Crosby Area Committee hears complaints from residents after Tori

Veronica Bennett
Last week's Crosby Area Committee heard complaints that the Conservatives hijacked a local park sign which had been designed by local school children to display one of their election posters.
During the election period, the sign at the Mere Park Duck Pond on Victoria Road and Cambridge Road was covered over with a blue and white sign which read 'Parry, Conservative'.
The original park sign was designed and researched by pupils at St Michael's High School. It features detailed illustrations of ducks and other wildlife found at the popular pond and a poem warning people about the dangers of feeding the ducks too much bread.
Crosby Area Committee heard correspondents from residents angry that the sign had been covered over by the Tories.
It also turns out that Crosby Area Committee made a donation of £1,000 from its budget to Mere Park Duck Pond in 2011 - a time when the Tories were dominant on the committee.
New Blundellsands Ward Labour Councillor Veronica Bennett said she understood why people were angry.
Mere park Duck Pond signCllr Bennett said: "People here in Blundellsands are rightly angry at the Conservatives for covering this sign with a party political poster of this kind.
"They are rightly asking questions about this whole issue. Specifically why an association who received public money from the area committee is displaying party political advertising.
"I live around the corner from the pond and I know only too well how much this landmark is loved by the people in this community.
"The original park sign is very well designed by the pupils of St Michael's and it gives some crucial advice to people about looking after the wildlife.
"It's very disappointing that the Conservatives in Blundellsands feel that they can just hijack a local sign like this for their own party political literature."
Despite the sign, the electorate in Blundellsands sent the Conservative candidate, sitting councillor and Sefton Tory leader Paula Parry a decisive message on May 4, when she polled just 1,448 compared to successful Labour candidate Veronica Bennett who was elected to the council with 2,117.
Mere Park Duck Pond signCllr Bennett said the residents of Blundellsands were right to ask questions about the sign.
Cllr Bennett said: "It was noted at the area committee that the recipient of the £1,000 from the area committee funding had been a candidate for the Conservatives in a nearby ward.
"The time when this donation was made, all three Blundellsands councillors were Conservative.
"People are clearly asking questions about this donation and the association's decision to advertise for the Tories.
"Was it appropriate for them to carry a party political ad? Clearly lots of people think not."

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