Agenda and minutes
Venue: Committee Room 1 - Wallasey Town Hall
Contact: Andrew Mossop
Apologies for Absence
The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and noted apologies had been received from Councillors Ron Abbey, John Hale, Anita Leech, Julie McManus and Tracey Pilgrim, four of whom had deputies standing in for them.
In advance of the meeting commencing, Mark Smith, Strategic Commissioner – Environment, informed the meeting that having taken advice from the Assistant Director: Law and Governance, the Committee should be mindful to give due regard to a petition of 1,195 signatures objecting to the proposed introduction of parking charges, which had been presented to the Council on 10 July, 2017.
Members' Code of Conduct - Declarations of Interest / Party Whip
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 are reminded that they should also declare whether they are subject to a party whip in connection with any item(s) to be considered and, if so, to declare it and state the nature of the whipping arrangement.
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 the Committee’s agenda and, if so, to declare them and state the nature of the interest.
Members were reminded that they should also declare whether they were subject to a party whip in connection with any item(s) to be considered and, if so, to declare it and state the nature of the whipping arrangement.
Councillor Steve Williams declared that the Conservative Members of the Committee were all signatories to the call-in.
No other declarations were made.
Attached to the agenda are:
· Call-in procedure (Page 1)
· Call-in form (Pages 3 – 4)
· Cabinet report of 19 June, 2017 (Pages 5 – 31)
· Cabinet minute 10 (Pages 33 – 35)
The Chair referred to the Cabinet decision of 19 June, 2017 (minute 10 refers) in respect of Car Parking Charges Traffic Regulation Order – Consideration of further representations.
The decision had been called-in by Councillors Tom Anderson, Bruce Berry, Chris Blakeley, Eddie Boult, David Burgess-Joyce, Wendy Clements, David Elderton, Gerry Ellis, Jeff Green, John Hale, Paul Hayes, Andrew Hodson, Kathy Hodson, Ian Lewis, Tracey Pilgrim, Cherry Povall, Lesley Rennie, Les Rowlands, Adam Sykes, Geoffrey Watt and Steve Williams, on the following grounds:
“The signatories wish to call-in the following decisions by Cabinet:
(2) approves the increase in car parking tariffs at all Council operated car parks, where charges already apply, by 20p;
(3) approves the introduction of car parking charges in country parks with charges of 50p for 1 hour, £1 for 2 hours and £2 all day in Arrowe Country Park, Royden Country Park, Eastham Country Park and Thurstaston Country Park.
(4) approves the introduction of a household membership scheme for the use of country parks in (3) at a cost of £50 per annum
Reasons for Call-in:
Whilst we note and welcome the considerable changes since the original proposals for car parking income generation were put forward in December 2016 which proposed:
· a 50p tariff increase at all Council operated car parks
· the introduction of a flat rate tariff of £4 per day at the country parks
· the introduction of parking charges at New Brighton and other shopping centres
We still believe that ANY increase in car parking tariffs will have a damaging effect for Wirral’s shopping centres and the introduction of car parking charges in our parks will do untold damage to the small businesses associated with them.
We are also concerned that the introduction of car parking charges at Wirral’s parks is incompatible with the Council’s Public Health responsibilities and the following Pledges from the Wirral Plan:
Older people live well
Thriving small businesses
Greater job opportunities in Wirral
Vibrant tourism economy
Leisure and cultural opportunities for all
Wirral residents live healthier lives
Accordingly, we consider it appropriate that the Cabinet decision be reviewed as insufficient weight has been attached to the non-compatibility of these charges with the Wirral Plan Pledges and the serious concerns raised by local businesses and users of the parks.”
The Chair then invited the lead signatory to the call-in to address the Committee for up to five minutes.
Explanation of Call-in by the Lead Signatory – Councillor Tom Anderson
Councillor Anderson referred to the number of signatories to the petition and that the 1,195 signatory petition was in addition to the 20,000 signatories who had already signed the petition. Comments and objections should have been considered by the Highways and Traffic Representation Panel which had been by-passed in the decision making process. A number of witnesses would be called before the Committee to explain the impact the proposed charges would have on their businesses and their lives. He referred to the partial u-turn the Leader of the Council had taken in ... view the full minutes text for item 15.