Ridiculous; Govt Warns spread HIV in Ondo and go to Jail for 10 Years.

The Ondo State Government  has  come up with a rather ingenious way to combat HIV/AIDS within the state but I fear the  worst. The governments HIV anti-stigma law prescribes a 10-year jail term, fine of N500,000 or both for any person who by whatever means transmits HIV to another person. The law also stipulates that anybody who discriminates against people living with HIV would be committing an offence and is liable to a fine of N100,000 or imprisonment of six months or both. Source: www.thisdaylive.com

The government might have good intentions in coming up with this law but I find it absolutely unrealistic and ill-thought.Slide1

First, how does the government plan to ascertain who transmitted HIV to another person and how it was transmitted; word of mouth/personal accusation? Let’s assume this was approved as the method for reporting the crime, would this be investigated? I strongly doubt that, but should they decide to how would they go about the process in the case of a sexual encounter. The whole idea is fraught with loopholes. This law would only serve to produce another source of illegitimate profit for law enforcement officer, an increased number of vindictive allegations and unlawful arrests of the less affluent.

Secondly, in a country where the average individual struggles to make an annual income of N 100,000 with some not attaining that, were does this government except people to come up with fine. It is a very ridiculous enrichment scheme, another way to oppress the already disenfranchised citizenry.

Thirdly, in a country riddled with poor medical infrastructure, high medical bills, limited diagnostic tools and a populace still firmly clutched firmly the belief that HIV is a death sentence, is this law really the best solution they could come up with. How about providing improved low cost diagnostic tools and treatment for the masses or support groups for diagnosed individuals or simply organising well structured awareness schemes and projects involving as many people as possible. Oh wait! Those solutions would actually involve spending public funds on the public, so no we cannot have that.

Slide2

Finally, I am assuming that with this law we will definitely have more people getting checked and prevention rates will soar. We might even see more people openly admit to having the ailment and living life as normal, right? Emm…..No! This law does nothing to end stigmatisation if anything it further engraves it into society and shoves diagnosed individuals further into the closet.


The fear of negative social consequences of a positive HIV test result often deters people from getting tested. A study of men and women in seven cities in the US found that stigma was associated with a decreased likelihood of being tested for HIV. Individuals who are HIV+ but not tested and don’t know they are HIV+ are less likely to try to prevent transmitting HIV to others. Source:  CAPS, University of California San Franciso May, 2006.

Original images from Pixabay.

Ridiculous currency situation.

“Zimbabweans will start exchanging “quadrillions” of local dollars for a few US dollars next week as President Robert Mugabe’s government discards its virtually worthless national currency. Bank accounts with balances of up to 175 quadrillion Zimbabwean dollars will be paid $5. Those with balances above 175 quadrillion dollars will be paid at an exchange rate of $1 for 35 quadrillion Zimbabwean dollars.

The highest – and last – banknote to be printed by the bank in 2008 was 100tn Zimbabwean dollars. It was not enough to ride a public bus to work for a week.” The Guardian. Click on the link to read the rest of the article.


I find the above situation very ridiculous, but not surprising; a result of short-sighted leaders and disheartened followers.

Source: AP images

My husband constantly says always try to leave things in the state you met them or make improvements; but endeavour not to make them worse. I must confess it’s not a lesson that I have perfected in all areas of my life. It is however, still a vital life lesson which the Zimbabwean government (along with other African leaders) should strive to live by.

According to various sources the root cause of hyperinflation in Zimbabwe can be traced to the land reform program initiated by the government post-independence. It involved the transfer of agricultural lands from experienced white settlers to black inexperienced farmers which marked a rapid decline of the agricultural industry. Whilst I agree that such a move was perhaps aimed at asserting the leadership of the citizens, however, when a decline was observed it might have been wise to call in help for the sake of posterity. Why  didn’t this happen? Probably because our African leaders rarely anticipate the future, they live and exist in a time continuum of the here and now which revolves around them.

Other factors that influenced the process of hyperinflation include: an involvement in the civil war of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the face of a worsening economic condition and the suspension of international loans and economic aid to the country as a result of various factors including mismanagement of its funds, and poor policy implementation. Unfortunately this situation of poor public fund management and leadership isn’t peculiar to Zimbabwe alone, it is a common thread drawn through the history and present day of several African countries.

Source: Zerohedge

Africa needs leaders who want to make a difference, have a plan for achieving that difference, and dedicated to ensuring the difference can outlive them. We need a system that works, a system that meets the present need, but also designed to flexibly accommodate future needs.

We are tired of governments that want to reap and plunder the land where it hasn’t sown whilst eradicating any opposition.

                                                                  Source: 16covers.com

I will conclude on the eloquent words of Pope Francis:

                 Source: paxonbothhouses

Please note that he points out the need for us to first refuse a faulty system before he prays for a solution. We must refuse to settle for less than we want.

To our new leader

Dear Mr President,

Aso rock Abuja,

Nigeria.

It is with immense pleasure that we welcome the beginning of your tenure especially as it marks the first smooth democratic transfer of power. However, our pleasure is marred by past events which often indicates that a change in power does not necessarily mean a productive change in society. But in a show of faith I would love to believe change is on the way, one area this would be highly appreciated would be the creation of a diversified economy. Why that and not the provision of constant power supply you might ask? My reasons are explained below


Facts about oil production

Source: Oil-Led Development: Social, Political, and Economic Consequences by Terry L. Karl, January 2007.

Oil-led Development: this is development based on overwhelming dependence on revenues from the export (and not the internal consumption) of petroleum, as measured by the ratio of oil and gas to GDP, total exports, and the contribution to central government revenues.

Resource Curse: is the negative growth and development outcome associated with minerals and petroleum-led development. In its narrowest sense, it is the inverse relationship between high levels of natural resource dependence and growth rates.

Dutch Disease: this occurs when resource booms cause real exchange rates to rise and labour and capital to migrate to the booming sector. This results in higher costs and reduced competitiveness for domestically produced goods and services, effectively “crowding out” previously productive sectors.

Rent: as defined by Adam Smith’s is the unearned income or profits “reaped by those who did not sow.” According to economists, rents are earnings in excess of all relevant costs, including the market rate of return on invested assets.

Rentier State: A state that lives from externally generated rents rather than the surplus production of the population. In oil-exporting states, it is measured as the percentage of natural resource rents in total government revenues.

Rent-seeking: This refers to efforts, both legal and illegal efforts, to acquire access to or control over opportunities for earning rents. This can be seen in the public or private sector.

Oil boom can be beneficial or detrimental to a society depending on two factors first, the existing political, social and economic institutions available to manage oil wealth as it comes on-stream and, second, the extent to which oil revenues subsequently transform these institutions in a rentier direction. According to the above statements the occurrence of the 1970 oil boom just at the end of the Biafran war in Nigeria probably played a huge role in the negative impact of oil on our nation.

The impact of an oil-led development on the economy and society as a whole tends to be negative, common effects include

1. An Increase in the real exchange rate of the country’s currency, thus rendering most other exports non competitive a phenomenon called the “Dutch Disease.” It “crowds out’ other productive sectors and makes the diversification of the economy particularly difficult.

2. Frequent economic shocks and susceptibility to acute boom- burst cycles due to the price volatility of the international primary commodities market. It affects economic development, budgetary discipline, the control of public finances, state planning, investment, income distribution and poverty alleviation.

3. It fails to offer long-term sustainable employment available to the masses, but seriously disrupts pre-existing patterns of production. It creates a few jobs in comparison to the amount of capital invested and the skill required for these jobs usually does not fit the profile of the mass unemployed.

4. It creates a rentier state which depends on oil rents rather than direct taxation. The leaders are likely to tax their citizens lightly or not at all, thus making them detached from and unaccountable to them. The citizens in turn, are less likely to demand accountability from its leaders.

5. The occurrence of social dislocations, environmental and health hazards, and higher levels of conflict increase. New oil exploitation attracts a large number of migrants, significantly increases the cost of living  probably due to the higher salaries of oil project workers which inflates the local prices of key goods and services, even for those who do not share in the benefits of an oil project. It also has an adverse impact on public health issues such as poor housing, increased Incidence of HIV/AIDS near oil localities.

In summary, countries dependent on oil as their major resource for development are characterized by exceptionally poor governance and high corruption, a culture of rent-seeking, often devastating economic, health and environmental consequences at the local level, and high incidences of conflict and war.


Mr President I am not saying that all our problems will be solved by diversification that would be naive. However, diversifying the economy would first decentralize the present monopoly market that carters for a few against the well-being of many, move the economy away from a rentier state and introduce taxation which would lead to more accountability.

Many have said you are a disciplined man, one interested in the rule of law, if this is true it is my belief that you can tackle this issue and move the nation to where it ought to be. Studying countries with a diversified economy, despite having oil resource would prove helpful. A good place to start might be Norway.

I hope to see some change as we are desperate for a new dawn and the day that the leaders we have been told we were comes to life.

Thank you,

A concerned citizen.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Dear Leader.”

Did they really rescue the girls?

They say don’t look a gift horse in the mouth but on this occasion I beg to differ. I can’t help thinking that the success of the Nigerian military in the Sambisa Forest north-east Nigeria eventually leading to the release of 300 girls and women from the boko haram fighters camp seems a little too easy and premeditated.

There are certain questions that must be answered before we embrace this good news:

1.What changed in the activities of Boko Haram?

2. Did their defence become weaker?

3. Why wasn’t the forest easy to penetrate in the past?

4.Has Boko Haram lost funds, weaponry, or soldiers?

5.When was the mission planned?

6. What happened to the Nigerian military, how did they get empowered suddenly?

7. Why did this success come straight after the elections?

8. Is there any documentation covering the entire Sambisa forest operation both on the military  and civilian front?

These and so many other questions beg an answer from the military, our leaders and mayhap Boko Haram.

A close scrutiny of the facts and rumours surrounding boko harams operation from 2009 till date makes this sudden success by the Nigerian military look more like a charade by a political sect. A veiled attempted by these individuals to pull the wool over our eyes but in my opinion it only exposes their sickening quest for power at all costs, even the cost of an innocent child’s life. They underestimate the ability of the masses to see through their ploys,they have bullied the masses into silence but some day their voices will speak from beyond and shatter the charade we call democratic leadership.

#STOPDECEIVINGUS

#STOPPLAYINGWITHOURLIVES

#WEMATTER

Those who stand fall; hence no-one wants to stand.

I read this piece and it reminded me again of the major reason why many honest hard-working Nigerians refuse to touch political issues with a beanpole. Many refuse to voice their opinions loudly for fear of persecution or worse death. The blatant negligence of the citizens cry for change and justice has ingrained by default into the psychic of each Nigerian the motto see no evil, hear no evil thus speak no evil and if you witness any of these embrace it as the norm for the masses honest and the poor. The article below emphasises this point clearly. My deepest condolences go out to the family of Late Kalu Orji and other fallen victims of corrupt  negligent leaders and a muddled society.

The Government.

Written by Nwafor Afam, published by Leadership Newspaper.
Irony is a part of life, sad as it is. It has always been that way even the holy book recognizes this when it says that the same sun shines on both the righteous and the wicked. It even goes further to say that the same end awaits both, that is, both will die and have their bodies eaten by worms. Of course the next question would now be ‘why bother to be righteous?’ The debate ‘the end justifies the means’ has been around for ages and as far as I know the closest we have come to a conclusion is that every situation is different, hence in some cases the end will justify the means while in others it will not.

On  Friday April 17, 2015 in Abakaliki town, His Excellency Chief Engr. Dave Umahi drove round the town in a motorcade fit for royalty. He stood through the sun roof of a BMW X6 car waving at his adoring supporters and well wishers. As he passed through various streets, cheers abounded from his entourage and the musical band that followed him. Indeed he had every cause to jubilate and to ask that everyone join him in jubilating as he had been declared the winner of the gubernatorial elections that took place on April 11, 2015 in Ebonyi State. So not only was he the sitting deputy governor but he was now the in-coming executive governor. It is indeed an achievement made more note worthy because of all the odds stacked against his chances of success. His own boss and acclaimed mentor did not support his ambition, in fact he openly rebelled against it! An Ibo adge says “what the old man sees sitting down, the youth on top of a tree cannot see” well in this case it appears that despite having the privillage of old age his boss had lost his vision or perhaps his wits. Time will tell.

At that same time in Ndia Agu Ishiagu Village, Nkalagu, in Ishieleu LGA of Ebonyi State Mr. Kalu Orji lay dead on a mortuary slab and his widow, children and extended family were overcome not only with grief but malice as well. It was bad enough that their son, husband and breadwinner lay dead what made it even worse was that those behind the conspiracy to murder him were out in the streets rejoicing!! Even worse was that these same conspirators were about to be rewarded with the custodianship of the state.

A true case of irony!

Before his death Kalu Orji was the Labour Party Coordinator for Nkalagu and also an accredited agent of his party at the gubernatorial elections that held on April 11, 2015 nationwide. He had made up his mind to ensure that there would not be a repeat of what had transpired two weeks ago at the senatorial elections. He had been seriously blamed and some had even accused him of romancing with the enemy, PDP. Since not only did they snatch ballot boxes, subvert votes by openly purchasing votes, intimidate those that refused but he Kalu had failed to acquire any evidence of all these neither had he made any official complaints during or after the whole charade. Therefore he had resolved that this time he would not go quietly, all procedures must be followed, where they were not demand an incident form and make sure your objections were noted plus do not sign any result sheets.

Early Saturday morning he was at his station bright and eager. He and his men went round greeting members of their community. “If they offer you money, please collect it o! and vote your mind, do not argue with them or say you are for Labour, just collect it, nod and go and vote” was their message to all and sundry. For in their own community as in many others the young Labour Party had captured the hearts and minds of the people for the fact that it was said to be the choice of their governor and it had given room for young and fresh minds to enter the political landscape. Plus it was always a sign of having a bad product to sell whenever you started by buying affection instead or earning it through dialogue and courtship.

True to their type the PDP goons came around with an impressive show of force and wealth, thugs everywhere, soldiers in military jeeps and bags of money as well as bags of rice and drinks. One would be forgiven if he mistook the venue to be a party ground instead of an election polling unit. As advised the people collected the money and sundry gifts and voted their minds. Somewhere along the line the PDP goons became worried at the non-chalant attitude of the Labour Party agents and decided to try to see how the people were voting. With the connivance of the INEC staff and Ad-hoc staff they soon learnt that it was not going their way. They now decided that before anyone is given money they must bring their ballot paper and show that it was thump printed for PDP before collecting any money. Kalu refused and said that was not how it would be done. After much yelling and shoving around it was agreed that anyone who wanted the money had to follow that pattern. As time went on it became apparent that no one was willing to be branded a saboteur by openly going to collect the money.  The thugs became unruly and demanded that the election stop. Kalu said many accredited voters had not voted and as such it could be stopped; besides it was just 4pm. The thugs grew in number and insisted they must close now. Kalu then said the votes already cast must be counted and announced for the people to hear and for party agents to sign.

With a shrill cry like a demon let loose from hell, Eze Okechukwu popularly known as “IDU” screamed “Nna mennn!! Wetin sef!!” and stabbed Kalu Orji right through the heart! In broad daylight in front of over a hundred witnesses, in the presence of the policeman and civil defense officer, the INEC staff, the NYSC Corpers and accredited voters waiting to vote. There was a stunned silence followed by a lady’s scream, followed by gun shots and of course a stampede as people ran for their lives. The thugs shepherded the INEC staff into their waiting vehicle and bungled every material they could find into same vehicle and took off like bats out of hell. Kalu lay unattended for over ten minutes, slowly bleeding to death.

The doctors would later say that if he had been brought much sooner he would have survived. Even more surprising was the fact that the autopsy revealed that he had multiple stab wounds whereas most witnesses saw only the one stabbing. Even more disturbing is the fact that INEC has no report of this incident; neither did the police officer attached to polling unit 002, Ndia Agu Ishiagu, Nkalagu area make any reports. It was left to Labour agents and his family to make the report. ‘IDU’ is currently under arrest but his colleagues Christian Omeri, Ali Ogbu (aka VASCO), Friday Nnaji (aka ALIUKPAM), Amechi Egonu, Eze Chinedu and many others are still free dancing in the streets celebrating their “victory” and openly boasting that all it will take is for May 29 to come and their brother will be free and honoured.

During the run up to this election much was made of the integrity of General Mahammadu Buhari and his zero tolerance for corruption, I was one of those who refused to be swayed by such talk and I will tell you why. The corruption in our society is endemic, it’s in our blood! The fact that Kalu Orji is dead cannot be disputed. That he was attacked at a polling unit and died subsequently of the wounds he sustained is a fact. Now here are another set of facts. Eze Okechukwu ‘IDU’ will definitely go free come May 29 if not sooner. INEC will never cancel that polling unit result, nor even the rest of the state since almost every area suffered the same fate as attested to by several media reports, the fact that they do not have an incident report for that polling unit for if only the stabbing will not earn anyone a quarry. The Nigerian Police Force will say they have no evidence to prosecute and that no witnesses will come forward, their officer attached to the unit will have mysteriously been transferred or will suddenly have amnesia and won’t be able to recognize anyone.

Now how does electing one man, who yes, has zero tolerance for corruption, affect all these people? Will he from Abuja or wherever insist that they do the right thing or force them to do the right thing? These people involved in all of this, let’s call them the enablers, don’t they have families, elders, religious leaders etc? Will anyone condemn them or denounce them? Will anyone ostracise them or deny them their company.

Such is life. Ce le vie!

We must carefully rewrite history.

The removal of Cecil Rhodes statue has been in the news for a few days though not south African I can’t help  wondering if it was the best thing to do? It raises a lot of questions in my mind including:

1. Is the process enhancing Nelson Mandela’s lifelong fight for unity or is it creating further division?

2. Is pleasing the majority the best solution?

3.. How many more statues will need to be taken down?

Camera location 33° 57′ 28.15″ S, 18° 27′ 41.71″ E View this and other nearby images on: OpenStreetMap - Google Earth -33.957819; 18.461586 [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0) or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Source Wikipedia Photograph by Danie van der Merwe
4. Will future changes be inclusive of everyone?

5. Is there a plan to ensure the change they crave doesn’t become the one that destroys/divides them.

However having read a lot of write ups and history on Cecil Rhodes I  have to agree with the protesters, he was a definite sore spot in the history of the black South Africans. According to Anthony Thomas the scriptwriter for BBC documentary on Cecil Rhodes,

” He (Cecil) stole one million square miles of Africa. His imperial notions were very much a facade. He was primarily driven by personal ambition and a craving for wealth. What is dreadful about him is the nature of his journey. When he set out for Africa he had this understanding and respect for the landscape. But he was willing to adopt the racist policies of the Afrikaners in their most extreme form.”

Some write-ups call him an outright racist, the following words make it difficult to believe otherwise

“I contend that we are the first race in the world, and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race. Just fancy those parts that are at present inhabited by the most despicable specimen of human being, what an alteration there would be in them if they were brought under Anglo-Saxon influence…if there be a God, I think that what he would like me to do is paint as much of the map of Africa British Red as possible…”

In light of the above and several other findings the statue should not be allowed an honorary position in their society as it widens certain scars but a destruction of the statue would be wrong and a wrong attempt to erase history leading to a non inclusive future for everyone. The minister of South Africa’s arts and culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa said it better

“For far too long our heritage landscape has been viewed through the prism of our colonizers and we have got to challenge that. But to come up with a blanket ban is not helpful – each statue has to be examined on its own merits because each history is not the same. We want to keep them in a museum, not destroy them, because our policy of reconciliation is that we should forgive each other but never forget,”.

South  Africa in my opinion has a varied history one to be remembered and celebrated in a way that causes minimal grievance to the culturally diverse citizens who call it home. To abide by its policy of reconciliation I believe erecting new landmarks that commemorate events centered around unity and oneness, devoid of bitter events in their city centers would be appropriate. Those that tell a direct history should be put up in a museum or park (as in Russia) for historically preservation.

Whatever decision is reached in the near future they must en-devour to avoid racial bias and sentiments clouding their judgement.People must not be intimidated or cajoled into agreeing to take down any more statues, leaders should come up with a strategic all inclusive action plan before a mole-hill becomes a mountain. Knowing its African politicians I would not be holding my breath.

Image of Cecil Rhodes source wikipedia

Sources of information and research include

http://www.sahistory.org.

pages.uoregon.edu

http://www.independent.co.uk

http://www.telegraph.co.uk

A year later: still no anwers

                                         A faceless girl   Courtesy: sixfootgiraffe.com

They say once you’re faceless

you become nameless,

And once you’re nameless,

you become a statistic.

Statistics only go up or down,

They don’t feel or speak,

They are subject to the desires of their creators.

Wiped away one day, written and modified the next.

Needless to say only a determined leader or

A stronger life event can give a statistics

back its face and name.

This is the fate of the Chibok girls.

Courtesy: http://www.telegraph.co.uk

A YEAR GONE AND EVEN THEIR STATISTICS IS UNKNOWN. MAY GOD PRESERVE YOU.

UKIP sponsors visa application for a 1,000 immigrants.

Obtained from wikipedia
                             Obtained from wikipedia

A major part of UKIPs (UK independent party) campaign centres around the issue of immigration, understandably immigration is an issue of great importance for most UK residents but surely building a more robust economy should be paramount as studies have shown that the impact of immigration is felt most by the country when the economy is on a downward spiral. It is also worth mentioning that other than immigration and recruitment of other parties members I have no clue what else the party has to offer the UK and the harp about immigration is beginning to sound more like a scare tactics to me.

Other issues worth tackling in addition to the economy would include:

1. Implementing a better tracking system to monitor IS recruitment of young people.

2. Improving the health service system.

3. Improving the social service system especially areas that deal with child welfare and the elderly.

4.  Tackling public health issues.

Am not a politician and certainly not a UK expert so forgive me if I have spoken out of turn but this is just my opinion.

Having said all that wouldn’t it be hilarious to read the above title as a true headline post 2015 election.


In response to the writing challenge by black light candelabra  and this was the rule; For this week’s challenge, your title should create humor by bringing together two things that one does not normally see together.  The two things might both appear in your title or you might create a clash between your title and the picture everyone will see immediately.  Alternately, you could choose a title that will grab your regular readers’ attention for being far outside the scope of your normal tone and focus.  Whatever you choose, make sure that your post is serious yet still relevant to the title you used for your starting point.

#NIGERIADECIDED

Congratulations to our new president elect.

I am tremendously proud of my fatherland, for the first time its history a free (I don’t know about fair) low-level disruptive democratic election was achieved. It is indeed the beginning of something new.

I must confess that like most people I have been on the edge of my sit anticipating untold mayhem and chaos as the Election Day approached. The threat posed by Boko haram in the months preceding the election and that posed by the Niger Delta boys should the incumbent president not get a second term in office further heightened my distress. Thankfully we hope everything is now in the past and we as a nation are ready to move forward. However I can’t seem to shrug off the numerous questions still circling round in my brain.

Did Nigeria really decide or did the threat of a continued insurgence from Boko haram decide?

Did we really vote for the most deserving candidate or for the one most likely to please the powers that stroke the flames of unrest?

Did the balance of power really shift? The best answer to this was shared on Facebook by a good friend:

In 1999 PDP = ex generals + pre 1984 politicians.

In 2015 PDP sorry APC= ex generals + pre 1984 politicians.

An interesting definition of change, as a nation we are doing the same old thing and hoping for new results……the definition of insanity. I didn’t say it Albert Einstein did.

Regrettably like the children of Israel, I must say we have seen this mountain before and NO I don’t think it has changed. It only looks different because we came round last time during the daytime and now we are going round it at night. I am pleased we choose the path of peace and that we have at least achieved a free democratic election but I long for the day when the we all make the choice for the best candidate based on a FREE, INFORMED, and FAIR decision. Minimally devoid of outside influences.

Children’s centres….the government listens.

In Nigeria everything a parent does for a child is expensive and self funded. The government plays no part in helping parents or kids. There are no free parks, no free recreational centres and definitely no free medical aids. Your child, you and your families sole responsibility. Granted we have a community life that allows relatives several generations removed to pitch in when a child is born and you get to chose the lifestyle you want for your kid without interference from the government. However in terms of social amenities that makes general society conducive for children the government is largely lacking. Everything has been commercialized.

Sefton park liverpool
Sefton park liverpool

This is different in the UK, there are lovely parks for long relaxing walks and for children to exert their energy. There are children centres that provide medical advice/ consultation, socializing opportunities for parents and recreational activities for our little ones. Even for someone like me who prefers to write than talk the centres have been a source of information and camaraderie with fellow mothers, it has helped me integrate. So when the council announced its decision to shut down 10 of the children centres in a bid to save £156 million by 2017 the news was not well received.

"Princes Park Lake - geograph.org.uk - 522212" by Sue Adair. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
“Princes Park Lake – geograph.org.uk – 522212” by Sue Adair. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Under the proposal, seven SureStarts children centres will stay open in the city: Everton, Granby, Picton,Clubmoor, Belle Vale, Speke and County in Walton whilst ten others would be closed. Those under threat include: Anfield, Dingle Lane, Fazakerley and Croxteth, Fountains and Vauxhall, Garston Church and Mossley Hill, Kensington,Stoneycroft, Tuebrook and West Derby, Wavertree and Yew Tree. This would lead to 63 of the 157 full-time members of staff losing their jobs and the buildings would be managed by other organisations such as schools, with some rooms retained for outreach services.

In order to keep all the children’s centres open, concerned citizens launched a campaign urging the Government to reconsider its decision as the need for the services it provides is high in Liverpool. An e-petition save Liverpool children’s centre created by Susan Roberts has garnered 5,472 signatures and support from many people including Coleen Rooney. Parents have organised peaceful marches and protests to express their dissatisfaction.

Several letters,consultations and media debates later and we have a good verdict. The Mayor Joe Anderson on the 23rd of February at a meeting with parents at St George’s hall announced that the 10 children’s centres and 63 jobs under threat were safe until 2017. He said that publicly funded organisations – including the NHS and housing associations handed over a combined £1.5m to support the city’s SureStart programme. About £2.2m from the council’s reserves will also be ploughed in to save the centres.

Sefton park entrance Copyright Sue Adair and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Many have accused the mayor of playing politics and using this as a gimmick to earn votes. According to them the threat to shut 11 of the city’s 19 libraries last year was exactly the same. This also triggered a public outcry followed by the Mayors announcement that £1.6m savings had been found, meaning all the libraries would be saved but their opening hours would be reduced.” Personally I am happy the system works and the centres have not been shut-down. At least the government attempts to pay attention to its’ citizens outcry.