Issue - meetings
Meeting: 08/12/2014 - Council (Item 72)
To consider any recommendations of the Leader, Cabinet, Cabinet Member and Committees which require the approval of the Council. (The minutes for items A, B and C will be included in a supplement).
Amendments submitted in respect of items 7a and 7e are attached to the supplement.
In accordance with Standing Order 5(2), five matters were submitted for approval by the Council (see minutes 73 to 77 post).
Meeting: 08/12/2014 - Council (Item 73)
A copy of the report, ‘Corporate Plan 2015-2016’ (which includes the future financial position), considered by Cabinet at its meeting on 27 November, is attached. The Council will be invited to consider and approve the recommendations from Cabinet. The Cabinet minute is attached.
- Appendix 1 - Corporate Plan 2015-16, 27/11/2014 Cabinet, item 73 PDF 2 MB
- Appendix 2 - Financial Position, 27/11/2014 Cabinet, item 73 PDF 68 KB
- Cabinet Minute 99, item 73 PDF 59 KB
The first matter requiring approval was in relation to the Corporate Plan and the recommendations of Cabinet at its meeting 27 November 2014 (minute 99 refers).
An amendment was moved by Councillor Phil Gilchrist and seconded by Councillor Dave Mitchell –
Council notes the sense of excitement and progress that the corporate plan intends to convey.
Council believes that this will be undermined if the controlling Labour Cabinet fails to pay due regard to the recent budget consultation.
Since the plan talks about ‘ensuring that our vision, priorities and spending decisions are based on sound evidence, thorough analysis and understanding of community needs’ there are a number of areas where the Cabinet needs to match such sentiments with its actions.
Therefore these policy areas will lead to public confusion and cynicism if the
Cabinet’s future actions fall short of the hopes expressed.
• The plan says “pupils should have access to a safe, healthy school environment”
but will this be the case if there are insufficient crossing patrols to achieve this.
• The plan says it will “ensure residents have access to green and open spaces” but will this be ensured if residents are deterred by parking charges at the country parks.
• The plan says it will “achieve warmer and safer homes” but will this be achieved if the Cabinet, as in recent months, cuts the Public Health budget for healthy homes.
• The plan says it will “build on the assets already in our communities” but the
assets will be reduced in our communities if the Cabinet does not respond to
public concern about library opening times and youth and play facilities.
• The plan says it is “empowering” local residents “in their communities” but the Cabinet will not have built up community resilience if reductions in the availability of grit and grit bins are brought in.
• This latest plan also states…
‘It is of the utmost importance that we safeguard our vulnerable people and
deliver our services with empathy at all times’. The decision on the future of the Lyndale School, currently awaited, will be a litmus test or touchstone of this statement and a test of whether ‘sound evidence’ and ‘thorough analysis’ is being applied in practice.
Council therefore is not in a position to endorse the plan until it is clear that the laudable sentiments of the plan are adhered to and demonstrated in practice, particularly by the Cabinet.
Following a debate and Councillor Phil Davies having replied, the amendment proposed by Councillor Gilchrist was put and lost (24:37) (Two abstentions).
The motion was put and carried (37:25) (One abstention)
Resolved (37:25) (One abstention) – That the recommendations contained within Cabinet minute 99 be approved.
Meeting: 27/11/2014 - Cabinet (Item 99)
- Appendix 1 - Corporate Plan 2015-16, item 99 PDF 2 MB
- Appendix 2 - Financial Position, item 99 PDF 71 KB
Councillor Phil Davies introduced a report by the Chief Executive which included a refreshed Corporate Plan for the period 2015-2016 (Appendix 1) for the Cabinet’s consideration and referral to the Council meeting scheduled for 8 December 2014.
The Corporate Plan for 2013-2016 had been agreed by the Council at its meeting on 5 March 2013, following extensive consultation with residents, partners and other stakeholders. It provided the Council with a clear vision, a set of priorities and was the basis upon which a performance framework would be developed to monitor progress made on defined objectives. The Chief Executive’s report also contained the Council’s current financial position for the same time (Appendix2).
The Corporate Plan was the Council’s key policy document and provided a robust approach to its’ business planning; ensuring that its’ vision, priorities and spending decisions were based on sound evidence, thorough analysis and understanding of community needs.
Councillor Phil Davies informed the Cabinet that the Council’s overwhelming challenge was to deal with a hugely reducing budget. It would need to come up with innovative ways to approach this, be able to work in partnership and make very difficult decisions. The Council was focusing on collecting debts and had £70m to save over the next two years. The Corporate Plan was a road map for how this would be achieved.
Councillor Phil Davies told the Cabinet that there was no need to alter the Council’s overall corporate priorities as they were still relevant and appropriate. The Council Tax had been frozen and plans were in place to achieve three overarching priorities and the Council’s vision. The Council had invest £1.5m in new housing, £1.5m in cleaning entries and substantial resources to help unemployed people to get back into work.
In terms of economic development, Councillor Phil Davies informed that he had received a very positive report on the holding of the Open Golf Championship on the Wirral. The Council was one of the first Councils to become a Living Wage Council and it was now working with businesses to achieve Living Wage Borough status. Councillor Phil Davies was also working towards persuading the Government to devolve funding to the City Region.
Councillor Phil Davies informed that areas with the largest levels of deprivation e.g. Merseyside had received the most funding cuts and he was worried about another five years of austerity and what would be left of local government at the end of it. He asked each Cabinet Members to set out his or her priorities in respect of their respective portfolios.
Councillor Ann McLachlan informed that there was a section in the Corporate Plan on how to deliver things differently e.g. Strategic Commissioning. She emphasised the need to streamline services and become outcome focused and more efficient and told Members that the development of the Compliance Unit would drive out duplication and deliver up efficiencies.
Councillor George Davies informed that house building would continue and £1.5m had been put into affordable housing schemes in the last year (Church ... view the full minutes text for item 99