Whitehaven Harbour

Originally a hive of industrial activity. Now home to leisure craft.

John Paul Jones

Whitehaven was attacked by the founder of the USA Navy!

History Is Everywhere!

Remnants of the towns coal mining history area everywhere!

Coal Mining Took Place In Whitehaven

The pits were the most dangerous in the UK.

Tall Ships Visit Whitehaven

Beautiful, Tall Ships often berth in Whitehaven!

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Council Workers 'Kidnap' Advertising Board

This Is North Korea. Seriously!

Over the last few weeks, if you have been following our campaign on Facebook, you will have spotted Carla Arrighi popping up in different locations around the borough with her blackboard, campaigning for the introduction of an Elected Mayor style of governance.

Today, Carla tied her board up against her property, and stuck our campaign posters to it. In the early afternoon, two council employees pulled up in a van, and cut the string securing the board, and bundled it into the back of the van, like two kidnappers, eager to escape with their victim.

Carla is upset at being singled out in this manner by the council.

What we have here, is a council that is supposed to be impartial during the run-up to a referendum, flexing their pitiful muscles, and acting like Kim Jong Un from North Korea.

Today, what was left of democracy in Copeland has died, with the actions of two anonymous, over zealous individuals, who were undoubtedly acting under instruction from the powers that be, within the white elephant on Catherine Street.

Elaine Woodburn - Pack Your Bags.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

An Apology

I'm Big Enough To Say Sorry - CBC Aren't 

I feel that I should respond to Mrs Geraldine Pritchard who wrote into the Whitehaven News, in reference to an article, which appeared, on my website. There was a small segment, covering her family, which contained incorrect information. This has been removed after a correction from Mrs Pritchard, and I thank her for pointing this out. I'm sorry if the article caused upset. That was never my intention.

The article was loosely based upon a story, which appeared in the pages of the Whitehaven News, during 2007, where her sister Cllr Elaine Woodburn was interviewed - it was suggested in the story, that politicians are born into the role, hence the family link with Copeland Borough Council (CBC). It would seem that Mrs Pritchard is also following a family tradition into politics - she works for Egremont Town Council, and I wish her well in her role.

The story, which I refer to, is an interesting one. Cllr Woodburn said at the time:
“I think for all councils there needed to be a change that moved away from that age where things were done and agreed behind closed doors. I still think it is taking time to break down some of those barriers, but we have taken huge strides in the right direction." 
“I know from where we were when I started now we have moved a massive amount. Ninety-nine per cent of what we do is in the open, now we have to do something to make ourselves even more accessible to the public.” 
“I’ll be here for as long as the members want me to be. It’s up to them to decide when I’ll go. But it is a four-year appointment these days and I don’t like doing half a job. I firmly believe that we are moving in the right direction and that, for the next three years at least, I am the right person to take us forward.”
In 2009, two years after Cllr Woodburns interview, Government Inspectors were sent in to investigate why CBC was failing – this contradicts her assertion, that she was the right person for the job.

Seven years on, I have still not seen any forward direction from CBC. We appear to be going backwards with (Lab) Councillors being gagged by use of a candidate contract, for the 2015 elections.

We also see (cross-party) Councillors being denied access to information contained in a report on the failings of the Pow Beck stadium project. What is occurring at the Copeland Centre is worrying.

It does not surprise me that there is huge support from the public, for the Elected Mayor referendum. We seem to have stepped back to the bad old days, where “elders of the group” (as Cllr Woodburn described, in 2007) make decisions behind closed doors to the detriment of the community.

Now, the decision is in the hands of the public, on May 22nd: Should we move to a new system of governance where the public choose a leader through the ballot box, or leave it in the hands of failed elders to select a leader themselves?

Poll Cards Now Being Delivered Throughout Copeland

Keep Your Poll Card Safe 

Copeland Referendum - Poll Card
Poll Cards have started to drop through letterboxes of homes throughout Copeland. The Poll Card is for the European Election, and for the Copeland Referendum, where you will be asked if you would like to change the way Copeland Borough Council is run.

We urge you to choose change in the referendum.


The Poll Card is not required to vote, but does make the job much easier for those ticking off voters at the polling station, so please keep your Poll Card safe.

On the rear of the card, you will find a helpline number, should you have any problems: 0845 054 8600. Your Poll Card will give you details of what you can, and cannot do. For example, it is an offence to vote more than once. If you need help, please contact the above phone number.

If you are away, or cannot go to your local Polling Station, you can apply to vote by post - you must do this before 5pm on Wednesday 7th May. Or, you can vote by proxy - this means that someone can vote on your behalf. Completed applications for proxy votes must be submitted before 5pm on Wednesday 7th May.

If, after 5pm Wednesday 14th May, you are unable to vote because of a medical emergency, or due to work reasons, you can apply to vote by proxy, by contacting Copeland Borough Council before 5pm on 22nd May.

Please call the above phone number for all queries.

Copeland Referendum Day Music - A Special Feature!

Everything Changes With Music -

Being a big fan of music, and running my own online radio station, I have decided to run a special show on May 22nd.

A typical month brings in 75,000 people to the station to listen to the music that I have on offer. Wherever people are in the world, they can tune in, and have a listen to Rock & Pop Radio.

The Copeland Referendum day show will begin at 9pm on May 22, leading up to the close of polling stations at 10pm.

What will be playing on Referendum Day?

  • Europe: The Final Countdown
  • Iron Maiden: No more lies
  • David Bowie: Changes
  • Paul Young: Everything Must Change
  • David Gray: A Moment Changes Everything
  • Flying Colors: Everything Changes
  • Offspring: Stuff Is Messed Up
  • Scorpions: Wind Of Change
  • She & Him: Change Is Hard
  • Brendan Croker: No Money At All
  • Muse: Time is Running Out
  • Little Mix: Change Your Life
  • Elephanz: Time For A Change
  • Aretha Franklin: What A Difference A Day Made
  • Glen Campbell: Good Riddance 
You don't have to visit Rock & Pop Radio to listen - click the play button below, or CLICK HERE to listen with your preferred media player. Remember to vote on May 22 - make change happen.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Have Copeland Borough Council Lied To The Public?

Toilet Demolition Linked To Albion Square -

Draw your minds back a few months, when the following statements appeared in local press, from August 2013:
Keith Parker, Copeland’s head of neighbourhood services, said: “This budget reduction means that the council can no longer provide services our citizens have come to expect.

“The cost of direct provision of public conveniences was £41,000 per year to which can be added a further £7,200 in grant support to third parties.

“The toilets in Whitehaven absorbed the lion’s share of these costs, in terms of utilities, non-domestic rates amounting to approximately £18,000 alone.”

These high figures, the meeting heard, have so far put off potential new operators.

Mr Parker added that Copeland was not alone in closing public toilets due to budget cuts, adding that Glasgow, Manchester and Cornwall have done the same.

Miss Woodburn now plans to forward the petition Whitehaven Needs Public Toilets to MP Eric Pickles, the secretary of state for communities and local government.

“It’s a disgrace that we have had do close these toilets,” she said, “but we have had no choice. I admire those behind the petition for wanting to make a difference, and it should be sent to Mr Pickles so he can see the impact of the decisions his government makes.”
Now, take a look at this excerpt from a document, dated Nov 10th 2008: the removal of the public toilet block can't be demolished as part of the Albion Square development, but "it would vastly increase the success potential of the scheme opening up a public space with linkage views of more significant architecture (if demolished)."

So - who do you believe? Copeland Borough Council, who said that budget constraints was the reason behind the toilet demolition, or the above, taken directly from the WLR Draft Design Report?

Still not convinced? Want more evidence?
Take a look at this drawing from April 2011 - Note that there are no Public Toilets:

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Stay As We Are, Or Change For The Better?

Coming To A Letterbox Near You!

Print & place in your window - show your support!
Over the next month, our campaigners will be out and about, from Distington, through to Millom, dropping off leaflets, which outline the failings of Copeland Borough Council.

You are invited to PRINT OUR POSTER and place it in your window, or car, to show your support for our campaign - help to spread the word. It is time for change.

After 40 years of failure, and a non-listening attitude from those that are supposed to represent us, we are calling for a change in direction.

We became tired of party politics impacting upon the lives of everyone that lives in Copeland, and set about collecting signatures in a petition, which has forced a referendum to be held in the Borough, on Thursday, May 22.

This is your chance to say to our Councillors that you have had enough of political interference and the waste of taxpayer money.

£Tens-of-millions have been poured down the drain due to poor project management - the buck should stop with those in charge, but they stick their heads in the sand when the going gets tough, and blame everyone else but themselves - they also suppress information. This is not acceptable.

We urge you to vote for democracy on May 22. Voting for an Elected Mayor in the Copeland Referendum will enable YOU to choose your leader of Copeland Borough Council, instead of having a political party imposing a leader on you.

If the public vote for change, Councillor Elaine Woodburn will be relieved of her duties as leader of Copeland Borough Council (after the election of an Elected Mayor for Copeland).

It's a simple choice that you will have before you:

  • Stay as we are (where you have no say)
  • Vote Mayor (and choose your leader)
Councillors and even our MP have attempted to muddy the waters, so that those that have failed can cling onto power. This referendum is about three things:

  • Democracy - you choose your leader.
  • Transparency - you can see who makes decisions.
  • Accountability - you know who is responsible for success or failure.

This referendum is not politically motivated!

After becoming disillusioned with the effects of politics on the local community, our collective set out on the path of bringing a democratically elected leader to Copeland Borough Council so that the public would have a greater say on issues that affect the community.

Politics is the rod that broke the back of Copeland, and it is democracy that will fix it. Since October last year, various Councillors, and one MP, have approached us offering help.

Our group are not the puppets of any political party, and have rebuffed all offers.

If we succeed, or fail in our endeavours, we can hold our heads high, knowing that we tried our best, without the influences of any political party.

After 40 years of failure, it is time to change direction, away from the mess (as Jamie Reed put it). One thing is for certain - if we don't try something different, the community will suffer.

An independent, democratically elected Mayor is the only way to prevent political interference in our lives. We've rejected their interference, and so should you.

Please vote Mayor on May 22. Thanks.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

A Conversation With Jamie Reed, MP

A Conversation With Our MP - 

Yesterday, I had a conversation with Jamie Reed MP, on Twitter about an Elected Mayor for Copeland. Not everyone uses Twitter, so I thought I would reproduce the conversation for you. Twitter is a social media platform, like Facebook, but you are only allowed to use a maximum of 140 characters in each of your posts. Conversation on Twitter can become truncated - I do believe that I have captured the essence of the conversation fairly:

Jamie Reed
My latest @WhitehavenNews column on the Copeland Mayoral referendum. 
David Morton
Some very reasonable points but none of your list that wouldn't be improved by a Copeland Mayor are run by Copeland 
David Morton
Obviously you know that which begs the question why you use such a rhetorical device. 
David Morton
and the article is designed to imply it's Mayor or Town Council. We could have both or neither. There is no link. 
Jamie Reed
I think there is in the minds of the people who've approached me - they think it's either/or... 
David Morton
there's enormous confusion over the Mayor issue and confused voters always plump for the status quo in referendums. 
David Morton
Which, if I were a cynic, I'd suggest was why so many Labour figures are trying to keep the confusion going. 
Maybe Jamie doesn't understand cost saving by merging Chief Executive with Elected Mayor? 
Saving would be in region of £70,000 - year on year. Referendum one off cost. 
Jamie Reed
I think we've missed a real opportunity to talk about these issues. A real disappointment. 
We constantly speak about savings but have been ignored. W/News always copied into correspondence. 
Why did CBC ignore proposal on Mayor vote which would bypass referendum, saving £120,000? 
Jamie Reed
A bad idea in my view. 
Jamie Reed
I think this whole debate has been disfigured by personal digs and insults. Turns people off. 
You're right Jamie. Councillors shouldn't harass in shops or refer to chip shop brains trust.
David Morton 
Interesting debate to read through. To depressed to contribute! 
Jamie Reed
It can do that to you...
Yep. For example.  It doesn't help when Judith Anderson spreads misinformation about Carla.
Credentials need published by candidates if Mayor election goes ahead. Right person can make diff. 
Jamie Reed
They already can, surely that's the point? 
Beg to differ that we have the right people at moment. Hence poor ratings of CBC. 
Jamie Reed
That's a different debate though, entirely legitimate discussion, and what elections are for. 
Not really. All interlinked issues. 
Jamie Reed
Matter of opinion, not fact. 
Lots of evidence point to facts. Maybe discuss at different point in time. It's all out there. 
Jamie Reed
Just not sustainable in its current form, irrespective of leadership or performance. 
I do agree. 
Anyhoo... what time are you expecting in the Marathon? You wearing fancy dress? Lol. Good luck!

Personal Digs And Insults

From the conversation with Jamie, you will see a reference from him to personal digs, and insults. I would like to talk about this a little more here, away from Twitter.

A few days ago, there was a conversation on Facebook regarding about Jamie Reeds column in the Whitehaven News. His secretary, Judith Anderson responded to a quip from myself about the ex-Mayor of Workington not living in Copeland, so his views couldn't be taken into account. This is what she said:
Carla Arrighi doesn't live in Copeland but she has plenty to say on the matter... you can't have it both ways.
For the record, Carla Arrighi lives in the flat above her shop, in Whitehaven - the administrative centre of Copeland. This is what the campaigners of bringing a democratically elected Mayor to Copeland is up against. Lies, misinformation and bullying.

In the above conversation, there is also a reference to harassing in shops - this was from a Copeland Councillor, who is currently involved in a hearing, as a result of a complaint from Carla Arrighi.

The Chop Shop Brains trust is a quote from Councillor Timothy Knowles. It's a disparaging remark, intended to hurt Carla Arrighi - a one-time family friend of Knowles.

And then there was the comment from Councillor John Kane, who advised members of the campaign to "grow a pair", and called us, "unaccountable, misleading jellyfish." This comment was due to Councillor Kane being caught out, telling the public that he wasn't at the Whitehaven Civic Hall closure vote, when the minutes told an entirely different story.

Oh yes - and we mustn't forget the comment from the official mouthpiece of the Copeland Labour Party, where we were called anti-nuclear. We aren't. The comment, from Councillor Woodburn was designed to turn 10,000 workers against us. I work in the nuclear industry, locally, and have done so for 29 years. The majority of the group have also worked, or are still working in the industry.

So, yes Jamie Reed - the campaign is depressing at times due to Councillors waging a personal vendetta against members of the group. But, we will rise up against their hatred and lies.