Agenda and minutes
Contact: Shirley Hudspeth
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors C Povall, L Rowland and W Smith.
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) of business on this agenda and, if so, to declare them and state the nature of the interest.
Councillor D Mitchell declared a personal interest in Item No .5 on the agenda – Wirral South’s New Social Isolation Contract (Minute No. 28 refers) by virtue of him being a Board Member of Arch (Advice, Rehabilitation, Counselling and Health) Initiatives.
To approve the accuracy of the Minutes of the Constituency Committee meeting held on 15 October 2015.
It was noted that the Community Representatives’ names were listed amongst those of the Committee Members in the attendance list. This would be amended.
That the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 15 October 2015 be confirmed as a correct record.
Report of the Constituency Manager detailing the impact of the Wirral South Constituency Committee’s various funding and priority activities so far throughout 2015/16.
A report by the Constituency Manager provided the Committee with progress on its priorities and allocated budget.
The Constituency Manager then took the Committee through his report which set out in great detail the progress being made on South Wirral’s Priorities - Improved Open Spaces (Dawstone Park (Heswall), Torr Park (Eastham) and New Ferry Park (Bromborough), the Gaps in Youth Provision and Social Isolation and on other Funded Work Stream Proposals – Your Wirral, Anti-Social Behaviour, Community Clean-Ups and Love Wirral.
Councillor A Hodson thanked the Constituency Manager and everyone else who had been involved with the Dawstone Park works to improve its aesthetics, safety and accessibility. He reported that this was an excellent achievement for all those concerned.
It was noted and agreed that the Eastham Community Group would be involved with the Torr Park project. It was expected that some of the funding for this would be via a s106 agreement once the new Bridal Road housing estate was completed and sold.
The Committee agreed that it was important to involve the Community Representatives in the Love Wirral initiative and Ward Members and Community Representatives would discuss this.
The Committee was reminded that an Engagement Officer for South Wirral was now in post and a list of some of the community development projects she had been involved in were detailed in the report for its information. Her contact details were as follows: e-mail: email@example.com phone direct on: 07771 938 871 or via Twitter @wirralsouth
Members noted that this was the final year of the Your Wirral funding and that it had been used to support community groups. They queried when there would be some real development for although lots had been achieved the original idea was to devolved to the Committee responsibility for Council services. Members proposed lobbying the Council’s Administration and the Government for more funding.
Councillor P Gilchrist drew attention to the Notice of Motion he had submitted to the Council meeting held on 14 December 2015 and which had subsequently been referred to the Cabinet meeting scheduled for 22 February 2016 for consideration. He informed that the capital receipt from the sale of Acre Lane would be one of the most substantial receipts received since the Borough was created and that he had proposed that the Cabinet should place a sum of £4 million from the sale of Acre Lane into a fund to be accessed by the four Constituency Committees and that this should be regarded as a dowry to give them resources to make a greater impact with their work. He had also proposed that the Cabinet should consider allocating £1m from this asset sale into each Constituency Committee; in line with the Council’s 2020 Vision and in the spirit of devolution to Constituency Committees, they should be enabled to determine the use of these funds.
(1) the Constituency Manager continues to work with colleagues in parks, the Friends of Dawstone Park and the Wirral ... view the full minutes text for item 27.
Wirral South's New Social Isolation Contract
To receive a presentation from service delivery partner ARCH Initiatives detailing progress so far and next steps.
The Committee received a presentation by ARCH Initiatives Business Development Manager assisted by two GIFT Co-ordinators on Wirral South’s New Social Isolation Contract. This provided engagement, support and involvement for people at higher risk of isolation:
· Older people
· People from black and ethnic
· People who have substance misuse problems
· People with mental health issues
The Committee noted that the GIFT Social Inclusion Model was being used to tackle social isolation. The Business Development Manager detailed how it would work, what ARCH had been doing and what it had found, including Dementia Friend training and the future offer, people’s interest so far and individuals it had connected with. Leaflets were available for circulation to anyone who wanted to know more as volunteers were being sought to assist the project. They would receive special training and any funding for this would be appreciated. It was also hoped that local businesses would get involved and help to build community assets.
Members were concerned about duplication as there were a number of organisations offering similar training and running similar projects. They were told that there was a lot of work being done around isolation. ARCH was working with other training providers. The training required was being scoped and ARCH was looking for organisations to provide it. ARCH would join together with other organisations that were doing the same as them.
That the representatives of ARCH be thanked for their presentation.
Report by the Constituency Manager detailing the issues experienced by communities throughout Wirral South on a ward by ward basis. These issues have been collated by the Wirral South Community Representatives and compiled by the Engagement Officer in this report included as a standing item on this agenda.
The Constituency Manager presented a report that detailed progress made following the co-option of five Community Representatives to the Committee at its meeting on 15 October 2015 (Minute No. 17 refers). The report brought to the attention of the Committee particular issues being experienced by the communities within the five wards.
It was noted that the Community Representatives had held a number of development sessions to ascertain how they saw their future role and responsibilities. This was set out in detail within the report and the attached Appendix 1.
A Community Representative informed that he considered that there were fundamental questions to be asked e.g. what exactly was the role of a Community Representative? What were they doing other than paying lip service? He also raised concerns that they were not on any of the Task and Finish Groups. There were different circumstances in each of the wards and there were some that crossed over into other wards. In particular, the point was made that they were not consulted on planning applications, affordable housing development and s106 Agreements and road safety and speeding enforcement issues.
The Constituency Manager informed that the first step was having this item of business on the Committee’s agenda. This was an attempt to involve the Community Representatives more. He also reported that he had met with the Head of Regeneration and Planning to establish communications in the hope that the process could be changed. However, he was aware that this would not happen overnight.
The Committee noted that the Planning Department worked to tight timescales whilst the Committee only met four times a year which would mean that if it was consulted on planning applications the timescales would not be met.
Members noted that the importance of involving Community Representatives more was work in progress and that it was vital that Members and Community Representatives worked together in the local communities.
It was reported that in the Clatterbridge ward Members and Community Representatives were working with Officers to draw up an outline plan. It was also noted that a Constituency Plan would be drawn up for the Cabinet’s consideration. As a consequence of this it was agreed to set up a Task and Finish Group.
(1) the ‘Community Representatives Role and Responsibilities; Discussion Document’ (Appendix 1) be agreed;
(2) the progress outlined in the report be noted; and
(3) a Task and Finish Group be established to draw up a South Wirral Constituency Plan consisting of all five Constituency Representatives and Councillors T Pilgrim, D Mitchell, C Muspratt, L Rowlands and I Williams.
Issues in Relation to Parking at Schools
To receive a presentation by Steve Atkins, Parking Services Manager on Parking Enforcement and the Contractor outlining action taken and the challenges faced, and proposing an approach to address the issues and report action in the future.
At the last meeting of the Committee held on 15 October 2016 it had been agreed that Highways Officers be requested to attend the next meeting to provide a presentation on school parking and possible enforcement measures (Minute No. 21 refers).
Steve Adkins, the Parking Services Manager was in attendance at the meeting and made a presentation as requested. Members noted that parking enforcement had been carried out in Wirral by NSL since 2003 and that enforcement via CCTV had commenced in 2009 when the 2009 Traffic Management Act had afforded the Council further powers. The Committee received an overview of the issues including the details of the current service provision and school crossing patrol cover, CCTV car enforcement and traditional enforcement on foot.
The Parking Services Manager set out factors that affected enforcement as follows:
· Lack of Resource – 135+ schools, 1 CCTV car.
· Unenforceable or lack of signs and lines.
· Deregulation Bill – unable to enforce pedestrian crossings and yellow lines.
· Vehicle Drive-aways (traditional enforcement).
· Resistance and abuse from parents.
· Lack of Support from partners agencies.
· Improved compliance when present, little or none when we are not.
The Committee noted that the solution was:
· More resources invested into school enforcement.
· Education via safety campaigns.
· Community engagement.
· Joint Agency Working.
That the Parking Services Manager be thanked for his presentation.
The Healthy Wirral Plan (Previously Vision 2018)
To receive a presentation by Ben Capper, Communications and Engagement Manager Healthy Wirral Team, to update the Committee on progress relating to the Healthy Wirral Plan and what this means for services within the Wirral South Constituency.
The Committee received a presentation from Ben Capper, the Communications and Engagement Manager of the Healthy Wirral Team and Val McGee, Wirral Community NHS Trust’s Director of Integration and Partnerships on creating a Healthy Wirral.
The Communications and Engagement Manager informed that this was all the local health and social care services working together and it was being supported nationally as an NHS ‘Vanguard’ area. There were over 11,000 voluntary organisations on Wirral doing fantastic work.
This would safeguard the local NHS for the future and started with what mattered to local people. This was an opportunity to do things the way local people wanted them to be done and was the future for local health and social care services.
Included in the presentation were the Healthy Wirral Team’s structure, what it had been doing and what was happening in Wirral South.
Wirral Community NHS Trust’s Director of Integration and Partnerships reported in detail on the Integrated Community Care Hub, the core services and those provided in addition.
Members raised concerns about the need to protect vulnerable people and asked if the Health Service would work with other organisations on this. It was confirmed that this was the plan.
Members pointed out that a lot of organisations were doing the same thing and that this initiative appeared to be driven by the need to save money. Various surveys had been carried out by different organisations and Members asked why they had not worked together on just one questionnaire. The Communications and Engagement Manager informed that his survey questionnaire had been compiled on behalf of the partnership was an attempt to gather information on something very specific. However, some Members were not convinced by this.
The Director of Integration and Partnerships reported that a single Care Plan would be drawn up and the information obtained would be helpful to build up the picture. The professionals needed to trust each other and Health and Social Care were being brought together. Some of the changes would make savings but they were also intended to enhance patient’s care.
The Committee noted that a ‘Vanguard’ area was a flagship project.
That the Communications and Engagement Manager of the Healthy Wirral Team and Wirral Community NHS Trust’s Director of Integration and Partnerships be thanked for their presentation.
Update from Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service
To receive an oral update from Ritchie Clarke, Station Manager.
Richard Clarke, the Station Manager provided the Committee with an update on Fire and Rescue Service activity over the last quarter. He reported on:
· Anti-Social Behaviour fires and other property fires investigated by prevention and station staff and actions put in place to reduce these.
· Deliberate vehicle fires and informed that road traffic collisions were above target but remained a focus for education to all the communities that the Service engaged with.
· That the Service continued to respond to the high numbers of referrals from crews and external agencies, specifically a high number of referrals for home oxygen therapy and possible smoking issues.
· A new round of fire awareness sessions with community care services and carers was due to commence.
· That the Service continued to receive numbers of referrals for issues relating to Dementia, hearing loss mobility and substance misuse.
· Call outs with concerns around smoking in bed and careless smoking habits.
· Fires in the home and Members noted that the majority of these were caused by careless cooking.
That the Station Manager be thanked for his informative report.
Update from Merseyside Police
To receive an update from Inspector Katie Wilkinson.
Katie Wilkinson, the Neighbourhood Inspector provided the Committee with an update on Police activity over the last quarter along with issues currently affecting South Wirral.
The Committee was informed that the Police were targeting those involved in anti-social activity around New Ferry Park, The Oval in Bebington, the areas between these two locations and the actions being taken to counteract this kind of behaviour.
The Neighbourhood Inspector also informed that:
· Six males arrested and charged with various offences relating to a series of car key burglaries within Wirral.
· Two males had been charged with handling stolen goods recovered from a dwelling burglary in Eastham.
· One male had been charged burglary, other offences and had remanded in custody.
Members then asked the Neighbourhood Inspector about drugs issues and were informed that she was aware of these issues across Wirral. She urged people who were aware of any drug’s misuse to telephone 101 or go through Crime Stoppers to report them. The Committee was asked to email the Neighbourhood Inspector with any concerns Members may have. The Police needed this information to carry out investigations, deal with the problems and move them on.
A Community Representative informed that there were currently eleven PCSOs assigned to Bromborough but it was noted that the numbers were under review centrally at Police Headquarters and there were no plans to reduce the number at the moment.
That the Neighbourhood Inspector be thanked for her informative report.
Public Question and Answer Session (Approximately 20 Minutes) Including Responses to Questions Asked at the Last Committee Meeting
Although it is possible to forward pre-notified questions to the Constituency Manager, questions will also be answered on the night via the Chair. All questions will be collated at the beginning of this Item of business and dealt with in turn by the Chair.
The Committee and members of the public in attendance at the meeting raised the following questions, issues, concerns and requests.
How aware is the Committee of the proposal the Council has to close Girtrell Court, a provider of respite care for disabled people?
Members provided the following answers to the question
The Committee is very aware of the Council’s budgetary proposals and consultation on them is still ongoing.
The Council went through a similar process with The Lyndale School; a special needs school in Eastham in 2014. The Committee is very aware of what is happening in respect of Girtrell Court.
The Committee has received a presentation on budgetary options and parents have phoned and visited Members. However, it would seem that the Council has learnt no lessons from the closure of The Lyndale School. Wirral Council never seems to learn. We will report back that the parents have very special children with special needs.
An analysis was carried out at a meeting parents attended at Wallasey Town Hall. A list of other homes was provided which were totally unsuitable. We want you to report this back and put our points of view across.
In respect of the people who need care and who seek respite accommodation, it would be helpful to understand the specific concerns in relation to the options on the list. This information can then be used by Members to get the best deal possible for people, whatever happens.
I asked for a list of options on 30 December 2015. I highlighted my concerns to the Director of Adult Social Services and to Councillor C Jones, Cabinet Member – Adult Care and Public Health. I believe the list has now been updated. The places listed on the revised list are still not suitable.
The Council’s 2020 Pledges for our Borough includes one to consider the most vulnerable children in our Borough and to ensure that they reach their full potential. Who put together this list? The establishments offering respite care listed on it are inappropriate. The rooms are located on the second and third floors and there is no lift access. You are being lied to about these Homes.
Councillors are caring and are worried about what is going on. We want full consultation on the proposal and want to ensure that children and young people get the best care possible.
We are asking you to take this up with the Director of Adult Social Services? There is very little time left to look at these Home options and they are totally unsuitable. He has got this wrong!
We will ask the Director of Adult Social Services to look at this budget proposal again. Parents have been told where their children can go if Girtrell Court is closed. These homes are not suitable.
No Elected Members from South Wirral are Members of the Cabinet. When can we have Elected Members from South Wirral on the Cabinet? ... view the full minutes text for item 34.
Date of Next Meeting
The Committee is reminded that its next meeting is scheduled for 6pm on Thursday, 21 April 2016.
It was noted that the next meeting had been advertised as taking place at 6pm on Thursday, 21 April 2016.