Agenda item

Constituency Manager's Report

Update on progress in relation to the ongoing work programme being undertaken in support of the Birkenhead Constituency Committee


The Committee considered the report by the Head of Neighbourhoods and Engagement that updated the Committee on progress on the actions taken following its last meeting on 10 April 2014 (Minute 21 refers).


Attached to the report were appendices which the Constituency Manager presented to the Committee in relation to theAntenatal Breast Feeding Project Quarterly Report (April-June 2014);a draft copy of the Birkenhead Constituency Handbook; Grange Road Action Plan; Community Project Update and a Briefing Paper on the Betas Project.


The Constituency Manager indicated that in relation to the action – Improving the Environment, she had circulated an email to Members asking them for their identified hotspots in relation to dog fouling and areas that appear as eyesores.


Appendix one to the report gave information in relation to the quarterly report for the antenatal project. The Constituency Manager advised that according to the information collated one interesting statistic was that only 40% of mums to be had a support network available to them.


In relation to the proposal to develop a ‘Community Hub’, the Constituency Manager indicated that she had re-written to schools within the Birkenhead area with over 50% of pupils living in areas of high income deprivation and invited them to submit an Expression of Interest for the project with a deadline of Monday 28 July 2014. An update on this project would be shared with the Committee.


The Chair indicated that students at Cambridge University had undertaken a piece of work with Reception teachers to help understand what skills were needed for school readiness.  Results had shown that the most effective mechanisms were to have fun with children and reading to them. Ms Zoe Munby from the Birkenhead Foundation Years Project had been liaising with Headteachers of schools regarding carrying out a similar project; Beechwood had so far shown an interest. The Constituency Manager indicated that she would continue to work with Ms Munby to ensure the two projects work effectively together, not creating duplication or contradiction.


The Constituency Manager updated the Committee on the latest position in relation to the newsletter for Birkenhead and indicated that there may be some legal implications that needed to be further explored prior to publication and circulation.


The Head of Legal and Member Services advised the Committee that there was a need to ensure that the newsletter would not breech any aspects of the Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity (the Code) and suggested that the decision on this be deferred and brought back to the next meeting of the Committee.






In response, a Member raised concerns that there had already been a significant delay in the implementation of this and that the publication was merely to relay local issues to the residents of Birkenhead who did not receive ‘free’ papers and expressed the view that this proposal should be progressed as a matter of urgency subject to the necessary checks on any legal implications.


In relation to the Committee Handbook, the final version was included with the papers and the Task and Finish Group would be meeting to discuss the implementation of the development of the Community Researchers.


The Constituency Manager indicated that within the Handbook, there was a proposal for members of the public to be able to submit questions prior to meetings and get a detailed response from the appropriate officers.


In relation to the Seven Beats Project, It was suggested and agreed that an update on progress of the project be given to the next meeting of the Committee.




(1)  the report regarding the Constituency Managers update be approved; 


(2)  subject to legal clearance from the Head of Legal and Member Services, the arrangements for the publication of a Birkenhead Newsletter be progressed as a matter of urgency; and


(3)  the Neighbourhood Inspector be requested to provide a progress report on the Seven Betas Project to the next meeting of the Committee. 

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