Issue - meetings
DIRECTORATE PLAN PERFORMANCE REPORT
The Head of Environment and Regulation presented the report of the Strategic Director for Regeneration and Environment that set out the 10 key projects to be involving or delivered by the directorate as part of the Council’s Corporate Plan.
The Head of Regeneration, responding to comments from Members, reported current progress relating to the Wirral Enterprise Zone / Wirral Waters and the golf resort. He detailed the work undertaken with Peel Holdings, and on the Enterprise Zone report recently presented to the Cabinet that included matters such as the recycling of business rates.. Members asked a number of questions in relation to Tourism and the Chair commented that these issues had already been raised with the Strategic Director. Members requested that tourism be made a specific agenda item for the first meeting in the new Municipal Year.
Officers responded to a series of questions on topics including school grounds maintenance contracts, Wirral ‘brand marketing’, car parking at Fort Perch Rock and an update on proposals for the re-introduction of a hovercraft ferry service at New Brighton.
In response to comments from Members, the Head of Regeneration and Planning gave information on the redevelopment proposals for Birkenehad Town Centre, which had been considered by the last Cabinet, Birkenhead Market Charter and various retail action plans for retail centres across the Borough.
The Head of Regulation responding to comments from Members, reported that good progress had been made with regard to the tendering of contracts for the supply and installation of LED street lighting. Members were apprised that once finalised, the contract and details of the phased implementation would be provided to Members.
The Chair re-iterated the Committee’s request that their comments on the promotion of Wirral tourism be relayed to the Strategic Director.
Resolved – That the report be noted.
During the course of discussion on the item relating to the Golf Resort, Councillor Geoffrey Watt declared a non-pecuniary interest due to his position as Trustee to a West Kirby Charity with land interests in the Hoylake area.
A Report by the Strategic Director of Regeneration and Environment updated Members in relation to performance as at 30th November 2014 against the delivery of the Regeneration and Environment Directorate Plan 2014/15.
A Member enquired into the reasoning behind lower levels of affordable housing in comparison to previous years.
Members were informed that the grant that had previously been available had been significantly reduced, therefore resources available had been diminished.
A Member then enquired about numbers of empty properties within the Borough and was informed that a recent audit demonstrated that there are around 6,000.
The Committee were informed by the Strategic Director of Regeneration and Environment that a recent report had indicated that Wirral had increased its Gross Value Added (GVA) by 7%, a higher level than anywhere else in the country.
Resolved – That the Committee use the information contained within the report to inform its future work programme.