Sefton Council has rather messy all party coalition arrangements at present which include a Lib Dem leader. A third of the seats are up for election on May 6 which I hope may clarify matters in a favourable direction. However one Conservative councillor has been deselected after being told he is too old – he is only 92. In fairness I don't think it was actually an ageist deselection – the complaint was that he didn't have a mobile phone or email access and that to be an effective councillor these days both are required.
Sefton doesn't seem to me a terribly good Council. For instance it's Council Tax is above the national average. In February it emerged they had spent £3,500 sending staff on some lavish "training" junket. If they felt this spending was justified than it was surprising they refused to make any comment about it to the Mail on Sunday which carried out the investigation.
In terms of the General Election the Sefton Central constituency is critical. It is the 118th target seat and so is a seat that would have to be won on a uniform swing to secure a Conservative Government. David Cameron turned up in Aintree in January to undertake a Cameron Direct meeting. The wards making up the new boundaries have no Labour councillors – with 11 Conservatives and 10 for the Lib Dems. The Conservatives have a very strong local candidate in Debi Jones, a Conservative councillor and former Radio Merseyside broadcaster. She has championed residents being overcharged for Council tax due to flawed Government valuations.
Another key battle is gaining the Southport constituency, in the northern part of the borough, rom the Lib Dems. The Conservatives also have a strong local candidate for this seat Cllr Brenda Porter. Her prospects have been boosted by your generosity. But the current composition of local councillors for constituency wards (14 Lib Dems with five Conservatives) points to a tough fight.