Agenda and minutes
Venue: Council Chamber, Wallasey Town Hall
Note: The meeting will commence at 5.15pm or on the rising of the 4.00pm Extraordinary Council meeting, whichever is the later
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.
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.
CIVIC MAYOR'S ANNOUNCEMENTS
To receive the Civic Mayor's announcements and any apologies for absence.
The Civic Mayor noted that apologies had been received from Councillors Bruce Berry, John Hale, Adrian Jones, Tony Jones, Tracey Pilgrim and Warren Ward.
The Mayor informed that Council would be considering the proposal that Wirral Council launches a monthly publication, containing community and public service information, which will be distributed to every household and every business within the borough. He further informed that the Council Agenda pack included a copy of the requisition notice from the Conservative political groups and Notices of Motion from all three political groups.
The Mayor informed that three Notices of Motion had been received in respect of this item. He stated that all would put before Council and debated together, with a vote taken on each motion, after the debate.
The Mayor called upon the Head of Legal and Member Services to address Council to inform as to the reasons why Counsel’s advice had not been circulated. The Head of Legal and Member Services explained that the majority of the Counsel’s advice had been shared within Cabinet reports and at subsequent consideration of the matter at the Overview and Scrutiny Call-in meeting. He further informed that the balance in respect of the public interest test and expectation of confidentiality precluded publication of the entire document.
The Head of Legal and Members Services advised that it was appropriate and normal practice for the council to obtain legal advice on various matters that can be contentious or attract considerable public interest. The council from time to time needs to be able to have a safe space to discuss and be candidly advised on legal issues and matters in order that matters can be progressed or dealt with properly. Legal advice can often include frank exchange of views and opinion and that is necessary to ensure effective decision making. A proportionate approach was been taken and aspects of the advice received has been shared in the Cabinet Report and discussed at the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. A balance was struck between the public interest in disclosing the advice and maintaining confidentiality and confidence.
The three Motions which had been circulated in advance of the meeting were submitted in accordance with Standing Order 12(1) and (9), as follows:
Conservative Group Motion
Proposed by Councillor Jeff Green
Seconded by Councillor Lesley Rennie
“Council believes that it was a serious miscalculation not to share the letter that the Leader of the Council had received from Marcus Jones MP, Minister for Local Government, Department for Communities and Local Government reminding the Council to abide by the Recommended Code of Practice for Local Authority Publicity with Members of the Business Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
Council is extremely concerned that this omission further increases the likelihood that the Secretary of State will issue a notice of intention to serve a direction under Section 4a of the Local Government Act.
Council understands that the Publicity Code is designed to help maintain a healthy, vibrant, free press as an important tool in providing information for the public to hold their local authority to account. Council newspapers, issued frequently and designed to resemble a local newspaper can mislead members of ... view the full minutes text for item 47.