £1.50.  
During his budget speech Sefton Council Leader, Ian Maher, revealed how recent strong local representations from Southport Labour's Mhairi Doyle and Janis Blackburne had helped convince him of the need to look again at the parking charge issue.  
Speaking afterwards, Councillor Maher explained:    
"I was delighted to be able to confirm that the 30-minute parking charge will return to Southport. We had very productive discussions with Mhairi and Janis from Southport Labour and Liz Savage on this matter and they all made a strong case that it was something we really needed to revisit. We hope this shows that we really want to work together with those who want a genuine spirit of cooperation. Constant confrontation from some quarters gets us nowhere and holds back progress on issues in the town."  
Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council's Cabinet Member for Regulation and Compliance, whose brief parking charges are, also gave credit to BID saying:  
"We meet regularly with the Southport BID and discuss many aspects that could benefit the busy town centre. After being approached by the BID to reintroduce the 30 minutes of parking, following further discussions we are happy to assist in making this happen through the difficult budget setting process. As a Council, we will always listen and hope this is well received in the town."  
mhairi_liz_and_janis.jpgSouthport Labour Chair, Mhairi Doyle MBE, said she was pleased that the representations had been well received:  
"Janis and I believe strongly in us all working together to get the best for Southport. It's been a very constructive approach all round and Sefton deserves much credit for that too."   
Liz Savage, Labour's Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Southport, said the reduction would help those looking to "pop-in" to town:  
"I'm thrilled that Sefton has listened to our case and that of BID and has agreed to reduce the charge period. It shows they do listen and do really care about local concerns. The half-hour charge is great for those who just want to pop-in to town and let's not forget if you want longer then there are other options."  
"Sefton provides a fantastic park and ride scheme in Southport for instance that costs just £2 for a full day of parking at the Esplanade. It's something critics completely and conveniently like to ignore."

Southport Labour praised for parking charge success

Sefton Council has brought back cheaper 30-minute parking after strong representations from Southport Labour and also Southport BID.     Parking meters will now accept a reduced fee of 80p after...

action_day_steve1.jpgJust over 200 Labour campaigners gathered in High Park today to protest against the "scandalous and dangerous" problems at Southport Hospital and the current crisis in the NHS. 


The activists were addressed by Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram, as well as Sefton MP and Shadow Minister for Small Business, Bill Esterston, and local Parliamentary Candidate, Liz Savage, before setting out to brave the rain to leaflet and canvass in Norwood and Kew wards and set up a street stall in the town centre. 


The campaigners were told how eight years of underfunding under the Conservatives has resulted in the worst winter crisis on record with over 1 in 8 patients across NHS England having to wait in ambulances for treatment for over half an hour, 25,000 of them for over an hour; while average bed occupancy hit 93.9%, substantially above the recommended safe rate of 85%. 


Labour's Southport Parliamentary Candidate, Liz Savage, also described the local situation:


"Just a fortnight ago we raised concerns about what was happening at Southport Hospital and its A&E and were falsely accused of "scaremongering" by the local Tory MP, who claimed all was well at the hospital." action_day_liz_.jpg 


"Since then we've discovered that it is very nearly 15% below the four-hour treatment target and one of its A&E consultants felt compelled along with 67 others from across NHS England to write to Theresa May warning of chronic underfunding, systematic failure and patients dying in corridors. " 


"Only yesterday the local trust had to put out an urgent appeal for nurses over Twitter due to the pressure it was under. It's a scandalous and dangerous situation but Southport's MP and his party colleagues are dangerously complacent about it. We will not be. "   


Other MP's from the region also turned out with Bootle's Peter Dowd, Walton's Dan Carden and Wirral West's Margaret Greenwood joining local campaigners and activists from across Merseyside and Lancashire.action_day_dan___margaret.jpg


The event was one of two in the North West organised as part of a nationwide "Action Day" highlighting the difficulties the NHS is facing. Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary, said:


 “Action Saturday is an opportunity for our passionate network of activists and supporters to mobilise in defence of our NHS. This unprecedented winter crisis has united our Labour movement around the shared goal of fighting together to safeguard the future of our NHS .


“Under the Tories, our NHS has been left underfunded, understaffed and overstretched. Despite the heroic efforts of our NHS staff, thousands of vulnerable patients have been left languishing on trolleys, stuck in the backs of ambulances and unable to receive the social care packages they urgently need.


“Labour founded the NHS, our proudest achievement, and on the year of its 70th anniversary we will fight to save the NHS from Tory underfunding, cuts and privatisation.”  



Hundreds of Labour supporters protest in Southport against Tories' "scandalous and dangerous" NHS Winter Crisis

Just over 200 Labour campaigners gathered in High Park today to protest against the "scandalous and dangerous" problems at Southport Hospital and the current crisis in the NHS.    The activists...


Liz Savage, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Southport, explains why she believes local MP Damien Moore has revealed a staggering lack of understanding about one of the biggest issues in his constituency and a dangerous level of complacency... 

Southport Hospital is struggling to cope and the NHS is creaking at the seams. Across England, staff are being pushed to the very brink, while patients are being "managed in corridors, some dying".
Make no mistake, for all the denials by some, our NHS is in crisis. It's a crisis of complacency, one that could threaten its very existence.  liz_profile_pic.jpg
When Southport Hospital's figures for Christmas Week were released at the start of the month, we raised concerns that 133 patients had to wait for between 30-60 minutes in the back of an ambulance, 60 of them for over an hour. We also expressed concern over the 100% bed occupancy rates that were revealed.
Our local Conservative MP, Damien Moore, then took it upon himself to attack us for speaking out. He falsely claimed we were trying to undermine the hospital; he talked of patients being seen to efficiently; he proclaimed his confidence and he boasted how "Southport hospital and the wider health system has prepared earlier and more extensively than ever before for Winter this year". He then accused us of "scaremongering".  
Just days later the truth of the matter became abundantly clear. 
Sadly, our fears were fully justified. The situation in our hospital and across the NHS is shocking and perhaps even worse than we thought.  
Further data released within days of Damien Moore's boasts revealed that across NHS England the A&E figures for the "Four Hour Treatment Rate" across December were the worst ever since records began, missing the 95% target by a fraction under 10%. Last year was also "the first time ever" in NHS history that all of its key targets for A&E, cancer and planned operations across the UK had been missed. Not exactly something worth crowing about.
Here in Southport it was painfully obvious that it wasn't just a one day blip that our hospital was enduring, as Damien Moore had claimed. Instead, the figures showed that for the whole of December the "4Hr Rate" was even worse, running at fractionally over 80% - very nearly 15% below target. That is truly troubling. It is patients suffering; local residents, suffering; your community, suffering.
photo_2.JPGStaff suffer too. From the strain of watching their patients' struggle, the frustration of not being to help in the way they want and from sheer overwork. Local paramedics have revealed how they spent 9 hours of a 12-hour shift simply waiting with patients waiting to be admitted. They got their first break 11 and a half hours into their shift. We have been told how nurses are having to be shipped in from Liverpool to help Southport Hospital cope.
The signs and stories were there, that's why we spoke out. Our local MP it seems either turned a deaf ear, preferring to parrot out the party line, or, has simply revealed a staggering lack of understanding of what is really going on in the hospital and his constituency.
Things are so bad that a few days ago one of the hospital's A&E Consultants, Dave Snow, felt compelled (along with 67 other Emergency Medicine Consultants from across NHS England) to write to the Prime Minister Theresa May and warn her of the dangers.  
The picture they paint of the situation is truly disturbing. Systematic failure; severe and chronic underfunding; staff in despair and patients dying in corridors.
Perhaps Damien Moore believes they are all "scaremongering" too?
As well as detailing the thousands of patients being kept waiting for treatment in ambulances ( just as we highlighted locally) and staff shortages, the consultants also gave a snapshot of what they have to deal with:

"Some of our own personal experiences range from

        Over 120 patients a day managed in corridors, some dying prematurely

        An average of 10-12 hours from decision to admit a patient until they are transferred to      a bed

        Over 50 patients at a time waiting (for) beds in the Emergency Department

        Patients sleeping in clinics as makeshift wards" 

Whatever our local MP believes, or wants you to believe, it's clear that what's actually happening in the NHS actually is scary.  
Instead of falsely shouting "scaremongering", Damien Moore and his colleagues need to recognise this crisis and the dangers it presents. They also need to halt their planned multi-billion pound STP cuts to health services and dismiss the proposal to downgrade our hospital's A&E service and reduce its hours.
This crisis is not the fault of the hospital staff, although it may be causing a "crisis of faith" amongst some of them. Who could blame them if so? They face all this and yet have had their pay cut drastically in real terms too by the Conservatives, aided by the Liberal Democrats.
The Conservatives continued insistence on the pay cap is some thank you.
Facing a nursing shortage, the Tories decided to cut the bursary for nursing training and have overseen a 96% drop in EU nurses coming here, that's some solution.
This crisis is part of a wider malaise coming from the top. It is a crisis of funding. It is a crisis of recruitment. It is a crisis in caring for the NHS and staff. It's a crisis in caring for its patients. A crisis of once creeping now sweeping privatisation. It is a Conservative crisis in its making, backed by the Lib-Dems in their coalition but one that we are now all suffering.
It is now a crisis of dangerous complacency towards our hospital and the NHS by our Tory MP and his party colleagues... and we should all be fighting against it.
We can never be complacent when it comes to the NHS.

Local MP reveals "dangerous complacency" over Southport Hospital and the NHS says Liz Savage

Liz Savage, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Southport, explains why she believes local MP Damien Moore has revealed a staggering lack of understanding about one of the biggest issues in his...

police_back_(2).jpgThe Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside says she takes residents’ fears over crime in Southport “very seriously” after a meeting with local Labour representatives.

Councillor Emily Spurrell visited the town after a request to discuss recent events, such as the shooting on Eastbank Street, several acts of vandalism and a spate of shoplifting in the area.

Talking to Liz Savage, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Southport with Norwood Councillor’s Bill and Marianne Welsh and local election candidates Mhairi Doyle (Norwood) and Janis Blackburne (Kew), Cllr Spurrell gave an overview of the current situation in the town and the wider problems facing Merseyside Police.

The Deputy Police Commissioner highlighted that Merseyside Police has been forced to make savings of more than £103m since 2010, with the loss of over 1,500 police officers and staff. This has forced the Commissioner and Chief Constable to review every area of business and has led to Merseyside Police undergoing a major restructure which moves away from a local command unit approach. 

Cllr Spurrell said: “Sadly, we are now seeing the results of years of cutbacks to the police budget. Our police service is under significant strain. Merseyside Police has lost more than 1,000 police officers in the last seven years, with further cuts a possibility, yet calls for help continue to increase and the crimes our teams face are increasingly complex.

“I know the Commissioner and the Chief Constable are still absolutely committed to community policing and our local policing teams are responsible for maintaining that local touch. High profile incidents, such as the recent shooting on Eastbank St. are thankfully still incredibly rare in Southport and when crimes like this do occur I know everything possible is done by the police to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Liz___Emily_Spurrell.jpgConcerns from residents that there also appears to be a wave of lower-level crimes and anti-social behaviour sweeping the town recently were also raised by the Labour group.

Liz Savage explained:

“Residents are worried by recent events and want reassurance. Merseyside Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office are in an unenviable position given the scale of the cuts forced on policing by both the Lib-Dems and Conservatives while in government. We’ve lost 20,000 officers nationally and sadly it seems we are reaping the rewards of it now.”

{Photo- Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Cllr Emily Spurrell (2nd from right) with Cllr Liz Savage (centre front) Cllrs Bill and Marianne Welsh (centre rear and 1st left) and Labour's Norwood candidate, Mhairi Doyle (last on right) and Kew candidate Janis Blackburne(3rd from left) with local supermarket staff.}        

The Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office is aware of the issue, said Cllr Spurrell:

“We understand that there are local concerns and it’s something we take very seriously. There’s a lot of good work going on, such as the recent guns and knives amnesty. Locally, officers are trying to target anti-social behaviour such as the rise in scrambler bikes on the beaches and the recent ‘community concern’ survey by Merseyside Police shows how the force is listening to the concerns of residents and acting on them. ”

The group also took Cllr Spurrell to a local supermarket on Bispham Rd which has been
forced to employ a security guard after losing around £500 a week through shoplifting, an amount described as “significant to a small store” by staff. Shoplifting has become a major problem for many retail outlets across the country and last month there was outrage as some police forces admitted they did not have the resources to pursue lower-level crimes.

Merseyside Police Federation chairman, Peter Singleton, who was also contacted by Southport Labour, explained that:

“We can still concentrate resources on incidents such as the recent shooting in the town but across the force area, the difficulty now lies with not having the resources to properly deal with the lower level incidents. By not addressing those minor incidents, we are missing the opportunity of intervening at an early stage of potential criminality, as it’s these relatively low level anti-social behaviours and minor crimes that are the avenue that can take some youths into more serious criminal behaviour. We were getting very good at stopping that flow of criminality and that type of policing pays for itself tenfold. Sadly, we are not even seeing the full effects of the cuts yet.”

For Liz Savage it’s time more resources were put back into local policing:

“Those who voted for these cuts or support them such as Southport’s previous MP, John Pugh, and his successor Damien Moore, have put a tremendous strain on our police force and its officers and it is starting to show. We need to back our police officers and emergency services, not cut them or keep their pay capped. We also need the 10,000 extra officers that Labour has promised in its manifesto back on our streets, that would be a great start.”

eastbank_st.jpg                                               Image - Colin Lane/Visiter

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner acknowledges concerns during meeting with Southport Labour

The Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside says she takes residents’ fears over crime in Southport “very seriously” after a meeting with local Labour representatives. Councillor Emily Spurrell visited...

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