Agenda and minutes
Venue: Hoylake Community Centre, 31 Hoyle Road, Wirral, CH47 3AG
Contact: Tracey Smith Area Forum Co-ordinator
Welcome, introductions and apologies
The Chair, Councillor Gerry Ellis, welcomed forum members and 85 members of the public to the West Wirral Area Forum meeting being held at Hoylake Community Centre, 31 Hoyle Road, Hoylake.
The Chair Cllr Gerry Ellis explained to forum members and members of the public that they were to have the opportunity to vote for extra council services in relation to the You Decide Funding tonight using electronic keypads. The area forum is responsible for allocating £20,000. Everyone will be given the opportunity to vote from a list of 25 different activities and the top 5 will be funded.
Cllr Gerry Ellis explained about recent changes to Government and how this is reflected for Wirral Council. Cabinet will now be made up of 7 Conservative Councillors and 3 Liberal Democrat Councillors.
Cllr Gerry Ellis also introduced Cllr Ian Lewis, who is the newly appointed Cabinet Member for Community & Customer Engagement for Wirral Council.
Cllr Ian Lewis – With regards to Community Centres and Halls closures under the SAR, he explained to public members that he cannot give a guarantee whether they would stay open or not as it depends on finance. He went on to explain the Council are in a lot of debt and this needs to be addressed, He also stated that the public will in future now know what the Council is spending their money on this will be available for all to see .
Q from Public member – Local Resident just want to say that the “Traffic Island in Thurstaston” is fantastic. The flow of traffic is smooth – “thank you”
Cllr Gerry Ellis asked all forum members to introduce themselves.
John Percival then thanked Mark Thomas for the Fire Services prompt action for putting the fire out 3 weeks ago at his business premises and also thanked Hoylake Community Centre for letting him use their premise to continue his work from. The Area would have lost around £300,000 income if the Community Centre had not stepped in and helped.
The Area Co-ordinator, Tracey Smith, presented her report containing the minutes from the previous meeting and local updates and asked if there were any amendments or matters arising.
There were no matters arising and the minutes from the previous meeting were agreed as a true record.
She then explained about the new voting system and informed the public members that if they had any problems or queries they could contact her on the details provided on the front of the report or speak to her at the end.
The Chairman asked the public if they had any questions for the partners.
You Decide - Presentation by Jim Wilkie - Deputy Chief Executive & Director of Corporate Services
The Area Co-Ordinator Tracey Smith informed the forum that they all had the opportunity to suggest locations i.e if anybody wanted to vote for bench to state where they would like the bench, using the voting cards that where made available.
She also explained that nobody is to vote until the end of the presentation and need to vote for their top 5 separate choices.
The information, including suggested locations will then be taken away and collated, updated information will be available for the next area forum in October and advised that the electronic keypads will now be handed out.
Jim Wilkie asked members of forum and public to test there keypads by answering 2 test questions he then proceeded to go through his presentation explaining what people were allowed to vote for, public then voted for their top 5.
The Area- Co coordinator then added that the results will also be available on the internet.
After the voting the Area Co-Coordinator informed everybody in attendance that there were 3 top choices which were
Ø Foot patrol by Enforcement Officer (Wirral Anti-Social Behaviour Team)
Ø Development of Youth Respect Team Workers (Wirral Anti-Social Behaviour Team)
Ø Big tidy up strategic partners and community
Gerry Ellis invited any questions.
Q from public member – We should have been given the choices beforehand so we had more time to look at them.
John Percival – I struggle to take a lot of information in so maybe the list could be shorter.
Tracey Smith – we had to make sure there was enough choice for everybody and that is why the list was quite long - we need to be fair.
Q from public member – Maybe you could just find out which areas was most important i.e community safety?
Q from public member – In the Hoylake area there is not one public toilet on Market Street – why was that not mentioned?
Gerry Ellis – there are two toilets on Hoylake Prom however, it I regrettable that the Albert Road toilet was closed by the previous administration some years ago.
Q from public member – should we not be able to suggest where the money goes rather than be given choices?
Cllr Jeff Green – the last exercise was difficult. We want to find ways to involve people in choices we need to delegate more decision making. As for the Community Centres I have written to the Director of Law in Asset Management and explained that where we have a lack of resources we need to keep them in Council control.
Update from Youth Service
Peter Edmundson – Young people want a more broader range of opportunities. In 2007 the Overview Committee recommended we revisit what we have already got available. We put a bid in to a scheme called ‘my space’ but unfortunately it was unsuccessful. However we have now commissioned four hubs which are to be open on more occasions. One of them is to be open on a Friday and Saturday night to attract more people. It will get the young people off the street and give them somewhere to go. The other purpose is to co-ordinate activities in the district. There is still work to be done but we just ask that you give it a chance. We just want to try and get more young people involved in worthwhile activities. Would also like adults to get involved to get the young people involved.
He explained the hubs are open 5 nights 7pm – 10pm and 5pm – 8pm on a Saturday. Young people want different things and this is what is trying to be achieved – there will be sport activities, dance, music, advice, drop in facility i.e pool and computers in a safe environment. There is also a new room for budding DJs, job clubs, revision area. Adam Mellor the Hub Manager was then introduced and explained that they he could answer any questions at the end or alternatively there was a drop in at the Hub on a Tuesday 2pm – 3pm and all residents are welcome.
Q from public member – why not arrange a film night and involve the parents and could discuss the film afterwards. I think the hub is a fantastic idea.
Gary Evans – gave a plea for all people who are members of sports clubs to involve youths and are able to accommodate them. Explained that there should be a way to look after young people as they are our future.
Q from public member – we have been concerned about children and did actually to try and raise money for skate board ramps but nothing happened. The Hub is a good idea but young people need fresh air.
Gerry Ellis - explained that all our previous attempts to find a site has resulted in strong opposition from local residents..
John Percival - I asked an experienced Youth Officer what do we do with kids? He replied that ‘dealing with the youth is like juggling soot’. I have had to put fencing up so kids will stop skateboarding around the Yachting club. I don’t think that young people will travel from here to Bidston to use the skateboard park.
Peter Edmundson – will look into all points raised and informed everybody that the West Wirral officially opens on 24th June.
Sgt Andy Carter – informed that the Police work closely with the Council and do in fact support the Hub as youths come off the streets. They work along side the Respect Team and Outreach Centres in Ashton Park and all ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
Public Question Time
Q from public member – what progress has been made to provide more allotments in Sandringham Avenue.
Cllr Jeff Green – Sandringham Avenue have been convinced of the benefits of allotments and also Gilroy will involve young people and people with special needs.
Q from public member - have they finished roads and when are they doing the prom in Hoylake?
Dave Green – I presume you mean due to the excessive winter damage! Most roads have been repaired. £3.5 million investment programme started in April but we have to prioritise roads. We will repair all pot holes that are reported to us – I have a list of roads so we can look at the end.
Q from public member – can we have the papers for the local transport plan?
Dave Green – LTP3 papers are being done now - I will organise papers for next forum.
Q from public member – explain why people think the Council have sold some land to Aldi and now all there is a pile of rubble?
Jim Wilkie – we don’t own all the land and it is being resolved. Part of the site needs to be acquired is owned by rail track.
Cathy Doran (NHS Wirral) – explained that her update was included in the report and she was more than happy to take any questions. (shown on from page 33)
Rod Jones (Wirral University Teaching Hospital) – explained all the information needed was in the report provided and he was happy to take any questions. 9shown from page 28)
Sgt Andy Carter – explained that Merseyside Police circulated their Newsletter on the night and he was happy to take any questions.
Watch Manager Mark Thomas - informed forum that a Hub is also open in Wallasey Fire Station and all information is in the pack. Explained there was an update in the report provided and was happy to answer any questions. (shown from page 17)
Ian Lowry (Community Safety) – went through extensive report contained in the pack provided and was open for questions at the end. (shown from page 14)
Sandra Wall (Older Peoples Parliament) – Explained report was in the document provided. Re: toilets in Market Street – informed forum than London Borough pay shops and businesses etc to provide public toilets which is a safer way to do – could Wirral do this? (shown from page 37)
Cllr Jeff Green - certainly we will look into this.
Howard Mortimer (Head of Special Initiatives Team) – explained that he will provide an extensive report and presentation for the next area forum.
John Percival (Local Business Representative) – Thanked Hoylake Community Centre again for their support.
Cllr Geoff Watt – could we have a parks and open spaces report for the next forum please.
Dates of Future Meetings
Cllr Gerry Ellis thanked everybody for attending.
The next meeting will be Thursday 21 October 2010, venue to be confirmed.