Agenda and minutes

Venue: Irby Village Hall, Irby CH61 3UB

Contact: Mark Delap  Principal Committee Officer

No. Item

Twenty eight members of the public were in attendance, with the percentage attendance by ward as follows:


·  Greasby, Frankby and Irby  11%

·  Hoylake and Meols  22%

·  Pensby and Thingwall  14%

·  Upton  25%

·  West Kirby and Thurstaston  11%

·  Other areas  14%

·  Not stated    3%


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.


All Members of the Committee declared their personal interest in agenda item 4 – Wirral West Constituency Funding 2013/2014 (see minute 23 post), by virtue of their involvement with various community groups within the Wirral West Constituency.


Councillors Jeff Green and Stuart Whittingham declared their personal interest in agenda item 5 – Wirral West Public Question Time (see minute 24 post), insofar as advanced notice had been received in relation to a question to be asked concerning a lease with Magenta Living, of which they were Board Members.


Councillors Jeff Green, Geoffrey Watt and John Hale declared their personal interest in agenda item 5 – Wirral West Public Question Time (see minute 24 post) insofar as a question was to be asked in relation to a request for funding from the Friends of Hilbre, of which they were Members.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 102 KB

To approve the accuracy of the minutes of the meeting held on 12 December 2013


Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting held on 12 December 2013 be confirmed as a correct record.


Constituency Manager's Report pdf icon PDF 93 KB

This report provides an update on progress in relation to the ongoing work programme being undertaken in support of the Wirral West Constituency Committee.


The Constituency Manager presented her report, which provided an update in relation to the ongoing work programme being undertaken in support of the Wirral West Constituency Committee.


With regard to the continued development of joined up mechanisms for community engagement, she commented that further consideration had been given specifically to the format and structure of meetings in relation to contributions from Merseyside Police. It was proposed that Merseyside Police should undertake separate ‘Have Your Say’ meetings across the constituency to ensure that members of the public were provided with a dedicated opportunity to inform policing priorities. The Committee would retain a Public Question Time, though which the public would continue to be able to raise questions about the work of the Committee and local issues. The Constituency Manager indicated that she would work closely with the Neighbourhood Inspector to ensure that any actions arising from the ‘Have Your Say’ meetings, which required joint working with the Council and other agencies, were taken forward as appropriate. The Constituency Committee would also be kept regularly informed of the outcomes of the ‘Have Your Say’ meetings and policing priorities.


She set out a provisional timetable with dates for Constituency Committee and ‘Have Your Say’ meetings, from April 2014 onwards, which would continue to be held on a rolling basis across the Constituency. Once the timetable was finalised, it would be publicised across the Constituency and published on the Council’s and Police’s websites.


She reported also on the development of the Constituency Plan, which would be presented for approval to the next meeting. To facilitate this, two workshops would be arranged in the coming months to explore the priorities and to finalise the draft Plan. A wider engagement strategy would also be put in place to support the development of the Plan, building on the events that had taken place with regard to the allocation of the Constituency Fund.


Resolved – That the report be noted and the approaches in relation to joining up consultation activities and the development of the Constituency Plan, be endorsed.


Wirral West Constituency Funding 2013/2014 pdf icon PDF 128 KB

This report (to follow) and additional presentation at the Committee meeting makes recommendations as to the Committee’s budget allocation in relation to the following grant programmes:


§  The Wirral West Community Fund

§  Wirral West Public Health Grants


Further to minutes 7 (30 October 2013) and 17 (12 December 2013), the Constituency Manager presented recommendations for the allocation of the Wirral West Constituency Budget for 2013/2014, on the basis of two grant programmes –


·  Wirral West Community Fund

A Council allocation of £50,000, to be divided on the basis of £10,000 per ward, for projects which aimed to improve the quality of life in Wirral West and impact positively on local people and places. The criteria allowed a maximum of £1,000 per project, voted on by the community to inform the decisions of the Committee as to which would receive funding.


Following an initial assessment, 10 projects had been considered to be ineligible and two were withdrawn, which left 44 projects that were taken forward to be voted upon by the public, either at a series of community events or by participating in the supplementary online or paper voting process. Approximately 1500 people voted, with over 300 outside Wirral West and the Constituency Manager set out the responses for each ward.


·  Wirral West Public Health Grants Programme

An additional allocation of £50,000 of Public Health funding, which aimed to increase the healthy life expectancy of local residents and reduce deficiencies in healthy life expectancy between communities. A maximum grant of £3,000 per project would be allocated on the basis of recommendations that had been made by an officer panel. The public health criteria required £25,000 to be split equally between wards, with the remaining £25,000 to be allocated on the basis of need, as evidenced in the grant applications from groups and organisations.


The Committee was asked to consider and agree 18 projects (set out at appendix 1 to the Constituency Manager’s report) that were recommended for funding, with four having been declined on the basis of the assessment and one being withdrawn.


The Constituency Manager commented that all projects to be funded as an outcome of the report were required to be completed by December 2014 and she assured Members that robust project monitoring was in place for both grant programmes. Over and above this, proactive support for the projects funded by the Committee would be undertaken by the Constituency team, with a focus on celebrating success and promoting sustainability.


Members were also advised that, subject to decisions of the Committee, most of the total budget allocation would be committed by the end of the financial year. However, it had subsequently been confirmed that any remaining budget could be carried over into 2014/2015 should it be necessary to do so.


With regard to the Community Fund, the Constituency Manager set out the projects for consideration on a ward by ward basis, ranked in relation to the level of support each had received following the community vote and recommendations were provided for the Committee’s consideration.


The Chair noted that for West Kirby and Thurstaston Ward, although the majority of projects had received more ‘yes’ votes than ‘no’ votes, it had not been possible to fund all of them.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.


Wirral West Public Question Time

Members of the public are welcome to raise questions or issues at the meeting or in advance to the Constituency Manager



The Chair invited questions from members of the public upon matters that were relevant to the Wirral West Constituency and he indicated that a number of questions had been submitted in advance of the meeting.


·  From Woodchurch TRUST – With regard to the Asset Transfer of Woodchurch Community Centre – Lease still not signed between Magenta and The Council. It will be interesting to see how quickly the asset transfer of The Pacific Road will take compared to ours, which from our understanding is still going to cost the Council money in the future. Whereas The Woodchurch Community Centre has money ring-fenced under the asset transfer scheme, and will save the Council money when the transfer finally goes through.


o  The Strategic Director – Regeneration and Environment commented that the matter was delayed as Magenta had refused to accept a licence for use of the car park. An alternative agreement was reached, which he understood had now been agreed in the lease documentation. The draft funding agreement was now with Magenta’s solicitor and was virtually in its final form. He anticipated being in a position to complete the agreement for lease in the near future. For information, he commented also that Pacific Road was first identified for potential transfer as part of the Strategic Asset Review in 2008.


·  From Woodchurch TRUST – With regard to Tranmere Rovers Football Club – Is there any feedback from the EU regarding their proposal? Has anyone spoken to TRFC regarding a further consultation?


o  The Strategic Director – Regeneration and Environment indicated that nothing had yet been heard back from the EU and there had been no movement on the Woodchurch scheme. All comments from previous consultation had been shared with TRFC and he confirmed that there had been initial discussions about an alternative site.


In response to a question from the Chair as to why officers had made contact with the EU, the Strategic Director stated that there had been a suggestion made to the EU that the Council had breached State Aid legislation. Officers did not believe this to be the case but had sought opinion from the EU for clarification.


·  From Woodchurch TRUST – With regard to Traffic Calming in Woodchurch We have seen proposals for traffic calming in Houghton Road, and would question if this were necessary considering the amount of parked vehicles on that road. We suggest that Home Farm Road requires the traffic calming measures and a 20mph limit. When will the traffic review take place? Will the community be involved?


o  The Strategic Director – Regeneration and Environment indicated that Wirral’s Road Safety Team received comprehensive and confidential details of all injury related road crashes, which were analysed to see what measures were needed to improve road safety. The proposals for introducing traffic calming measures in Houghton Road were formed following an investigation into road crashes. There had been 7 injury crashes (with 13 casualties including serious injuries) over 5 years, of which the proposed speed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.


Update from Community Representatives

Wirral West’s Community Representatives will be invited to provide a verbal update on local issues.


The Chair invited the Community Representatives to provide a brief update in relation to local issues.


Hoylake and Meols Ward


Jackie Hall reported that members of the former West Wirral Area Forum remained active within the ward and continued to organise public meetings and publicise local issues. Current key issues related to the Golf Resort and to level crossings.


She was pleased that the local network remained active and indicated that she was happy to provide assistance to colleagues in other wards, if it was needed.


Greasby, Frankby and Irby Ward


John Smith sought information in relation Fire Stations locating to Greasby. In response, the Station Manager for Upton Fire Station indicated that although the merger of Upton and West Kirby Stations was being considered, there was no formal proposal at the present time. He asked for any further information in relation to the Redcap Car Park and also commented upon the use of the ‘Messenger’ to disseminate local information.


The Chair proposed to write to the Chief Fire Officer to ascertain the facts in relation to Station Mergers, in the light of conflicting reports.


With regard to the Redcap Car Park, the Strategic Director – Regeneration and Environment advised that he had no further information at the present time.


Upton Ward


Elise Wong questioned the Council’s policy in relation to lights being turned off on the By-pass. The Strategic Director indicated that the Leader of the Council had asked that some alternate lighting be switched on in certain areas and that he would provide more detailed information as required.


Pensby and Thingwall Ward


Lynn Collier expressed her concern that community groups in Pensby did not receive sufficient information from the Council, particularly in relation to the various web-based consultation exercises. She highlighted the high number of elderly residents who relied on paper communication. A Member asked that officers explore the possibility of liaison with Magenta Living to make contact with their residents on behalf of the Council


With regard to the various reports, the Chair commented that Community Representatives were key Members of the Committee and, as such, could be pro-active and directly approach officers, the Chair or other Members for information, without having to wait for each meeting of the Committee.


Resolved – That the reports be noted.


Pavement and Grass Verge Parking Update pdf icon PDF 46 KB

This report was referred to each Constituency Committee for their consideration by the Regeneration and Environment Policy and Performance Committee at its meeting on 27 January, 2014. The relevant minute and report are attached.

Additional documents:


The Head of Legal and Member Services presented the update report of the Head of Environment and Regulation on Parking on Pavements and Grass Verges, which had been referred by the Regeneration and Environment Policy and Performance Committee (minute 34 (27 January 2014) refers) to each Constituency Committee for consideration.


Members of the Regeneration and Environment Policy and Performance Committee commented that the high number of enquiries to Streetscene indicated the extent of the problem across Wirral, particularly in areas with narrow streets and no off road parking. However, the problem was also prevalent in areas with wide roads and pavements, with damage to pavements frequently caused by utility vehicles. In addition, it was noted that parking on pavements outside schools at peak times was also a major problem. Many motorists were either ignorant or unconcerned of the obstruction caused to pedestrians or the impact of their actions on the condition of the pavement surface, with maintenance and repairs estimated to be in excess of £40k annually.


The Strategic Director – Regeneration and Environment commented that the matter had been discussed in detail by the Regeneration and Environment Policy and Performance Committee. Although the Police could take action if a footway or carriageway was fully obstructed, it was difficult to define what constituted obstruction under the law. Pilot TRO schemes in a variety of locations had led to improved compliance and notices placed on cars had produced a positive response. The Cabinet was expected to allocate additional funding to Constituency Committees, who would soon have to come to a view as to how it should be spent and whether any of it should be allocated to address parking on pavements and verges.


The Chair noted that the allocation had not yet been made and highlighted the need for clear criteria to be in place for the allocation of funding. Following the meeting of the Cabinet on 13 March 2014, he proposed to work with the officers to come forward with proposals to make best use of any additional resource.


Resolved – That the minute and report be noted.


Date of Next Meeting


The Chair advised that the next meeting of the Constituency Committee, scheduled for 17 July 2014 was likely to be re-arranged, because of its clash with The Open Golf Championship.


The date and venue would be published on the Council’s website in due course.