Decision details


Decision Maker: Council, Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


To report back on the Strategic Asset Review


Proposed by Councillor Harney

Seconded by Councillor Gilchrist


(1)  Council


(i) believes that many issues and proposals contained in the Strategic Asset Review have caused considerable concern to the communities throughout Wirral. 

Council recognises that, since October, there has been uncertainty around the future provision of libraries, recreational and other facilities;


(ii) is concerned that the direction of the Strategic Asset Review, creating larger complexes, in key locations, is too broad an approach for a borough consisting of so many communities;


(iii) believes that section (26) dealing with the rationalisation of office accommodation is what the public rightly expect should happen with an organisation of this size.


(2)  Council believes that the public deserve and prefer community-based, accessible services, with savings achieved in office accommodation and through agile working, rather than the closure of facilities.


(3)  Therefore, recalling that this matter was first ‘expedited’ on 16 October 2008, Council requests that this work must be brought forward as a matter of urgency and calls for that approach to receive priority in order to secure savings.


(4)  Council believes that tackling too many issues, in too short a timescale, has created an excessive workload and a lack of effective capacity to tackle the issues effectively.  However the consolidation of buildings and facilities may be achievable by working with each community in a sensitive and realistic manner.


(5)  That the proposed programme of library closures be rescinded and budgetary provision should be made.  The prospect of borrowing to secure physical improvements to buildings, saving energy and running costs, remodelling and improving them, should be properly addressed, with regard to capitalisation and borrowing costs.


(6)  Council therefore resolves:


(i)  That the proposals in sections (1) to (6) inclusive of the recommendation be approved, subject to officers reporting back on the results of the investigations and discussions and alerting members to areas of concern at the earliest opportunity.


(ii)  That the proposals in paragraphs (7) up to and including (16) of the proposals be not proceeded with.


(iii)  That the innovative schemes referred to in sections (17) and (18) be commended for further development and introduction.


(iv)  That the reassurances and clear statement regarding Birkenhead Central Library in paragraph (19) be warmly welcomed and endorsed.


(v)  That, with regard to all the centres and facilities covered in paragraph (20), the emphasis must be on working with communities so that the users can make an informed judgment on their provision and individual circumstances.


(vi)  That the proposals contained in paragraphs (21) to (25) be approved in principle, but developed further and that progress reports on each of the matters be given to the Cabinet at regular intervals, and that, as a matter of principle, any member requesting information on progress be kept fully informed.


(vii)  That the issues of office accommodation and agile working be addressed with urgency.


(viii)  That paragraph (29) be set aside in order to assist this process and to proceed on the basis outlined.


(ix)  Finally, that officers report on the financial implications of the above as part of the budget process.


The Council had previously debated this matter (Minutes 105 and 117 refer).


Resolved (29:35:1) – That the amendment be not approved.


NB.  The following Councillors requested that their vote in favour of the amendment be recorded:


Councillors T Anderson, C Blakeley, SL Clarke, WA Duffey, DM Elderton, GJ Ellis, Mrs L Fraser, P Gilchrist, JE Green, J Hale, T Harney, Karen Hayes, Paul Hayes, AC Hodson, PSC Johnson, J Keeley, I Lewis, D Mitchell, SD Moseley, SR Mountney, S Niblock, C Povall, A Pritchard, Mrs LA Rennie, SL Rowlands, Sue Taylor, GCJ Watt, Mrs P Williams and Mrs K Wood.

Publication date: 17/02/2009

Date of decision: 09/02/2009

Decided at meeting: 09/02/2009 - Council