Agenda item



Proposed by Councillor Jeff Green

Seconded by Councillor Lesley Rennie


Council notes that this year’s election is the most important in a generation for Wirral Council, its services and Wirral people. The choice facing Britain couldn’t be clearer. We can stick with the competence of a strong Conservative Government that is working to a long-term economic plan to secure a better future for hardworking taxpayers or we can put it all at risk with Ed Miliband and Ed Balls – who’s only plan appears to be more spending, more borrowing and higher taxes which would be devastating for the country and Wirral’s economy.


Council further notes that Labour left Britain’s economy in a mess. Since 2010, Conservatives have been working to a long-term economic plan to turn Britain around.


As a result of the Government’s long-term economic plan, we have seen:


·  1200 new jobs created per day since the Conservatives have been in power

·  The deficit cut by a half as a share of national income

·  Income tax cut for 26 million people

·  Benefits capped to reward work

·  1.85 million more people in employment

·  The state pension increased by £800


Council understands that, despite the protestations of the Labour Leader and his acolytes, we are now seeing these policies working for Wirral.


At the last meeting of the Regeneration and Environment Policy and Performance Committee Members were informed that a recent report had indicated that Wirral had increased its Gross Value Added (GVA) by 7%, a higher level than anywhere else in the country.


In addition the number of new business start-ups in Wirral exceeded the national average by 7% and almost one in three of these new businesses work in the professional, scientific and technical sectors, a figure which is only exceeded by Aberdeen.


Council believes that a successful local economy with private sector job creation and employment is the true and proven route out of welfare dependency.


Council therefore urges all Wirral’s residents to vote in the forthcoming General Election and to consider voting for which of the parties in this election have their long term interests at heart and will represent them most effectively locally and in Government.


An amendment which had been circulated in advance of the meeting was submitted in accordance with Standing Order 12(1) and (9), as follows:


Proposed by Councillor Phil Gilchrist

Seconded by Councillor Dave Mitchell


In paragraph 1 - delete after second sentence (starting 'We can stick…) to end of paragraph (…and Wirral's economy').


In its place, insert…


'Our country and Wirral's economy has benefited from the stability of the Coalition formed in 2010 in the aftermath of the banking crisis. The Coalition were able to pick up the pieces at a time when the outgoing Labour Government was divided on the likely length of the recession, divided on whether increased tax rates were temporary or permanent and had not set out where savings would have been made in a longer recession.


Council may also recall that Labour's former Chief Secretary to the Treasury (Liam Byrne) had left a note for his successor which clearly said "I'm afraid there is no money." Fortunately, the Coalition was able to agree on the need for new taxes, like the Bank Levy, which has produced over £6 billion in the last three years, supporting public services in Wirral and our nation.


Council recognises that the prevailing economic circumstances led the present coalition to be more flexible in reducing the deficit. During this period, the Health Service and School budgets were protected, the latter including significant sums for the Pupil Premium to help children who might otherwise have fallen behind.


Council thus recognises that an over-zealous ideological approach could undermine the recovery and public services.'


In paragraph 2 – delete 'Conservatives have' and insert ‘the current Coalition

Government has…'


In paragraph 3:


Bullet point 1, delete 'Conservatives have' and insert 'the current Coalition Government has…'


Bullet point 3, insert after 'people'…'by raising personal allowances, a Liberal

Democrat policy which Mr Cameron said could not be afforded in the three-way TV debate in 2010 and later included in the Coalition Agreement.


Bullet point 5, insert after 'employment'…'supporting family life with shared parental leave and the right to request flexible working for all'


After bullet point 5, insert new bullet point 6…'an increase in free childcare to 15 hours per week for three and four year olds and disadvantaged two year olds.’


After new bullet point 6, insert new bullet point 7…'the target of two million apprentices reached in December 2014.’


Last bullet point, insert after '£800'…'thus securing the biggest ever cash rise in the State pension through the 'triple lock' policy on uprating'


After para 7 (ends '…of welfare dependency.' insert:


‘Council believes that underlying economic problems have faced Wirral's communities for over thirty years, regardless of the local or national political complexion. Council believes that the prospect of resources released by devolution, the use of the Regional Growth Fund and local growth deals and the strengthening of the UK's manufacturing supply chains will continue to help the local economy. The establishment of the world's first Green Investment Bank, helping treble renewable electricity generation is a project championed by the Liberal Democrats.’


Following a debate and Councillor Jeff Green having waived his right of reply, the amendment was put and lost (6:56) (One abstention).


The motion was put and lost (19:43) (One abstention).