Agenda and minutes

Venue: Mayer Hall,The Village, Bebington, Wirral. CH63 7PL

Contact: Shirley Hudspeth 

No. Item




The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and informed that Councillors A Hodson and A Sykes had given him their apologies as they would not be able to stay for the whole meeting due to a prior engagement.  If any member of the public had a question for either one of them, arrangements would be made to obtain a response(s) outside of the meeting.


Members' Code of Conduct - Declarations of Interest

Members are asked to consider whether they have any disclosable pecuniary or non pecuniary interests in connection with any item(s) on this agenda and, if so, to declare them and state the nature of the interest.


Councillor S Niblock declared a non pecuniary interest in Item No. 6 on the agenda – Pavements and Grass Verge Parking – Update Report (Minute No. 22 refers) as the update to be reported included issues experienced in the road where he lived.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 91 KB

To approve the accuracy of the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 18 December 2013.





That the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 18 December 2013 be confirmed as a correct record.


Constituency Committee Priorities and Spend Update (Councillor Phil Gilchrist) pdf icon PDF 97 KB

To receive an update on the progress made by the ‘Priority Task and Finish Group’.

Additional documents:


Further to Minute No. 12 of the last meeting of the Committee held on 18 December 2013, a report by the Wirral South Constituency Manager set out the progress made in relation to priorities and processes regarding the Committee’s budget for 2013/14.


The Constituency Manager reported that since the Committee’s last meeting, the allocation of funding from Public Health had increased. On 10 December 2013 the Director of Public Health had presented a report to the Cabinet recommending a further £100,000 be “...administered through the Constituency Committees” aimed at supporting the voluntary sector in Wirral (Cabinet Minute No. 120 refers).


Consequently, the Committee was now responsible for administering the original £25,000 provided by Public Health and the further £25,000 ‘Voluntary Sector Support Fund’ as well as the kick start grant of £50,000 provided by the Council.  A full breakdown of the Committee’s allocated budget of £100,000 was set out at Appendix 1 to the report.


Members were informed that the ‘Priority Setting’ Task and Finish Group had met for the second time on 30 January 2014 and had discussed the new allocation (Voluntary Sector Support Fund) at length.  The criteria for the Fund stated that a transparent funding exercise be administered (by the Constituency Committees) to consider requests of up to £3,000 from the voluntary Sector only.  The Group had proposed that the originally allocated £25,000 from Public Health could also be rolled into the allocation process outlined in the report.  This £25,000 would not simply be available to the voluntary sector.  It was also proposed that this element of the funding would also carry a cap of £3,000 to encourage a wide ranging cohort of applicants, covering as much of the Wirral South Constituency footprint as possible.


The Committee was informed that in depth documents detailing the mechanics of the £50,000 total grants programme would be presented to all Wirral South Members in March 2014 for approval (e.g. application form, terms and conditions).  All successful applicants would need to clearly demonstrate how their project contributed towards the achievement of indicators from the Department of Health’s Public Health outcomes framework which was set out at Appendix 2 to the report.


The ‘Priority Setting’ Task and Finish Group had highlighted the importance of mobilising interest in any such grants programme.  It had been agreed that a drop in/workshops would be held in each ward throughout the application process. These sessions would not only offer practical help with completing application forms but would serve as a forum for any unanswered questions groups and individuals may have.


It was hoped that if recommendations set out in the report were agreed the grants programme could be released on 1 April 2014.  Following the completion of a five week application window the requests received would then be assessed and decisions made on funding allocation.  All Members would be invited to the assessment session (mid May).  Successful applicants could then be informed and proposed projects announced at the first Committee meeting of 2014/15 Municipal Year (25  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.


Community Representative Recruitment Process - Oral Update (Fergus Adams, Constituency Manager)

To receive an update from the Constituency Manager on any progress made since the last meeting of the Committee held on 18 December 2013.


Further to Minute No. 11, the Constituency Manager provided the Committee with a progress to date report on the Community Representative Recruitment Process.  At the last meeting on 18 December 2013 the Committee had agreed to carry out a review of the recruitment process in an attempt to make it more robust and to ensure the Committee co-opted people with appropriate skills and experience to assist its discussions.  It was intended that the priorities would be established in April 2014 to allow recruitment to progress.  It was anticipated that co-options could be made so that co-optees would attend their first meeting on 25 June 2014.


There could be a formal recruitment process put in place and the application form for those interested in being co-opted would reflect the Council’s job application form.  Any decision to co-opt onto the Committee would be scrutinised.


A discussion ensued and a Member reminded the Committee that it had also been agreed that representatives from recognised organisations and charities who had an interest in the various matters the Committee was scrutinising would be invited to make nominations.  Any co-optee would also be expected to report back to the organisation that had nominated them on the Committee’s work. 


Members considered that it was important that it co-opted people who represented the local community and that this be included in the Constituency Committee Handbook.




That the progress made on the Community Representative Process be noted.


Constituency Committee Handbook Development Task and Finish Group Oral Update (Fergus Adams, Constituency Manager)

To receive an update from the Constituency Manager on progress made since the last meeting of the Committee held on 18 December 2013.


A Constituency Committee Handbook was being developed which would set out the role and remit of the Committee (Terms of Reference), arrangements for appointing community representatives etc.  The aim was to have a working document of guidance available for reference.  A Task and Finish Group was working on the detail and the second draft had been circulated to all Members and their comments sought.  Comments received would be discussed at the next meeting of the Task and Finish Group.


The Constituency Manager informed the Committee that it was hoped that the Handbook would be ready by the first Committee meeting in the next Municipal Year (25 June 2014).  It would be made available in hard copy, online and in One Stop Shops etc.




That the progress made in respect of the Constituency Committee Handbook be noted and further progress on this document be reported to Members in advance of the next meeting.


Pavements & Grass Verge Parking - Update Report (Councillor Jerry Williams) pdf icon PDF 88 KB

At its meeting on 27 January 2014 the Policy and Performance Committee - Regeneration and Environment considered the attached report and it was


 Resolved –


(1)  That the progress being made in continuing to address pavement and verge parking issues be noted.


(2)  That the report be referred to each of the Constituency Committees for their consideration.’


Consequently, the Committee is invited to give the report its consideration.



The Committee received a report in respect of pavement and grass verge parking which had been referred to it from the Regeneration and Environment Policy and Performance Committee at its meeting on 27 January, 2014 (Minute No. 34 refers) where it had agreed that it should be considered by each of the Constituency Committee.


The Chair and Councillor J Williams explained the issues that had been raised at the Regeneration and Environment Policy and Performance Committee.  The high number of enquiries that were made to Streetscene indicated the extent of the problem across Wirral, particularly in areas with narrow streets and no off road parking.


Members were concerned over the number of complaints they received about motorists parking on pavements and grass verges.  Parking on pavements was dangerous as people had to step into the road to get passed.  This was particularly hazardous for the elderly and people pushing prams.  Parking on pavements and grass verges affected the surfaces of the pavements and churned up the grass verges so that they looked unsightly.  Consequently, maintenance work was required and it proved costly.  However, it was noted that it was possible for the Council to invoice people for the repairs needed if it could prove who had caused the damage.


It was reported that there had been so many complaints received in Bebington about parking on pavements and grass verges that a scheme had been introduced in an attempt to try to reduce them.


It was noted that the police were able to take enforcement action if a vehicle was causing an obstruction.




That this Committee looks forward to working with Highway Officers to tackle the problem of parking on pavements and grass verges and they be invited to attend the next meeting to progress this.


Public Questions and Answer Session (Approximately 20 Minutes)

Although it is possible to forward pre-notified questions to the Constituency Manager questions will also be taken at the meeting, via the Chair.


Members and members of the public in attendance raised the following questions/comments.


Question 1


A Member asked why updates on Police issues and activities and on Fire and Rescue Service issues and activities had not been included on the agenda.  He informed that he considered that the Police and Fire and Rescue Service representatives should be sitting at the table with Members and not with the public.


Question 2


A representative of Wirral 3Ls (Leisure, Laughter & Learning for the (mainly) over-50s) who operated out of Bebington Civic Centre asked why his organisation had not been consulted on a proposal to take the Civic Suite out of use and convert it into office space for Council Offices attached to the Wirral South Constituency Committee.  Wirral 3Ls used the facility six days a week.  He now understood that this was now unlikely to happen but sought assurances that the Civic Suite was not now intended to be used for this purpose.


The Assistant Chief Executive was in attendance at the meeting and confirmed that the proposal would not be proceeding.  He apologised for the way Wirral 3Ls had found out about the proposal and explained that it had been the result of a misunderstanding between officers which had now been rectified. 


Eventually there would be a number of Neighbourhood staff working in the local community but for now they would remain at Wallasey Town Hall.  The three buildings (Mayer Hall, Pennant House and the Clock Tower) at the centre of the Bebington conservation area would not be disposed of by the Council.  It was noted that improvements to these buildings were needed.


A Member thanked Wirral 3Ls for the wonderful job it did in the Civic Centre.  He also thanked the ‘Friends’ Group who looked after the three buildings mentioned above and informed that there may be funding available to access from English Heritage for improvement works.  English Heritage had highlighted Wirral’s Conservation Strategy as an example of good practice in its recent Newsletter.


Question 3


Mr Johnson asked why this meeting was being held on the same evening as the Police’s ‘Have Your Say’ meeting which meant he had been denied the opportunity to attend both.


Ross Meredith, the Neighbourhood Inspector based at Bromborough, informed that in future there would not be any more meeting clashes.  The Police and the Council would co-ordinate their meeting Calendars.


Inspector Meredith also informed that the Police meeting scheduled for this evening was not a ‘Have Your Say’ meeting but an opportunity to meet the local Police Constable at his Police Surgery.


Question 4


Mr Boyd was concerned about the possible Committee co-optees.  He asked that careful consideration be given to how co-options were made.  He considered that a too involved process could put people off applying.


Question 5


Mr Wright (Heswall Together) enquired about the progress of the ‘Love Wirral Grants’.


The Constituency Manager reported that the Love Wirral grants were not administered by the Committee.  The funding was a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.


Fire and Rescue Service and Police Reports


Fire and Rescue Service


Alan Fletcher, the Station Manager for Heswall and Bromborough introduced himself and informed of the service actions he was putting in place to target vulnerable groups.  He also informed that there would be an Open Day on Thursday, 24 April 2014 at Heswall Fire Station which would highlight home safety.


The Station Manager provided a progress report on the Princes Trust Programme.  The Fire and Rescue Service was a delivery partner of the twelve weeks ‘Team’ Personal Development Programme for 16 -25 year olds.  The current cohort of twelve was half way through the course and another course was due to commence in May 2014.


The Station Manager told the meeting that a Cadet course was planned.  Wirral Fire Cadets was a long term comprehensive education and development scheme aimed at young people aged 14-18, allowing participants to take part in Fire and Rescue led activities at a local fire station one evening per week.


The Station Manager told the meeting that operational crews were now on a new shift pattern and were hoping to interact more with community groups. 


The Station Manager reported that Safe Havens had been introduced at all community fire stations on Wirral, including Heswall. The initiative, approved by Wirral Community Safety Partnership, meant that community fire stations across Wirral were designated as Safe Havens.


Community fire stations, identified by an illuminated Safe Haven sign that could be seen at night, were accessible to members of the public who felt threatened, intimidated or at risk.  They also provided those individuals with the opportunity to report Hate Crime or Domestic Violence should they feel that this action was appropriate.


The Committee was also provided with an update on youth development and informed that land next to the Fire Station in Exmouth Street, Birkenhead was to be used for a Youth Hub.  This would be a project very similar to the one in Toxteth providing excellent facilities for young people.


A Member had visited a Youth Hub in Wigan and reported on the superb facilities it had for youngsters.  It was hoped that Merseytravel would introduce cheap rail tickets to and from the hub which would be open from early in the morning until late at night.


The Committee noted that all the works on the Youth Hub could not yet be completed as there was a funding shortfall.  The Fire and Rescue Authority had provided the land but the cost of the building was reliant on a charity that had provided Youth Hubs elsewhere in the country.  However, real efforts were being made to generate funding to build the Youth Hub.




Inspector Ross Meredith informed that he would be available after the meeting to speak to anyone who had any policing issues they wished to raise with him.  He reported that the Wirral South constituency footprint was the safest place to live and work in Wirral.  There had been 248 fewer crimes than at this time last year.


Wirral was suffering a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.


Clatterbridge Hospital


A Member raised the matter of oncology being moved to the Royal Liverpool University Hospital and enquired which healthcare services would be left at Clatterbridge Hospital.


Members agreed that this would be discussed when the Committee considered the Constituency Committee Handbook and drew up its Work Programme with dates for completing its various tasks and actions.


The Committee considered that if it invited representatives from the Police and Fire and Rescue Service to attend its meetings, perhaps it would be appropriate to also invite a representative from the Health Service.


Appointment of Chair and Vice-Chair for the Next Meeting

The Committee is invited to appoint a Chair and Vice-Chair for its next meeting, in the new Municipal Year (based upon previous agreement to appoint a Chair and Vice-Chair on a rolling basis). 


A Member told the Committee that he did not think that the practice of having a rolling Committee Chair worked very well and perhaps a more permanent Chair was required for the Committee in future.




(1)  the Political Groups be requested to discuss whether the Committee should have the same Chair for each meeting in the new Municipal Year or continue to elect a different Chair for each of its meeting, and try to reach a consensus on it; and in the meantime


(2)  Councillor S Niblock be elected Chair and Councillor C Povall be elected Vice-Chair for the meeting of the Committee scheduled for 25 June 2014.