Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Wallasey Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Shirley Hudspeth 0151 691 8559  Committee and Civic Services Manager

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Items
No. Item

61.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Members of the Council are asked to consider whether they have any disclosable pecuniary interests and/or any other relevant interest, in connection with any matter to be debated or determined at this meeting and, if so, to declare it and state the nature of such interest.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Prior to the meeting formally commencing and at the invitation of the Civic Mayor, Rev David Chester led the Council in prayer.

 

The Members of the Council were invited to consider whether they had any disclosable pecuniary and/or any other relevant interest in connection with any matters to be determined at this meeting and, if so, to declare it and state the nature of the interest.

 

Name

Item No. and Nature of Declaration

Councillor

Lesley Rennie

Item No. 12(5) – Notice of Motion (Minute 85 refers).

Personal – by virtue of her being a board member on the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority.

Councillor

Paul Hayes

 

Item No. 12(10) – Notice of Motion (Minute 90 refers).

Personal – by virtue of his being a member of the Liverpool City Region Transport Committee.

Councillor

Jeff Green

Item No. 12(10) – Notice of Motion (Minute 90 refers).

Personal – by virtue of his employment.

Councillor Mary Jordan

Item No. 9 – Matter referred from Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Minute 69 refers).

Personal – by virtue of her employment, her son working for the NHS and being the company secretary for a charity at Arrowe Park Hospital.

Councillor

Phil Gilchrist

Item No. 9 – Matter referred from Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Minute 69 refers).

Personal – by virtue of him being a governor of the Cheshire and Wirral NHS Partnership Trust.

Councillor

Tony Norbury

Item No. 9 – Matter referred from Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Minute 69 refers).

Personal – by virtue of his daughter working for the NHS.

Councillor

Sharon Jones

Item No. 9 – Matter referred from Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Minute 69 refers).

Personal – by virtue of her employment.

Councillor

Joe Walsh

Item No. 9 – Matter referred from Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Minute 69 refers).

Personal – by virtue of his daughters working for the NHS.

Councillor

Steve Foulkes

Item No. 12(10) – Notice of Motion (Minute 90 refers).

Personal – by virtue of him by virtue of his membership of the Merseytravel Committee of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

Councillor Chris Meaden

Item No. 12(5) – Notice of Motion (Minute 85 refers).

Personal – by virtue of her being a board member on the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority.

Councillor Jerry Williams

Item No. 12(10) – Notice of Motion

(Minute 90 refers).

Personal – by virtue of his membership of the Merseytravel Committee of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

Councillor

Christina Muspratt

Item No. 9 – Matter referred from Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Minute 69 refers).

Personal – by virtue of her daughters working within the NHS.

Councillor Phillip Brightmore

Item No. 12(2) – Notice of Motion (Minute 82 refers).

Pecuniary – by virtue of him being a member of the Communication Workers Union and having received sponsorship in the past. Would leave the Chamber whilst this matter was debated.

Councillor Chris Jones

Item No. 9 – Matter referred from Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Minute 69 refers).

Personal – by virtue of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 61.

62.

CIVIC MAYOR'S ANNOUNCEMENTS

To receive the Civic Mayor's announcements and any apologies for absence.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Civic Mayor noted that apologies had been received from Councillors Tom Anderson, David Burgess-Joyce, Kathy Hodson and David Mitchell.

 

The Civic Mayor welcomed newly elected Councillor Jean Robinson to the Council.

 

The Civic Mayor commented on a further 85 engagements that he and the Mayoress had undertaken since the last meeting of Council and referred to a number of highlights including the events in commemoration of the 100 year anniversary of the 1914-18 Armistice, and the loss of Birkenhead War Poet Wilfred Owen.

 

The Civic Mayor then informed the Members that he had received two requests from Councillors wishing to address the Council.

 

The Civic Mayor then invited Councillor Moira McLaughlin to make a short personal statement. Councillor McLaughlin addressed the Council stating that it was with sadness that she had resigned the Labour Whip and thanked Members across the Chamber from all parties for their kind words of support.

 

The Civic Mayor then invited the Leader of Council to give his statement. Councillor Phil Davies provided Members with an update on the most recent status of workforce negotiations at the Cammell Laird Yard, Birkenhead.

63.

Procedural Item

Further to Minute 42, Council 15 October 2018, Council is advised that, should it so determine, use of Electronic Voting will require suspension of the current Standing Order 18.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Civic Mayor informed that as per the last meeting of Council the current Standing Order 18 referred to the ‘…normal method of voting at meetings of the Council shall be by show of hands…’ and that the Council therefore needed to determine if they wished to use the electronic voting system.

 

On a motion by Councillor Phil Davies, seconded by Councillor George Davies, it was –

 

Resolved (unanimously) – That the electronic voting system be used for all votes at this meeting.

64.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 237 KB

To approve the accuracy of the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 15 October 2018.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 15 October, 2018 had been circulated to Members. On a motion by the Civic Mayor, seconded by Councillor Phil Davies, it was –

 

Resolved (unanimously) – That the minutes of the meeting be approved and adopted as a correct record.

65.

PETITIONS

To receive petitions submitted in accordance with Standing Order 21.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In accordance with Standing Order 21, the Mayor received petitions submitted by –

 

Councillor Leslie Rennie – on behalf of 21 residents of Upton in respect of Upton Victory Hall – to stop the demise of the building, and improve the street scene (Rake Lane).

 

Councillor Gerry Ellis – 476 signatories calling for an end to the condemning and felling of Wirral’s trees.

 

Councillor Wendy Clements – 471 signatories asking the Council not to build on greenfield sites, to concentrate on brownfield sites, and bring empty properties back into use.

 

Councillor Steve Foulkes – 18135 signatories re: Save Our Minor Injuries Units and Walk-In Centres.

 

Councillor Steve Foulkes – 188 signatories re: Cessation of the 492 and 495 bus routes in the evenings and on Sundays.

 

Councillor Angela Davies – 104 signatories requesting the re-instatement of the 83A bus service (Prenton / Birkenhead).

 

Resolved – That the petitions be noted and referred to the appropriate Chief Officer in accordance with Standing Order 34.

66.

PUBLIC QUESTIONS

To deal with questions from members of the public, in accordance with Appendix 1 to Standing Orders – up to 30 minutes.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Ms Lorraine Krimou, having given the appropriate notice in accordance with Standing Order 11, submitted a question on the subject of Charging Policies for daycare providers, notably the PVI sector.

 

Councillor Bernie Mooney, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, responded accordingly.

 

Ms Krimou asked a supplementary question in accordance with Standing Order 10, and Councillor Bernie Mooney responded accordingly.

_________

 

Mr Simon Gong, having given the appropriate notice in accordance with Standing Order 11, submitted a question on the subject of street lighting outages, maintenance and repairs.

 

Councillor Stuart Whittingham, Cabinet Member Highways and Transport, responded accordingly.

 

Mr Gong asked a supplementary question in accordance with Standing Order 10, and Councillor Stuart Whittingham responded accordingly.

_________

 

Ms Keren O’Rourke, having given the appropriate notice in accordance with Standing Order 11, submitted a question on the subject of UK Climate Change.

 

Councillor Anita Leech, Cabinet Member Environment, responded accordingly.

 

Ms O’Rourke asked a supplementary question in accordance with Standing Order 10, and Councillor Anita Leech responded accordingly.

_________

 

Mr Geoffrey Roberts, having given the appropriate notice in accordance with Standing Order 11, submitted a question on proposals to outsource management of the Warren Golf Course, and sought assurances on the lease agreements for existing tenants.

 

Councillor Phillip Brightmore, Cabinet Member Leisure and Recreation, responded accordingly.

67.

LEADER'S, EXECUTIVE MEMBERS' AND CHAIRS REPORTS pdf icon PDF 59 KB

To receive the written reports of the Executive and Overview and Scrutiny Committee Chairs, and to receive questions and answers on any of those reports in accordance with Standing Orders 10(2)(a) and 11.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor introduced the reports from the Leader, Cabinet Members and Overview and Scrutiny Committee Chairs and asked for questions on any of the reports.

 

Councillor Phil Gilchrist asked a question of Councillor Stuart Whittingham, Cabinet Member Highways and Transport, regarding £1.465 million pounds recently provided by Government for the repair of damaged roads and work on bridges. What proposals did the Cabinet Member have for allocation of these funds, and could Members submit bids for a share of this additional funding to tackle the concerns of their residents in relation to highways matters.

 

Councillor Whittingham responded that that money was welcomed and a report of the 2019/20 repairs programme was to be be reported in the New Year, he added that an email would be sent to Members with details nearer the time.

 

Councillor Mary Jordan asked a question of Councillor Janette Williamson, Cabinet Member Finance and Resources, on how investing £26 Million in the Hoylake Golf Course helped the most vulnerable.

 

Councillor Williamson responded stating that this was matter not covered in her report, but income generation was core to the Council’s new way of working, as had been referred to in the Cabinet Member, Environment’s answer to an earlier question.

 

Councillor Jean Stapleton asked a question of Councillor Phil Davies, Leader, regarding the Council’s plans when it assumed the role of Borough of Culture.

 

Councillor P Davies responded that he was pleased to have attended the official handover at St Helens the previous weekend and was proud that Wirral had been selected for this role in 2019. He provided an update on a number of proposed highlight projects and informed Council that more details would be announced in due course.

 

Councillor Bruce Berry asked a question of Councillor Angela Davies, Cabinet Member Jobs and Growth, regarding the plans for £150 million investment in Birkenhead, and questioned why other investment had not been set aside for centres such as Liscard and New Ferry.

 

Councillor A Davies responded that the massive investment programme planned for Birkenhead Commercial District was well known, and a key driver for regeneration under the auspices of the Wirral Growth Company.

 

Councillor Alan Brame asked a question of Councillor George Davies, Cabinet Member Housing and Planning, requesting updated figures regarding empty / substandard properties being brought back into use. 

 

Councillor G Davies responded, directing Councillor Brame to the last paragraph of his report, stating that the number had reduced to 4200 and that the 2015 target to bring empty properties into use should be achieved by 2020.

 

Councillor Andrew Gardner asked a question of Councillor George Davies, Cabinet Member Housing and Planning regarding Government guidance on housing numbers did not represent a mandatory target, and was simply a starting point for local authorities to work within its boundaries and other constraints such as green belt. 

 

Councillor G Davies responded that he was aware of this, and Wirral’s housing figures had been based on the Office for National Statistics figure of 488 per year.

 

Councillor Tony  ...  view the full minutes text for item 67.

68.

MEMBERS' QUESTIONS

To consider Members’ general questions to the Civic Mayor, Executive or Committee Chair in accordance with Standing Orders 10 (2)(b) and 11.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Steve Williams asked a question of the Cabinet Member for Environment concerning the spending of Wirral Council’s £6.7 million share of Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority’s Waste Development Fund.  Councillor Anita Leech responded accordingly.

 

Councillor Phil Gilchrist asked a question of the Cabinet Member for Environment in relation to the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Autumn Statement that promised £10 million funding (2019-20 to 2022-23) for local community street trees and urban trees.  Councillor Anita Leech responded accordingly.

69.

MATTERS REFERRED FROM OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEES OR OTHER COUNCIL COMMITTEES pdf icon PDF 127 KB

To consider and determine any references from the Overview and Scrutiny Committees and any other Council Committees.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Phil Gilchrist moved and Councillor Chris Carubia seconded the following Motion as contained within the Council Supplement Item 9 - Matters referred from Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Call-In of the decision taken by the Joint Strategic Commissioning Board (Cabinet Committee) - Standing Order 8(r) applied:

 

“Council understands and endorses the views expressed by the Adult Care and Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee.  In so doing, Council appreciates...

 

i.  the need to secure open and transparent working arrangements with the commissioners of local health and related services;

 

ii.  the views expressed by the Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Health and Chair of the Commissioning Group;

 

iii.  the urgency of ensuring that services are in place during 2018/19.

 

As a result, Council will not cause further delay in developing arrangements to enter into the s75 agreement.

 

Notwithstanding these comments, Council endorses the calls made for improved and early dissemination of information to elected Members, especially the two Overview and Scrutiny Committees most closely involved.

 

Thus Council requests that members of the Joint Strategic Commissioning Board Cabinet Committee ensure that a meaningful dialogue is established with Councillors and that the mechanisms requested be established”.

 

Following a debate conducted in accordance with Standing Order 12, and Councillor Gilchrist having replied, a number of Members rose to request a ‘card vote’.

 

A recorded vote was then taken on the motion and the Council divided as follows:

 

For the motion (45) R Abbey, B Berry, C Blakeley, A Brame, P Brightmore, C Carubia, W Clements, T Cox, A Davies, G Davies, P Davies, W Davies, P Doughty, D Elderton, G Ellis, S Foulkes, A Gardner, P Gilchrist, J Green, P Hayes, A Hodson, AER Jones, C Jones, S Jones, M Jordan, S Kelly, B Kenny, A Leech, I Lewis, M McLaughlin, J McManus, C Meaden, B Mooney, C Povall, L Rennie, L Rowlands, J Stapleton, P Stuart, M Sullivan, A Sykes, T Usher, S Whittingham, S Williams, J Williamson and G Wood.

 

Against the motion (13) J Bird, K Cannon, P Cleary, T Cottier, P Hackett, T Jones, C Muspratt, T Norbury, PA (Tony) Smith, C Spriggs, J Walsh, I Williams, and KJ Williams.

 

Four abstentions – Councillors S Frost, E Grey, J Robinson and CouncillorG Watt (Civic Mayor).

 

Resolved (45:13) (four abstentions) – That the motion be approved.

70.

Procedural Item

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Ron Abbey and seconded by Councillor Phil Davies that Standing Order 9(1) be suspended to introduce a guillotine on the business of Council at 8:30pm and Motions 1, 2 and 3 at agenda item 12 be debated with the guillotine coming into effect after that.

 

An amendment was moved by Councillor Gilchrist and seconded by Councillor Pat Cleary that the guillotine come into effect at 9:30pm.

 

Upon being put to the vote, it was -

 

Resolved (32:29) (no abstentions) – That Standing Order 9(1) be suspended at 9:30pm with the guillotine coming into effect after that.

71.

VACANCIES pdf icon PDF 67 KB

To consider a report of the Director of Governance and Assurance on the appointment of Committee places, attached.

 

To receive nominations, in accordance with Standing Order 25(6), in respect of any proposed changes in the membership of committees, and to approve nominations for appointments to outside organisations.

 

COMMITTEES

 

Adult Care and Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Labour nominee for the vacant Vice Chair post, to replace Councillor Moira McLaughlin.

 

Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Vice Chair)

Labour nominee for the vacant Vice Chair post, to replace Councillor Moira McLaughlin.

 

Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee (Chair)

Labour nominees for the position of Chair and/or Vice Chair.

 

STATUTORY AND ADVISORY COMMITTEES

 

Discharge from Guardianship by Wirral Council under the Mental Health Act 1983 Panel

Labour nominee to replace Councillor Moira McLaughlin.

 

Standing Advisory Committee on Religious Education

Labour nominee to replace Councillor Moira McLaughlin.

 

Schools’ Joint Consultative Committee

Labour nominee to replace Councillor Moira McLaughlin.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report of the Director of Governance and Assurance on the revision to committee places in light of the resignation of a member of the Labour Group to become an Independent Member.

 

The Council was asked to receive nominations in accordance with Standing Order 25(6) for any proposed changes to membership of Committees and outside organisations and to agree the appointment of Chairs and Vice-Chairs where appropriate.

 

On motions by Councillor Phil Davies, seconded by Councillor George Davies, it was –

 

Resolved –

 

(1)  (56:0) (One abstention) – That Councillor Sharon Jones be appointed Vice Chair of the Adult Care and Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

(2)  (55:1) (One abstention) – That Councillor Elizabeth Grey be appointed Vice Chair of the Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

(3)  (40:17) (One abstention) – That Councillor Bernie Mooney be appointed Chair of the Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee.

 

(4)  (38:19) (One abstention) – That Councillor Angela Davies be appointed Vice Chair of the Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee.

 

(5)  (59:0) (One abstention) - That the revised constitution and membership of committees for the remainder of the 2018/19 municipal year (including deputies), having regard to the political proportionality requirements of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 and the Local Government (Committees and Political Groups) Regulations 1990 and relevant case law, be agreed, with the Committee places allocation as set out below:

 

Committee

Places

Lab

Con

L/Dem

Green

Ind

Audit and Risk Management

9

5

3

1

 

 

Employment and Appointments

8

5

2

1

 

 

Licensing Act 2003

15

9

4

1

 

1

Licensing, Health & Safety and General Purposes

9

5

3

1

 

 

Pensions

10

6

3

0

1

 

Planning

13

7

4

1

1

 

Standards & Constitutional Oversight

9

5

3

1

 

 

Overview & Scrutiny: Business

15

8

5

1

 

1

Overview & Scrutiny: Environment 

15

9

5

1

 

 

Overview & Scrutiny:

Adult Social Care

15

8

5

1

 

1

Overview & Scrutiny:

Children and Families

15

8

5

1

 

1

Total

133

75

42

10

2

4

 

(59:0) (One abstention) - That Council agrees that names of appointees to Committees and outside bodies be provided to the Director of Governance and Assurance following the meeting.

72.

MATTERS REQUIRING APPROVAL OR CONSIDERATION BY THE COUNCIL

To consider any recommendations of the Executive or Council Committees which require the approval or consideration of the Council.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In accordance with Standing Order 5(2) seven matters had been submitted for approval or consideration by the Council (see minutes 73 to 79 post).

73.

Revised Pension Board Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 52 KB

A referral from the Pensions Committee of 16 July, 2018 (minute 10 refers) attached.

 

The Council is requested to agree the revisions to the Pension Board’s Terms of Reference (attached) and their adoption into the Council’s Constitution.

Supporting documentation can be viewed on the Council website here.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The first matter requiring consideration was in relation to a request to approve the recommendation of the Pensions Committee of 16 July 2018 such that the Council’s Constitution be updated to include the revisions to the Pension Board’s terms of reference (minute 10 refers).

 

On a motion by Councillor Paul Doughty, seconded by Councillor George Davies, it was –

 

Resolved (60:0) (One abstention) – That the recommendation contained within minute 10 of the Pensions Committee, be approved.

74.

Draft Statement of Policy - Gambling Act 2005 pdf icon PDF 50 KB

Licensing Act 2003 Committee, 17 October 2018, (Minute 9 refers) attached.

 

The Council is requested to approve the Statement of Policy – Gambling Act 2005 attached.

The committee report and appendices can be viewed on the Council website here.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The second matter requiring consideration was in relation to a request to approve the recommendation of the Licensing Act 2003 Committee of 17 October 2018 such that the Draft Statement of Policy – Gambling Act 2005 be recommended for approval by Council (minute 9 refers).

 

On a motion by Councillor Paul Stuart, seconded by Councillor Tony Norbury, it was –

 

Resolved (60:0) (One abstention) – That the recommendation contained within minute 9 of the Licensing Act 2003 Committee, be approved.

75.

Code of Corporate Governance pdf icon PDF 49 KB

Audit and Risk Management Committee, 19 November 2018, (Minute 36 refers) attached.

 

The Council is requested to approve that the Council’s Constitution be updated to include the revised Code of Corporate Governance and new governance framework attached.

The committee report and appendices can be viewed on the Council website here.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The third matter requiring consideration was in relations to a request to approve the recommendation of the Audit and Risk Management Committee of 19 November 2018 such that the Council’s Constitution be updated to include the revised Code of Corporate Governance and new governance framework (minute 36 refers).

 

On a motion by Councillor Adrian Jones, seconded by Councillor Ron Abbey, it was –

 

Resolved (60:0) (One abstention) – That the recommendation contained within minute 36 of the Audit and Risk Management Committee, be approved.

76.

Quarter 2 Budget Monitoring Report - Revenue pdf icon PDF 97 KB

Cabinet, 26 November 2018, (Minute 35 refers) attached.

 

The Council is requested to approve that Capital Receipts funding for the Children’s Services transformation program be brought forward from 2017/18 in the amount of £1.1 million.

The report and appendices can be viewed on the Council website here

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The fourth matter requiring consideration was in relation to a request to approve that Capital Receipts funding for the Children’s Services transformation programme be brought forward from 2017/18 in the amount of £1.1 million, as recommended by the Cabinet at its meeting on 26 November, 2018 (minute 35 refers).

 

On a motion by Councillor Phil Davies, seconded by Councillor George Davies, it was –

 

Resolved (60:0) (One abstention) – That the recommendation contained within minute 35 of Cabinet, be approved.

77.

Quarter 2 Budget Monitoring Report - Capital pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Cabinet, 26 November 2018, (Minute 36 refers) attached.

 

The Council is requested to approve the revised Capital Programme of £60.9 million for 2018/19, as set out in Table 1 of the report and below:

 

  £000

Programme agreed by Cabinet on 16 July 2018  86,391

Re-profiling  (26,869)

Additional requirements  2,989

Reduced requirements  (1,563 )

  Revised 2018/19 Programme  60,948

 

  Table 1: Capital Programme 2018/19 as at 30/9/18

 

Capital Strategy

June

September 

Actual Spend

Sept 2018

 

£000

£000

£000

£000

Adult Care & Health

7,912

8,543

3,468

381

Business Management

4,990

3,729

5,489

777

Children’s Services

19,099

20,852

18,341

7,542

Delivery Services

25,775

34,280

22,724

7,435

Economic & Housing Growth

16,785

18,987

10,926

157

Total expenditure

74,561

86,391

60,948

16,292

 

The report and appendices can be viewed on the Council Website here.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The fifth matter requiring consideration was in relation to a request to approve the revised Capital Programme of £60.9 million for 2018/19, as recommended by the Cabinet at its meeting on 26 November, 2018 (minute 36 refers).

 

On a motion by Councillor Phil Davies, seconded by Councillor George Davies, it was –

 

Resolved (60:0) (One abstention) – That the recommendation contained within minute 36 of Cabinet, be approved.

78.

Council Tax 2019/20 (Taxbase, Discounts and Exemptions and Council Tax Support Scheme) pdf icon PDF 110 KB

Cabinet, 26 November 2018, (Minute 39 refers) attached.

 

The Council is requested to agree the following recommendations of Cabinet:

 

1  The figure of 93,497.8 be approved the Council Tax Base for 2019/20.

 

2  The level and award of each local discount for 2019/20 be:-

 

  Wirral Women’s & Children’s Aid

 

   To continue to award Wirral Women & Children’s Aid 100% discount

 

  Care Leaver’s Discount

 

  To award Care Leaver’s the requisite discount to reduce their Council Tax liability to zero until they are 25, from 1st April 2019. This remains unchanged from 2018/19.

 

  Empty Property Discounts

 

  Discount category D = 0% Full charge on properties undergoing renovations.

 

Discount category C = 0% Full charge on empty properties from date they become unoccupied.

 

Both remain unchanged

 

  Empty Property Premium = 200%. Unfurnished properties empty for more than two years. This is a change from 150% in 2018/19 allowed by the Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Act 2018.

 

  This change was reported in last year’s report.

 

  Council Tax Discretionary Relief Scheme

 

  The Council Tax Discretionary Hardship Relief Scheme continues in its current format for 2019/20.

 

  Council Tax Support Scheme

 

3.  The Council Tax Support Scheme approved for use in 2018/19 is also approved as the Scheme for 2019/20 with additional amendments to incorporate the introduction of Full Service for Universal Credit, including backdating of reduction for up to 3 months.

 

The report and appendices can be viewed on the Council website here.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The sixth matter requiring consideration was in relation to a request to approve the Council Tax 2019/20 (Taxbase, Discounts and Exemptions and Council Tax Support Scheme), as recommended by the Cabinet at its meeting on 26 November, 2018 (minute 39 refers).

 

On a motion by Councillor Phil Davies, seconded by Councillor George Davies, it was –

 

Resolved (60:0) (One abstention) – That the recommendation contained within minute 39 of Cabinet, be approved.

79.

Wirral Together: Getting the Basics Right - A New Model for Community Engagement pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Cabinet, 26 November 2018, (Minute 41 refers) attached.

 

The Council is requested to agree the recommendation of Cabinet that:

 

The provisions relating to Constituency Committees be removed from the Council’s Constitution (Council’s executive arrangements).

The report and appendices can be viewed on the Council website here.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The seventh matter requiring consideration was in relation to a request to approve that the provisions relating to Constituency Committees be removed from the Council’s Constitution (Council’s executive arrangements) as recommended by the Cabinet at its meeting on 26 November, 2018 (minute 41 refers).

 

Moved by Councillor Phil Davies, seconded by Councillor George Davies.

 

Amendment

 

Councillor Phil Gilchrist moved and Councillor Chris Carubia seconded the following amendment submitted in accordance with Standing Order 12(9):

 

“That the matter be referred back to Cabinet for further consideration of the following aspects as Council does not accept that the revised arrangements fully meet the needs of Members or their communities.  Members who have faced tough questioning on Hoylake Golf Resort and other issues at the Constituency Committees should not close down this means of access for the public.

 

The Constituency Committees replaced a system of neighbourhood-based and area committees which were also undermined and abolished.  Whilst the potential for members to work together exists across ward boundaries, it is not clear how this will be facilitated or serviced.

 

The ability of Members to hold cross-ward meetings on issues of common concern is not fully set out.  The Leader has suggested that there is a lot of room for manoeuvre but the deletion of the Constituency Committees from the Constitution, without a clear formula for replacing local democratic arrangements, should not take place.

 

It should be noted that the Wirral South Committee has, across party, become an important forum for debating issues - like bus and walk in services - affecting all wards. The Constituency Committee ward representatives do not appear to have been asked for views on the new arrangements.

 

The prospect of funding for Members to assist their communities is welcomed.  The ability of Members to engage with organisations and encourage applications for funding is undermined by the proposed financial checks and balances which contain no right of appeal.  The ability of Members to use local funding for simple projects like ‘dropped kerbs’ is also removed and there is, as yet, no indication of how these might be secured through a dedicated local budget.”

 

The amendment was put and lost (6:52) (Two abstentions).

 

The original motion was put and carried (56:4) (One abstention).

 

Resolved (56:4) (One abstention) –That the recommendation contained within minute 41 of Cabinet, be approved.

80.

NOTICES OF MOTION pdf icon PDF 111 KB

Notices of motion submitted in accordance with Standing Order 7(1), are attached. They are listed in accordance with Standing Order 7(2), and the full text of each motion is attached. The Mayor, having considered each motion, in accordance with Standing Order 7(4) has decided that each will be debated:

 

1.  On-going impact of New Ferry explosion

 

2.  Post Office Services

 

3.  Taking every opportunity to reform Universal Credit

 

4.  Climate Emergency

 

5.  Cuts to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority

 

6.  A Free School for Wirral

 

7.  Time to end the Hoylake Golf Course Development

 

8.  Paid Leave for Domestic Abuse Victims

 

9.  Police Crime Commissioners to rethink Policing priorities in the interests of Wirral residents

 

10.  Taking back control of our buses

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Notices of Motion submitted in accordance with Standing Order 7(1) were reported to Council. The Civic Mayor having considered each motion, in accordance with Standing Order 7(4) had decided that they would each be debated and they were determined as detailed in Minutes 81 to 90 below.

81.

Motion - On-going impact of New Ferry explosion

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Jo Bird moved and Councillor Joe Walsh seconded the following motion submitted in accordance with Standing Order 7 –

 

(1)  “Council notes that the impact of the gas explosion in New Ferry is not over. Some families are facing their second Christmas in temporary accommodation. Some businesses have had to shut up shop.

 

(2)  Council is disappointed the Government has failed to provide any direct financial support to help deal with the disruption and damage caused in the New Ferry explosion.

 

(3)  Council notes that 12 months have passed since Wirral Council on behalf of residents and businesses submitted a full Regeneration Plan to the Secretary of State and have not received any direct support for the rebuilding of New Ferry town centre.

 

(4)  Council notes that James Brokenshire MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, has written to Alison McGovern MP more than two months after she led a delegation to Westminster to demand action.

 

(5)  Council is concerned that James Brokenshire's letter incorrectly claims that Wirral Council has never requested funding support.

 

(6)  Council notes that the Leader of the Council wrote to the minister on 7th July 2017 asking for £500,000 to help with the costs of emergency help, and the minister replied on 17th July 2017 declining support saying: “for an incident of this size and impact we would expect these costs to be covered using existing local resources."

 

(7)  Council further notes that following the Grenfell Tower fire, the Salisbury attack, the Belfast City Centre fire, and the shop fire in Hinckley Leicestershire, the Government quickly mobilised support for those communities and is disappointed a similar response wasn't made for the people of New Ferry.

 

(8)  Council requests the Leader and Cabinet to:

 

(i).  Write to James Brokenshire to set the record straight and call upon the Government to support the New Ferry Regeneration Plan.

 

(ii).  Continue to work with Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to access the £500,000 available through the Mayor's Town Centre Fund.

 

(iii).Encourage applications from the Local Welfare Assistance Fund from people directly affected by the blast.

 

(iv).Submit a formal application for funding under the Bellwin scheme as soon as possible.

 

(v).  Work with Alison McGovern MP, local ward members, New Ferry Town Team, local residents, traders and other partners to ensure plans are delivered to support a thriving and regenerated New Ferry.”

 

Following a debate on the matter, the motion was put and carried (59:0) (One abstention).

 

Resolved (59:0) (One abstention) – That the motion be approved.

82.

Motion - Post Office Services

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Having previously declared a pecuniary interest in the item, Councillor Phillip Brightmore vacated the Chamber and did not take part in the voting thereon, as did Councillor Brian Kenny who had declared a personal and prejudicial interest (Minute No. 61 refers).

 

Prior to consideration of the motion, the Civic Mayor sought Council’s consent for the acceptance of a corrected amendment recently circulated to Members.

 

Following a challenge on procedural grounds from Councillor Chris Blakeley, acceptance of the corrected amendment was put and carried (56:0) (Two abstentions).

 

Councillor Paul Hayes then moved and Councillor Ian Lewis seconded the following Motion submitted in accordance with Standing Order 7 –

 

“Council welcomes the government investment of more than £2 billion since 2010 and notes the Post Office now has:

 

·  a stable network of around 11,600 branches

·  modernised more than 7,500 branches with new technology

·  extended opening hours on weekdays and at weekends

·  become the UK’s largest Sunday retailer with more than 4,400 branches open

·  ensured 93% of people now live within one mile of their nearest branch.

 

Council however regrets that Post Office branches in Wallasey Village, New Brighton and Upton are among those currently closed, due to national ‘audit’ and system irregularities and requests the Chief Executive writes to the Post Office to relay these concerns and request urgent and speedy resolution to enable all Wirral residents to have access to a local Post Office, serving their communities.”

 

Amendment

 

Councillor Stuart Whittingham moved and Councillor Paul Stuart seconded the following amendment submitted in accordance with Standing Order 12(9) such that the Motion be approved subject to the following amendments –

 

Paragraph 1 and bullet points:

 

Delete the words:

 

“welcomes the government investment of more than £2 billion since 2010 and notes the Post Office now has:

 

·  a stable network of around 11,600 branches

·  modernised more than 7,500 branches with new technology

·  extended opening hours on weekdays and at weekends

·  become the UK’s largest Sunday retailer with more than 4,400 branches open

·  ensured 93% of people now live within one mile of their nearest branch.”

 

Replace with:

 

“congratulates the Communication Workers Union on their campaign to protect the vital services provided by the Post Office in contrast to the Government owned network being decimated”

 

Paragraph 2: 

 

Delete the words “however regrets”, and insert “believes”

 

Delete the words “due to national ‘audit’ and system irregularities”

 

Delete the words “and request urgent and speedy…” and insert “ and requests urgently that the Post Office ends its programme of Crown Office closures and moves to implement a speedy…”

 

Delete “,serving their communities.” and insert “,that not only serve our community but provides secure well paid employment that is vital to generating a thriving local economy”.

 

Having applied the guillotine the Council did not debate this matter.

 

The amendment was put and carried (54:3) (One abstention).

 

The substantive motion, as amended, was put and carried (56:0) (One abstention).

 

Resolved (56:0) (One abstention) –

 

Council congratulates the Communication Workers Union on their campaign to protect the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 82.

83.

Motion - Taking every opportunity to reform Universal Credit

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Phil Gilchrist moved and Councillor Chris Carubia seconded the following Motion submitted in accordance with Standing Order 7 –

 

“This Council welcomes the work on the difficulties facing recipients of Universal Credit undertaken by the Business Overview and Scrutiny Committee. Council notes that the work continued under the Chairmanship of Councillor Hackett and concluded in July and September this year.

 

Council notes that the introduction, roll out and operation of Universal Credit has remained an issue of considerable public concern. Council notes that Wirral’s MPs raised concerns about the operation of Universal Credit in the Commons on 17 October 2018

https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2018-10-17/debates/CD3131AC-C7F0-4DB6-A4EF-05191F92642F/UniversalCredit#contribution-D8EA2220-AB8D-4499-AA45-687AED39EED6

 

Opportunities to address and correct the financial injustices were taken by two Wirral Members of Parliament, the Rt Hon Frank Field and the Member for Wirral South, Alison McGovern, who supported an Amendment put forward by the Liberal Democrats. It is regrettable that the Amendment was not more widely supported.

 

Following the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Budget in October, some changes are expected to be made in the financing and operation of the system. The financial effects of the system led Iain Duncan Smith, the former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, to resign in March 2016. In his resignation letter, he stated…

 

"Too often my team and I will have been pressured in the immediate run-up to a budget or fiscal event to deliver yet more reductions to the working age benefit bill. There has been too much emphasis on money saving exercises and not enough awareness from the Treasury, in particular, that the government’s vision of a new welfare-to-work system could not repeatedly be salami-sliced.”

 

Whilst some changes have been made, the resignation of the Secretary of State, Esther McVey, has presented an opportunity for the new Secretary of State, Amber Rudd, to be pressed to take a fresh look at the changes needed to Universal Credit.

 

Council, therefore, wishes to work through the Local Government Association and support Wirral’s Members of Parliament in continued approaches to deal with the problems causing hardship to recipients.”

 

Having applied the guillotine the Council did not debate this matter.

 

The motion was put and carried (58:0) (One abstention).

 

Resolved (58:0) (One abstention) – That the motion be approved.

84.

Motion - Climate Emergency

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Pat Cleary moved and Councillor Stuart Kelly seconded the following Motion submitted in accordance with Standing Order 7 –

 

“Council notes the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report ‘Global warming of 1.5°’ published on 8 October 2018, in particular:

 

that human activities are estimated to have already caused approximately 1.0°C of global warming above pre-industrial levels;

 

that if we continue at the current rate, we are likely to surpass the Paris Agreement target of 1.5°C as early as 2030;

 

that, at the current level of commitments, the world is on course for at least 3°C of warming with irreversible and catastrophic consequences for humans and the natural world.

 

Council believes that:

 

the impacts of global temperature rise above 1.5°C, are so severe that governments at all levels must work together and make this their top priority.

 

as well as large-scale improvements in health and wellbeing around the world, bold climate action can deliver economic benefits in terms of new jobs, economic savings and market opportunities.

 

Therefore, Council requests that the relevant Overview and Scrutiny Committee establish an Overview and Scrutiny Committee working group, with a remit to

 

(i).  Seek advice from experts to develop a robust carbon budget and set a challenging target date for carbon neutrality in Wirral;

 

(ii).  Consider systematically the climate change impact of each area of the Council’s activities;

 

(iii).  Make recommendations and set an ambitious timescale for reducing these impacts;

 

(iv).  Report to full Council with the actions the Council needs to take to address this emergency.

 

In addition, Council further requests that the Leader & Cabinet:

 

·  require all report risk assessments should include Carbon Emission Appraisals, including presenting alternative approaches which reduce emissions wherever possible.

·  task a director level officer with responsibility for reducing as rapidly as possible, the carbon emissions resulting from the Council’s activities.

·  writes to inform the Prime Minister that Wirral has declared a climate emergency.”

 

First Amendment

 

Councillor Adam Sykes moved and Councillor Andrew Gardner seconded the following amendment submitted in accordance with Standing Order 12(9) such that the Motion be approved subject to –

 

Delete“establish an Overview and Scrutiny Committee working group, with a remit to

 

(i). Seek advice from experts to develop a robust carbon budget and set a challenging target date for carbon neutrality in Wirral;

 

(ii). Consider systematically the climate change impact of each area of the Council’s activities;

 

(iii). Make recommendations and set an ambitious timescale for reducing these impacts;

 

(iv). Report to full Council with the actions the Council needs to take to address this emergency.”

 

And insert “continues to actively scrutinise the work of the Cool Wirral Partnership and the Climate Change Action Plan, taking into account the recent warnings, and look for opportunities to supplement this work, through scrutiny reviews, where applicable.”

 

Delete: task a director level officer with responsibility for reducing as rapidly as possible, the carbon emissions resulting from the Council’s activities.


writes to inform the Prime Minister that Wirral has declared a climate  ...  view the full minutes text for item 84.

85.

Motion - Cuts to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Brian Kenny moved and Councillor Chris Meaden seconded the following Motion submitted in accordance with Standing Order 7 –

 

This Wirral Council believes that the cuts imposed by Government on Merseyside Fire & Rescue Authority (MFRA) have gone too far and should be reversed to ensure public safety is protected. To this end the Council will work in collaboration with MFRA, Merseyside’s constituent District Councils, Mayors Anderson and Rotherham, MP’s the FBU and all trade unions to jointly lobby Government to demand assurances that, the cuts imposed on the Authority be reversed and that the case for increased funding for MFRA will be fully considered on the basis of public safety.

 

This Council also supports the Fire & Rescue Authority’s position when demanding assurances that, as an absolute minimum, Government commit to ensuring that there will be no further grant reductions applied to MFRA and that the Authority will be fully protected in relation to any new financial burdens.

 

Finally, the Council demands the removal of the government imposed ‘cap’ on the Council Tax flexibility thereby allowing local application of Council Tax arrangements in order to fully protect the public.

 

Amendment

 

With the agreement of the Proposer and Seconder of the original motion inclusion of an amendment proposed by Councillor Phil Gilchrist, seconded by Stuart Kelly submitted in accordance with Standing Order 12(9) was agreed, to:

 

Insert after paragraph 1...

 

Council again wishes to draw attention to the number of COMAH sites within the Borough and their proximity to long-established areas of dense housing.  This is especially the case with the installations in Rock Ferry and Eastham associated with chemical storage, petroleum products and refinery installations.

 

Having applied the guillotine the Council did not debate this matter.

 

The substantive motion as amended was put and carried (58:0) (One abstention).

 

Resolved (58:0) (One abstention) –

 

This Wirral Council believes that the cuts imposed by Government on Merseyside Fire & Rescue Authority (MFRA) have gone too far and should be reversed to ensure public safety is protected. To this end the Council will work in collaboration with MFRA, Merseyside’s constituent District Councils, Mayors Anderson and Rotherham, MP’s the FBU and all trade unions to jointly lobby Government to demand assurances that, the cuts imposed on the Authority be reversed and that the case for increased funding for MFRA will be fully considered on the basis of public safety.

 

Council again wishes to draw attention to the number of COMAH sites within the Borough and their proximity to long-established areas of dense housing.  This is especially the case with the installations in Rock Ferry and Eastham associated with chemical storage, petroleum products and refinery installations.

 

This Council also supports the Fire & Rescue Authority’s position when demanding assurances that, as an absolute minimum, Government commit to ensuring that there will be no further grant reductions applied to MFRA and that the Authority will be fully protected in relation to any new financial burdens.

 

Finally, the Council demands the removal of the government imposed ‘cap’ on the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 85.

86.

Motion - A Free School for Wirral

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Jeff Green moved and Councillor Cherry Povall seconded the following Motion submitted in accordance with Standing Order 7 –

 

“Council welcomes the submission of an application by the Frank Field Education Trust to open a Free School in the Borough. Council expresses its support to the Trust in its application and requests that the Leader and Cabinet and officers help support this exciting new addition to education and learning in the Borough to extend parental choice, raise aspiration and improve outcomes.”

 

Having applied the guillotine the Council did not debate this matter.

 

The motion was put and lost (18:40) (Two abstentions).

87.

Motion - Time to end the Hoylake Golf Course Development

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Alan Brame moved and Councillor Pat Cleary seconded the following Motion submitted in accordance with Standing Order 7 –

 

“Council notes that a recent report to Cabinet on the ‘Future Provision of Golf Courses’ included these comments:

 

(1)  “...with the national trend in golf usage being generally down, (not just for municipal golf courses but also for the majority of private golf clubs)..."

 

(2)  “Participation in municipal golf in Wirral is in decline and follows a national trend in that people tend to have less disposable leisure time to spend on playing a five or six hour round of golf. Those people that would have traditionally played golf in the past have migrated to a more ‘time determined’ sport (such as cycling, running, fitness) to fulfil their leisure time demands.”

 

Given this gloomy assessment of current and future demand for golf facilities, Council recognises that the proposed Celtic Manor development of Hoylake Golf Course looks increasingly unviable.

 

Council now concludes that the access to prudential borrowing of £26 million agreed in December 2017 poses an unacceptable risk to public funds is no longer tenable or appropriate and therefore requests that the Leader and Cabinet end all further use of Council taxpayers’ money to support this scheme.”

 

Amendments

 

Councillor Phil Davies informed Council that the Labour amendment on this item was being withdrawn.

 

Councillor Andrew Gardner moved and Councillor Gerry Ellis seconded the following amendment submitted in accordance with Standing Order 12(9) such that the Motion be approved subject to –

 

Delete from paragraph 4 ‘looks increasingly unviable.’ and insert ‘is best left to private sector financiers.’

 

Alter the final paragraph after ‘Leader and Cabinet’

 

to:

(1)  end all further use of Council taxpayer’s money to support this scheme.

 

(2)  investigate alternative uses for this borrowing which could be the kick-start to truly transformational regeneration in the areas of most need.

 

Having applied the guillotine the Council did not debate this matter.

 

The amendment was put and lost (17:42) (One abstention).

 

The original motion was put and lost (22:36) (One abstention).

88.

Motion - Paid Leave for Domestic Abuse Victims

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Paul Stuart moved and Councillor Anita Leech seconded the following Motion submitted in accordance with Standing Order 7 –

 

“Council welcomes the recent review of Wirral Council’s domestic abuse policy, guaranteeing employees of Wirral Borough Council who are victims of domestic abuse and coercive control, a minimum of one week paid leave in addition to the council special leave policy.

 

Wirral Council also calls on its partner agencies and local businesses to adopt similar policies.

 

Wirral Council welcomes the government’s consultation and preparation of a draft bill on domestic abuse; endorses the Home Affairs Select Committee’s report and recommendations; and calls on the government to adopt them in full.

 

Council calls on the UK government to bring legislation into the Domestic Abuse Bill that will give victims of domestic abuse guaranteed paid leave.”

 

Having applied the guillotine the Council did not debate this matter.

 

The motion was put and carried (58:0) (One abstention).

 

Resolved (58:0) (One abstention) – That the motion be approved.

89.

Motion - Police Crime Commissioners to rethink Policing priorities in the interests of Wirral residents

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Tony Cox moved and Councillor Andrew Gardner seconded the following Motion submitted in accordance with Standing Order 7 –

 

“As the person with sole responsibility for policing priority in Merseyside, Council recognises that the position of PCC is an onerous role.

 

Council also recognises the fact that, nationally, there are now more police officers per capita than there where in the 1960s. In fact, in 1961 it was 807 people for every officer and now it is just 462 people for every officer.

 

Council believes that there is far too much focus placed on monitoring minor ‘online offences’, many which are dismissed with few prosecutions brought, and not enough on ‘real world’ crime.

 

With notable people such as Chief Constable Sara Thornton, head of the new National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC), saying, ‘I want us to solve more burglaries and bear down on violence before we make more records of incidents that are not crimes,’ It would seem that senior police officials are finally breaking rank and calling out the current, ridiculous state of affairs.

 

With a noticeable upturn in crime in the West Kirby area – from criminal damage, sexual acts in public, assault and even a knife attack – Council believes that Wirral residents deserve the same level of policing focus as the rest of Merseyside.

 

Therefore, Council calls upon the PCC, Jane Kennedy, to review the priorities she sets her Police Force in order to deal with the crimes that really hurt people. The crimes that have people fearful in their own home and in their communities – criminal damage, burglary, theft and violent crime – and to bring some perspective and common sense back to policing.”

 

Amendment

 

Councillor Phil Gilchrist moved and Councillor Stuart Kelly seconded the following amendment submitted in accordance with Standing Order 12(9) such that the Motion be approved subject to –

 

Delete paragraphs 2,3,4,5 & 6 - all after "...onerous role." and insert...

 

“Council requests that a meeting should be arranged with Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner so that Councillors can consider...

 

i.  how the progress with the Merseyside Police and Crime Plan 2017-21 meets the objectives set out in that document

 

ii.  how the PCC and Chief Constable interpret and implement the  key priorities set out in the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan, as

 

·  Prevent Crime and Anti-social Behaviour;

·  Provide a Visible and Accessible Neighbourhood Policing Style;

·  Tackle Serious and Organised Crime; and

·  Support Victims, Protect Vulnerable People and Maintain Public Safety.

 

iii.  how the Police service responds to the issues of hate and cyber crime

 

iv.  the concerns of Members about the level of policing in Wirral

 

v.  the budgetary issues facing the force so that Members can discuss the level of precept the Commissioner might wish to set for the next financial year”.

 

Having applied the guillotine the Council did not debate this matter.

 

The amendment was put and carried (42:17) (One abstention).

 

The substantive motion, as amended, was put and carried (59:0) (One abstention).

 

Resolved (59:0) (One abstention)  ...  view the full minutes text for item 89.

90.

Motion - Taking back control of our buses

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Stuart Kelly moved and Councillor Alan Brame seconded the following Motion submitted in accordance with Standing Order 7 –

 

“This Council notes that the decision of Avon Bus Services to cease trading at short notice on 5 October left huge gaps in Wirral’s bus service provision, including school buses.

 

Council places on record its thanks to members of Merseytravel’s Bus Services team for the work they have done to expedite the process for reproviding services and notes the positives that resulted from that exercise, including a reintroduced 91 bus service to Oxton Village and the introduction of replacement bus services, such as the 16/17, from South Wirral to Arrowe Park Hospital.

 

Council expresses its concern that there remain gaps in bus service provision, notably the loss of the 492/495 evening and Sunday service that linked Oxton / Noctorum / Beechwood to Arrowe Park Hospital.

 

Council further notes that bus operator decisions since the tendering exercise have resulted in further routes being withdrawn, notably...

 

1.  The 10A service linking Oxton / Arrowe Park Hospital / Claughton Village (6th Form College) and New Brighton

2.  The 83A from Birkenhead to West Kirby

 

Council considers that Wirral’s bus network has undergone significant detrimental change since the review of services undertaken by Merseytravel in September 2017 and welcomes the current consultation being carried out by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, ‘The Big Bus Debate’.

 

Council further considers that the proposal by the CCG to relocate Minor Injury and Walk-in health services at Arrowe Park Hospital fails to take account of the poor bus connections from many parts of Wirral.

 

Council considers that the privatisation of bus services has failed outside London and that the current model of bus provision on Merseyside, (the so called ‘Bus Alliance’), is failing too many parts of the Wirral.

 

Council therefore calls on Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram to exercise powers devolved under the Bus Services Act 2017 and move towards a fully franchised bus network for LCR and Wirral.”

 

Amendment

 

Councillor Ron Abbey moved and Councillor Steve Foulkes seconded the following amendment submitted in accordance with Standing Order 12(9) such that the Motion be approved subject to –

 

Deleteall after “…London” and insert…

 

“Council welcomes the new devolved powers of the Buses Act 2017, however Council is frustrated by the very complex nature of the legislation that has meant these powers cannot be used as quickly as is needed. Council also condemns the Tory Government for banning local authorities from setting up new publicly owned companies as this could be a key means to improve local buses services and flies in the face of devolution”.

 

Having applied the guillotine the Council did not debate this matter.

 

The amendment was put and carried (36:21) (One abstention).

 

The substantive motion, as amended, was put and carried (57:0) (One abstention).

 

Resolved (57:0) (One abstention) –

 

This Council notes that the decision of Avon Bus Services to cease trading at short notice on 5 October left huge gaps in Wirral’s bus service  ...  view the full minutes text for item 90.