Constituency Manager's Progress Report
15 minutes will be allocated for this item / discussion.
A report by the Wirral West Constituency Manager set out:
· Progress and recommendations in relation to activities which are being delivered using the Committee’s budget for 2015 – 16;
· Progress in relation to other activities being undertaken by the Wirral West constituency team;
· Items for noting in respect of local issues/ consultations.
The report was presented and reported upon as follows:
Update on areas of expenditure carried over from previous years
The Constituency Manager reported upon the ‘Special Places Project,’ aimed at celebrating places in all parts of Wirral West which are special to people through the installation of benches. Members heard how responses had been excellent to date and over 30 suggestions had been put forward to the constituency team. The Committee was further informed that the closing date for local people to submit their suggestions as to possible locations for benches is the end of February 2016 and it was proposed that a Wirral West Special Places Panel is convened in March on the basis of one member per ward. The report sought approval for both the implementation of the Panel and for the Panel to be given delegated authority to agree which locations should be selected in conjunction with the Chair.
Members were reminded how the Committee had made £5,000 available for this project and that it was estimated at the outset of the project that this would fund about 10 benches in the constituency area. Members were informed that once the locations have been fully assessed, it may be the case that there is a shortfall in the funding required given installation requirements and the proposals for meeting the shortfall was to ring-fence a maximum of £2,000 from the Committee’s environmental budget of £10,000 which had not been allocated to specific projects.
The Committee were then asked to note that the budget previously allocated to the Stay, Safe, Warm and Well Project had now been used in its entirety in support of ongoing multi-agency working and the delivery of Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service’s Emergency Heating Programme.
Anti – Social Behaviour (ASB) Budget
The Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) Budget was then reported upon. Members heard how the ASB Panel, as established in September 2015, were involved in ongoing work with relevant officer, partner agencies and community stakeholders and a detailed report would be brought to the next meeting of the Committee.
The Committee were then asked to note how the ASB Panel had authorised an item of expenditure from the £10,000 allocated to Upton Ward (Woodchurch) at a cost of £1,200. Members were informed that this request was made as a result of ASB reports linked to the Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) at Woodchurch which appeared to be peaking on Friday and Saturday evenings. Members were then advised how, through the use of the Committee’s funding, a targeted intervention had now been put in place to offer sports activities at the MUGA on alternative Fridays and Saturdays during the months of January and February.
Members then heard how a Dispersal Zone was authorised for the area of Hoole Road on 26 January to 27 January and again from 30 January to 31 January. The Dispersal Zone (which could only be authorised for a maximum of 48 hours) gave the police power to take young people home or order people who are causing problems to leave and not return for 48 hours. It was reported that during the period of 26 – 27 January, 9 individuals were given direction to leave the area and that of these 7 were of the target group of young people and the other 2 were street drinkers who had previously caused issues within the area.
Core Constituency Committee Budget ( Community Fund)
Members heard how the Community Fund is currently open for applications and the deadline is Friday 26 February 2016. It was then reported how local people would be asked to show their support for eligible projects by participating in a voting survey which will be made available online and in hard copy from 7th – 18th March, and an event will take place on 17th March at West Kirby Library to allow groups to promote their activities and network.
It was proposed that delegated authority is given to Ward Councillors to review the outcomes of the community vote and agree which projects should receive funding within their ward. It was explained that a report on the projects funded would be presented to the next scheduled meeting of the Committee, alongside an evaluation of the projects which received Community Fund grants in early 2015 and an evaluation of the Your Wirral projects which received funding in October 2014.
The Wirral West Constituency Manager explained how it is proposed that a Wirral West Environmental Panel should be established ( on the basis of one member per ward) and given delegated authority in conjunction with the Chair of the Committee to agree expenditure relating to action to address hotspots in the constituency and/or to encourage community involvement in environmental initiatives. It was further proposed that this Panel (when established) gives consideration to using the funding equitably across the five wards.
Members then heard how, in the interim, the constituency team is currently promoting the national anti-litter campaign, ‘Clean for the Queen’ that is scheduled to take place from 4 – 6 March. It was reported that the aim of the campaign is to acknowledge the Queen’s 90th birthday by encouraging groups all over the country to clean up their local area. Details could be found online at www.cleanforthequeen.co.uk and groups can register on this website if they are planning community clean up events in conjunction with the campaign. It was reported that local groups who register would be able to access free clean up packs and advice and support from the Council.
Road Safety Budget
The Committee were asked to note that the overall road safety budget allocation was as follows:
2014 – 2015 Allocation £77,750
2015 – 2016 Allocation £25,000
Total Constituency Allocation £102,750
A table of figures, outlined within the report, detailed how much of the road safety budget had been spent and how much could now be allocated to new schemes. The information was also presented to the Road Safety Panel at its meeting on 26th January 2016, along with an extensive list of possible schemes. It was explained that a ‘Shortlist’ of schemes had been identified by the Panel as requiring further investigation and costing before any final decision can be made as to the allocation of this budget and a Panel will reconvene at a future date with its subsequent recommendations to be reported to the next meeting of this Committee.
The Chair thanked the Constituency Manager and her team for all of the work that had been conducted. He expressed how the work added a large amount of value to this Constituency Committee, in particular the Stay, Safe, Warm and Well Project.
Resolved – That:
(1) the Committee notes the progress and updates set out in the Constituency Manager’s report;
(2) the Committee establishes a Wirral West Special Places Panel on the basis of one member per ward which has delegated authority in conjunction with the Chair to agree locations for the installation of Special benches;
(3) the possible shortfall in the Special Places Benches budget is met by ring – fencing a maximum of £2,000 from the Committee’s 2015 – 2016 environmental budget of £10,000;
(4) the Committee establishes a Wirral West Environmental Panel on the basis of one member per ward which has delegated authority in conjunction with the Chair to agree expenditure from the remaining environmental budget allocation and that the Environmental Panel gives consideration to allocating this funding equitably across the five wards; and
(5) the Committee gives delegated authority to ward councillors to agree which projects should be awarded a Community Fund grant following the community vote.