Saturday, 19 December 2009

More Colonisation of North East Wales!

In this month's Total Politics magazine the question of elected Mayor's is discussed and as part of the debate Peter Kilfoyle the Labour MP for Liverpool Walton provides us with his flawed thinking on the matter:
Peter Kilfoyle, Labour MP for Liverpool Walton, is campaigning for a directly elected mayor whose remit would extend beyond the city local authority, across a Liverpool 'city-region' - potentially incorporating Warrington, Ellesmere Port and Neston, Chester, Wrexham and Flintshire. He argues that the economic, communicative and cultural bonds that link these areas are stronger than the "rather arbitrary administrative boundaries in local government", and that this should be acknowledged in the structure of governance. "People in that role are democratically responsible to their own local electorate but not to the wider electorate. The wider electorate doesn't have a say on a council leader in one area who might be mishandling an area of the city-region's governance, so there's a democratic deficit." Kilfoyle, rightly or wrongly, sees the mayoral model as the remedy to this deficit."

I really am stuck for words here, I find it hard to describe how I feel without making a personal attack on Peter Kilfoyle. Who does he think he is? Is he just crass and insensitive or does he know what he's saying and is he being arrogant and condescending? Kilfoyle really needs to understand that he doesn't have a say over our constitutional settlement and he can campaign as long as he wants in Liverpool and Cheshire but he won't be imposing a Regional Mayor on Wrecsam and Flintshire.


Plaid Queensway said...

Is this Labours general attitude to North East Wales? After reading other documents such as 'By Our Common Endeavours'written by Clwyd South AM Karen Sinclair, I'm seeing quite a disturbing pattern here. There seems to be a Labour push to erode, or rather disregard the border. Would any Labour reps care to comment?

Anonymous said...

In Peter Kilfoyle's view Wales is part of a region that has arbitrary administrative boundaries - absolutely disgraceful and typical of English politicians attitude towards Wales.

P Hughes said...

Does Mr Kilfoyle actually understand we live in a devolved Britain? It seems some people are stuck with a pre-1999 mentality.

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

P Hughes - I think you are probably right Mr Kilfoyle seems stuck in his Westminster bubble, very similar to the invisible Martyn Jones and the use of an English press release in Wales to call for free prescriptions...doh, how dumb can you get?

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

From the Liverpool Daily Post 6/11/09

A MERSEY MP has called for a directly-elected mayor to give real power to the Liverpool "city- region" – branding the current set- up a toothless "cosy cabal".

Walton MP Peter Kilfoyle commissioned his own independent research to analyse the failings of an arrangement he claims is letting down Merseyside.

The study has been sent to fellow MPs and key city bodies including The Mersey Partnership and Liverpool Vision, urging them to embrace the need for radical change.

Among the key conclusions are calls for:

A directly-elected mayor – akin to London's Boris Johnson – to "bring vision, innovation and real accountability";

A 12-strong assembly – with six directly-elected members, because its current leadership is a "closed and incestuous shop";

Tax and spend powers – perhaps over waste charges, road-pricing, local income tax, higher business rats, or a tourism tax;

A bigger city-region – perhaps including Warrington, Ellesmere Port and Neston, Chester and even Wrexham and Flintshire.

The study, by Liverpool firm KIP Research Ltd, pulls no punches in criticising the current city-region, warning that multi-area agreements (MAAs) – the basis of the Government's model – have "no power", because they impose no duties on councils to co-operate.

It claims the so-called "Cabinet" of the six council leaders lacks imagination and gives them "potential conflicts of interest" and has been weakened by Liverpool City Council's poor public image of "in-fighting, factionalism and allegations of unprofessionalism and mismanagement".

The report said the weaknesses were laid bare by the "bolshie squabbling" over Everton Football Club's plans to move out of Liverpool, to Knowsley.

Just because Liverpool City Council isn't working why should we carry the can? I wonder whether this has been discussed at the Mersey Dee Alliance?

alanindyfed said...


They once tried to snatch Monmouthshire (Syr Fynwy) but failed.

Dylan Roberts said...

Copied from Facebook

Dylan Roberts
I can almost understand his thinking with regard to Merseyside - the Wirral, Runcorn, Warrington etc - as these are now little more than satellite towns for Liverpool. But Wrexham, Chester and Flintshire? I've been to Liverpool once in the last twelve months. I live and work in Wrexham. Provided they aren't dumping their refuse here again, what Liverpool does is of little relevance to me and I'm sure it is the same for the majority!

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

Has this been discussed at the Mersey Dee Alliance?

Pelagius said...

Thanks for posting this. Another threat to Wales exposed. There are so many. Our water resources. Tidal power potential. Wind farms ruining our country but not 'nice' bits of England. Dumping waste. Military training.

I agree with most analyses here. But one thing is missing. It is more than 'England' or 'Westminster'. This is another manifestation of British nationalism which, of course, still has imperialist elements.

Another question is where is Plaid's "nation-building" project at the moment? Managing British devolution in Cardiff Bay is not enough against all these threats. At the moment, I do not see enough dynamism there: political nor intellectual.

One final thought. How about a campaign to (re-) incorporate Croesoswallt into Powys, or would it be Flintshire? See how they like it.

Anonymous said...

What an excellent idea, Oswestry in Wales, it would have to come in to Wrexham County Borough because Glyn Ceirog is in Wrexham. Oswestry is a lot more Welsh than some areas in Wrexham county. Oswestry has strong linguistic and cultural links with Wales, let's go for it.

Paul Sambrook said...

Copied from Facebook

"Why do you wish to resist the temptation to make a personal attack on Peter Kilfoyle. Let 'im 'ave it! He's acting like some little dictator, drawing lines on maps of other people's countries!"

stuart davies said...

Kilfoyle is only taking the Mersey-Dee Alliance and the sub-regional strategy to its logical conclusion. Political control to match the economic and social control. How much more of this crap have we got to put up with?

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

An email has already been sent to Aled Roberts to see whether he was aware of Kilfoyle's comments and whether the matter had been discussed at the MDA. I will post his reply. I will also be writing to Carl Sargeant AM for Alyn & Deeside and who is now Minister for Local Government and under whose remit the MDA and the NE Wales part of the Wales Spatial Plan comes.

Plaid Queensway said...

I'd agree completely with Stuart, the MDA and West Cheshire plan are the culmination of years of discriminatory policy and thinking. As offensive as this latest piece of news is, it's completely in line with other cross border 'initiatives'. A stated aim of the Mersey Dee Alliance (which includes reps from N E Wales councils and WAG) is to:

"ensure through our close collaboration, that we help to bring forward the most appropriate sites for development, based on their merits, rather than having regard to administrative boundaries and to local allocation targets.”

Peter Kilfoyle "argues that the economic, communicative and cultural bonds that link these areas are stronger than the "rather arbitrary administrative boundaries in local government".

Karen Sincalir states in her 2020 pamphlet on the Deeside hub:

"Our continued economic development in the next few years into a world-class, added value area that continues to punch above its weight will rely heavily on developing an integrated transport policy that takes greater account of regional economic patterns than it does of historic, but artificial national borders"

The political push to erode these inconvenient administrative boundaries (better known as a national border to the rest us) seems to be well on its way.

Pelagius said...

Can you please provide internet links to these offensive documents and their parent bodies, please? I don't live in the north east so I'm not familiar with this Mersey-Dee Alliance. Many of these initiatives are de facto run by developers and compliant local government officials. I would like to join an active political campaign against all this. As you're clearly on the ball, please give us the tools to support you.

Plaid Queensway said...

Yes of course:

Mersey Dee Alliance reference is here, point 5.4:

Peter Kinfoyle statement:

Karen Sinclair, By Our Common Endeavours. I have a link saved for this but it is no longer online for some reason.... there are however references to the quote I've used elsewhere, it's the 12th article down on this blog:

The best summary I can give you of the sub-regional strategy and MDA is here. There are also links on this to other key documents:,%20124KB)

There is a campaign up and running against the sub-regional strategy and the situation generally in the North East, more info at:


Plaid Queensway said...

Apologies, the Karen Sinclair 2020reference is here:

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

Article on Page 9 of today's Daily Post, David Hanson said, "While elected mayors are a positive idea in many ways, having a mayor to cover such a large geographical area, with so many differences would not work cross-border."