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The Laz Word... on 2011

Larry Neild on free parking, cruise terminals and a bumpy 12 months

Published on January 10th 2011.

The Laz Word... on 2011

WE'VE all said Happy Birthday to Himself and now we face what will be a monumental 2011.

Every little helps, but we are never likely to be serious rivals for other cruise ports where they count departing ships in double or triple digits

Fasten your seat belts as we are in for a bumpy ride.

First the good news. The Government wants local councils to be able to fix car-parking charges to encourage visitors, a far cry from the make ‘em-pay-till-their exhausts-squeak calls in recent years.

Liverpool, sensibly, introduced free parking after 3pm in the run-up to Christmas and cheap parking on Sundays.

Why not give the city centre a boost by free or cheap parking Saturdays and Sundays to rival the likes of the Trafford Centre and the big retail parks?

It must by now have dawned on decision makers many drivers will crawl into town at snail’s pace rather than be pressed-ganged onto public transport. Of course if cash-strapped councils are forced to increase parking fees to boost income, the government will be able to say, honest gov it weren’t us what did it, it was yer local councillors.

The campaign for a proper cruise terminal in Liverpool is gathering pace and is likely to succeed. It means we may be lucky enough to attract cruise liners to start or finish on the Mersey.

Every little helps, but we are never likely to be serious rivals for other cruise ports where they count departing ships in double or triple digits.

And to show that political co-operation is contagious, local councillors are likely to follow the national example of a Coalition partnership. Labour and the Lib Dems are talking of a joint approach to this year’s spending budget. Now the city council’s Green Party have jumped onto the bandwagon and want to support the initiative.

Let’s hope at the upcoming council budget meeting our councillors of all shades do the conga around Exchange Flags as an expression of this newly found comradeship.

The trouble is there is a lot of unrest and already we are almost certain to witness the biggest demonstrations we’ve seen for a generation.

Mega demos are already being planned in the North West as well as London, with a number of trains already booked to transport the restless northerners to show their feelings to the Messrs Cameron and Clegg. It will be a time for cool heads, but luckily that will be in hand as we could see water canon in use for the first time in England.

There will be massive May Day call as politicians go to battle in the local elections giving the voters their first chance to either praise the Coalition or vent their anger. Nick Clegg will find out what the great unwashed (and I don’t just mean students) think of his bed-hopping exploits with the Conservatives.

In a few weeks Liverpool will be opening its own ‘Embassy’ in London. Let’s hope we don’t see a rush of Londoners, unable to cope with being skint, heading to our embassy claiming to be economic migrants and wanting asylum on Merseyside.

Economists will point to all kinds of analytical measures to determine our fortunes. The real barometer for us will be to see if any shops in Liverpool One are forced into having Closing Down Sales in 2011. Let’s hope not and pray Liverpool weathers the economic storm about to be unleashed in the coming year.

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6 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousJanuary 4th 2011.

At least we are saving Ringo's house in Madryn Street. That'll have the Beatle tourists swamping the city with their dollars and Japanese Yen. Went to have a look myself yesterday and was most underwhelmed. I think they should dismantle the house and re-erect it alongside the Empress pub just across the road. By the law the cast-iron Madryn Street name signs have gone. Bet bthey are worth a bob or two.

WorkingClassPersonJanuary 4th 2011.

I agree, 2011 will be a momentus year as ordinary people vent their anger. This is a recent posting on one of the local anti-cuts websites...

Alec McFadden Chair of Merseyside Public Sector Alliance says
"The TUC target is to have 1,000,000 people in London on the 26th March, 2011, demonstrating against the Tory / Lib-Dem Coalition cuts and demanding they reverse their decision to cut public sector jobs and services and listen to the real alternative. Five trains are scheduled to travel down to London from the North West - 3 from the NUT and 2 from Unite the Union. Other unions are also considering rail and coach travel. Merseyside is simply carrying out national TUC policy to unite the community with the trade union movement in opposition to cuts, which create real poverty and hardship, when combined with job losses in the public sector and NHS and welfare benefit cuts. We are also pleased that both the Metropolitan and Anglican Cathedrals are assisting us.”

It is all bollocksJanuary 4th 2011.

All politicians are the same. Just dressed up in different colours. Anti-cuts, my arse. labour would have been no different.

Big-Hearted ArthurJanuary 4th 2011.

Opening the roads up to traffic and buses again might be a solution. It is no longer possible to get a bus to the part of town to want to get to - so people won't bother, especially that bus fares people are expected to pay.

Important four-lane main roads such as Renshaw Street have become crawling, congested single lanes under the previous councils destructive policies.

Open them up again and bring business back into the city centre!

Reinstate proper bus routes through the city centre and stop sending buses around tight corners they can't safely manage or down narrow streets that become hopelessly gridlocked whenever anyone tries to turn right.

AnonymousJanuary 4th 2011.

A Liverpool Embassy in London.Oh come on, isn't it about we grew up and stopped playing childish games with such silly gimmicks. It's a demonstration of the redundant thoughts we have in this city with a lack of real ambition. This whole idea is an embarassment. I'll have to start telling people I'm really from the Wirral in faraway Cheshire.

Toll TunnellerJanuary 10th 2011.

Wirral's in Meeerzeeeside, mate. (No jobs here either.)

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