Agenda and minutes

Venue: St David's United Reformed Church, Mill Park Drive, Eastham, Wirral CH62 9DG

Contact: Louise Harland-Davies  Community Engagement Officer 0151 691 8695

No. Item


Welcome and Introductions


Councillor Tom Harney welcomed Area Forum members and 20 members of the public to the meeting in Eastham. 


Apologies for absence were received from Marjorie Hall, Eastham Community Representative. 



Election of Chair


The retiring Chair, Councillor Tom Harney, invited nominations for Chair of the Area Forum.


Councillor J Walsh nominated Councillor S A M Niblock. 

No further nominations were received.


RESOLVED: To elect Councillor S A M Niblock Chair of the Area Forum for one year. 




Actions from February Forum


The Area Co-ordinator stated that in response to an issue about parking outside Raeburn Primary School, the CCTV vehicle was activated to monitor the situation. The monitoring will continue.  Feedback would be appreciated on whether the situation has improved.



Update on 20mph zones


Wirral Council is introducing 20mph speed limits on non-major residential routes across Wirral to help make the streets safer for everyone.  The intention is to introduce the speed limit in 66 of the 132 zones in 2012/13, and the remainder in 2012/14.  Zones have been identified based on officers’ knowledge, schools, and comments and concerns from residents.  A plan was available showing the zoning proposals for the two phases within this Area Forum boundary, and existing traffic calmed roads.  A report that identified the phasing and programme for implementation across all the Area Forums was presented to Cabinet on 12 April.  Work on Phase 1 will start in October 2012.


As part of the consultation process, response cards were available for members of the public to use to comment on the proposed phasing of the 20 mph speed limit in this area.  Formal objections to the proposals will be reported to a Council Committee for further consideration.


Councillor Gilchrist stated that the Council will advertise the proposals in the Press when, presumably, objections will be invited.  He asked whether people would be asked to comment on the zone in its entirety, or would they be allowed to object to the inclusion of a particular street.


The Technical Services officer stated that he understood any objection to one road would affect the whole zone, but he needed to seek clarity on the matter.



Neighbourhood Plans

  • Your Ecomony
  • Your Family
  • What Next/Future Funding


The Area Co-ordinator reminded the Forum that the main agenda item at the February meeting was an update on the responses to a major consultation exercise in Summer 2011, which informed the priorities for the Neighbourhood Plan for this Area Forum.


Specific feedback was given at the February meeting on Your Neighbourhood, Road Maintenance and Road Safety, and Community Safety.  A commitment was given to report on Your Family and Your Economy at this meeting.


Your Family. 

Under the heading Services for Children and Young People, the majority of local people felt that Bromborough and Eastham were good places for children and young people to grow up, but they had some suggestions about what could be improved. 


In particular, people said:


  • Children and young people need to have better access to a wide range of facilities and activities in a safe and secure environment


  • There are good schools in the area but they wanted schools to become more involved with the local community, with more activities offered to younger children, and better co-ordination and advertising of services that are available. 


  • More events needed for children and adults to boost self esteem and family life, with parenting classes particularly for new parents.  A request was made for longer opening hours at South Wirral Youth Hub and youth clubs.


In response, the Council have said they will make sure youth clubs and activities for young people are promoted much more widely and effectively to make sure young people in the area are aware of what is available.  Extra funding is being put into Sure Start centres with a target to make sure that at least 80% of under-fives are registered with their local centre.  The Council is also providing additional funding to continue the work of the anti-social behaviour team and to encourage more children and young people to participate in organised activities outside school.


Your Family

Under the heading, Health and Wellbeing, people felt that the services were good in Bromborough and Eastham, but could be improved by:


  • Providing better and more targeted support for carers and their families;


  • That there should be a more integrated community approach for the area and more affordable housing available for young people; and that advice and contact numbers should be publicised more effectively in the local area. 


  • There were concerns about personalisation budgets and the future of day services, and said that more activities should be provided for older people. 


  • People suggested that the opening hours could be extended in the walk in centre in Eastham.


In response, the Council has agreed to do more to publicise the many excellent services available for residents, particularly those who are vulnerable; support is available to help people stay independent in their own homes and play an active role in their communities.  Ways are being looked at to provide more help to carers, financially and socially.  The voluntary sector have a new website,, which gives information on services within and beyond Wirral.  In addition, information  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Wirral GP Commissioning Consortium


Lorna Quigley, Chief Officer, for Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group, commented that the NHS has not been part of Area Forums for a while.  She appreciated the opportunity to speak at this meeting and would be happy to continue the involvement at future meetings, if that would be useful.

Lorna explained that currently health services are delivered to the public by a Primary Care Trust [PCT].  Under an Act of Parliament, from April 2013, the PCT will cease to exist and Commissioning Groups, formed by local GPs, will be responsible for purchasing health care on behalf of the public.

All the GP practices in Wirral have signed up to be part of the Wirral GP Commissioning Consortium.  GPs will also work in smaller groups because the health care needs in one area will be slightly different to those in another area. 

The consortium will be responsible for commissioning [planning, buying and managing contracts for] the services that people need and ensuring that they are absolutely safe, of good quality, and delivered to the highest standards.  To quality assure services, it is necessary to work with patient groups and have feedback from patients.

GP practices are setting up patient groups to give patients the chance to learn more about healthcare locally and suggest ways in which services can be improved for the patient.  Members of the public are encouraged to contact their practice to find out more.

Lorna continued that the Neighbourhood Plan includes a suggestion that the opening hours at the walk in centre in Eastham could be extended.  Although she was unable to say that it would happen, it will be reported back as a concern for the people of Bromborough and Eastham.  She gave an undertaking to come back to the Area Forum with a response. 

The NHS is going through some fundamental changes, and although it might not be possible to give people everything they ask for, it does want to have people’s views.  Everything is new, and many things need to be sorted out, but if invited back, Lorna would be pleased to give further updates as the changes progress.

Councillor Mitchell stated that people in the local area and beyond fought long and hard for an outreach clinic in this area.  He sought reassurance that services would continue to be delivered locally.

Lorna replied that one of the key objectives of the commissioning group is to make services more accessible and closer to patients’ homes and there are no plans in the immediate future to de-commission or reduce any services that people already have. 

Councillor Gilchrist stated that people have reported experiencing delays in getting through to local practices by telephone, underlining the need for something that is accessible and easily reached in Eastham.

Lorna replied that the NHS monitors GPs’ appointments and waiting times every six months to ensure that patients get appointments with the GP or practice nurse when they require them.

Councillor Gilchrist replied that appointments can only be monitored for those who  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Public Question Time


Q1  Changes to parking in Bromborough Village.  During mornings, there is a stream of cars along both sides, with cars coming in and out.  The fact that it is also a through route causes problems with busses, and disabled drivers have difficulty finding a parking space.  At the junction of Bromborough Rake and Points and Joints, people have to jump out of the way of vehicles speeding round the corner of the village.

A  The Technical Services officer offered to speak to the member of the public at the end of the meeting.  He would take the comments back to the traffic Management Board and give feedback to the person concerned.  He would also take up the issue of additional parking spaces for disabled drivers.

Q2  I am Chair of the Bromborough Recreation Bowling Club, and for some years we have been trying to find ways of improving the facilities, but any plans put forward to the Council have been thrown back.

  The bowling green is used five days a week and the club pays the Council something in the region of £900 for the use of the facility, but there is no shelter for bowlers, particularly those of a more mature age.  An email was sent to the Chief Executive in March 2012, with copies to other people in the Council.  The reply said it had been passed to Jim Lester, and Jim Lester said that he had passed it on to someone else, but no definitive information has been received about what is happening. 

The club is prepared to fund a bus shelter type of structure made from precast concrete blocks, with an up and over door, and to plant up the surrounding area,  but it needs permission from the Council to erect it. 

The club had been told it would destroy the beauty of the park, then that people over the road would object.  The club is located in Palatine Road/Hadleigh Avenue].  In January/February, Councillor Niblock had been asked to find out if people who live there would object.  Councillor Niblock stated that he had received no feedback to date.

Councillor Mitchell suggested that an approach should be made to Councillor Chris Meaden, the Cabinet member for this area. 

Councillor Walsh gave an assurance that the matter would be looked into.

Q3  Torr Drive:   Application for planning permission

A  Councillor Gilchrist responded to the query.

Q4  A member of the public referred back to Neighbourhood Plans and allocation of funds, stating that applications will be invited from 2 July, but organisations have not yet seen the criteria.  He asked if voluntary groups and organisations have the expertise to understand the funding criteria and scoring criteria, how the money will be split up, and how decisions will be made.  There is a need for more transparency about how bids are being looked into and some fundamental questions that need to be answered.

A  The area co-ordinator gave initial responses to the issues.  She continued  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Partner Updates


NHS Trust:  David Hammond, Membership Manager for Wirral Community NHS Trust, explained that the Trust was formed last year from NHS community services.  The Trust provides dietary advice, etc, runs the walk in centre in Eastham and provides services in people’s homes. 

One of the aims of the Trust is to become a Foundation Trust by 2014.  Foundation trusts have more flexibility in how they deliver their services and they are more accountable.  As part of the application to become a Foundation Trust, a number of public meetings were held in the Spring when about a thousand people were asked a range of questions about becoming a Foundation Trust.  The consultation closed in May, the information is being collated, and will be available on the website.  The results will be published in the local Press at the end of June.

Having completed the consultation, the Trust is now looking to develop its membership. The Foundation Trust model is more accountable to local people by having elected members who represent the people of Wirral and can give feedback on their experience of services and the improvements they would like to see.

Anyone who lives in Wirral and is over the age of 18 can join and people can become involved at different levels.  Members will be invited to attend events organised to receive feedback on ways to improve services, but many people will be happy just to receive information.

All members will be eligible to stand as a Governor to represent their local area, and all members will have a vote on who represents them.  Members will also be able to use the NHS discount scheme available to NHS staff, and receive shopping vouchers etc

David urged members of the public to become members and he offered to answer questions on the consultation or the membership scheme.  No questions were raised. 

The Chair thanked David Hammond for the presentation.

Merseyside Police:  The only issue in this area is noise from the skateboard park, A member of the public raised concerns about the quality of life of nearby residents because of the noise level at the park, which attracts children from all areas of Wirral.

Members of the public expressed the frustration they felt when calls to the police were not responded to, or the officer called was not available, and messages left were not passed on or not responded to.

The police have received very few calls about anti social behaviour in the skateboard park. 

Considerable dialogue continued between members of the public, the police officers and the community safety officer.

Councillor Mitchell raised the issue of the safety of the equipment used by the children.  He quoted an email from Council officers advising that the small ramps would be removed because they had become dangerous.  The noise was caused because the ramps were hollow.  The larger ramp would be retained but treated with a rubber coating to reduce noise levels.  In the longer term, Officers have been asked  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Date of future meeting


Tuesday, 2 October.  6.30 pm – 8.30 pm - Professional Excellence Centre. Bromborough.


Thursday, 4 October. 6.30 pm. – 8.30 pm - Delamere Avenue Community Centre, Eastham.


The meeting closed at 9.05 pm.


Please note we will only be holding one meeting for the next Bromborough, Eastham and New Ferry Neighbourhood Forum which will take place on Tuesday 2nd October 2012