Agenda and minutes

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


No. Item


One Minute's Silence

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The Civic Mayor informed Council that it was his sad duty to announce the passing of Councillor Chris Blakeley (Conservative Member for Moreton, Saughall Massie Ward). The Mayor echoed the words of the Chief Executive who had referred to Councillor Blakeley’s tireless campaigning on range of issues, his role as the longest serving Councillor in that Ward and his role of Chief Whip for his party.


The Civic Mayor also informed Council of the passing of former Councillor Stuart Marshall-Clarke, Labour Member 1986-90 for Moreton, Saughall Massie Ward who had also passed away.


He extended his condolences to friends and families of Councillor Blakeley and former Councillor Marshall-Clarke.  


The Council stood in silence for one minute as a mark of respect.




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.

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In accordance with the Code of Conduct for Members, the following declarations of interest were made:


(1)  Declarations of personal interest in agenda item 7 ‘Council Budget’ insofar as it related to schools budget by virtue of holding positions as school governors were declared by Councillors P Gilchrist, B Berry, Chris Carubia, D Mitchell, W Clements (also employed in an early years setting), M Collins, S Williams, A Leech, S Whittingham, J McManus, S Foulkes, Y Nolan, P Stuart, T Norbury, P Cleary, A Brame, J Williams, M Sullivan, G Davies and T Smith (Mayor).


(2)  Declarations of personal interest in agenda item 7 ‘Council Budget’ insofar as it related to the schools budget by virtue of themselves or close family members working in either Schools, the Council’s Education and Children, or Young People’s Directorate were declared by Councillors AER Jones (daughter), C Jones (daughter), L Rowlands (spouse), M Sullivan (daughter) T Norbury (self), J Williamson (daughter) (daughter) J Bird (partner) and S Williams (spouse), M Sullivan (daughter).


(3)  Councillors J Green and S Foulkes declared a personal interest in agenda item 7 ‘Council Budget by virtue of their role as Non-Executive Directors with Magenta Housing.



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

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The Civic Mayor announced that no apologies for absence had been received, and that all Members of Council were present.


The Civic Mayor informed Council of a number of activities he and the Lady Mayoress had attended in recent months, these included attendance at events to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day at Birkenhead Park and the Floral Pavilion, New Brighton.


He also gave particular mention to the award of a ‘eco-friendly’ flag to Gayton Primary School for its work in support of the environment, the hosting of an event in the Mayor’s Parlour to celebrate the work of volunteers, and extended his congratulations to volunteers at Hoylake Station for their award winning station garden.


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 98 KB

To approve the accuracy of the minutes of the meetings of the Council held on 9 December 2019 (ordinary meeting) and 13 January 2020 (extraordinary meeting).

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That the minutes of the ordinary meeting of the Council held on 9 December 2019 and of the Extraordinary Meeting of the Council held on 13 January 2020 be approved and signed as correct records.



If a petition relates to the setting of the Budget, the Member who presents it shall be given the opportunity during the main debate to speak to it, in order that the Council can take account of it in that context.

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In accordance with Standing Orders 5(2)(g) and 21, the Mayor received petitions submitted by:


(i)  Councillor Jo Bird on behalf of 108 signatories regarding a request for additional parking provision on Broseley Avenue, Bromborough CH62 2EA; and


(ii)  Councillor Mike Collins on behalf of 56 signatories regarding a request to action the reduction of a 30mph road speed limit to 20mph on Pensby Road directly outside Thingwall Primary School during the beginning and end of the school day.




Council to note the content of the Council’s Budget and Policy Framework Procedure Rules (standing orders) contained as Part 4(C) of the Constitution (attached). Council Minute 116 (5 March 2018) refers.

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The Civic Mayor stated that it was his intention to take consideration of Item 5 (Budget and Policy Framework Procedure Rules) and Item 6 (Suspension of Standing Orders) together. Therefore:


In conjunction with minute 121 (post), on a motion by moved by the Civic Mayor and seconded by Councillor Pat Hackett it was –


RESOLVED (by assent):


That the Council’s Budget and Policy Framework Procedure Rules contained at Part 4(C) of the Council’s Constitution be noted.



(i)  Standing Order 12(1) relates to ‘Motions and Amendments’ and provides that:


“A motion or amendment shall relate to a recommendation of a committee submitted in accordance with Standing Order 5.2(i), or to a matter referred to in Standing Orders 7 and 8. It shall not be discussed unless it has been proposed and seconded.


The terms of any amendment or notice of motion shall not be varied except with the agreement of the Council.”


(ii)  Standing Order 12(9) relates to ‘Amendments’ and provides that:


“Subject to Standing Order 7(5) an amendment to a motion or recommendation of the Cabinet or of a Committee shall be relevant to the motion or recommendation under consideration and shall be either


(a)  to refer or refer back a subject of debate for consideration or reconsideration as the case may be; 

(b)  to leave out words;

(c)  to leave out words and insert or add others;

(d)  to insert or add words.


as long as the effect of any amendment is not to negate the motion or recommendation.”


(iii)  Standing Order 12(10) relates to ‘Amendments to be dealt with in order’ and provides that:


  “Only one amendment may be moved and discussed at a time”.


 For the purposes of the Budget Debate, Council is requested to suspend:


(a)  Standing Orders 12(1) insofar as it relates to amendments;

(b)  Standing Order 12(9); and

(c)  Standing Order 12(10).

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In conjunction with minute 120 (ante), on a motion by moved by the Civic Mayor and seconded by Councillor Pat Hackett, it was –


RESOLVED (by assent):


That, for the purposes of the Budget Debate, the following Standing Orders be suspended –


(a)  Standing Order 12(1) insofar as it related to amendments;


(b)  Standing Order 12(9); and


(c)  Standing Order 12(10).



The Budget Debate will only consider:


(i)  the Cabinet’s Budget Recommendations/Minutes, which shall include any additional paragraphs /  recommendations (e.g. those relating to precepts), together with any other recommendation(s) / minute(s) from the Cabinet meeting held on 17 February 2020 (and/or any other relevant Cabinet meeting) that require approval by the Council; and


(ii)  any objections to the recommendations and those Alternative Budget Proposal(s) or Amendment(s) to the Cabinet’s Budget Recommendations / Minutes referred to at (i) above that are duly lodged with the Director: Governance and Assurance (Monitoring Officer) on or before 12noon on Wednesday, 26 February 2020.


(iii)  Budget Debate shall be conducted in accordance with the Budget Debate Process. (attached).

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In accordance with the agreed Budget Council Procedure, the Leader of the Council, Councillor Pat Hackett moved, and Councillor Jeanette Williamson seconded, the Cabinet’s recommended Budget to Council set out in Minute 90 (extract) from the meeting of the Cabinet held on 17 February 2020:


90  Council Budget 2020/21 & Medium Term Financial Plan (2021/22 to 2024/25)


A.  Councillor Janette Williamson introduced a report which provided an update on the Budget 2020/21 and the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) previously reported to Cabinet on 23 December 2019. It set out the background and the key elements contributing to the preparation of the Budget for 2020/21 and set out recommendations on the budget and council tax for the Council.


The Council continued to face financial constraints and pressures. The medium term financial planning period to 2024/25 was expected to contain further grant funding reductions and increasing financial pressures. The report set out how the Council would balance the budget for 2020/21 and updated the MTFP for the period to 2024/25.


The Cabinet had to recommend a 2020/21 Budget proposal to the Council on 2 March 2020. This included a recommendation on the Wirral Council element of the Council Tax to be applicable for the 2020/21 financial year.


The Council had to agree a Budget and set the levels of Council Tax for 2020/21 by 10 March 2020. The Council tax increase was proposed to be 3.99% (2% Adult Care precept and a 1.99% increase in Council tax). There was growing demand placed on adults’ and children’s care budgets with current pressures of £13m, although the 2% precept would only bring in an additional £2.85m. Nearly £900,000 was proposed for the budget for an automatic reduction in Council tax for the 9,000 poorest households in the borough. She thanked all of her Cabinet colleagues and officers, particularly in the finance team, for all their work on this proposed budget.


Members of the Cabinet reiterated the rising demands and pressures being placed on the Council whilst having to respond to cuts in funding from central Government.


B.  Councillor Tom Usher introduced a report which set out the Schools Budget for 2020/21 having previously been considered by the Schools Forum at their meetings on 6 November, 2019 and 15 January, 2020.


The Schools Budget covered education provision for all Wirral Pupils aged up to 18 in Early Years, Primary, Secondary and academy schools and for some pupils up to the age of 25 in Special Schools and High Needs providers.


Most budgets were delegated to schools with some central provision for support services including school admissions and High Needs.


The report proposed several changes to the local funding formula for Schools to allow implementation of the National Funding Formula, following the transition steps taken in 2019/20. There were also changes proposed to High Needs. 


The Schools Budget provided resources to support all children and young people pledges, and the proposals within the report resulted in an in-year surplus of £643,900 on the Dedicated Schools Grant  ...  view the full minutes text for item 122.