Wirral's 'LINO' Council: Labour In Name Only

Thanks to all those Globe readers who contacted me following my first article, on the Council’s generous use of consultants.

Sadly, the Leader of the Council wasn’t one of those to respond but my offer still stands: he’ll have the support of Wirral’s 21 Conservative Councillors when, or if, he realises the error of his ways and reduces the amount of our Council Tax spent on special advisers, management consultants and their meaningless, jargon-filled reports.

Among those who did respond to the article, was a Labour Party member from Birkenhead. I’ll spare her blushes by not naming her but will repeat her point that today’s Labour Party, both locally and nationally, would be unrecognisable to the likes of Clem Attlee, Harold Wilson and John Smith.

I think she’s right. Locally, we hear plenty of noise from the Labour Administration but, when it comes to action, the decisions that are being implemented are anything but ‘Labour’.

In recent years, we’ve seen ‘Labour’ close Eastham’s much-loved Lyndale School for our most vulnerable children and close Saughall Massie’s Girtrell Court for vulnerable adults. The views of thousands of residents were sacrificed so that the ‘Labour’ Council could ‘extend choice’, whatever that means.

Let’s have a look at three, more recent, examples:

  1. At the last Council meeting, the trade unions put their case to the Council for pay rises for the lowest paid staff. The Conservative Councillors voted in favour, by the way. Meanwhile, the ‘Labour’ Council has increased the pay of the senior directors, so that those at the top now cost Wirral’s tax payers £1 million a year.
  1. At the same meeting, the Leader of the Council submitted a very glossy report with the sexed-up title of ‘Strategic Growth Framework’. Whether this is aimed at Chinese investors again is anyone’s guess, but it basically said how great everything is and how keen Wirral’s ‘Labour’ Council is to get into bed with property speculators, international banks and hedge funds. Wirral’s Conservative Councillors voted against, by the way.
  1. Last, but by no means least, is the ‘Wirral Growth Company’. After seven years of complaining, whinging and whining about ‘cuts’ and ‘austerity’, the best that our ‘Labour’ Council can come up with is this. Transferring millions of pounds of Council assets to a ‘joint venture company’ and hoping it brings in some money. When asked if I had any ‘concerns’, I replied yes, the whole thing!

In the post last week, I received a letter on behalf of a Momentum-backed campaign. Savvy Globe readers will know Momentum is the organisation that’s been set up to propel Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street and is in the process of taking over big chunks of the local Labour Party.

It comes to something when someone, who is just about as far removed from my politics as that, writes to ask for my support to challenge Wirral’s not-so ‘Labour’ Council.

In fact, this isn’t a Labour Council anymore. It’s ‘LINO’ – Labour In Name Only – and Wirral’s politics, Council and taxpayers are poorer for it.

What do you think? Email me - ianlewis@wirral.gov.uk.   If you'd like to help Wirral's Conservatives, tell us how...

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