Agenda and minutes
Venue: Committee Room 1 - Wallasey Town Hall
Contact: Brian Ellis Senior Committee Officer
The Chair welcomed everybody and explained the reasons as to why he had called this special meeting.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST/PARTY WHIP
Members are asked to consider whether they have personal or prejudicial interests in connection with any item(s) on this agenda and, if so, to declare them and state what they are.
Members are reminded that they should also declare, pursuant to paragraph 18 of the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules, whether they are subject to a party whip in connection with any item(s) to be considered and, if so, to declare it and state the nature of the whipping arrangement.
Members were asked to consider whether they had a personal or prejudicial interest in any matters to be considered at the meeting and, if so, to declare them and state what they were. Members were reminded that they should also declare, pursuant to paragraph 18 of the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules, whether they were subject to a party whip in connection with any matter to be considered and, if so, to declare it and state the nature of the whipping arrangement.
No such declarations were made.
THE SAIL PROJECT, WEST KIRBY
The Chair, Councillor Hale, has authorised the calling of this special meeting of the committee to examine the details of the proposed development, its relationship to the original development brief, and whether it represents value for money.
It is intended to call witnesses who have notified the Chair of their wish to address the committee.
Prior to consideration of this item, Councillor McLachlan moved –
“(1) That this Committee notes that the Conservative Group have withdrawn their call in of the Cabinet decision of September 24th on the Sail Project, which would have given them the opportunity to question the Cabinet decision, to call witnesses to support their case, and to allow the Overview and Scrutiny Committees to report back to Cabinet before any final decision was made.
(2) This Committee further notes that by withdrawing their call in objecting to the decision of Cabinet, the Conservative Group have, in effect, notified their agreement that the decision can go ahead and this is now a resolved item which will now be implemented, as reflected in Cabinet Minute 129.
(3) This Committee notes that the call in was withdrawn when the Scrutiny Programme Board chose to allocate the call in to Council Excellence, which does not have a Conservative Chair.
(4) In view of the fact that the outcome of this meeting, or the statements of any witnesses, cannot now affect the decision taken by Cabinet, we believe that it would be unfair to those members of the public present to continue with this meeting as a meeting of an Overview and Scrutiny Committee in the belief that it has any power to affect the decisions taken.
(5) This Committee does not wish to take part in the politicisation of the Scrutiny Process, which is against the Council’s constitution, and therefore moves that this meeting now be formally closed in order to allow the Conservative members of the committee time to debate this issue and talk to their constituents outside the formal processes of this Council.”
Having been seconded by Councillor Taylor, the motion was then ruled out of order by the Chair. The Chair having taken advice from the Director of Law, HR and Asset Management that the meeting was properly constituted in accordance with Standing Order 26(1).
Councillor McLachlan then made a statement to the Committee as follows:
“I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Labour and Liberal Democrat members present, and I would like this statement to be formally minuted please.
I want to make it quite clear to the members of public present, to those who have been called as witnesses, and to any members of the press present, that this meeting is not a call in, although it seems to have been billed as such in the media.
The decision taken by Cabinet on September 24th to move to the stage of drafting a Development Agreement was initially called in by the Conservatives.
However, they later withdrew this call in when it was allocated by the Scrutiny Programme Board to be heard by the Council Excellence Overview and Scrutiny Committee, which does not have a Conservative Chair.
At that call in, they would have had the opportunity to call witnesses, scrutinise the decision and make a recommendation back to Cabinet which would have to be considered before the ... view the full minutes text for item 21.