Sunday, December 9, 2018

The road to Chester is a long one.....but mind the potholes on your way

Delamere Street

Chester Road

Just two streets, you might know them...they might even be streets where you live.

The ones I am talking about are in Winsford. One starts at the Over roundabout, the other is the A54 but we pick it up as you enter Winsford (heading to the residential area). However, both meet "in the middle" so to speak.

So, they are connected, they are interdependent and they suffer the same fate as many of our roads......POTHOLES.

"Oh NO" I hear you scream. Perhaps you dare to believe that under CWaC labour there couldn't be any potholes, anywhere. After all, there were record complaints last year and they all got fixed right? I mean, they must have been....Government has just given then 3.5 Million on top of the many other times they have given CWaC money to fix the roads (potholes).

Now, I know some of you read my blog and think, "Come on you go again, giving those poor Labour lot a hard time, like the times you said they don't listen and that they don't know what they are doing - they must be hard pressed to leave a couple of potholes on Delamere street"

Well, I'm a reasonable bloke - maybe one or two potholes, yes. Maybe Labour have other things to do like writing Notices of Motion in Council which result in strongly worded letters to Government Ministers or hiring another couple of consultants to tell us what we already know, yes, maybe.

That wouldn't explain the lunar landscape that is Delamere street or Chester Road though, would it? You know, the bits in between the traffic "Cushions" that has been filled more times than a taxis fuel tank? Or the road markings which you can barely make out the word "School" or the row of holes before one of the raised areas which make Beechers Brook at Aintree look like a puddle?

I'm even thinking of sending them a picture of a Zebra so that they can understand what colours the stripes on the crossings should be (in case you don't know - it's black and white).

The fact is, this road is a MESS. It needs an overhaul, it is gone past it sell by date and half-hearted attempts to fix it only make it worse.

I have of course taken this up with the fellas at the local highways department (and here I will commend them for all the help they have given me over the years - a very dedicated team which I enjoy working with) to ask them when it will be done or to find out even if it is on the priority list.

It turns out there is a new system and now everything that was kept local has moved over to the bods in Chester. "Good luck in finding out about it, Cllr Baynham" was my own internal reply when I heard that great news.

I will keep campaigning, Labour will keep dodging. This will be the dance until perhaps nearer the election some "magical" amount of money will be found to fix Delamere Street and Chester Road. I'll leave it to the reader to make any decisions then about why it took so long.

They have the money, I would like them to spend it but perhaps, just perhaps, awarding one of their own an extra few thousand to chair a committee is money better spent.

Until then, safe driving but mind the potholes.......

Monday, September 3, 2018

Q. When does 800,000 go into 20? A. When Labour propose some new signs

The nice man from the post office recently dropped a letter through the door which stated that CWaC are proposing more 20mph zones for Winsford. This sparked my attention because the highlighted streets included the one I live on and others within the Glebe Green area of Swanlow Ward and one road in the Over and Verdin Ward. At the bottom of the blog you'll find the relevant map.  

The data collected by CWaC to support this proposal shows that most of us don't travel at more than 20mph on most of these roads - so changing the speed limit merely reflects what most of us are already doing in any event. 

Most of what is proposed in the scheme is uncontroversial - given that only one of the roads (The Loont) is a through road, all the others being cul-de-sacs. I don't have any evidence of drag racing on Over Hall Drive for example that makes me think that we are in desperate need a new sign for that road.

However there are aspects that we all need to think about the whole scheme across Winsford and its effect on certain areas. 

How do we feel about the short lengths of road - such Delamere Street/Chester Road , which rapidly change from 20mph to 30 mph to 40 mph within a matter of yards (or metres for the modern folk)?  Sure, I am 100% in agreement with the 20 mph in front of Over St Johns school and any other school in the whole town and borough (although interestingly enough, Whitegate Primary School "does not meet the requirements" apparently) but what does it mean for the rest of the road and users along it when clearly limits are not enforced?

I don't have the exact figures for how much these schemes will cost but the letter I received said anywhere from £1,000 to £6,000 for this relatively small patch. Winsford itself would therefore be far in excess of that - perhaps even above £60,000 given the total budget the Labour have set aside for the scheme is a staggering £800,000  

So if you had say £60,000 to spend on road safety schemes in Winsford - would you choose putting your money into 20 mph signs on roads where those speeds are not exceeded or something else?  I know many people want to see a pelican crossing on Delamere by Littler Lane - that would cost a little more than £25,000.  What about sorting out the junction on Grange Lane and the High Street once and for all? Or the installation of a speed camera along Swanlow Lane to catch a few speeders? Or a flashing speed sign on Cinder Hill in Whitegate? Those are just a few projects around Winsford that could be done with that sort of money.

Would you put the £60,000 to bringing a quality CCTV system to Town Park?

Lots to think about .....but by the time Labour work it out, the money would have long been spent.

Monday, July 9, 2018

From a community an asset to the community. Labour can't quite join the dots.

When I retire (in a long while I hope), I will need something to keep me busy (apart from my "list" of things the good Mrs B has in store for me) to take place of the long days in the office followed by the Council meetings. I have a long list of books I would like to read - although A Journey by Blair, T is most definitely NOT one of them.

So, with this in mind...along with stories of isolation and loneliness that can come after retirement or loss, I have been working with a very well known organisation to bring a sanctuary in a shed for some men (and women) to Winsford. I purposefully am not mentioning the organisations name as I am trying NOT to to politicise their great work (unlike Labour and the NHS) but use them as an example of what could be done better with an idea, an asset and an "can do" attitude.

The task set out should be a relatively easy one...find a building in Winsford which is currently empty, fit for purpose, big enough and possibly owned by the Council. "There must be many" I hear you cry with memories of the Drill Hall, The Brunner Guildhall, The Edge, The Marina building etc. etc. fresh on your mind.

Well, unfortunately not as the case may be. The Marina building was transferred to the Town Council, who if I may be so bold about it - were as imaginative as the Town Council always are i.e not very and didn't exploit its location to set up a cafe (perhaps even with toilets for those of you with a twitch over the comments made about Town Park) or a hub. The Drill Hall has long gone after a stint as a botanical pharmacy "ahem"....and The Guildhall, albeit owned by the Town Council (see above) is unfortunately not well set out internally for a shed based organisation.

There are other buildings dotted around Winsford and hopefully we shall hear some excellent news very soon but that leaves us for the moment with The Edge as the initial prime location for any organisation to use as a hub. For those who don't know, The Edge is a building off Cheviot Square and was formerly a community building until its closure due to financial irregularity in 2013. It's loss has been keenly felt by local residents who have lost a great addition to their community.

The Edge has been a topic of much debate as it is a Council owned building, and some locals and locally based groups have asked why it cant be used. All good questions, especially as we have the model of "Community asset transfer" whereby Council has powers to transfer an asset via tenancy at will or the more legal Community asset transfer. A wonderful example of this is the Whitegate Station Community Cafe - a place I wholeheartedly support and would ask the reader to go along to enjoy a refreshment or two.

All making sense so far? We have an empty building, which can be used by a community group to support the local community. Great. Well, Errr....not quite.It appears there are a few small matters that need to be addressed before anyone can "get the keys" so to speak.

The first is that any community must have a business plan. Fairly obvious but of course having an idea in the community, often not backed with any capital and without too much business acumen means that people are put off quite quickly. The officers do a sterling job of helping but a clearer message of "we will help you" should come from the Council.

Second, The Edge needs some fairly major repairs before it is fit for purpose. Initially, it was good to note that a smattering of arsonists had not made too much of a negative impact on the building but it was discovered the "the roof" needed some work - and the following numbers started to be discussed 50K then 130K with a final bid of 195,000 pounds....from the guy in the yellow jacket at the back.

That is then, the end of that - a building which would be great in the community, for the community which now requires so much money spending on it that no one wants to ask if we can have it. A building left in such a state that those wonderful sheds and the men and women who would be in them cannot use. A building that had community out reach potential for health, advice, children's groups, inter-generational training (young people learning skills, older generations learning a bit more about smart phones for example) now not being used.

So, I'm calling on CWaC Labour to tell me their plan for The Edge - perhaps they have one neatly stored away for publication (most likely before the election next year), perhaps they could spend some of their stash of unallocated reserve (£6 Million) on this and no doubt other community asset buildings before the building goes the way of Winsfords much publicised derelict Liquid Lounge building (that maybe another blog someday).

In the meantime, I wish those shed men and women the very best and will continue to support them in their search for a location in Winsford. It's a shame it cant be The Edge and I will be asking about the Labour plan at council. That is of course, if Labour actually answer any questions........I live in hope....

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Winsford Town Centre regeneration - the Tories of Winsford show their support

Today, the Council (Cheshire West and Chester) announced that the they have acquired Winsford Cross Shopping Centre

Here is the Speech I asked Cllr Houlbrook to read out on my behalf at the Special Council meeting of January 23rd

Dear Members,

I can only apologise for not attending this important meeting tonight – unfortunately the unexpected, while in this case most welcome, clashes with a long-standing work appointment but my heart is with you all tonight. However, thanks to Cllr Houlbrook, my words on this subject can be heard as a matter of record.
As the only Tory in Town, I am a passionate champion for this great town in which you all sit tonight. I and many others care deeply about its future and am determined that Winsford will take its rightful place as one of the most vibrant Gateway towns in Cheshire. Its residents have long been awaiting a regeneration, even a rejuvenation of the town centre and have been patient in this ask as both sides of the political divide have united in trying to unlock the impasse between owner and the council. So many times to the brink, so many times stepping back.
What is clear with the proposal now in front of us is that we have an opportunity, an opportunity to move this town to the next stage of its future. A future where the art of the possible is discussed, not the mistakes of the past, where the towns current and new residents can be proud of and can call their town, the town for their future generations.
Such opportunities are long awaited, indeed it has taken this administration since late 2015 to take this first step. Perhaps that was a little underestimation of the task ahead but more probably to do with the complexity of the situation and the sheer number of avenues that needed to be explored.
Whatever the reason, you have seen that rather than take a partisan view, the two political parties representing CWaC in Winsford have both worked hard to the common goal and that is to make things better for our residents and to ensure Winsford can thrive today and prosper tomorrow.
So we must not allow anything to divert us from taking this opportunity with both hands, not taking the eye off the ball as appears to have happened in Northwich and elsewhere and to drive the detail forward into delivery. Where we work together to deliver what the town wants for itself – not imposing a plan where consultation by a handful of residents holds sway over the silent majority, Where we listen to all parties and deliver what we need for our future, for our children’s future.
We can start by following the lead of the local MP who is ahead of us in this conversation. Key to the success of this long term plan is to involve our communities, the social media forums, some as large as 4000+ members, we need to actively engage our MP – who has key data through her recent survey on what Winsford residents are looking for and expect from a forward thinking Cheshire West and Chester Council.
Looking in more detail at the plan in front of us and to adapt a phrase from one of our counties greatest leaders, we can see that this is not the regeneration, this is not even the plan for the regeneration but this is the beginning of the plan for regeneration. That plan can be delivered by being bold, by being innovative and by being there for our residents and for those businesses who believe in Winsford. 

I urge all members to support this plan if I could, I would vote with a “for”.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Those pesky CWaC Tory straws

Bet you're thinking "why has Winsfords only elected Tory (at the moment) written that headline"? Fair point, I could have written "Labour really don't like letting us speak" or "the Labour Chairman runs the council like a feifdom" but you've possibly heard all of that in my previous blogs.

The real reason for writing that headline will become all to apparent as you read - providing you feel inclined to do so given the obvious lack of respect I will give any reader of this blog (that one only applies to self indignant socialists mostly).

Lets start then, I'm sitting here enjoying a beverage not held in a plastic container and certainly not being drunk through a plastic straw as in the last Council meeting of 2017 it was my pleasure to second a motion for the Council to encourage business and in the borough to stop using plastic drinking straws. Admittedly, this stemmed from a petition in Chester supported by Chester Conservatives but it was a motion without political motivation, designed to highlight a growing and massive problem that has a global reach and will affect our future generations in unimaginable ways.

So, the motion was raised after the founder of the petition (Dr Christian Dunn) had spoken earlier in the public speaker part of the agenda (and he didn't even get interrupted by the Chairman!!) and had indicated that any political party could support this or other campaigns along this theme (by the way he spoke really well).

And then it came - the politically motivated, designed to make a grandstand against the government, lets stop the CWaC Tories getting any airtime and wholly unnecessary amendment by CWaC Labour. Brought forward by our very own "frackers charter author" Cllr Matt Bryan. You know the one....often in the Chester papers about a year or two back.....

However, anyone is allowed to make an amendment, except this one was really only brought to give Cllr Bryan and no doubt his political masters a platform to drone on about issues which has literally nothing to do with straws or plastic or recycling. In fact, after a challenge (as the "fair and respectful" Chairman was clearly enjoying his performance) by Cllr Anderson via a point of order the Cllr for Fracking (sorry, Upton - where he is considerably outperformed by the Tory Cllr Houlbrook) continued his tirade of unrelated topics. The Chairman steps in again, this time on his own rare  initiative and finally switches the Corbyn stuck record to the "off" position.

So no politically motivated and disrespectful treatment by CWaC Labour there then eh?  Amendment won, Tories lose but at least we have the straws issue firmly in the picture and hopefully the Labour Council will actually do something other than draft "another" strongly worded letter to the Government (it feels like half our Council Tax increase last year was so the CWaC Labour could afford more stationary to send a lot of those letters......).

Well from there it could only get more entertaining couldn't it? After Cllr Anderson raised another point of order - asking the monitoring to offer advice to Cllrs over bringing motions to Council which would be beneficial to Unions and therefore beneficial to Cllrs who received support off Unions - the totally respectful and overly fair and completely apolitical Chairman (who coincidentally states "I intend to vote" and then votes for every Labour item) actually said "...stick to your day job" to Cllr Anderson.

And later came my own Notice of Motion - not surprisingly described as "horrible" by Cllrs Shouty & Co. from the red side of the chamber but hey, I'm not gonna lose any hair over that any day soon - which highlighted the lack of accountability of the Council, its Leader and its meetings.

I must admit, I was a little surprised when the reds agreed to debate it, no doubt in indignation that anyone could or indeed would question or oppose all the brilliant things they have done (ahem!) such as removing free after three in Chester, introducing car parking charges elsewhere, their success in Barons Quay in Northwich, the G+T fiasco, their action on Winnington Bridge, the Ampitheatre in Chester and their supreme desire to answer all the questions and supplemental questions asked of them at Council etc. etc.

I started by saying that I thought it odd that during the last few Council meetings a lowly Ward member (me) had spoken more times than the Leader of the Council, that the Leader actually spoke a lot in Cabinet meetings but usually to introduce other speakers and that there were on-line "debates" where the Cabinet members out numbered the audience.

An offer to withdraw the motion was made if the Leader would action some items, such as the set-up and offer dates meetings off cross-party working groups and to get a report back from the group working on the Council Agenda protocol by the end of January. No such agreement came and the motion was seconded.

The brunt of the argument from Cllrs Shouty & Co. was that:-
during the previous administration the constitution was set up in the maner it now finds itself: Agreed
that the group meeting to discuss the council Agenda order had already met: Agreed
that the critiscism was unfair because the administration was already completely open and fair:
that the motion was only brought forward by a "tiny but noisy minority": Agreed - there were two of us raising the motion but of course the Tory group has many times highlighted the lack of time given to answering questions by the Administration.
that there was indeed plenty of times to ask questions during Cabinet meetings and Scrutiny meetings and that I should attend those meetings to ask those questions rather than making the point at full council: Oh boy... I was embarrassed to have to actually point out to the good and yet lamentable Cllr who raised this point that I actually sit on Scrutiny and ask lots of questions. Now who was the one not paying attention??

The crux of the matter is as follows, CWaC Labour do not like opposition, do not like being criticised for the Nirvana that they believe that have reached while in power and don't like anyone pointing it out that they are consistently not achieving their own goals, not showing much innovation and take little action while not actually putting themselves in a position to be accountable. Their answer is simple - it's everyone else's fault and we will treat everyone else like we think we have been treated because we can.

I think of them as the villain at the end of the much loved cartoon series starring a friendly dog.....

"We've been caught with no ideas (except raising taxes), the borough falling apart around us and treating everyone with absolutely no respect...........and we would have got away with it if it wasn't for you pesky Tories"

Enjoy your holidays with your families and friends - if you get a minute watch the Council Webcast

P.S. I'm taking bets on how much Council Tax goes up next year in Winsford, looks like an accumulator bet with a Labour CWaC, Labour Town Council and Labour PCC all in the running.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Dear Labour, if you're not too tired or fed up....Can I ask a question please?

I like asking it nosy, call it a desire to learn, call it whatever you want (just be civil) but I really like asking questions. Most revolve around the daily chores, figuring out what the kids are up to or what I have forgotten to do now.

As a councillor, I sit on a scrutiny committee and really enjoy asking questions there especially when another complex or critical issue comes up. I feel that by asking questions we can make informed decisions and help our residents understand why those decisions are made.By asking those questions I can arrive at a decision to support or not the CWaC labour administration in achieving their statutory responsibilities and aims. get it, I like asking questions. I'll get on with the point of this now before you stop reading and muttering comments such as "I'm fed up now".

So, at full council meetings we are asked/allowed/able to ask questions of the Cabinet Members of the Labour administration - questions which are recorded, minuted and available for all to see (there are some die-hards out there who apparently watch the council webcasts). When the question is answered, we then get to ask a follow up question - this is called a supplementary and I'll get back to this later.....

The questions have to be submitted a few days in advance and they are answered towards the end of the council meeting if only there is time to do so. Maybe not all will be read, maybe none if the schedule is full or all the allotted time is taken. All of this is covered in the constitution.

The opportunity to ask a question is important, given that we only meet at full Council 6 times a year ( and one of those is mostly ceremonial) it is a chance of members of all political parties to "nail down" the cabinet members on important topics and get them to take some form of accountability.

Hope you are still with me.....maybe you are a bit tired by now.....

Remember the bit about all the allotted time being taken? Well, turns out that there's been a lot of that happening at our council meetings. Many of you will use the "old ones are the best ones" answer for that - you know, politicians like to hear their own voices, blowing hot air etc. but really, there has been a LOT of time taken up in the meetings, time talking about issues which CWaC cant do much about and only result in strongly worded letters being drafted to government ministers who reply with a "thanks" or "noted".

So when after three or four council meetings in a row where maybe one or two questions are actually asked out of maybe twenty or so submitted at each meeting, the conservative team start to voice disquiet at the intentional tactic Labour are deploying in order for us NOT to ask difficult questions (I haven't been able to find out where that lies on the "respect" agenda) and ask for more time at the July Council meeting.....the reply was both informative and shocking.

The best way I can show you this is via video (from the July Council Webcast) and it details what our Council Chairman replied to our request to actually get more time to answer the questions (22 were submitted, 1 was answered on the night). There were other comments from other Cllrs so please make sure you watch the whole section of the webcast (via the CWaC website)

Now I have tried to be fair in that there is some explanation of the process given in the video and the Chairman is factually correct on his comments about the constitution and the previous changes made but for any Chairman of CWaC to state "when I get tired or fed up I can say we've had enough of doing that" that does not strike me as being fully respectful to CWaC residents, especially those who, like me "like to ask questions". After all, these questions come from residents and are important to residents (as are the answers).

As you know I like to ask is one or two for you...what exactly are Labour scared of? Why don't they like being asked questions? Too difficult? Here are my two two pennies.....The questions submitted are often answered with help and direction from council officers, service chiefs and dept heads etc. (makes sense to me because often details such as costs, timings etc are asked).

If the questions are answered in Council, the asking Cllr can pose a supplemental question....remember this? the follow up which can be harder to answer than the original question and must require the person asked to be "on top of their game".

If the questions are not answered in Council, the supplemental must be written and can take a very long time to be returned and appear to be once again answered with help from the officers.

Next time I'm fed up or tired sitting to another Labour "rant to the world because I'll prove to the unions that I look good" motion in Council, I'll be dreaming "can I ask a question......please?"

Finally...the questions I submitted for July 2017 meeting (not answered on the night)

Question 6 From Councillor Michael Baynham to Councillor Angela Claydon, Cabinet Member for Housing
Could the Cabinet member for housing please inform members that after the WYG report into the provision of Gypsy and Traveller permanent site highlighted a severe shortfall in the number of permanent pitches required by the council for Gypsy and travellers, why permanent pitches at Barlow Drive, Winsford allowed to be allocated to Travellers from outside the local area and without a local connection to the Borough, leading to this site meeting needs from surrounding authorities rather than those of CWaC?
Answer 6 The council has a legal obligation to have an allocation policy for the pitches on the sites under their management, this should reflect as closely as possible the local housing allocation policy. The policy it adopted uses a banding system to allocate pitches, from a band a to a band D o Band A prioritising those with a local connection threatened with homelessness – this covers those living on the sites in the greenbelt o Both band B and C have a local connection o Band D allows those who do not have a local connection to apply. The reason why we have to have the fourth banding with no local connection is due to a high court case decision in North Somerset. This stated that the authority could not disqualify Gypsies and Travellers from applying for its accommodation due to them not having a local connection, as they are transient, therefore will not be able to have a local connection. If the families from the sites in the greenbelt had applied for pitches they would have in all likelihood been allocated a pitch, as they could prove they had a local connection. Unfortunately no applications were received, despite the council proactively encouraging applications by contacting all families and visiting the sites.
 Supplementary question 6 
What evidence is there to support any further G+T permanent sites in the Winsford area when the council has not been able to relocate those from greenbelt land and who may have already been served eviction notices, given that they have already refused to move to this site?
Supplementary answer 6 The level of site provision required in the Borough and in Winsford has been independently assessed through the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment and the Council is required to have a 5 year land supply of G&T sites. It is suggested that future site provision may consist of smaller family sites leased to individual households, which will complement the existing supply of affordable, public operated sites.

Question 7 From Councillor Michael Baynham to Councillor Brian Clarke, Cabinet Member for Economic Development & Infrastructure 
Given that the WYG report on Gypsy and Traveller provision for CWaC has been effectively proven to be of little value and that we are still awaiting final decisions from that report which affects our residents, could the Cabinet member for Economic Development please provide a full breakdown of costs accrued while working on Gypsy and Traveller provision, including the original costs to consultants WYG plus any costs for officers time, any associated expenses and costs of any time spent on redrafting of reports since the announcement of the WYG report at the LPWG on April 25th 2016 and up until July 20th 2017 ?
Answer 7 The cost of the WYG study was £24,734. It is not possible to quantify Officers time as developing planning policies, including for the provision of Gypsy and Traveller and Travelling Showpersons accommodation, is part of the statutory requirement of the Council as Local Planning Authority to produce an up-to-date and robust development plan. This is business as usual and officer time is not attributed to one particular area of policy preparation.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Let's talk? - only if Labour say we can

The disaster at Hillsborough has struck us all as a nation. The families of those who died and were affected are a proven testament to how to behave with dignity and poise when faced with great adversity and in the face of some of the worst injustices in living memory. We all feel for their loss and support them in their battles to get their story heard correctly and definitively. To have to read false and untrue stories in the press while dealing with lives torn apart by tragedy is also something we can all hope we never have to deal with as did those grieving families, some of which come from our borough.

That we should not make political capital out of such a tragedy should be a given, there is no need and it stoops us to the level of those we detest most. 

As a CWaC Councillor, I received the latest Agenda for the full council meeting of July 20th 2017 and cast my eye through the items, stopping at the following:-

Agenda Item 8  NOTICE OF MOTION - Hillsborough and Support for Residents
To consider the following Notice of Motion, proposed by Councillor Paul Donovan and seconded by Councillor Richard Beacham. On April 15th 1989 crowd control mismanagement at Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield led to the deaths of 96 innocent football fans. Men, women and children whose ages ranged from 10 to 67 including James Delaney (19) Jimmy Hennessy (29) Chris Edwards (29) Jonathon Owens (18) and Henry Rodgers (17) from our Borough. 4 This Council has supported the families of the 96 victims in their tireless campaign for justice. On April 26th 2016 a jury returned verdicts of unlawful killing in relation to each victim. Cheshire West and Chester Council praises the dignity and courage displayed by families and deplores the behaviour of some in positions of responsibility and public trust. This Council recognises and will not forget the hurt and distress caused to the families and friends of the 96 during this period, not least in part due to lies and slurs published in a British national newspaper.

As such, Cheshire West and Chester Council;-

Will support all local vendors who choose to stop selling The S*n newspaper.

Ensure that elected Members and staff do not advertise or give interviews to The S*n newspaper.

Supports any reasonable and lawful campaign that raises awareness of proven injustice and/or lies in regard to the events at Hillsborough or elsewhere

For the record, I fully support the first paragraph of the Notice of Motion (NOM) and have nothing further to add to it.

The second part, the action part, simply took my breath away.

Now I do not buy The S*n, I do not read it and I have never been interviewed by it. For reference, I also don't buy the Socialist W*rker or the M*rror.

So if a particular shopkeeper wanted to stop selling The S*n newspaper then I cannot stop them, neither could you or anyone else. 

But if a shop keeper wanted to keep selling The S*n and this NOM was passed, what would "not supporting" shopkeepers look like? Would it mean a little visit from some friendly momentum members reminding them of their civic duties? 

Ok - maybe that isn't going to happen but how will CWaC "Ensure elected not...give interviews to The S*n newspaper". 

As an elected member (a Councillor in layman's terms) who stands for freedom of speech and freedom of choice, I am justifiably concerned by this statement. 

Red states all over the world have histories full of incidents where speech is controlled and directives dictated. That a Labour run Council has the audacity to attempt to stifle free speech in this manner should tell us all about who is really in charge and what their ultimate end game is. 

This is a political game for Labour, driven by the tit-for-tat nasty politics of the left. Corbyn was blasted by The S*n so now he gets his army to give them a kick but in doing so, crosses a line of decency and respect. Now CWaC Labour want us to be silent.

So, for those of you who have Labour Councillors in your area - please write to them asking not to support this. I suspect they wont listen, because if they don't tow the party line they will likely be deselected in the Labour new world order of things.

I for one wont be silenced - after all, what will they be able to do? whatever it will be, it'll be no hardship compared to some.

*updated to reflect that I do not wish to cause offence (Intentional or otherwise) to the victims of the Hillsborough disaster.