Photo: Jacqueline Barlow
OTSnews spoke with Jacqueline who said:
“Following the announcement that me, Jacqueline Barlow is to stand in the general election for the Southport Party I have noticed a number of questions have been levelled at me .. I am happy to speak to anyone in a reasoned way and would like to stress that wanting Southport as a unitary borough should not leave anybody thinking the issue of our self determination is a them and us situation between the people of Southport and the people of Bootle. Far from it, just as the people from Bootle are proud people so are the people of Southport.
In 1987 and 1997 the boundary commission said at both times that our proposition was viable and only not passed due to the lack of support from South Sefton. That in my mind is not fair .
For a truer representation of me please see a copy of my speech made on 23rd March 2015 at Christ Church. I hope you can invest the time to get to know me a little bit better and know that I only wish the best for Southport, our business, services and youth without any political party whip to follow. Southport is my only agenda and I can bring an experienced business woman common sense approach to our issues in Parliament.
Speech made on 23rd March 2015 at Christ – Southport
I am passionate about the town and as an individual feel the need to stand up to be counted following 41 years of asset stripping and mis management of our town by Sefton.
Assets such as:
- Profit making bus service and bus station(transferred to MPTE and then Arriva}
- Sea bathing lake, children’s paddling pool, Peter Pans, and other attractions such as the zoo
- Bootle still have 3 where the foot fall is less than our Birkdale library alone which now closed
- Parks and gardens including Rotten Row
- Childrens A&E and breast cancer treatment
- Town hall practically abandoned and offices and jobs transferred to Bootle
- Control of Southport’s affairs. All decisions being made in Bootle who have no allegiance to Southport
- No local justice, full Police cover no longer exists, fire and ambulance cover reduced
Every part of our life is branded by Sefton, as can be seen on the unemptied bins on the precinct. The market windows, etc., what extra cost does that put on everything? What chance do we have when Liberal Democrat Councillor Maureen Fearn when chairing the Southport Area Committee told two local residents who submitted a question on council housing “YOU DO NOT LIVE IN SOUTHPORT YOU LIVE IN SEFTON”
When I talk to people they are sick and tired of being a cash cow for Sefton.
The Southport Party have been fighting these injustices for 13 years and now all the other parties have jumped on the band wagon but have shown no interest before.
Even though in 1974 it was the power hungry Liberal and Conservative councillors that took us into Sefton, without a vote. The Southport Party in March 2013 proactively got all the parties together to discuss our situation and it was agreed we should contact the boundary commission. Apart from the Conservatives who wanted to go their own way, as did Councillor Watson at the last review and actively fought against freeing Southport.
The Southport Party did this and have put our letter to Eric Pickles dated 29th October 2013 formally requesting the Local Government Boundary Commission lay down a timetable for a review.
We are still actively seeking this change and now feel it is time to stand for Parliament. The boundary commission in 1987 and 1997 said it was viable for us to leave Sefton but did not allow us to leave as South Sefton did not support it.
At a time when all the talk is about coalition governments it is our chance as a town to purely have Southport represented as a lead political agenda. Someone who would not then be tied to a party whip or ethos, and can freely vote with the government or opposition on what I would hope to be a common sense approach always with our town at the forefront of my mind. Also someone that is not just a protest vote like UKIP where your beliefs are compromised or would leave a note to tell the nation there is no money left like Labour.
My aim is for the town to become a unitary area where the money collected in Southport is spent in Southport. We can then benefit from any seaside resort monies available. Just like Blackpool who have just shared in £2.4m coastal towns funding. Why not us?
We can look to maintain our services, our town hall, our identity, our futures, our jobs looking towards our youth in particular.
At the moment we are nothing but a cash cow – Sefton Council have advised me under the Freedom of Information Act that for the years 2012 to 2014 they took from us:
- From on an off street parking £2,621,356
- From fines £681098
- Total £3,302,454
- And their exact words to me in writing are “the council have no information on the impact on Southport business from these parking fines”
Why have our MP and current councillors allowed this state of affairs? John Pugh has completed 3 terms in office without seeking a boundary review.
There are 55839 households in Southport and we pay in Council Tax over £58,500,000 – what do we see of that?
Just think what we can do as a unitary town.
Introduce sensible parking for one
Save our town hall for two
Keep our bus passes for three
Save our hospital for four
Look to have our Police, Ambulance, and Fire cover fully restored for five, six and seven
Invest in our tourism for eight
Restore our parks and gardens and reverse cut plans and parking now being attached to the Botanic Gardens for nine
Invest in our roads which are in a terrible state for ten
The list goes on and on and it is about time we look to invest in ourselves as we have invested in the rest of Sefton for too many years.
The people of Southport did not vote for the transfer into Sefton. They certainly have not voted to now be part of the Liverpool City Region which will end up sucking more and more out of our town rather than revitalising it.
From having some of the lowest rates in the country before Sefton we now have some of the highest rates in the country post Sefton and we cannot afford to be a further cash cow to Liverpool.
Let’s use this opportunity as a referendum to free Southport and work to become a unitary area with self determination, where we can be the top of our own agenda and then share our town with others.
Remember the other parties have jumped on our bandwagon and do not have the Southport Party history of fighting for the town.
It is now only of interest to the Liberal Democrats as they have lost control of the council and their dominance at local level.
I would like the people of Southport to demand our democratic right to choose by whom and where our town is governed by voting Jacqueline Barlow of The Southport Party as a referendum to free Southport.
It is time for a change as our current MP has allowed a lot these changes during his reign, particularly the loss of childrens A&E, so how can you trust he genuinely looks to our future now.
Is it time for our first female MP? If you think so and like my agenda then please vote for me. JB the JP 4 MP.
If anyone would like to contribute to the Southport Party Campaign in any way then please contact me.
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