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Issue:- 19 May 2009 / 20 May 2009

Southport Lib Dems clash with UKIP

SOUTHPORT'S European election campaign has burst into life with Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies attacking the UK Independence Party for "betraying Britain's real interests."

Davies said he was fed up with UKIP candidates "pretending to be patriots." He accused the party of making up claims about the size of Britain's financial contribution to the EU budget, and said that it misled voters about its record in expenses transparency.

The MEP, currently travelling around the North West with a petition aimed at cleaning up MEPs expenses said:- "We don't know where UKIP's money goes to, and it is harder to find details of the expenses claimed by UKIP MEPs than about those of members of any other party.  Is it because there are things they want to hide? One quarter of the people they elected in 2004 are no longer with them.  Ashley Mote MEP served four months in prison for benefit fraud.  Tom Wise MEP is currently awaiting trial in connection with expenses misuse.  Robert Kilroy Silk has not made a speech in parliament since 2005."

Davies said that even more important was UKIP's approach to the future of Britain.  He claimed that the price for being able to stay in the EU's huge single market if UKIP had their way would be to accept that product standards would be dictated by others.

He said:- "Power and influence comes from being at the table where the decisions are made.  Withdrawal from the European Union would weaken Britain."

Davies claimed that UKIP was exaggerating the cost of Britain's EU membership by a factor of four.  "Our net contribution is £3.8 billion, which is half what British bankers have just claimed in bonuses in the middle of an economic recession.

It is a small fraction of the amount paid for defence just 20 years ago when many of our present EU partners were still controlled by communist dictatorships."

Both the Liberal Democrats and UKIP have seen their support rise in recent opinion polls at the expense of the major parties.

Davies described it as ironic that a vote for UKIP would support giving more power to the House of Commons at a time when Westminster politicians had never been held in lower esteem.

Merseyside Police Authority Open Meeting (Formby)

ON Monday, 18 May 2009 there was a meeting of the Merseyside Police Authority in Formby High School's Sixth Form Centre.  There were around 30 people present from the policing neighbourhoods of Formby, Ainsdale and Birkdale including a Formby Councillor.  We were told all about who and what the Police Authority was about and that it is an independent body consisting of 9 councillors, 3 magistrates, and 5 independent members of the Merseyside community.  Thus they can take an unbiased examination of the Merseyside Police Service in addition to performing a range of other tasks on behalf of the local communities.  In that way they are able to have the public at the very centre of everything that the authority does. 

Two senior Police Officers introduced themselves and started to listen to the comments of the people present.  Sadly, it was rather difficult to hear all that was being said, for the two officers and some members of the audience spoke quietly, against a background of noise from two drinks' machines. 

The problems discussed were various and calmly onDrugs:-

Some said that they took car numbers of cars from whom items were being bought from when they sped off.  The Police said that by doing that, it appeared to stop the trafficking in those roads.  The members present said that they were pleased with the action and responses of the police. 

Youth and other young people:- Various places were highlighted as being areas of problem from anti-social behaviour.  One elderly gentleman stated that it was a pity that the youths had nowhere where they could let off steam and do their thing; several other elderly persons agreed.  The Police said that more activities, like those playing football outside this building, would be a help. 

Night Club and fitness center - Shorrocks Hill Country Club Estate, FormbyFire-bombing and shooting:- This topic was very fully covered, after several members of the public present had raised the point that many people living by the Shorrocks Hill Country Club Estate, in Formby and others living in the vicinity of the club and the owners two homes were frightened.  The Police stated that they now had 24-hour coverage and patrols around those areas and that there was a team investigating the occurrences.  The meeting, which opened at 7.30pm, closed at 9pm.

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