Agenda item


To receive the Mayor's announcements and any apologies for absence.


The Mayor noted that apologies were received from Councillors Phill Brightmore, Matt Daniel, Leah Fraser, Treena Johnson, Walter Smith and Pat Williams.


The Mayor referred to the recent tragic death of Police Constable David Phillips and spoke of how much his death had touched the community of Wirral. He asked that the appropriate letters be sent to the Police and PC Phillips’ family.


The Leader of the Council paid tribute to PC David Phillips who had been tragically killed on 5 October 2015. There had been an overwhelming outpouring of grief for PC Phillips, his family and friends. Councillor Davies had been impressed by the coming together of the community across Wirral and by the number of people who had come in to the Town Hall to sign the Book of Condolence.


The Police were held in high esteem and did a remarkable job for the residents of Wirral. Councillor Davies proposed that, at an appropriate time, PC Phillips should be posthumously awarded the Freedom of the Borough which would ensure his memory was kept in the minds of the people of Wirral. He also informed that the Council would consider what practical support it could provide for PC Phillips’ family. He was proud of the show of solidarity given by the people of Wirral.


Councillor Green thanked the Leader for sharing his ideas and thoughts on appropriate ways of marking the Council’s respect. What he had proposed was absolutely right and would have his Group’s full support.


Councillor Lesley Rennie, as a former serving Police Officer, then paid this tribute to PC Phillips,


Mr. Mayor, as a former warranted officer of Merseyside Police I am humbled to be given the opportunity to contribute.


At such a sad time this Council sends it’s heartfelt and deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of PC David Phillips; and thanks them all for their commitment to ensuring the safety of our residents.


Such dedicated commitment has resulted in the tragic death of a fine, young, family man and true professional.


When I woke a week ago and heard the most devastating news many have us have received in years, like you all, my heart sank and we all question, “how can this happen in this day and age, here in this country and here in our neighbourhood?”


But the reality was that it had and a fantastic public servant had lost his life – doing his job, ensuring we can all sleep safely in our beds, and serving his community.


Over 100 serving police officers have lost their lives since 1970, actively serving the public, killed in the line of duty.


We can all remember many of them. I well remember in 1984 WPC Yvonne Fletcher shot at the Libyan Embassy in London.


In 1985, Constable Keith Blakelock, surrounded by a mob on the Broadwater Farm Estate and dying of his horrific injuries.


More recently in 2012 WPCs Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone shot in Manchester.


There are many more and now our very own Dave Phillips.


Every day police officers go out from their homes to work, the thought of never returning doesn’t even enter your head.


All looking forward to parading on duty with their colleagues, joking together in the locker room, enjoying the banter and the gossip; sometimes the dark humour which gets you through a difficult incident.


They are briefed about recent events and what jobs to expect during their tour of duty, never fearing the unknown.


Their colleagues are also their family, hurt or injure one of them, you hurt them all. As a police officer you appreciate that your life, their lives and safety, depends on supporting each other.


It may be a strange and alien thought to many outside of the police family but to police officers it is a way of life. They would lay down their lives for each other. PC Phillips has done just that – laid down his life for them, for us and for all he served.


There is a saying “behind every great man is a great woman”. Behind every police officer is a great, supportive wife, husband, friend, colleague, family.


Behind PC Phillips was a great woman – his wife Jen. She deserves our greatest respect, without her support for Dave he could not have been the fantastic officer he was – thank you Jen.


To PC Phillips, his wife, children, family and colleagues – this Council is part of your family. We are proud of him and all of you. You will not be forgotten by Wirral Borough Council.


Dave Phillips, Police Constable 6554, Rest in Peace.” 


Councillor Steve Williams, as a former serving Police Officer echoed the comments made.


Councillor Phil Gilchrist also paid tribute to PC Phillips and expressed his condolences to his family.


The Council then stood for a minute’s silence in tribute to PC Phillips’ memory.


The Mayor then asked his chaplain to say prayers and the Revd Jacky Wise then led the Council in prayers.