A damning report on council pay, the Town Hall Rich list 2017, has singled out Liverpool City Council following the £461,823 remuneration package of David McElhinney, former Chief Executive of Liverpool Direct.
I, for one am not the least bit surprised. Once again we have another example of a Labour dominated council compensating its top earners to the extent that it could have paid the Prime Minister’s salary three times over. It’s ridiculous. Continue reading Town Hall Fat Cats
I was shocked to hear last week that 56-year-old Obidzans Bobonazarovs of Crewe escaped jail despite pleading guilty to a raft of sexual offences involving as many as 13 children, some aged as young as nine years old.
Suspended sentencing may work for first time, non-violent offenders who pose no risk to public safety, however Bobonazarov’s crimes were of a very serious nature that should result in immediate custodial sentencing. Sadly, he was let off with a slap on the wrist. Continue reading Victims of crime let down
It was both depressing and alarming to read that assaults on community nurses and mental health workers in Cumbria have shot up.
We all know that regrettably attacks on our NHS staff take place far too often. Violence, both physical and verbal, on health workers, also including paramedics and doctors, should never ever occur.
Understandably patients and their relatives are often in a tense state when needing medical care, both in a community and hospital setting, but they should not vent aggression on anyone, let alone those trying to help.
Mental health problems in society are on the rise, through a combination of factors, and staff are specially trained to help them, ideally without being assaulted. Sadly some of those with serious mental health issues are always going to be a potential risk and drink and drug abuse exacerbates this.
A total of 17% of staff within Cumbria Partnership NHS Trust reported suffering physical violence while working last year.I sincerely hope that the next set of figures does not show a further rise. Our selfless health workers, both in the community and in hospital settings, should be able to carry out their duties free from fear.
Louise Bours, MEP
With an agreed £1.9 billion sale of General Motors-owned Vauxhall/Opel to the Peugeot Citreon group, understandably the focus has now moved on to the fate of the Astra plant in Ellesmere Port.
However, we should be reassured that the UK car industry is not the same today as it was in the 80s and 90s. Gone are the days of British car manufacturing being nothing more than a ‘sick man of Europe’. In 2012, the plant in Ellesmere Port was under threat of closure. However, it was soon revealed that the Cheshire plant was producing 47 cars per hour compared to only 30 at its sister plant in Bochum, Germany.
It may be true that it is logistically easier to close a factory in the UK compared to France or Germany, but economic arguments don’t lie. Cheaper business tax rates, more flexible workforces and greater political stability has already secured the investment of VW-owned Bentley in Crewe, Indian-owned Jaguar Land Rover in Merseyside, and Nissan in the north east.
Vauxhall’s new owners will soon see that the smart money is on keeping their plants in the UK open for business for the long term.
Louise Bours MEP
No one likes to have a pleasant walk on the beach spoilt by dog poo, particularly if you have children with you.
It is obviously the fault of irresponsible dog owners but I fear that Sefton Council’s plans for dog-free zones on beaches in their borough is using a hammer to crack a nut. Continue reading Dog free zones?
Oh no, I can only buy three Iceberg lettuces at a time! How ever will I cope?
And broccoli rationed too, also thanks to bad weather in Southern Europe. I’m sure there are children all over the country in floods of tears at the veggie news.
What occurs to me, as it often does, is that we should go back to eating food in season. How I remember looking forward to June and the first English strawberries and later on lovely sweet home grown tomatoes. Continue reading Salad crisis?
The police come in for a lot of criticism these days and sometimes it may be justified.
But little gestures like the officers who came to the aid of the stranded newlyweds in Burnley helps restore faith in our police force.
For those who missed the story, the bridal car taking Emma and Georgia Garnett to their wedding reception was involved in a crash, and the police called to the scene volunteered to take them.
All our emergency services personnel are over-stretched and under-funded and it is increasingly difficult for them to meet the demands made of them. But thoughtful and kind gestures remind us that they are all human and doing their best and we should not forget that.
Louise Bours MEP
Letter to Oldham Chronicle
Marzia Babakarkhail, the former Judge who escaped Afghanistan after the Taliban tried to kill her makes a very compelling case for allowing asylum seekers the right to work, however I do not believe it would work in practice.
In her own individual circumstances, there was a clear and present threat to her life and therefore I have no reason whatsoever to doubt the authenticity of her asylum claim.
Sadly, as the ongoing crisis in Syria has showed us, the very question of who is a genuine asylum seeker is very much open for debate. Thousands of mostly young men have travelled across the length of continental Europe under the guise of seeking asylum from war torn Syria when many in fact have come from Africa and other parts of Asia in order to permanently migrate and seek a more comfortable life.
If we were to allow all asylum seekers to work in the UK, it would just encourage non-genuine ‘refugees’ to become more determined to come here as economic migrants. As a result, genuine refugees would find that it would take longer for their case to be heard.
Louise Bours MEP
To Wigan Post
Our NHS is in the grips of its worst crisis in years with patients being urged to stay away from A&E, yet disgraced heart specialist Doctor Gohar Rahman is still on the payroll despite serving a 12 month ban for assaulting his teenage daughter.
Whilst his generous salary is still being paid in full, the trust will no doubt be struggling to fund a replacement, meaning our hospital will be under even more pressure and patient care will consequently suffer as a result.
Doctors such as Gohar Rahman, who are unfit to practice and essentially struck off should have their pay suspended until they are cleared and ready to return to work so replacement staff can be hired to take their place.
Louise Bours, MEP
I am glad that rural projects in the county have benefited from receiving over £270,000 through the Cheshire LEADER programme, creating dozens of jobs in the process.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves and start patting the EU on the back for this success. Between 2007 and 2013, Cheshire received in the region of £150 million through EU structural and development funding. However in that same period, Cheshire had paid in £535 million, meaning that we were paying a whopping £3.58 for every pound we received. Continue reading EU funding is misleading