Agenda item


To receive the written reports of the Executive and Overview and Scrutiny Committee Chairs, and to receive questions and answers on any of those reports in accordance with Standing Orders 10(2)(a) and 11.



The Mayor introduced the reports from the Leader, Cabinet Members and Overview and Scrutiny Committee Chairs and asked for questions on any of the reports.


Councillor Andrew Hodson asked a question of Councillor Stuart Whittingham regarding how much had been received from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government for disabled facilities grants. Councillor Whittingham responded that he would provide a written response. Councillor Hodson stated that he had been promised a response to this question before, having asked the same question in October, but did not receive one.


Councillor Jo Bird asked a question of Councillor Elizabeth Grey regarding the climate emergency and whether or not there would be any extra funding. Councillor Grey responded that she was having discussions with Councillor Janette Williamson regarding additional funding to meet the climate emergency.


Councillor Steve Foulkes asked a question of Councillor Elizabeth Grey regarding a request from Friends of the Earth to double tree cover by 2045. Councillor Grey stated that she had responded to Friends of the Earth and that the Council would be more than doubling its tree cover by 2030 not 2045. The Tree Strategy consultation was currently taking place and was available on the Council website.


Councillor Pat Cleary asked a question of Councillor Pat Hackett regarding the planned children’s museum Eureka at Seacombe Ferry and what action had been taken to assess how visitors would travel and what viable public transport options there would be. Councillor Hackett responded and informed the Council that an estimated 187,000 visitors were expected each year and that it would be linked in to the various Wirral Waters developments around it and the possibility of the streetcar concept being used too. He stated that he would provide more information on the public transport options and the means of transport by which visitors would be expected to arrive at the attraction.


Councillor Ian Lewis asked a question of Councillor Elizabeth Grey regarding the Council’s bid for a share of the £30m Urban Tree Fund. Councillor Grey responded that details of all funding would be made public once the consultation on the Council’s Tree Strategy had concluded.


Councillor Gillian Wood asked a question of Councillor Christine Spriggs regarding the handover of the Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture baton to Sefton Council. Councillor Spriggs responded by informing the Council that over 400,000 people had taken part in events and activities, including residents and visitors and that it had been a privilege and pleasure to be at the first LCR Culture and Creativity Awards ceremony at the Lady Lever Art Gallery. Plans were being put in place to build on the success of this year for future cultural events for the benefit of all residents in 2020.


Councillor Allan Brame asked a question of Councillor Julie McManus regarding the reporting of street light faults. Councillor McManus responded that there had been some problems with the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system and that this was changing in the New Year, so there was now a transition period. During this intermediate period she urged any Members who felt that their requests were taking too long to contact her either by email or telephone so that any issues could be expedited as quickly as possible. She also paid tribute to Simon Gong, who had highlighted a number of issues across the Wirral and who she and officers had been meeting with to ensure these street lighting issues were addressed.


Councillor Steve Hayes asked a question of Councillor Julie McManus regarding the Neat Streets programme and the removal of fly-tipped waste. Councillor McManus responded that roll-out of the Neat Streets campaign would take place in the New Year and that it had been put on hold during the pre-election period. Work had been undertaken in the Birkenhead and Tranmere ward as well as other areas, she acknowledged that there was a problem with unadopted alleyways across the borough. North West in Bloom could also help with this and she asked that if any Members had any particular issues with fly tipping within their wards to contact her.


Councillor Dave Mitchell asked a question of Councillor Julie McManus regarding street lighting issues which he had highlighted back in September 2018. Councillor McManus responded that there were some issues regarding outages, some could be addressed with a lantern replacement or some with a column replacement but some required Scottish Power to fix a connection problem which could take up to six weeks. She asked that Councillor Mitchell provide her with the details so she could find out what the hold up was and get the issues addressed.


Councillor Jeff Green asked a question of Councillor Chris Jones regarding publicity campaigns for free flu vaccinations available for 2 – 3 year olds. Councillor Jones responded that GPs and Health Visitors should be pushing the flu vaccination, which was a nasal spray and she invited Members to spread the word. She would also talk to the communications team to try and get the message out via social media channels.


Councillor Jean Robinson asked a question of Councillor Janette Williamson regarding the Empty Homes premium. Councillor Williamson responded that the premium would apply to homes which had been empty for 5 or more years and would now pay 300% of the Council Tax. It was hoped that this would encourage landlords to bring those properties back into use and would potentially raise £200,000. She commented that there shouldn’t be any excuses for properties to be empty over 5 years but if there were extenuating circumstances these would be looked at on a case by case basis.

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