The Scrutiny Programme Board in a three-minute meeting decided to send the Hoylake lifeboat call-in to the Council Excellence Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
All the stops were pulled out an hour later for invited guests (and councillors) at Wirral Council’s meeting last night, where Steve Maddox was awarded Freedom of the Borough. Before the meeting from the public gallery you could hear drunken laughter echoing through the corridors of the Town Hall.
Despite myself and Leonora being invited; we were both prevented from speaking to councillors or Steve as Town Hall staff had been left with instructions as usual. All I managed to get was a hello to Steve as he walked past through the lobby.
For the first time in a long time, Labour councillors behaved and didn’t jeer/heckle through anybody’s speeches. After the last full council meeting where Cllr Harry Smith got two people booted out of the Council Chamber I half thought he’d jump up and say, "I object to the dozen or so member of the public sitting in the Council Chamber (some in front of the Labour benches obscuring our view of Tory councillors) including Steve Maddox, his family, the High Sheriff, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant, Mayoress and others and insist they’re thrown out of the Council Chamber and sit in the public gallery." but he didn’t.
So much for Harry’s assertion last time that it was usual procedure of members of the public to be bullied into moving about contrary to Wirral’s constitution!
However, someone must have told Harry to behave because I didn’t even hear one heckle or jeer out of him.
There were around thirty in the public gallery, I’ll write a longer report on last night including a summary of the speeches by the three leaders. The atmosphere was quite different to usual; partly because all the political parties agreed.
The only thing that seemed to go wrong (with a night that was meticulously planned by officers who got rather stressed) was the Mayor’s microphone wasn’t working.