Merseytravel blamed by Merseyrail as cause of 1 day strike tomorrow by RMT over axing guards from trains
Merseytravel Committee (Liverpool City Region Combined Authority) meeting 25th June 2015 Middle Row L to R Cllr Jerry Williams, Cllr Steve Foulkes, Cllr Malcolm Sharp, Cllr Terry Shields
UPDATED 12.37 13.3.17: Merseyrail have suspended all trains until at least 2pm as drivers (presumably not part of the RMT union) refuse to cross picket lines, so trains are not running at all on the Merseyrail network at this point in time.
It was like the Wild West out there at the train station.
And who should I spy scurrying away, why a blast from the past Steve Maddox (with his wife)!
Those who remember will know that Steve Maddox was once clerk to Merseytravel (in the days it met at Hatton Garden).
So in a way I think the universe is gently nudging me to write this story!
In train related news, the workers are getting cross at the local politicians’ plan to axe the guards when new trains are introduced .
Decided in a behind closed doors extraordinary meeting last year, councillors (including Cllr Steve Foulkes (Labour), Cllr Jerry Williams (Labour) and Cllr Les Rowlands (Conservative)) agreed to new trains that only need drivers and not guards.
The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) has called a strike for tomorrow (Monday 13th March 2017).
The strike will lead to disruption of timetabled services.
Merseyrail (their employer) objected to the High Court on the basis that RMT’s dispute was with Merseytravel not with Merseyrail, however this call for an injunction was rejected by the judiciary.
RMT is also striking on Northern Rail services too on the same day.
On the Merseyrail network (in addition to the planned engineering works that mean Liverpool Lime Street (Wirral Line), Moorfields (Wirral Line) and Liverpool Central (Wirral Line) will be closed), during the day of the strike action tomorrow Merseyrail plan to run trains only from 7am to 7pm with a half hourly service.
Services from Liverpool Lime Street (which was only recently reopened) travelling with Northern Rail to Manchester Victoria and Wigan North Western services will also be disrupted.
Cllr Jeff Green (right) (Leader of the Conservative Group of councillors on Wirral Council) explaining why he is opposed to Labour’s plan to increase car parking charges
Wirral Council councillors met on Monday evening, following a request by 21 Conservative councillors for an extraordinary meeting of Wirral Council to call on the ruling Labour administration to withdraw its plans to:
a) increase charges at all existing car parks by 20 pence from next year and
b) introduce car parking charges in Wirral’s parks.
The decision in that Cabinet report is on hold as the matter has been “called in” by opposition councillors. It will be reconsidered by councillors at a public meeting starting at 3pm of Wirral Council’s Business Overview and Scrutiny Committee which meets at on Monday 13th March 2017 in Committee Room 1 on the ground floor of Wallasey Town Hall, Brighton Street, Seacombe, CH44 8ED.
Prior to the Extraordinary meeting, there was a protest outside and the public gallery was full (standing room only) to see what happened.
At the Extraordinary meeting (you can watch the full meeting in the video clips above), in addition to opposition from the Conservative councillors, the Liberal Democrat councillors also expressed their opposition to the car parking charges plans.
However the sole Green Party councillor on Wirral Council, Cllr Pat Cleary, expressed his support for Labour’s proposals as he said that introducing car parking charges at Wirral’s parks would encourage people to walk or cycle to the park instead of taking their cars.
Wirral Council’s Monitoring Officer Surjit Tour advised the fifteen councillors (plus those who may attend next Monday evening as deputies) on the Business Overview and Scrutiny Committee to not vote (abstain) on the car parking charges matter.
Interestingly Surjit Tour said the reason for this advice was that in his view voting on the matter would be considered pre-determination and specifically referred to one of the Local Government Acts.
“(2) A decision-maker is not to be taken to have had, or to have appeared to have had, a closed mind when making the decision just because—
(a) the decision-maker had previously done anything that directly or indirectly indicated what view the decision-maker took, or would or might take, in relation to a matter, and
(b) the matter was relevant to the decision.
(3) Subsection (2) applies in relation to a decision-maker only if that decision-maker—
(a) is a member (whether elected or not) of the relevant authority, or
(b) is a co-opted member of that authority.”
At least one councillor at the meeting objected to Mr. Tour’s advice on pre-determination as he felt he was elected to represent the views of residents.
At the end of the meeting there was a vote by councillors.
Twenty-four councillors voted in favour of scrapping the car park charges proposals. Thirty councillors voted against and nine councillors abstained.
The topic will be discussed again at a public meeting starting at 3 pm of Wirral Council’s Business Overview and Scrutiny Committee which meets at on Monday 13th March 2017 in Committee Room 1 on the ground floor of Wallasey Town Hall, Brighton Street, Seacombe, CH44 8ED.
If you click on any of the buttons below, you’ll be doing me a favour by sharing this article with other people.