Agenda and minutes
Venue: Committee Room 1 - Wallasey Town Hall. View directions
Contact: Andrew Mossop 0151 691 8501
Members' Code of Conduct - Declarations of Interest
Members are asked to consider whether they have any disclosable pecuniary interests and/or any other relevant interest in connection with any item(s) on this agenda and, if so, to declare them and state the nature of the interest.
Members were asked to consider whether they had any disclosable pecuniary interests and/or any other relevant interest in connection with any item(s) on this agenda and, if so, to declare them and state the nature of the interest.
Councillor Tony Jones declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 9, ‘Constituency Budget and Spend’, by virtue of him being Chair of the New Brighton Coastal Community Team.
Apologies for Absence
Apologies had been received from Councillors Pat Hackett, Paul Hayes and Lesley Rennie and Community Representative, John Carson.
To approve the accuracy of the minutes of the Constituency Committee meeting held on 9 June, 2016.
Resolved – That the minutes of the Wallasey Constituency Committee held on 9 June, 2016 be approved.
Merseyside Police: Update from 'Have Your Say' Marketplace Event
The Chair invited Sergeant Kate Roberts to update the Committee on the police matters for the previous quarter. Sergeant Roberts’ comments included the following:
· In the Leasowe and Moreton areas a meeting had been held at Moreton Library regarding the increase in anti-social behaviour and there had been very positive engagement from residents and partners. Intelligence from local people had resulted in several warrants being executed on the Leasowe estate, all with positive outcomes. Three occupants within three houses had all been evicted. Home visits had been undertaken to parents of young people identified as causing issues and being on the periphery of crime.
Members thanked Sergeant Roberts for all her hard work, and referred to the incentives of free Tranmere Rovers tickets available for those young people who attended a certain number of diversionary activities.
Some Members expressed concern at the speed of response to incidents and the danger that some residents might be tempted to take matters into their own hands if a Police response was slow.
Sergeant Roberts acknowledged that the police response ideally should have been quicker. A follow up meeting was being arranged at which a representative from Magenta Living would be in attendance. Monthly meetings were held with all partners on the issue of anti-social behaviour.
· In the New Brighton area the problems which had occurred in 2015 with anti-social behaviour from young people travelling from all over Wirral had reduced in 2016 by working with a number of partner agencies. She outlined a number of diversionary activities which had been arranged through the summer.
A Member expressed concern at the secondment of a Neighbourhood Inspector for Wallasey to Liverpool and suggested that the concerns of this Committee should be communicated to the Area Commander.
With regard to the use of dispersal orders a Member suggested that there was a need to look at this in the round so that a problem was not moved from one area to another.
Resolved – That the report be noted.
Public Question Time
The Chair informed the meeting that no relevant questions had been received in advance of the meeting.
The Chair then invited questions from the audience.
A resident of Poulton, Mr D Felton, referred to the number of street lights which were not lit between Poulton, Seacombe and Liscard, approximately 50 within about a 5 miles radius.
The Chair suggested that Mr Felton be informed of the Council’s response via the Constituency Manager and an update would be provided at the next meeting.
[Subsequent to the meeting, a response from the Head of Environment and Regulation had been sent to Mr Felton and the wording of the response is appended to the minutes].
Community Representatives' Update
The Chair invited Jenni Jones to give an update on behalf of the Community Representatives. She informed the meeting that a questionnaire was being circulated to the audience and responses would be collated.
The Chair referred to the fact that John Carson’s term as a Community Representative would finish before the next meeting and in his absence thanked him for his work with the Committee.
September 2015 Flooding: Investigation Report
A presentation will be provided by Richard James (AECOM). Representatives from Wirral Council, United Utilities and the Environment Agency will also be available to respond to any questions raised.
Mark Camborne, Head of Corporate and Community Safety, introduced Richard James, Flood Risk Consultant, of AECOM Infrastructure & Environment UK Limited to give a presentation on the findings of the Flood and Water Management Act, Section 19 Flood Investigation covering the flood events from 22 August to 2 September, 2015.
Also present were Neil Thomas, Team Leader, Highway Assets, John Kinsella from the Environment Agency along with Barry Cropper and Peter Tallboys from United Utilities.
Mr James gave a presentation in relation to how the floods affected the Wallasey constituency area. He referred to the fact that there was little to no warning of the 1 and 2 September event as the Met Office had considered the weather conditions to be insufficient to trigger a National Severe Weather Warning. Both flood events had resulted from a significant depth of rainfall over a relatively short period. The flooding resulted from a number of different sources and mechanisms. All agencies and organisations were involved in responding to the flooding as the events unfolded. The slow capture and exchange of information may have limited the effectiveness and speed of the authority response. The Section 19 Flood Investigation had made recommendations to improve communications and resilience of the communities at risk. The full Investigation report was available to view at https://www.wirral.gov.uk/sites/default/files/all/communities%20and%20neighbouhoods/Emergencies/Flooding/Flood%20report%20August%202015.pdf
The Section 19 Flood Investigation had made multiple recommendations, including:
· Developing a Multi-Agency Severe Weather Plan for Wirral.
· Developing integrated catchment models.
· Developing information capture and rapid sharing capability.
· Promoting and fostering community resilience to repeat events through the provision of resources and partnership working with local communities.
Responding to comments, Mr James suggested that had flood forecasting and weather forecasting information been available a couple of hours before the rain and flooding, then Council staff could have been on the ground earlier to help people.
In response to comments from Members, Mark Camborne’s comments included:
· The Environment Agency was now using a river level monitor downstream at Acton Lane and a revised trigger level to issue flood warnings.
· Nationally and regionally a lot of work was taking place in producing predictive models and a hazard manager system.
· Mersey Now, the community messaging service for Merseyside, would also be used for text alerts and he would provide details of this to all the Committee members.
· The Council or the other agencies (Environment Agency and United Utilities) had been in contact with every resident who had been flooded.
· There were a number of social housing properties which were flooded but worryingly the repairs undertaken by the housing associations had put back what was there before rather than incorporating some flood resistance and / or resilience measures.
· He acknowledged that the Council’s response was uncoordinated and elaborated on new measures which had been put in place with the Environment Agency and he would like to think that the response to a similar situation would not be the same again.
· The Council was working with colleagues in Sefton to secure 3,000 hydro bags which would be issued ... view the full minutes text for item 12.
Fuel Poverty Assistance: Wallasey Constituency
A presentation will be provided by Dominic Griffiths (Energy Projects Plus).
Dominic Griffiths of Energy Projects Plus gave a presentation on the work of the charity which aimed to deliver solutions to fuel poverty and improve domestic energy efficiency across Merseyside and Cheshire.
He outlined the causes and solutions for fuel poverty and the projects which they were delivering, which included:
· Save Energy Advice Line
· Warm and Healthy Homes
· Wirral Fuel Debt Advice Service
· Health Through Warmth
· Merseyside Collective Switch
· Liverpool City Region Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Central Heating Fund and the Cheshire East DECC Central Heating Fund
· Wirral Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency Programme
· Wirral Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency Programme Solid Wall Insulation Scheme
He also gave details of a case study of a client who had benefitted by almost £8,000 through help in maximising income, energy efficient behaviour and energy efficient products.
During this item, Councillor Mooney declared a personal interest by virtue of her employment with Age UK.
Councillor Janette Williamson, as Cabinet Member for Public Health, urged Members and the wider public to keep an eye out for residents who might be in a vulnerable situation during the coming winter months and to take advantage of the service offered by Energy Projects Plus.
The Chair, on behalf of the Committee, thanked Mr Griffiths for his presentation and commended the project to all.
Resolved – That the presentation be noted.
The Constituency Manager introduced a report which provided an update on the Constituency Committee’s committed spend and outlined the Committee’s budget for 2016/17. It also sought the Committee’s views on how the budget was allocated. The Core budget of £50,000, with the addition of three underspent budgets, amounted to £55,513.08.
At Wallasey Constituency Committee on 26 June 2014 (minute 9 refers), the Committee agreed its three year priorities to:
· improve personal wellbeing
· improve economic wellbeing
· improve neighbourhood wellbeing
An up-to-date profile for Wallasey Constituency was currently being developed which would be used in due course to inform a Constituency Plan for the area. This would be developed following the production of a new Neighbourhood Working Strategy. With there being a large number of ongoing projects, funded by the Committee, currently being delivered, including the Constituency based project of the New Brighton Coastal Community Team, the Constituency Manager recommended that the Committee gave consideration to investing its available budget to supporting local communities with Christmas lighting displays, supporting the existing work of New Brighton Coastal Community Team and providing a further grants programme to both support local voluntary, community and faith groups and to help the Committee tackle its priorities.
With regard to the Problem Solving Fund, since the last meeting an amount of £70 had been allocated for four ‘Do not feed the birds’ signs at the model boating lake in New Brighton. An amount of £14,480 remained in the Problem Solving Fund.
A ‘community clean ups’ budget was available of £10,000 and also a devolved budget of £32,500 from the Transport Plan for Growth.
The Chair agreed that the Committee consider each recommendation in turn.
The Constituency Manager reported that since the local election only one party spokesperson had been in place and the Committee handbook required that two party spokespersons administer the Problem Solving Fund.
The Chair asked if the Conservatives wished to put forward a spokesperson. Councillor Blakeley stated that it should be for the Committee to allocate funding from the Problem Solving Fund.
On a motion by Councillor Janette Williamson, seconded by Councillor Chris Spriggs, it was –
(1) Resolved (11:3) (One abstention) – That the Chair be designated to administer the Problem Solving Fund and any spend agreed between Committees be reported back to the subsequent Committee.
With regard to recommendations 2 and 3 and Community Clean Ups, Members asked regarding the provision of extra litter bins including collection and also the possibility of providing skips for communities to clear large items of rubbish.
The Constituency Manager stated that she would make enquiries regarding any ongoing revenue charge in respect of emptying any additional bins bought by the Committee. Any suggestions for further community clean ups should be sent to her in the next three weeks on or before 23 October; these could then be costed up and brought back to the January Committee.
(2) Resolved – That £3,000 be allocated from the devolved ‘community clean ups’ budget for the purchase of a supply of ... view the full minutes text for item 14.
Any Other Urgent Business Approved by the Chair
Councillor Blakeley referred to the fact that an item on the recently published Ofsted report into Children’s Services was on the agenda of another Constituency Committee.
The Chair responded that it would not be appropriate to consider the report at this meeting and Members would have the opportunity to discuss this matter at future meetings.