Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Wallasey Town Hall

No. Item




Before commencement of the business of Council, the Civic Mayor asked all present to stand for a minute’s silence for:


  • Former Councillor and colleague Sue Brown;
  • Honorary Alderman of the Borough David Fletcher; and
  • Jo Cox Member of Parliament for Batley and Spen


who had all died recently.




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.



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 such interest.


No such declarations were made.




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



The Civic Mayor noted that apologies had been received from Councillors John Hale, Paul Hayes, Tracey Pilgrim, Cherry Povall and Stuart Whittingham.


The Civic Mayor reminded Members of a procedural matter that, in line with recent modifications to the Council’s Standing Orders regarding speeches during debates, he would be adhering strictly to the agreed time limits for these during this and future meetings of Council. He informed that he had written to all Members about how he would try to ensure the smooth and effective operation of Council meetings during his Mayoral Year, and a copy of his letter had been placed on Member’s seats.


He informed that:


Wirral was to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme with a poignant early morning 20 minute vigil at the War Memorial, Grange Hill, West Kirby at 7:30 a.m. on Friday 1st July. He explained that he would be leading the vigil at 7:30 a.m., the exact same time that the soldiers began going “over the top” at the Battle of the Somme.


The Civic Mayor further informed that the Deputy Mayor was to attend a similar vigil at the War Memorial in Bidston Village, and that other Councillors were to attend services at other War Memorials across the Borough. A notice had been published informing the public where these services are to be held.


The Civic Mayor then invited the Leaders of the political groups take a few moments of the Council’s time to comment on the implications of the outcome of the European Union Referendum.


Councillor Phil Davies stated that the outcome of last week’s Referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union was likely to have significant implications for Wirral and the wider Liverpool City Region.


Wirral and Liverpool City Region benefited from UK membership of the EU.  In particular, the City Region was due to benefit from a commitment of over £200m of EU Structural Funds over the next few years, whilst in addition; many organisations would have been bidding for other EU programmes such as those for connectivity and innovation.


These monies funded valuable job creating projects in the City Region.


It was unclear as to what now happened with regard to these funds and projects.


Together with the Mayor of Liverpool and the Leaders of the other Councils in the City Region and our MPs, Councillor Davies was seeking urgent clarification from the government with regard to the future of this funding.


Councillor Davies informed that, as Council Leader, his priority would be to protect the interests of the people of Wirral. He further informed that he would ensure Wirral Council’s efforts in support of the people and businesses of the Borough continued.


Councillor Davies also expressed condemnation of xenophobic or racist abuse or actions that had been reported as being linked to the outcome of the Referendum, stating that any such behaviour would never be tolerated in the Borough, for whatever reason.


Councillors Jeff Green and Phil Gilchrist also spoke about the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.



To consider and determine referral from Cabinet and the Policy and Performance Coordinating Committee reference ‘Review of Scrutiny Arrangements.


Minutes of the Policy and Performance – Coordinating Committee (Wednesday, 15 June 2016).


Proposed amendments to Cabinet Minute – Review of Scrutiny Arrangements


Additional documents:


The matter requiring approval was in relation to the Review of Scrutiny Arrangements and the recommendations from Cabinet of 6 June, 2016 (minute 8 refers). This matter had also been considered by the Policy and Performance – Coordinating Committee at its meeting held on 15 June, 2016 (minute 4 refers).


Changes to the Scrutiny function required a change to the Council’s Constitution and Calendar of Meetings. Appointments to the new Committees were required and consequently, required the approval of Council.


Appended to the report were:


Appendix 1  - Transfer of Scrutiny Work Programme Items

Appendix 2  - Appointments and Revised Calendar of Meetings

  Appendix 3  - Revised Article 6 and Table 2 - Responsibility for Functions of  the Constitution

Appendix 4  - Revised Part 4a - Standing Order 35

Appendix 5  - Revised Part 4d Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules



Councillor Ann McLachlan formally presented the recommendation to Council, seconded by Councillor Phil Davies.


That the proposed changes to the Council’s scrutiny arrangements set out in the Cabinet report and its appendices be approved (as appended to these minutes).


Two amendments which had been circulated in advance of the meeting were submitted in accordance with Standing Order 12(1) and (9), as follows:


Amendment (1)


Proposed by Councillor Jeff Green

Seconded by Councillor Lesley Rennie


(1)  Council is concerned that, since the meeting of the Coordinating Committee held on 15th June 2016, information subsequently provided on how the Review of Scrutiny Arrangements was undertaken is scant, however what has been relayed to Members clearly shows the process and methodology used is seriously flawed.


(2)  Council is troubled about the lack of thought that has been given to protect the democratic process in the apparent haste to drive these proposals through and the lack of consultation or expert help that has been sought to draw up these proposals. This is a retrograde step and a feature of an inward looking Council.


(3)  Council notes that the Leader of the Council and his Cabinet have not implemented the recommendations from the LGA Peer review undertaken in November 2015 namely that:  “the role of scrutiny may be enhanced in the longer term by offering opposition members a leadership role on the Policy & Performance Committees.” 


(4)  Council therefore recommends a pause to this process to enable Cabinet to  commission an independent, expert view from the Centre for Public Scrutiny via the Local Government Association on the ‘Review of Scrutiny Arrangements’ tabled at Cabinet at its meeting held on 6th June 2016.


Prior to the vote on the amendment Jeff Green and five Conservative Members rose to request a ‘card vote’.


A ‘card vote’ was then taken and the Council divided as follows:


For the motion (23) Councillors T Anderson, B Berry, C Blakeley, E Boult, A Brighouse, D Burgess-Joyce, C Carubia, P Cleary, Mrs W Clements, D Elderton, G Ellis, P Gilchrist, J Green, A Hodson, K Hodson, S Kelly, I Lewis, D Mitchell, L Rennie, L Rowlands, A Sykes, G Watt and S Williams.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.