Agenda and minutes
Contact: Andrew Mossop 0151 691 8501 Principal Democratic Services Officer
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.
The Civic Mayor welcomed everyone to the meeting and those watching the webcast. He then asked Members 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.
Councillors Ian Lewis, Lesley Rennie and Paul Hayes declared personal interests in agenda item 5(a) ‘Wirral Local Plan 2021-37’ by virtue of them being members of the Friends of Harrison Park.
CIVIC MAYOR'S ANNOUNCEMENTS
To receive the Civic Mayor's announcements and any apologies for absence.
The Civic Mayor announced that apologies had been received from Councillors Wendy Clements, Tony Cox, Sam Frost, Emily Gleaves, Karl Greaney, Orod Osanlou and Chris Spriggs.
The Civic Mayor mentioned that this was the last Council of the municipal year and that up until this week he had undertaken 172 engagements but he would be commenting further upon his year in office at the Annual Meeting in May.
The Civic Mayor announced that the Andy Day Memorial Cup, awarded to the Member of the Council who had shown dedication and selflessness during the Municipal Year in memory of the late Councillor Andy Day, was to be awarded to Councillor Gillian Wood.
The Civic Mayor then announced an award in memory of Councillor Andy Corkhill who sadly passed away in 2021, and who had been passionate about environmental issues. The award would be for an individual, group, school or business who or which had done something demonstrably of benefit to the environment. The award, this year was to Neil Garnett, General Parks Manager, Birkenhead, his team and all the volunteers there for all their work in the park.
The Civic Mayor then announced that a number of Members would not be seeking re-election this year and thanked them for their service to the Council and the Borough, Councillors Bruce Berry, Kate Cannon, Wendy Clements, Tony Cottier, Sam Frost, Adrian Jones, Moira McLaughlin, Les Rowlands, Chris Spriggs, Stuart Whittingham and Irene Williams.
He then invited both Councillors Janette Williamson and Tom Anderson to pay their tributes to those retiring Members and Councillor Phil Gilchrist added his thanks too.
To approve the accuracy of the minutes of the meetings of the Council held on 6 December, 2021 and 16 February (Extraordinary meeting) and 28 February (Budget meeting), 2022.
The minutes of the meetings of Council held on 6 December, 2021, 16 February (Extraordinary Meeting), and of 28 February, 2022 (Budget Meeting) had been circulated to Members.
On a motion by the Civic Mayor seconded by Councillor Janette Williamson it was –
Resolved – That the minutes of the meetings be approved and adopted as correct records.
Notice of question to be given in writing or by email by 12 noon, Wednesday, 16 March, 2022 to the Council’s Monitoring Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org) and to be dealt with in accordance with Standing Order 10.
For more information on how your personal information will be used, please see this link: Document Data Protection Protocol
Please telephone the Committee Services Officer if you have not received an acknowledgement of your question by the deadline for submission.
The Civic Mayor informed the Council that three questions had been received from members of the public, in relation to Hoylake beach. Two members of the public were present and one had asked that their question be read out at the meeting.
The three questions and responses were attached as an appendix to the minutes.
Statements and Petitions
Notice of statements to be given in writing or by email by 12 noon, Wednesday, 16 March, 2022 to the Council’s Monitoring Officer (email@example.com) and to be dealt with in accordance with Standing Order 11.1.
Petitions may be presented to the Council. The person presenting the petition will be allowed to address the meeting briefly (not exceeding one minute) to outline the aims of the petition. The Mayor will refer the matter to another appropriate body of the Council within whose terms of reference it falls without discussion, unless a relevant item appears elsewhere on the Agenda. Please give notice of petitions to firstname.lastname@example.org in advance of the meeting.
Please telephone the Committee Services Officer if you have not received an acknowledgement of your statement/petition by the deadline for submission.
The Civic Mayor informed the meeting that no requests to make statements had been made. He then invited Members to present any petitions which they had.
Councillor Jason Walsh presented a petition of some 763 signatures requesting safe crossing points to Storeton Woods at Mount Road, Higher Bebington.
Councillor Paul Hayes presented a petition of some 49 signatures calling for measures to address the problem of speeding vehicles on Coastal Drive, supported by residents of Smugglers Way and Mockbeggar Drive in Wallasey.
Councillor Lesley Rennie presented a petition of some 69 signatures requesting the installation of traffic speed cameras on Bayswater Road, Wallasey, supported by residents of Bayswater Road and adjacent roads.
Councillor Ian Lewis presented a petition of some 1522 signatures calling for Wallasey Village Library to be retained.
Councillor Andrew Hodson presented three petitions:
(i) a petition of some 36 signatures requesting the referral of planning application APP/22/00215, in respect of Ashlea, 37 Thurstaston Road, Heswall to the Planning Committee.
(ii) a petition of some 34 signatures objecting to the planning application APP/21/01924, in respect of 9 Pipers End, Heswall.
(iii) a petition of some 576 signatures requesting traffic calming measures and a 20mph limit through and either side of Lower Heswall Village.
Resolved – That the petitions be noted and referred to the appropriate Chief Officers in accordance with Standing Order 11.2.
The Civic Mayor reported that no questions from Members had been received.
MATTERS REQUIRING APPROVAL OR CONSIDERATION BY THE COUNCIL
To consider any recommendations and receive reports from the Council’s Committees which require the approval or consideration of the Council, and to receive questions and answers on any of those reports.
In accordance with Standing Order 2(x) three matters had been submitted for approval by the Council (see minutes 101 to 103 post).
The Council is requested to consider the recommendation from the Policy and Resources Committee, to be considered at the Committee’s meeting on 16 March, 2022.
The report is attached and the appendices can be viewed here.
The minute extract will be included in a supplementary agenda.
The first item requiring approval was in relation to the Wirral Local Plan 2021-37 – Publication of Submission Draft Plan (Regulation 19) and Submission to Secretary of State for Examination (Regulation 22).
Councillor Janette Williamson moved and Councillor Yvonne Nolan seconded the recommendations of the Policy and Resources Committee of 16 March, 2022 with regard to the Wirral Local Plan.
Following a full and considered debate and Councillor Williamson having replied, it was –
Resolved (58:0) - That Council:
(1) Agrees and publishes the Wirral Local Plan-Submission Draft and Policies Map (as set out as Appendices 1 and 2 to the Director’s report respectively) (“the Wirral Local Plan”) for a period of six weeks as soon as practicable for representations to be invited as to soundness and legal compliance in accordance with Regulation 19 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 (as amended) (“the Regulations”);
(2) Agrees the submission of the Wirral Local Plan, along with representations received, to the Secretary of State for Independent Examination under section 20 of the Planning Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (as amended) ("the 2004 Act"), together with the submission documents prescribed by Regulation 22 of the Regulations, following the conclusion of the Regulation 19 publication period;
(3) Notes the Sustainability Appraisal, Habitats Regulation Assessment, Equality Impact Assessment, the Local Plan Duty to Co-operate Statement of Compliance, the Regulation 18 Consultation Statement and Local Plan evidence base published alongside Wirral Local Plan;
(4) Authorises the Director of Regeneration and Place, in such consultation with the Chair and Spokespersons of Policy and Resources Committee as is practical and appropriate, to:
(a) make non-material typographical, formatting, mapping and other minor amendments to the Wirral Local Plan prior to publication and prior to submission of the Local Plan to the Secretary of State;
(b) produce and submit any supplementary information and documentation to the Local Plan Inspector(s) as may be required to complete the examination and address any issues relating to soundness and legal compliance including statements of common ground with various organisations;
(5) Authorises the Director of Regeneration and Place, in consultation with Chair and Spokespersons of Policy and Resources Committee to:
(a) agree such main and other modifications to the Wirral Local Plan during the examination in public process as may be necessary to make the Wirral Local Plan sound and legally compliant, in accordance with section 20(7C) of the 2004 Act; and
(b) write to the Local Plan Inspector(s) appointed to carry out the Independent Examination of the submitted Wirral Local Plan asking them to recommend such main or other modifications to the submitted Wirral Local Plan as may be necessary to make the Wirral Local Plan sound and legally compliant, in accordance with section 20(7C) of the 2004 Act;
(6) Endorses the Wirral Local Plan-Submission Draft as a material consideration to be used in the determination of planning applications, with appropriate weight given in accordance with paragraph 48 of the National Planning Policy Framework; and
(7) Agrees in ... view the full minutes text for item 101.
The Council is requested to consider the recommendation from the Policy and Resources Committee, to be considered at the Committee’s meeting on 16 March, 2022.
The report is attached and the minute extract will be included in a supplementary agenda.
The second item requiring approval was in relation to the Pay Policy Statement for 2022/23 as referred to Council by the Policy and Resources Committee at its meeting on 16 March, 2022.
On a motion by Councillor Janette Williamson, seconded by Councillor Yvonne Nolan, it was –
Resolved (57:0) – That the Pay Policy Statement for the financial year 2022/23, be approved.
The Council is requested to approve the recommendation from the Constitution and Standards Committee meeting of 17 February, 2022.
The minute extract is attached and the report can be viewed here.
The third item requiring approval was in relation to the appointment of independent persons to the Constitution and Standards Committee as referred to the Council by that Committee’s meeting of 17 February, 2022.
On a motion by Councillor Phil Gilchrist, seconded by Councillor Paul Stuart, it was –
Resolved (57:0) – That the following independent persons be appointed as members of the Constitution and Standards Committee for a period of four years:
Mr G Kerr
Mr J McCosh
Mrs A Lloyd-Prince
Mr A Wilson
The minutes of all committees which have met since 12 November, 2021 up until 24 February, 2022 are attached, as below.
Members’ attention is drawn to an urgent officer decision which has been taken, and is reported to the Council in accordance with Part 4, Section 4, paragraph 9 of the Constitution. This decision was published on 10 March, 2022, having been taken by the Director of Resources in respect of Casualty (Liability) and Professional Indemnity Insurances Contract Award (decision notice and report attached at pages 71 – 77). The decision being urgent due to new contract arrangements being required for 1st April, 2022 implementation.
Minutes of Committees
· Policy and Resources Committee – 30 November, 1 December, 2021, 17 January and 15 February, 2022 (Pages 79 – 118)
· Adult Social Care and Public Health Committee – 16 November, 2021 and 25 January, 2022 (Pages 119 - 129)
· Children, Young People and Education Committee – 23 November, 2021 and 31 January, 2022 (Pages 131 - 143)
· Economy, Regeneration and Development Committee – 22 November, 2021 and 26 January, 2022 (Pages 145 - 165)
· Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee – 15 November, 2021 and 20 January, 2022 (Pages 167 - 184)
· Housing Committee – 18 November, 2021 and 27 January, 2022
(Pages 185 - 197)
· Tourism, Communities, Culture and Leisure Committee – 17 November, 2021 and 18 January, 2022 (Pages 199 - 216)
· Audit and Risk Management Committee – 30 November, 2021 and 24 January, 2022 (Pages 217 - 225)
· Constitution and Standards Committee – 14 December, 2021 and 17 February, 2022 (Pages 227 - 237)
· Health and Wellbeing Board – 15 December, 2021 and 9 February, 2022 (to follow) (Pages 239 - 244)
· Licensing Act Committee - 24 November, 2021 (Pages 245 - 247)
· Partnerships Committee – 2 February 2022 (Pages 249 - 250)
· Pensions Committee – 29 November, 2021 and 23 February, 2022
(Pages 251 - 264)
· Planning Committee – 16 December, 2021 and 10 February, 2022
(Pages 265 - 273)
· Regulatory and General Purposes Committee – 20 January, 2022
(Pages 275 - 279)
The Civic Mayor introduced the minutes of the various Committees which had met from 12 November, 2021 up until 24 February, 2022. He drew Members’ attention to an urgent officer decision which had been taken and which was reported to the Council in accordance with Part 4, Section 4, paragraph 9 of the Constitution.
The decision was published on 10 March, 2022, having been taken by the Director of Resources in respect of Casualty (Liability) and Professional Indemnity Insurances Contract Award and was urgent due to new contract arrangements being required for 1st April, 2022 implementation.
The Civic Mayor then asked for questions to Committee Chairs on any of the minutes being received.
Councillor Jo Bird asked a question of Councillor Pat Cleary in respect of minute 47 of the Pensions Committee of 23 February, 2022 regarding responsible investment and human rights. Councillor Pat Cleary responded that Merseyside Pension Fund (MPF) was actively working to address its exposure to investment linked to Russia and to fully comply with UK sanctions. However with the Russian stock market closed and additionally foreign investors had been banned from selling by the Russian authorities, one of just several complicating factors. The implications of sanctions which the MPF needed to understand as they precluded most financial transactions with Russian entities. A further strategic consideration was who would be the buyers of the Fund’s divestments with asset values severely depressed the Fund could be gifting assets to unfriendly counterparts and indirectly enriching them. Morally the view of the Fund, which he supported, was that divestment was the right thing to do but the timing of any action needed due consideration. The Fund was liaising closely with the National Local Government Pension Scheme Advisory Board, the Pension and Lifetime Savings Association along with other Local Government Pension Funds to coordinate responses as effectively as possible. The MPF had less than 0.25% of its value in Russian assets so the direct impact of selling holdings would not be material. He also commented that the situation in Ukraine was still evolving but doubtless the MPF’s Responsible Investment Policy would apply to the situation in Ukraine as it did in other occupied territories and conflict zones. The actual response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine did practically reinforce the need to take ethical considerations into account in the Fund’s investments decisions as detailed in the Investment Strategy Statement which detailed the MPF’s approach to responsible investment.