Sunday, September 18, 2011

Music at Newsham Park Band Stand

Newsham Park will be alive with the sound of music on Sunday 25th September as local band 'Futurejack' take part in a Bandstand Marathon as part of the Cultural Olympiad, which is designed to give everyone in the UK a chance to be part of London 2012 and inspire creativity across all forms of culture.
Bandstand Marathon is organised by Somerset based not-for-profit music development agency Superact and the event will use not only bandstands but public spaces simultaneously across the UK for enthusiastic performances of many types of different music.
Ali Smith, Superact Director explains 'The Bandstand Marathon started life in 2008 with the aim of enlivening public spaces and celebrating the nations much loved bandstands. Over the past 3 years we have seen audience numbers grow throughout the UK and we expect this year to be bigger than ever!' .... ' with an estimated 150 venues taking part this year we are hoping to provide performance opportunities for over 3,000 musicians across the UK. This is Superact's largest UK project and we are very proud to be providing one of the most widespread UK Cultural Olympiad events'.
The project was recently granted the Inspire Mark, for the fourth year running, by the London 2012 Inspire Programme which recognises innovative and exceptional projects that are directly inspired by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Seb Coe, Chaire of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games said: 'Bandstand Marathon is encouraging local music groups to fulfil their potential. I am proud that with the help of partners such as Superact we are delivering our vision to use the power of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games to boost participation in creating a cultural legacy post-London 2012.'

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Top Left Wing Blogger, Total Politics Blogs Awards 2011

Once again I am delighted to thank readers for their support at the Total Politics Blog Awards.

I have won an award as one of the Top 75 Left Wing Bloggers, last year awards were given to the Top 100.

In 2009 I was 100th out of 100, last year I was 81st out of 100 and this year I have moved up to 74th, thankfully just scraping in. I am one below Billy Bragg, what great company to find  myself in!

The awards have not yet all been announced so I shall watch with interest to see the other categories.

Thanks everyone who voted for me - I hadn't noticed the voting had opened so forgot to ask for support, so it is all the more pleasing. Blogging is no fun without readers, you make it all worthwhile.

Photograph appeal: Deane Road Cemetery, Kensington, Liverpool

As the plans progress for the restoration of the wonderful Jewish Cemetery on Deane Road, Kensington, we are making an appeal to the public for their help. Do you have any old photographs of the cemetery?

Because the cemetery was opened in 1837 and closed in 1905, it was not really a time for photography and we have very few. We have nothing to show us what the caretaker's cottage or prayer hall inside the walls looked like for instance.

We would be delighted if anyone who has any photos or etchings in their possession of any aspect of the cemetery, before or after it closed, showing any aspect;  gravestones, a funeral, the buildings, the beautiful listed screen wall at the front of the cemetery. Pictures will help us to understand how the cemetery has looked through its history.

If you can help, please email or write to me or Saul Marks at the Liverpool Old Hebrew Congregation at Princes Road Synagogue, Liverpool L8

What are these pieces of masonry?

These three pieces of masonry have been discovered at Deane Road Jewish Cemetery. We are unsure what they are. They are quite big pieces, at least a foot long, the middle one has mortar down one side, suggesting it was fixed in place. The third one has mortar underneath.  They look like some kind of key stones, but were they part of a wall or a floor? The cemetery once had two buildings, a caretakers house and a prayer hall. We presume they were made of brick but there are no photographs of them or drawings and no-one in living memory has ever seen them. Do you know what these masonry pieces would have been used for?

The bottom one bears the inscription Chantrell Patentee Liverpool

Our archivist has done some research into Chantrell and discovered the following information

1. George Frederik Chantrell, 1873, 6 Hatton Garden Liverpool. Patent for new and improved filtering and deodorising medium.

2. 1864 London Gazette notice re. partnership dealing with marble, cement tiles, chimney pieces, terra cotta ware, plaster, lime, grates.

3. 1876 London Gazette noted as Sanitary Engineers.

4. 1884 London Gazette noted as debtor and Building Material Merchants.

The cemetery was built in 1837, some years before these dates, we are not sure whether this indicates that these pieces came from a later build of some sort. Or are they part of a drainage system of some sort, introduced into the cemetery later - given the mention of sanitary engineering above.

Can  you help solve this interesting mystery?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Polish spirituals at Liverpool Philharmonic

Dear Friends,
I would be very grateful if you could share this information with relevant networks.
8 Listopada 2011
Chór Polskiego Radia pod dyrygenturą Artura Sedzielarza, zaprezentuje koncert
Górecki: Polish Spirituals
W programie znajda się utwory: Totus Tuus / Three Lullabies / Broad Waters / Song of the Katyn Families / Come Holy Spirit / Amen
Jest to przełomowy występ Chóru Polskiego Radia, jednego z wiodących chórów Polski, z którym Henryk Mikołaj Górecki współpracował przez wiele lat.

zyskał międzynarodowy rozgłos z jego Symfonią nr 3 (Symfonia pieśni żałosnych). Nagranie Elektra-Nonesuch z 1992 roku sprzedało się w liczbie ponad miliona egzemplarzy i utrzymywało się na szczycie amerykańskiej listy Classical Charts przez 38 tygodni.

Jego muzyka chóralna
wyraźnie wypełniona tym samym duchowym liryzmem oraz spontanicznym ciepłem ludzkim celebruje jego polskie korzenie oraz wiarę katolicką. Ten koncert to hołd dla Góreckiego, jednego z wielkich kompozytorów końca XX wieku, w rok po jego śmierci w listopadzie 2010 roku.

Sala Koncertowa St George Hall

Bogactwo tego klejnotu neoklasycznego regularnie
przyjmowało Charlsa Dickensa, który odbywał w tym miejscu wiele swoich odczytów. Sala posiadająca 480 miejsc siedzących została elegancko urządzona w kolorze białym, miodowym oraz kremowym i zawiera żeliwny balkon podtrzymywany przez rzeźby kobiecych postaci znanych jako kariatydy. Wspaniały kryształowy żyrandol wisi pośrodku, podczas gdy lustro Ravenhead, znajdujące się z tyłu sceny, tworzy zaskakujące odbicia.
Polish Radio Choir
Artur Sedzielarz
Górecki: Polish Spirituals

Tuesday 8 November 2011 7:30 pm
St George's Hall Concert Room
Programme includes: Totus Tuus / Three Lullabies / Broad Waters / Song of the Katyn Families / Come Holy Spirit / Amen
This is a landmark performance by the Polish Radio Choir, one of Poland’s leading choirs, with whom Henryk Mikolaj Górecki worked closely over many years.
Górecki gained international acclaim with his haunting Symphony No.3 (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs). The 1992 Elektra-Nonesuch recording sold more than a million copies and stayed at the top of the US Classical Charts for 38 weeks.
His choral music is filled with the same distinctively spiritual lyricism and spontaneous human warmth, celebrating his Polish roots and Catholic faith. This concert is a fitting tribute to Górecki, one of the late twentieth century’s great composers, a year after his death in November 2010.
St George’s Hall Concert Room
The opulence of this neo-classical jewel would regularly host Charles Dickens who held many of his readings here. The 480 seat venue features elegant decoration in white, honey, and cream and a cast iron ‘wickerwork’ balcony supported by female figures known as caryatids. A superb crystal chandelier hangs in the middle of the room while Ravenhead glass mirrors situated at the back of the stage create stunning reflections.
With thanks and very best regards,
Simon Glinn
Executive Director – Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and Events
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
Hope Street
L1 9BP
Direct +44 (0) 151 210 1945
Mobile +44 (0) 7952 412 709
General +44 (0) 151 210 2895
Box Office +44 (0) 151 709 3789
Fax +44 (0) 151 210 2902

Monday, September 12, 2011

And finally in other news....

Given the late hour, and my need to be at JLA to pick up a friend at the crack of dawn, I am allowing myself fifteen minutes to write about all the other things I wanted to tell you about, in one glorious splurge. Here goes...

Following the OTT article in the Jewish Telegraph recently describing me as an angel, I was invited to address the Merseyside Representative Jewish Council earlier in the week about our plans for Deane Road Jewish Cemetery and Liverpool Remembers. That was a real honour and it was lovely to be able to drum up some more support for the cemetery in particular.

We had our open day today, for National Heritage Open Day and 169 people made their way through the doors. Saul did three tours and was shattered at the end but everyone went away really happy and we gathered some new stories for our archive about people's recollection of the cemetery and some of the lives of those buried there.

The Reading Room on KVFM this month talked about The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. What a wonderful book, I absolutely loved it. Best book I have read in ages, I can definitely recommend it. Next month we will be reading Bad Blood by Lorna Sage.  Set in post-war North Wales, it reflects on the dysfunctional generations of a family its problems, and their effect on Sage.  It won the 2001 Whitbread Book Biography of the Year seven days before Sage died of emphysema.

Last night I enjoyed yet another great free concert from Liverpool City Council, sponsored by Smooth FM on the waterfront - at the pier head. Beverly Knight and Roachford singing wonderful soul music. There was a large crowd some of whom came over to Wendy Simon afterwards to thank her for a lovely evening. If you have not been getting down to the Waterfront this summer for all the freebies, you don't know what you have missed! We had a coke and some nibbles on a tall ship, the Phoenix before we went over to the concert, which was a delight in itself. #ItsLiverpool #I'mLiverpool

I enjoyed the Manchester Premier of Jan's Coming Out a few weeks ago, having missed the Liverpool one in order to attend the Michael Causer Vigil, she is now in Florida premiering at Key West. Lucky lady, I was very happy to entertain for her lunch with other friends on my birthday. Do go to see it if you get the chance, I am hoping it might come back to Liverpool during Homotopia.

And another British Citizenship Ceremony today with coincidentally three different families from Kensington and Fairfield. They were all beautifully dressed and looking forward to celebrating their new nationalities this afternoon at various parties and family gatherings - I suggested tea and cucumber sandwiches might be the order of the day.

I have set up a Parking Task Group in the ward to tackle all sorts of parking issues, and a group to look at the rising problem with Street Drinking, I will hopefully be putting  more detail in the next newsletter.

That shall have to suffice for now, goodnight everyone, do sleep well.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Labour North West Fundraising Dinner in Crewe with Alastair Campbell

I was delighted to host the Labour NW dinner on Friday night with Alastair Campbell as our after-dinner speaker. We had a great night, raised loads of money for the party and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

I wont say too much about it, as it is getting late and I have to be up early in the morning, but there are a few items worthy of mention. First of all I would say that Alastair is great value as an after dinner speaker and if you can book him, I can heartily recommend him. I have been to several dinners over the years where he has spoken, in Liverpool, Southport and Manchester for instance. But in Crewe he really surpassed himself.

I was delighted to introduce him as I have always been a big fan. He spoke well and was very engaging and then took questions from the floor on a variety of political and personal topics. I then persuaded him to play the bagpipes for us - I bet we are the first LP ever to have seen this! We bought some of his books from the wholesalers which he signed for anyone who wanted to buy one, which was a great fundraiser and one member, who is a professional photographer, took photos of him with guests which were then printed out and framed, and Al signed them, all to the benefit of party funds. It is hard to think how he could have done more to make the evening special for everyone whilst helping to grow our coffers.

Alison McGovern and Ivan Lewis both sat on our table, along with Steve Carter, one of our Euro candidates in the last election, some Burnley FC supporters and a young man from Rochdale who had come on his own and was thrilled to be sitting across from Alastair and being able to chat about what had drawn him to politics.

I managed to avoid mention of the Burnley v Boro match the following day, just as well really as we beat them 2-0 away from home, so hopefully he will still be talking to me today.

You can follow Al on twitter on @campbellclaret

ConDem plans to reward the South East and the City at the cost of the North

Local Government Finance Review Scrutiny Panel

I can see your eyes glazing over, just reading that, doesn't it sound terribly dreary and irrelevant?

But you know, this is probably the most significant change that will hit Local Government - and readers in Liverpool - in the next 20 years, and particularly northern cities like Liverpool.

As chair of the Finance and Resources Select Committee in Liverpool, I have constituted a scrutiny panel (a small group of councillors who examine an issue in fine detail over a series of meetings) to look at the Government's consultation about changes in the way that business rates are shared out amongst the country.

I shall try to explain this in the most easy to understand language that I can manage. Currently business rates are set nationally and collected locally, with the council acting almost as an agent on behalf of the Government. The money then being sent from the council to the government who put it all together in one big pot. They then redistribute funds from this pot around the country to those most in need of funds.

It's that good old Socialist principle "from each according to their means to each according to their needs".

So at the moment, of all councils, the City of Westminster collects the most revenue from its businesses as it has a lot of them in its patch, particularly financial institutions in highly expensive "city" property with high rateable values. Other councils with fewer businesses, retail, factories, hotels, banks and insurance companies etc, collect much less.

This money, together with any other grants that the Government pays to Councils, is redistributed according to a formula which considers population and need, each year, and it makes up the lion's share of the council's income, dwarfing anything collected from domestic rate payers.

The ConDems wish to change the way the money is distributed in future, introducing an "incentivising"  element where a council is expected to increase the business rates it collects by encouraging more businesses to set up in its area and pay rates. And an assumption will be made by the Government under their plans, that this increase has been achieved. The funds that come will depend on that.

The Government asserts in its consultation paper that the proposed changes have been designed to encourage and incentivise councils to grow their economy, to encourage more businesses and that they will be rewarded if they do and penalised if they dont. That is their stated aim for this change, to make us all more business friendly and receptive.

They are proposing that if the council increases its business rate take by a target percentage, it will find its funding for the following  year will stay the same. If it increases by more than that amount it will receive extra but if it fails to make that increase then the funding it receives will be net of that increase. So a council which collects more business rates from more businesses or businesses in more expensive premises will do best from this new deal. A council that fails to collect more rates will be penalised accordingly.

The detail is not yet clear, but it would be reasonable to suggest that we are expected to increase the amount of rates we collect by several percentage points each  year.

Liverpool City Council, Liverpool Vision and the Chamber of Commerce, to name but three, are all committed to growing the economy in the city and to encouraging new businesses to set up here. We have gone so far as to estimate that we ought to be able to create 50,000 new jobs in the next ten years. So that ought not to be a problem, right? We ought to be able to grow our business rates by a few percent each year, right?


Business rates are still payable on empty premises.

That is the kicker in the Government's plans.

So if we have empty shops on Prescot Road in Fairfield for instance, or on London Road - or the empty Rapid shops on Renshaw Street, empty factories on industrial estates, empty pubs etc, the business rates still need to be paid, to the same sum.

We estimate that we currently a massive 1.7million square feet of empty business premises in the city.

So if new businesses set up in those spaces, filling every single square foot with a successful new business creating new jobs and bringing life back to our city, (which would be great news for our unemployed workforce of course and would put more money into more tills etc) they would not be paying any more rates than they do now and our share of the national pot would reduce every year by at least a few percent even despite this.

The only way Liverpool could increase its business rate income would be to build brand new premises. And where would they go? We are bound by the river, we have other council areas right up to our boundaries. We dont have lots of green space to build new premises on. We are doomed to failure on this model, it can only result in a decreasing income from the Government as our share of the national pot goes down and down through no fault of our own.

The idea that this scheme will encourage councils to become more business friendly is a joke. It will most benefit rural areas who are prepared to build retail parks and factories on their green spaces. And of course the City of Westminster with its continual growth in the financial industry in particular - in ever taller buildings.

Incidentally, some businesses pay more than others, it is not only dependent on the size of the premises they occupy, it also depends on the type of business they are. Supermarkets pay the most rates, at £190 per square metre, while at the other end of the scale, small factories and pubs pay £75 per square metre. Banks and Building Societies pay £180 (hello City of Westminster), and larger retailers £175.

Just for interest you might be like to know that John Lewis pay the most business rates in the city, over a million pounds a year for their store in Liverpool One. Whilst Sayers on Dale Street pay a bit less than five thousand for instance for their small shop at a less fashionable address.

So if we were to set out on a policy of maximising our income from business rates we would need to encourage lots of supermarkets to set up, another new Tesco superstore anyone? We could put it on Calderstones Park perhaps? And encourage the building of another Liverpool One somewhere. A floating stage on the Mersey? You can see the problem.

There are additional complications in that many of the new businesses that are already successfully setting in Liverpool are run from home. I would estimate that a third of the businesses in the East Liverpool Business Forum for instance, of which I am a member, are home-run. We are helping to grow the economy in the city and making a small contribution to employment levels, but we don't pay business rates of course. So the success of home run businesses will not help the city's financial position one iota in terms of this funding.

The knowledge economy, based on the development of online services for instance, web designers and online businesses more generally are vital to the city and will help to grow our reputation as a forward thinking place, but wont contribute to business rates.

So you can see that we wont be in a position to grow our business rate take, despite a clear intention to grow the economy and encourage businesses to set up in our city.

And this will penalise the city, in an ever increasing way, year upon year, irrespecitve of our best efforts.

And you are probably still wondering why this should bother you?

Because it is the money we get from the Government, in redistributed business rates that pays for so many of the services you receive from the council. These are not services related to businesses, they are general services for everyone in Liverpool. Business rates are not spent on businesses when they come back to the city, they are spent on everything we do, across the board. These funds will fall by millions and millions each year and which will result in cuts over and above the ones you have already been told to expect.

Our Scrutiny Panel, which I am chairing, has been taking evidence from experts and preparing our response to the Government's consultation on these proposed changes. We have heard from the Chamber of Commerce, the Business Improvement District, Liverpool Vision, several experts from the Council's finance team, SIGOMA who represent councils outside of London, and we even invited the Government, in the shape of civil servants from the DCLG whose plans they are - but we are finding it difficult to agree dates with them, I cannot think why!

We will be formulating a response that will hopefully find accord with everyone in the city who represents interests in seeing our city grow, along with other councils in Merseyside and across the country in similar circumstances. I will put some links up to our final report, but interim minutes are all available here.

Happy Birthday to Me!

I had a fab birthday this year. After a quick visit to Kensington Fire Station to sort out some noise nuisance issues, the rest of the day was my own. I had lunch with some top friends at my favourite restaurant, Bistro Jacques on Hardman Street - three courses for £8.95, I had potato bravas, chicken in cherry sauce and creme brulee. Lovely! I can definitely recommend it. Follow them on Twitter @bistrojacques for all the special offers.

I spent the afternoon at home with friends - including Stan who mended my outside tap so that I can once again water the bistro yard!

But the real highlight was the evening. Dolly Parton at the Liverpool Arena. Imagine that, she came to play for my birthday!

Stephen, Nick, Kath and I had a quick drink at Circo on the Dock before going over to the show. We had great seats in the block in front of the stage - mind you, they did cost us £75 each with the booking fee, so we deserved to sit so close to the stage!

Just as the show was starting and the lights went down Nick and I spotted the Lord Mayor in his chains making his way to front row seats. I whispered that if I had known Dolly was coming and this would be the prize, I would have put my own name forward for the Mayoralty this year. Nick's response was to suggest that if I ever get to be the Lord Mayor it would be my luck that the big act that year would be Dexy's Midnight Runners. We were still giggling when the show began.

She was absolutely wonderful. She played two sets, the first one for about an hour and a half, then after a 20 minute break, she played for about a further 45 minutes. I did a bit of research and discovered she was 65 in January, but I can tell you that she has an incredible amount of energy and still looks terrific for all that. She sang a lot of old favourites interspersed with material from her new album, Better Days, that the tour is designed to promote.

Dolly played so many instruments during the show, she has an amazing talent; there was the guitar of course, and a steel guitar too, a piano shimmering with rhinestones, a pipe, a banjo, the harmonica and I feel sure I have missed some.
One particular song was a very interesting addition to the set. I managed to record a tiny piece of it on my phone - both the sound and vision is very poor but you will be able to tell what it is. Click on it, just to feel your eyebrows rise right up in astonishment! I wont spoil the surprise by telling you here what it was.

She sang Jolene, Islands in the Stream, 9-5 and Coat of Many Colours to great applause.  I was very taken with Little Sparrow which brought tears to my eyes. And the mighty anthem I Will Always Love You was her encore. Dolly, we will always love you too!

Thanks to everyone for all the cards, presents and flowers. I particularly asked family for cash to help to affray the cost of my Labour Party visitors pass for this year's annual conference in Liverpool - I am so looking forward to it. But I also had some great books and CDs (two Doris Day which I am really enjoying) and some sparkly cava. And another great card from the fab Councillor for County (rather than the County Councillor which I started to write), Gerard Woodhouse to add to my collection.

You all made me feel very special, for thinking of me and for spending time with me, it was a great day despite my advancing years. Thanks!

Mathew Street Festival

Colin and Mike and I enjoyed a lovely Sunday afternoon at the Mathew Street Festival. We stayed mainly at the Williamson Square stage which was hosting local acts - the "Made in Liverpool" stage.

We enjoyed Amsterdam and our favourite China Crisis that you may recall I met outside the Richmond one night. At that time I was not really familiar with them, but have now seen them twice - on the same stage - and really enjoy them. You wont be looking to me for a music review and anyway there  must be lots more out there on the net for you to read, but I will say that both acts were great. I do really enjoy watching Liverpool's own musicians on this special celebration weekend.

I am not sure this chap was all that impressed though, he spent the China Crisis set reading his paper and eating his sarnies.

From there we walked down to the Albert Dock to see who was playing on the floating stage. I had read about it in the paper but there was little publicity, if any, on the day, so it was a shame to see so few people watching the Mersey Cats. If you like to watch your music in lots of space and in a family-friendly atmosphere I can recommend this one for next year.

We walked from there past the Derby Square stage and popped into the Town Hall for a quick coke, taking the opportunity to stand on the balcony, where the Beatles once stood, and look out over the crowds. We also each bought a £3 wrist band to help fund the event.

From there we went back to the stage at Williamson Square for some more home grown music.

It was disappointing to read during the following week, complaints about yobbish behaviour by youths throwing bottles and causing trouble at the stage by the Mersey Tunnel entrance. All I can say is that at the stages that I visited and spent time at, there was no trouble at all. Everyone was very well behaved and pensioners bopped and sang happily next to parents with small children. It may be that the sheer size and scale of that particular stage and its setting makes it more difficult to control and manage, something for organisers to think about for next year.

We certainly had a marvellous time and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  Another great event from Liverpool City Council and its partners.

Liverpool and Manchester Pride

Two great Prides in the North West this year, Liverpool and Manchester. And two great turnouts by the Labour Party.

In Liverpool two teams, men and women, played 5-a-side football against LGBT teams down on the Pier head after the march. The men's team drew with the Mersey Marauders but I suspect they were being kind to us, to be honest. The women were beaten by a team of women who play football regularly, I am afraid I don't know their name, and the Labour ladies were beaten pretty convincingly - but there were some great goals including one from my oppo Wendy Simon. And no, of course I didn't play, I don't really have the feet for football you know!  It was a lovely happy day and I ended the evening watching music on the waterfront and then going for a meal with lots of pals on Wood Street. Liverpool Pride is free for everyone, there is no secure area and there was very much a family atmosphere  I was particularly delighted to see local (mainly pensioner) residents from Kensington and Fairfield's As One Community Task Group joining in with and supporting kids from the local youth club, carrying their banner along the march. A banner that the group had provided the funds to help make. This is part of our ongoing work in our ward to combat homophobic bullying in schools and on the streets. 

In Manchester after a great parade in front of a cheering crowd of thousands, we had a quick drink in a pub, where I had my photo taken with the FA cup - okay it was a replica really but it felt great all the same.

I then went off to meet friends including Jan Walker who stars in "Jan's Coming Out", a documentary film about a woman who came out at 50 years old and went round the world interviewing other lesbians about their experiences of coming out. This time I had to pay to go into a secure area around Canal Street, the Manchester gay quarter. It was a very different kind of event with a lot more drinking in a predominantly adult crowd. It was still good fun though and we sat in Sackville Garden and watched some great singers.

And at both events, as in the past three years and as at every Pride in the country that Labour LGBT attend - Brighton, Leeds, London etc, we wore our Never Kissed a Tory t-shirts and gave out thousands of stickers with the same message on the front.

It was rather depressing to see that a certain other political party tried to make something out of this light hearted fun in Liverpool this year by orchestrating a letter writing campaign to the local newspaper, complaining that we had "politicised" the event. This must be the first Pride in perhaps 40 where this has happened, despite us doing the same thing every time at each event. I guess they were jealous because we had a crowd of perhaps 50 on the march in Liverpool, including 3 MPs and countless councillors and we were cheered all the way round - despite our group being put at the back of the march to counter complaints from a politician from another party last year that we "got in all the official photographs".

Pathetic isn't it! Thankfully none of that stopped us from having a fabulous time and I know that the LGBT community in Liverpool - and in Manchester - are delighted to have the support of the Labour Party on such a special day.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

National Heritage Open Day at Deane Road Jewish Cemetery.

This historic Liverpool cemetery in Kensington will be open on Sunday 11th September from 10am - 4pm as part of the national Heritage Open Day programme.

Deane Road Jewish Cemetery is a fascinating final resting place of many of Liverpool's leading entrepreneurs, scientists and artists of the Victorian age.

Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, plans are being developed to restore the cemetery, creating a visitors centre and formal garden, with improvement works to the Grade II listed entrance and surrounding walls.

There will be a guided tour at 10.30am although visitors may make their own way round at other times during the day. The architect will be available at noon to talk about the plans for the restoration and the gardener will be available all day to talk about the work that she and her volunteers are currently undertaking.

The opening will also allow a further opportunity for those photographers and artists who are currently creating pieces for our future exhibitions to visit and continue with their work.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

So much to say, so little time

Just a little holding entry to tell you what to expect.

There will be a blog over the weekend about Manchester Pride, Mathew Street festival, my birthday, our Local Government Finance Review Scrutiny Panel, my guest speech at Merseyside Representative Jewish Council, the Reading Room on KVFM, Jan's Coming Out, Dolly Parton, Alistair Campbell in Crewe, Beverley Knight at the Pier Head, the British Citizenship Ceremony and Deane Road Cemetery Heritage Open Day.

Unless of course I am too busy living life to blog about it... always a possibility.

And Mum was looking forward to cheese on toast tonight, hurrah, there is a God!

If you have a particular preference between now and when it comes, let me know what you most want to hear about.