Monday, September 20, 2010

The Cuts A Community Can't Take

Wayne relates a telling encounter with a Fib Dem delegate in his shop last Friday ( ).
The delegate, presumably steeled for any uncomfortable questions concerning his party, was both bullish & ignorant about the history of the Fib Dems in Liverpool, making the obvious barb about Hatton (yawn), yet offering no words of comfort for Warren "War Zones" Bradley --wonder if he's had a word on that hotline to Clegg, you know, the one he claimed to have last May when he claimed social justice would run through the ConDem government like a "golden vein" ( )-- but instead asked Wayne in all seriousness: "So was Trevor Jones Liverpool's T.Dan Smith?"
Those who remember the period may well maintain that comparisons between "Jones the Vote" & the 70s Newcastle Labour councillor could be made.
The Fib Dem conference at the Oldham Echo Arena (hope no one tries to take any pictures there) provided the backdrop for a piece by the BBC's Robert Peston last week as he looked at the city's economy, particularly in the city centre, in the context of the impending cuts ( ).
It was an informative package. However, had Peston ventured little more than a mile north of town, he would have arrived in Everton. That's what Paul Vallely did in a piece for today's Independent ( ).
Vallely, Liverpool-born & bred, visited the West Everton Community Centre ("The Wecc") & penned an eloquent dispatch from the frontline, quoting those whose plight is already dire. After the cuts have really taken effect it may well be terminal. He detailed with controlled anger the "reforms" that have already affected the local community:
"Already being axed are funds for a project to help unemployed people in the most deprived areas of the city set up their own businesses. A project to speed the rehousing of people made homeless by mortgage repossessions will go. Free sports and recreational facilities for young people have already gone. Free fruit and vegetables for primary school children have been reduced. A keep-fit programme to help the elderly stay active has been cut, which will almost certainly send some of them into residential care earlier than need be the case.
"Quit Smoking and Cut Down on Booze projects have been cut. So have handyman services available to help the old and frail cope. Grants available for families with children with Special Educational Needs have been cut. So has a scheme to provide free smoke alarms for the old and vulnerable."
You can imagine the short, damning & colourful verdict the people in Everton have for the Fib Dems, particularly the local ones, as they face a bleak future. Warren "War Zones" Bradley may have used that much vaunted hotline to Nick Clegg to get his partner off the hook over her Facebook "joke", but it's grotesquely apparent that it will be the only reason for its use by one of the heirs of "Liverpool's T.Dan Smith".


Liverpool Preservation Trust said...

While Lady Doreen was English Heritage Historic Environment Champion. Also she was Chair of the planning Committee...very convenient. Her English Heritage title was taken over by Bernadette Turner.

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