Issue - decisions
Tranmere Partnership Agreement - Shaer Halewood (Call Over 30/8?)
Councillor Janette Williamson introduced a report by the Director of Finance and Investment that informed that Tranmere Rovers Football Club had a long and successful history of working in partnership with the Council to deliver commissioned services on behalf of the Council - and to deliver services that were not commissioned or paid for by the Council, but supported the delivery of beneficial outcomes to Wirral residents.
It was reported that the current relationship and communication channels with the Club were dispersed across the organisation, as individual officers were responsible for individual parts of the work commissioned from the Club. This did not provide for a whole view of the relationship the Council had with the Club, as one of its trusted partners, and the work that the Club did to support the delivery of critical Council functions, commissioned and non-commissioned.
The establishment of a Partnering Agreement set out the Council’s ambition to work with the Club on a more holistic basis and recognised their contribution to community activities and programmes to support vulnerable people. It also set out how both partners would work together for the benefit of Wirral residents and the Wirral economy.
The Cabinet was informed that in 2016 the Club had created an international business arm, forming an official partnership with the Inner Mongolian Chinese Government to grow football as a sport in China. The Club had been named as a key strategic partner in developing campus football in Inner Mongolia, the pilot province for football development. Subsequently, this business had expanded into international activities in North America, Indonesia, Australia and other provinces in China.
Members noted that the Club had delivered five coach education courses - in line with The Football Association international coaching badge - which had brought just under 150 Inner Mongolian coaches to Wirral. As a result of this, the Club had estimated that its international activities had contributed over £500,000 to the local economy.
This open and transparent way of working together provided an opportunity for fans, the public, members and investors to see the value that the Club brought to the area, as a community asset, in one place.
The Cabinet noted that the alternative option was to decide not to enter into a Partnership Agreement with Tranmere Rovers and to continue with the current relationship with the Club. The current relationship was based on individual commissioned projects that were not consolidated into one place. This meant there was no oversight of the commissioned and non-commissioned activity provided by the Club for the benefit of the Wirral community.
Appended to the report was the Partnership Agreement.
Councillor Williamson informed the Cabinet that Tranmere Rovers was more than just a football club. It was embedded in the heart of the community and for years had delivered on a lot of the Council’s public health outcomes. Since Mark Palios had become the Club’s Executive Chairman he had accelerated the programme and had added a lot of social value to the Borough. The Partnering Agreement was a professional approach and a way of formalising the arrangements between the Council and the Club.
Councillor Williamson reported that Mr Palios had attended an Overview and Scrutiny Committee recently and had been warmly received by Members of all political groups and the Partnering Agreement signalled the Council’s intention to go forward and continue to work with Tranmere Rovers and to actually expand and grow its relationship with the Club.
Councillor Anita Leech informed that no one should under estimate the amount of work the Club had carried out within the local community and in particular, the work it did with children who had been excluded from schools and their attendance rates. It was quite phenomenal that 98% of Wirral’s young people were actually completing the courses and she further informed that in the presentation that Mr Palios had made to Members he had indicated that these youngsters who did not want to attend school were saying to him, during the actual school holidays, can we come to the Club and do something. This was a complete and utter turn around. What the Club was doing in the community was great and it was fantastic that the arrangements were now being formalised because there had been a number of strands of work that Tranmere Rovers had been doing for the Council and this Agreement brought it all together so that it was clear, precise and transparent.
That the Partnering Agreement between Wirral Council and Tranmere Rovers Football Club be endorsed.