Agenda item


Please telephone the Committee Services Officer if you have not received an acknowledgement of your question/statement by the deadline for submission.


The Chair reported that 11 public questions had been received in advance of

the meeting.


Christine Brie asked if the condition of pavements in the borough could be addressed. As a mother of a disabled son in a wheelchair, Ms Brie stated that the conditions of pavements, paths and walkways, including the condition of dropped kerbs, were not safe to push a wheelchair, were dangerous and as a result in breach of the Equality Act.


In response, the Chair thanked Christine for highlighting the issue and appreciated the concerns raised. As a Committee the condition of pavements was being raised more frequently. Whilst the Chair disagreed that Wirral’s pavements were all unsafe or in breach of statutory regulations, it was reported that trained and experienced highways inspectors carried out regular safety inspections on all pavements. Where required, reactive repairs were completed. It was noted that considerable grant funding was invested into planned maintenance of pavements.


Don Naylor asked a question relating to the Sussex Bay Project which aimed to restore a section of the coastline to its natural state through a ‘bold collaboration’ framework of civic, business and community groups. Mr Naylor asked whether in light of this, could the Council investigate the possibility of an inclusive range of parties, interested in the future of Hoylake Beach, liaising with Sussex Beach representatives in order to better understand how the framework was put in place?


In response, The Chair indicated that the Sussex Bay rewilding project would be investigated further, and that full details relating to the future Hoylake Beach Management Plan would be provided at the meeting of the Committee in April.


Anne Ardern asked a question relating to the Hoylake Beach Management Plan and why the needs of the disabled people’s access had not been enshrined in either of the two beach management plan options?


In response, the Chair reported that one of the main objectives of the beach management options was to ensure the safety of users and access across the beach and that both options aligned with this objective. The report to the Committee in April to consider the outcomes of the consultation on the options would include an Equalities Impact Assessment.


The Head of Legal Services read out a question on behalf of Joanne Randles, who asked why individuals outside of Wirral were allowed to participate in consultations relating to Wirral specific issues?


In response, the Chair indicated that Hoylake Beach, as an outside space, was utilised by a range of people including not just those that reside in Wirral. As a result, non-residents may have an interest in providing their feedback. As it was an online public consultation open to all, then all interested parties were able to submit their feedback.


John Brace asked a question relating to appendix 1 of Agenda Item 7 - City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement Combined Authority Transport Plan Programme 2024/25 which reported “16 sperate areas in Phase 3 and 6 separate areas in Phase 4 (various roads)” of the 20mph rollout. Mr Brace asked which specific areas were currently planned in these areas and how and when they will be decided?


In response, the Chair reported that a report which was presented to Committee on 5 December 2023 contained an Appendix E indicating all the proposed areas for 20mph in map form and that the areas to be considered for phases 3 and 4 were indicated in that report. It was further reported that until phases 3 and 4 were approved there was not a list of specific roads prepared, but at that point the full list of roads would be available to the public.


Mr Brace asked a supplementary question asking how the public can suggest roads they feel strongly about for inclusion for future phases before a decision is made by committee? 


In response the Chair indicated that a written response would be provided.


Gail Jenkinson asked a question regarding a Greasby resident who had 13 old paint pots to dispose of and had no means of travelling to the recycling centre in Bidston. It was stated that to use ERIC would require 3 collections for £96.00. Gail Jenkinson asked what plans there were for local collections of smaller specialised items to encourage those unable to travel to the recycling centre or who are reluctant to mitigate the positive contribution of recycling in combating climate change with a dedicated trip by car?


In response, the Chair provided technical advice relating to the disposal of paint pots and other smaller specialised items such as electrical items. It was noted that exploration of the possibility of a separate kerbside collection materials such as electrical items would be considered as part of the future waste collection service, following the end of the current contract in 2027.


The Head of Legal Services read out a question from Barbara Morris which asked the Council to reconsider the proposal of a single socket/single use policy in relation to festive displays.


In response, the Chair reported that the policy limiting the number of attachments plugged into a single lighting column was proposed was due to the expansion of displays by some groups meant many items were connected to one single supply source which could pose a real risk of short circuit and overload if any one transformer failed. It was noted that sockets had been provided in lighting columns for groups to use at certain locations and that the Festive Display policy included that additional sockets could requested at a cost and would be considered on a site by site basis.


Jane Turner, asking a question on behalf of David Parker, asked a question relating to the Hoylake Beach Management Options, and why the Habitat Regulations Assessments (HRAs) for both options failed to take into account two key Special Area of Conservation (SACs) features which were not listed in the SAC designation: H2110 Embryonic Shifting Dunes and H1210 Annual Vegetation of Drift lines? 


In response the Chair reported that this would be investigated fully and addressed at or before the meeting in April to discuss the beach management options.


Jane Turner asked a supplementary question asking whether, on the assumption this would require considerable changes to the options whether there would be a further consultation?


In response the Chair indicated that a written response would be provided.


Sean Murphy asked a question as a Hoylake resident since 1995 whose family had enjoyed the facilities in Hoylake including using the beach. Mr Murphy referenced the motion passed by Committee in November 2022 to progress two beach management options for consideration which indicated any options proposed for public consultation would need Natural England proposal. The Chair was asked when they and party spokespersons were consulted on the details of the consultation prior to its publication.


In response, The Chair reported that Chair and Spokes were informed that the current options were to be consulted on shortly before the consultation began and that the matters raised would be considered at the meeting in April.


Sean Murphy asked a supplementary question asking whether the Chair was satisfied with the level of consultation prior to the publication of the public consultation.


In response the Chair indicated that a written response would be provided.


The Head of Legal Services read out a question on behalf of Chris Stradling regarding the presence of Shore Dock (Rumex rupestris), a rare plant in the UK which was present on Hoylake Beach. Mr Stradling’s question asked why Shore Dock was not mentioned in the HRAs for the beach management options as removal of the plants would appear in breach of the of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981?


In response the Chair indicated that this was an important issue that would be investigated fully before the meeting in April.


The Head of Legal Services read out a question on behalf of Keith Randles, asking, as Cabinet Member in 2019, whether the Chair was aware of the Hoylake Vision NDP advances to remove a Hoylake amenity beach from Wirral residents as part of their own agenda.


In response the Chair indicated that a written response would be provided.