Agenda and minutes
Venue: St Michael & All Angels Church, 1 Gills Lane, Pensby, Wirral CH61 1AF
Contact: Patrick Sebastian 0151 691 8424
Appointment of Chair and Vice Chair for the Municipal Year 2016-17
The Clerk to the Wirral West Constituency Committee requested nominations for the appointment of Chair for the 2016-17 municipal year.
On a motion by Councillor David Elderton, seconded by Councillor Eddie Boult, it was –
Resolved (unanimously) – That Councillor Jeff Green be appointed Chair for the municipal year 2016-17.
(Councillor Green in the Chair)
On a motion by Councillor Jeff Green, seconded by Councillor David Elderton – “that Councillor John Hale be appointed Vice-Chair for the Municipal Year 2016-17”.
A further nomination was received from Councillor Louise Reecejones, seconded by Councillor Mike Sullivan – “that Councillor Phil Brightmore be appointed Vice-Chair for the Municipal Year 2016-17”.
A vote was taken, and following a show of hands, it was:
Resolved (9:3) – That Councillor John Hale be appointed Vice-Chair for the municipal year 2016-17.
Following the confirmation of Vice-Chair of the Wirral West Constituency Committee, the Chair informed that apologies had been received from Councillors John Hale, Matthew Patrick, Tony Smith and Stuart Whittingham.
Order of Business
The Chair informed that a request had been submitted that time be set aside during the meeting to receive an update on the Hoylake Golf Resort plans.
With the agreement of the Committee it was noted that this matter be considered prior to the meeting agenda item ‘Community Question Time’.
Appointment of Community Representatives
The Constituency Manager (Wirral West) informed that, as per the Council’s Constitution, Constituency Committees can appoint Community Representatives with non-voting rights. The Constituency Manager further informed that Wirral West Constituency Committee had 5 such posts – one per Electoral Ward – and that recruitment continued for these vacancies.
The Chair informed the assembled meeting that any person(s) interested in serving on the Constituency Committee should contact the Constituency Manager or her office for further information on the post(s).
The Chair also informed that Jackie Hall MBE had kindly agreed to continue in her role as a Community Representative on the Wirral West Constituency Committee pending the outcomes of the recruitment process, and expressed his thanks stating his delight at her continued involvement with the work of the Committee.
Resolved – That the verbal report be noted.
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.
No such declarations were made.
To approve the accuracy of the minutes of the meeting held on 11 February 2016.
Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting held on 11 February 2016 be approved.
30 minutes will be allocated for this item / discussion.
The Constituency Manager (Wirral West) presented her report that provided an update on current projects and activities funded using the Committee’s 2015-16 budget allocations and budgets carried over from previous years.
A slideshow presentation, containing photographs of events funded by the Committee in celebration of HM The Queen’s 90th birthday was displayed with a verbal commentary provided by the Constituency Manager. The Committee and members of the public were informed that a copy of the presentation would be made available online. .
The report informed on a number of key areas relating to constituency projects and activities, that included:
· Community Fund 2015-16 core budget allocation - a summary detailed voting on specific projects (over 2,800 residents placed their vote, representing around 1,000 more people voting than the previous year) and a summary of grant allocations by ward. Members noted that the outcomes of the voting and projects funded had subsequently been published at .
· Special Places Project (2014-15 Love Wirral budget allocation) following recommendations of the Wirral West Special Places Panel and subsequent work by the constituency team to establish final approvals and costings, the list of locations being taken forward as a priority at the current time was as follows:
o Pump Lane Pond, Greasby;
o Carr Lane Play Area, Hoylake;
o Grove Park, Hoylake;
o Ridgewood Park, Pensby;
o Thingwall Road, Thingwall;
o Outside St Bartholomew’s Church, overlooking the Village Green, Thurstaston;
o Footpath 43, Grange Hill (Lang Lane / Grange Old Road), West Kirby;
o Cubbins Green, West Kirby;
o Hilbre Island;
o Warwick Park, Upton.
· Patron’s Lunch Small Grants (2014-15 Love Wirral budget allocation) - as referred in the Constituency Manager’s report to the Committee in November 2015, the remainder of the Committee’s Love Wirral budget following the Big Picnic event in summer 2015 has been used to encourage Wirral West schools and communities to organise events as part of HM The Queen’s birthday celebrations.
· Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour (2015-16 ASB allocation) - The ASB Panel had met in September 2015 and reached a broad agreement on a number of proposals for utilising the Committee’s ASB which had been set out in the Constituency Manager’s report to the Committee in November last year. A number of projects were now well underway:
o Promoting Neighbourhood Watch in Wirral West
o Youth Engagement in Woodchurch
o Little Brothers Project
· Environmental Budget (2015-16 allocation) - the aims of the project would be to focus on environmental issues in the constituency and:
o Work with local businesses and community groups to engage them in the campaign, with a focus on the use of social media;
o Undertake an audit of environmental issues at these locations and work with the Waste and Recycling team to tackle these using the budget available and any additional resources secured through working with local businesses and other partners; and
As part of the campaign, to identify and introduce
localised, small scale behaviour change initiatives were
· Road Safety Budget – the report ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
15 minutes will be allocated for this item / discussion.
The Constituency Manager (Wirral West) presented her report that set out considerations in respect of taking forward the Committee’s core budget for 2016-17 and assessing the impact of the Committee’s core budget (Community Fund) to date. The report also made suggestions for further improving the Community Fund should the Committee agree to again allocate its core budget on the same basis.
The report informed that for the first 3 years of its operation, the Constituency Committee had invested its core budget of £50,000 into small grants for local groups and organisations to deliver quality of life improvements in each ward, with a maximum grant award of £1,000 for each project. Whilst it was recognised that sustaining and developing the work of larger voluntary organisations through the use of small grants presents challenges, much of the activity which had been funded by the Committee had demonstrably added value to the core work of smaller community groups.
The Constituency Manager detailed a number of suggested improvements to the administration of the Community Fund that included the following proposals:
· Timetable – to ensure that the networking event(s) can take place and that there was sufficient time for consultation and promotion, it was proposed that the timetable be brought forward and that the Fund re-opened in July 2016, with decisions by November 2016 - a detailed timetable to be circulated and published on the Council’s website prior to the Fund launch.
· Raising awareness of the Committee’s contribution – it was proposed that the Constituency Manager investigate how best to ensure that the contribution of the Committee via the Community Fund was recognised and that this be done within existing resources.
· Increasing scope for groups and organisations to apply for projects which will take place across ward boundaries - it was noted that, in respect of the funding allocated on a ward by ward basis, for example Hoylake and Meols and West Kirby and Thurstaston wards where the ward boundary effectively runs through West Kirby centre town, that some projects work across ward boundaries and or benefit residents from neighbouring wards. It was therefore proposed that groups and organisations be allowed to apply across ward boundaries (i.e. to select 2 or more wards as part of the application process) and that the proportionate funding split between wards is calculated accordingly (retaining the maximum allocation of £10,000 for each ward and no more than £1,000 for each project). To mitigate against multiple applications, it was also proposed that, as a general principle, groups would only be eligible to apply for a maximum of 2 projects but with discretion to increase this where there are umbrella organisations in existence which oversee a range of groups and activities;
· Evaluating the impact – it was proposed that more thought be given to evaluation of the social value of the Community Fund - over and above the individual progress reports that groups and organisations were asked to submit.
The Constituency Manager informed that to demonstrate the impact of the Committee’s ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
Any Other Business - Hoylake Golf Resort
To consider any other items of business that the Chair accepts as being urgent.
Further to a request from Councillor Gerry Ellis, and with the agreement of the Chair and Committee, an additional item providing an update on the progress and status of plans for Hoylake Golf Resort was added to the meeting agenda under any other business.
The Deputy Chief Executive informed on the position subsequent to the Head of Regeneration and Planning’s verbal report to the Committee in February.
The Committee and Members of the Public were informed that since that time, the project had entered a technical phase which required the Joint Venture Group to complete a number of technical studies which will inform their final proposed layout for the Golf Resort. This stage of the proposed development will also include sourcing of funding and phasing of the project. Once completed, in approximately 12 months, the Council will then organise further public consultation prior to a planning application being submitted, enabling the final proposal and technical detail to be commented upon.
It was further reported that, once submitted, the planning application will be subject to statutory consultation as part of the formal planning process. This would entail consideration by the Council’s Planning Committee as the application will be a departure from the Council’s approved land use plan.
Members of the Wirral West Constituency Committee (Councillors Boult, Brightmore and Elderton) stated that as members of the Planning Committee they would not make any statements on the matter until the application was presented to the Planning Committee, when they would be in full possession of all the facts relating to the application and any indication of pre-determination on their part could jeopardize the integrity of the planning process.
Councillor Gerry Ellis stated that the proposal for the Hoylake Golf Resort would not only affect the development’s immediate location, but would also affect other areas of the Wirral West Constituency. He stated that as such this was an important matter for all to note, particularly when considering issues such as the impact on highways, both during construction phase and afterwards should the development go ahead. The Chair informed that the consultation already undertaken had noted such concerns, and that the technical work now underway would provide information on the issues raised. Councillor Gerry Ellis pointed out that there had been limited information provided to Members on the proposed development and hoped that this would be rectified in the months to come.
A Member of the public echoed the points raised by Councillors in relation to the proposals for Hoylake Golf Resort.
The Chair thanked the Deputy Chief Executive for his update and attendance, reiterating that work would continue behind the scenes, and that further consultation would take place at the relevant stages of the planning process.
Resolved – That the verbal report be noted.
Community Question Time
1 hour will be allocated for questions from the community.
The Chair invited questions from members of the public upon matters that were relevant to the Wirral West Constituency. No questions had been submitted in advance of the meeting.
· A number of residents from the Heron Road, Meols informed the Constituency Committee of the ongoing issues relating to speeding, heavy goods vehicles and general condition of the highway (road width, surface, and winding nature) that had caused years of upset and intolerable traffic misery on Heron Road. The residents are of the view that as a result of lack of investment over the past 40+ years, road safety had been compromised. Having already raised the matter with Margaret Greenwood M.P. they enquired as to whether the Constituency Committee would sanction the use of part of the surplus road safety budget be allocated for additional signage at each end of Heron Road, Meols to help alleviate the problems currently experienced. Suggestions included no entry signs on the junction to prevent vehicles using the wrong side of the road, and weight restriction notices to halt the use of Heron Road by large lorries. In addition, the residents further requested that infrastructure improvements, that had been first been proposed many years previously be prioritised and finally actioned to ensure the situation did not continue to cause upset for those living in the locality, or contribute to any further traffic collisions on, or at the junctions of Heron Road (7 accidents having taken place in the current year alone).
o The Chair thanked all the speakers and informed that the resident’s concerns and suggestions would be fed back to the officers responsible and considered as part of the process for looking at the allocation of the constituency budget available for road safety schemes.
· Mr John Hutchinson Chairman, Hoylake Golf Resort Committee addressed the Constituency Committee on the subject of traffic flows, congestion and whether a new rail crossing or improvement to the existing crossings would be addressed as a result of the proposed Golf Resort plans.
o The Chair thanked the speaker and advised that, as had been reported earlier, technical studies currently underway would identify any required highway improvements, and that all such matters would be the subject of report in due course.
· Ms Susan Brown, resident questioned the Constituency Committee regarding the decision making process by which the Council had agreed to the introduction of a Council ‘newsletter’.
o The Chair explained that in line with many other decisions such matters fell to a ‘Cabinet’ group of 9 Councillors made up of Members of the majority political party. He informed that such decisions may be challenged by other members of the Council via a ‘call-in’ process, whereby the matter may be supported or referred back, with additional recommendations, to the decision making Members (Cabinet) for reconsideration or amendment.
· Mrs Brown informed the Constituency Committee that in her experience it had been extremely difficult for community groups to have information and/or events advertised on the Council’s website.
o The Chair thanked the speaker ... view the full minutes text for item 9.
Date and Time of Next Meeting
Thursday 6 October 2016
The next meeting of the Wirral West Constituency Committee was scheduled for 6 October 2016, at St Hildeburgh’s, 1 Stanley Road, Hoylake, Wirral CH47 1HL.