I’ve just returned from a meeting about the Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (the Trust that runs Arrowe Park Hospital and Clatterbridge Hospital).
It was chaired by Frank Field MP, also Alison McGovern MP and Cllr Chris Blakeley representing Esther McVey MP were there.
In total (including these three) there were at least forty people there when the meeting started (possibly more as some arrived late). It was held at the Charing Cross Methodist Church starting at 7pm.
Frank Field MP opened the meeting by introducing Alison McGovern MP and Cllr Chris Blakeley. He outlined the concerns about staff morale and the worries and fears that had been expressed about change. He said two members of the Board (Tina Long, Director of Nursing and Jean Quinn, Non-Executive Director) were present who they were grateful to.
The meeting would last 1½ hours. He said the changes “need to be patient-led” and the staff had a legitimate role about being involved in the formal program of changes. He said how the Board responds and the role MPs play would be more obvious.
Alison McGovern MP also spoke. She said she agreed with the remarks of Frank Field MP and had an interest in health issues. The first issue was about the quality of care where people expected dignity and respect. Care was about the person giving it and receiving it. Staff morale was also an issue following the staff survey and feedback from the trade unions and the staff representatives.
Three previous related articles from this blog:
Election for Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Governor (public) Bidston
Health and Well Being Overview and Scrutiny Committee – 20/6/2011 – Part 4
West Wirral Area Forum – 29th June 2011 – Part 9 – NHS (emergencies, out of hours, management)
There are two candidates in the contested election for NHS Governor (Bidston). Wirral University Teaching Hospital is the Foundation Trust that covers Arrowe Park Hospital and Clatterbridge Hospital.
Thank you to those people who said they’d voted for the Liberal Democrat candidate so far.
The candidates are in alphabetical order (along with political party):
John Brace (Liberal Democrat)
Jean McIntosh (Labour)
When the results are known, I’ll post them here. Voting is by post.
I will be at the meeting at the Lauries Centre, Birkenhead tonight at 7pm.
Here’s a quick rundown of what has been reported to ( the Labour Cabinet (Wirral Council) of the 21st July 2011:-
- Under-age sales of alcohol during test purchases up (22%), which is 7% above target
- % reduction in under-18 conception rate (-13%), target is -50%
- Energy efficiency using software to shut computers down when not in use to save £80,000. Software hasn’t been installed but it costs £50,000.
- Disposal of assets (expected to save £481,000) delayed (Pacific Road, Tramway Museum, Beechwood Community Centre etc)
- Electronic payment for procurement delayed
- Office rationalisation not meeting expected savings targets
- % of council invoices from SMEs paid by Wirral Council within 10 days 45% (15% below a target of 60%)
- Budget projected shortfall up to £25 million (from £20.8 million)
- Mapleholme, Poulton House and 96 Manor Road to be auctioned off
- Meadowcroft to go to Age UK (formerly Age Concern)
- Westminster House to be sold to Wirral Partnership Homes for less than the £1.9 million originally agreed
- Wirral Council’s contract procedure rules changed as the previous ones were criticised by the Audit Commission for not promoting fairness, quality, value for money and competition and to allow in-house bids (something the unions have been lobbying for for some time)
- An extra £267,447 to resurface the Dock Links Road bringing the cost of this project to £1.1 million.
So where are Labour going to find £25 million of cuts or is that a mystery to be solved on another evening?
The Chair asked if everyone was happy with item 16 Planning Applications Decided Under Delegated Powers Between 11/06/2011 and 07/07/2011. Cllr Kenny said he was happy and it had been a quick meeting.
Item 17 (s.106 agreement Reeds Lane) was deferred to a later meeting of the Planning Committee.
Matt agreed to come up with a glossary of terms as he had missed a few off. It was a work in progress but a draft copy would be circulated to councillors. The Chair as an item of any other business said he had been approached as to whether planning permission was required for solar panels on a roof. He said there was confusion as to what the procedure was in a Conservation Area. However, for areas that were not in a Conservation Area it would be helpful to have guidance. It was something they needed to know about. He asked if councillors were happy with a report coming to a future committee? They were. He closed the meeting by thanking people for their attendance.
The next item was item 14 NO EXPEDIENCY FOR ENFORCEMENT ACTION AGAINST THE ERECTION OF A SLIDE AT 105 PRENTON FARM ROAD, PRENTON, WIRRAL.
The officer said it had resulted from a complaint and they had requested a planning application from the owner. However this had been declined. If there had been a planning application they would have recommended approval.
Cllr Salter said he thought it was a “slippery slope”. Cllr Boult said that he should suggest a site visit so he could have a go. The Chair asked if everyone was happy? Cllr Salter and Cllr Mitchell proposed the report be accepted and no enforcement action taken. All councillors voted in favour.
The last enforcement item was item 15 – NO EXPEDIENCY FOR ENFORCEMENT ACTION AGAINST THE ERECTION OF A REAR DORMER AT 3 CROFT DRIVE, MORETON, WIRRAL.
The officer said it had been an enforcement enquiry about a dormer window due to the height being increased by 5 centimetres. If it had formed part of the original planning application it would’ve been approved. Cllr Realey said she thought it was sad that someone had measured it. Cllr Mitchell and Cllr Salter proposed the report and its recommendation be accepted. All councillors voted in favour.
The committee considered item 9 APP/11/00492 – Greenleaves, 26 WOODLANDS DRIVE, BARNSTON, CH61 1AL – Loft conversions and extensions. Cllr Mitchell and Cllr Johnson proposed approval. All councillors voted in favour.
Next was item 11 APP/11/00552 – Cleared Site, BARFORD CLOSE, BEECHWOOD, CH43 9XB – Erection of 17 new dwellings. The officer said this site already had approval for fifteen dwellings, but this was adding a further two to take it to seventeen. The original planning application had been for ninety-eight dwellings over a number of sites. The separation distances were acceptable and it complied with policy HS4. It was recommended for approval. The Chair asked if there was no loss of amenity? Cllr Boult and Cllr Realey proposed it be approved. All councillors voted in favour of approval.
Item 12 APP/11/00575 – 120 MANOR DRIVE, UPTON, CH49 4LN – Single storey front, side and rear extension with internal alterations was proposed by Cllr Elderton and Cllr Mitchell. All councillors voted in favour of the application.
Item 13 PROPOSED BOUNDARY EXTENSIONS TO OXTON VILLAGE CONSERVATION AREA was introduced by the Chair. He said the Conservation Area Committee and the Conservation Area Team had decided an extension was needed and required. This was specified in 2.1 on page 49 and they had to approve the boundary changes maps at Appendix 1. The documents were specific and comprehensive. Cllr Mitchell and Cllr Bernie Mooney proposed they be accepted. All councillors voted in favour.
The report for agenda item 8. The decision:
On a motion by Councillor Dave Mitchell and seconded by Councillor Eddie Boult it was:
Resolved (12:0) – That the application be approved subject to the following conditions:
1. The development hereby permitted shall be commenced before the expiration of three years from the date of this permission.
2. The development hereby approved shall be carried out in accordance with the details shown on the plans received by the Local Planning Authority on 21/06/2011.
The Chair said anything at the end of the agenda that related to a personal interest such as a staff member should be in a block. This was so it was not confused with the main body of the agenda. They didn’t need a presentation on each item and it should be at the end of the agenda as a block.
The officer said before it could be agreed, it would have to be by the Director of Law as he would have to agree to the change. The Chair asked the Legal Officer present. He said they could be dealt with at the end of the agenda with a full report for each application. The Chair said they had it mixed up what they were asking.
The Legal Officer said it would depend on objections. The Chair said applications relating to members of staff and councillors should be dealt with in the second part of the agenda. Cllr Kenny said he was happy to agree, as long as they still had the right to raise objections. The Chair said they didn’t need a presentation. A councillor said he hoped it wouldn’t lead to an extra fourteen items on the agenda next month. The Chair said they would have to be vigilant about problems.
Cllr Mitchell and Cllr Boult proposed approval. All councillors voted in favour so the item was approved.
Cllr Kelly asked if there should’ve been separate votes on the extra condition and the approval. The answer given was that the vote was on the proposal with the extra condition. The Chair asked the legal officers if they were happy and it was legal. Cllr Realey wanted a vote on the application. The Chair asked the legal officer. He said they had voted to approve the application with the amendment. Cllr Kelly said that councillors had voted on the lighting condition and it had not been clear.
The Planning Committee went onto consider item 5 APP/11/00194 – Stadium Court, STADIUM ROAD, BROMBOROUGH – Construction of new B1, B2, B8 Use Class Units. The officer said it was a major application for ten industrial units. B1, B2 & B8 uses were acceptable in the area, so was the scale and massing. Previously it had been a vacant site. Cllr Mitchell and Cllr Realey proposed it be approved. Councillors voted in favour of approval.
The next item was item 8
APP/11/00491 – 43 CROFT DRIVE, MORETON, CH46 0QS – Two storey side extension, single storey rear extension, garage alterations and internal remodelling. The officer said it was a householder application for a two storey side and rear extension. It had been designed to avoid a terracing effect and was recommended for approval. Cllr Mitchell said he agreed but he would like to make the point that the application was part of the employment of a councillor, which would normally be dealt with by the delegated process. He said it would be easier if they were all left as a block item on their own on the agenda, then they would be seen on their own.
The next item was agenda item 4 The Wro, North West House, GRANGE ROAD, WEST KIRBY, CH48 4DY – Signage for the Bar Cafe. The officer said it was a resubmission for an illuminated sign. It had previously been refused but they had now lowered the height. The level of illumination did not exceed that in the technical guidance with was 600 candelas per a square metre. The proposal was 300 candelas per a square metre. It did not lead to clutter.
Cllr Boult said he had no problem with it, but could they add a condition that the light would be on during the time the business was open and switched off outside those hours?
The officer said it was not necessary.
The Chair said he didn’t believe it was obtrusive, but what about late at night? Cllr Boult said it had been dropped down so it was more at eye level. At 3am or 4am it would be intrusive, but he had no problem with it being there. The Chair said he believed there should be a time limit on the signage. Cllr Boult and Cllr Mitchell moved this as a proposal. The Chair asked how a meaningful condition would be phrased? The officer said it would be when the premises were closed. There was a vote. Eight councillors voted in favour. The Chair said having the lights off would save them electricity. Four councillors voted against (three Labour except Cllr Salter). It was approved with the extra condition that the sign would be turned off when the business was closed.
The next item to be considered was item 10 – APP/11/00495 – 133 DIBBINS HEY, SPITAL, CH63 9HE – Proposed garage, lounge and porch extension. The officer introduced is as a resubmission of a previous application that had been refused and had its appeal dismissed. There was a proposed reduction of one metre, but this was not acceptable and it did not meet guidelines as it was contrary to policy HS11. The officers therefore recommended it for approval.
The Chair said the site visit had been beneficial. Cllr Salter said on the site visit, he had seen the size of the extension and understood the reasons. He said it was “well worth going on the site visit” and he had also been shown photographs. The Chair said the site visit had been helpful. Cllr Boult and Cllr Salter recommended it for refusal. All councillors voted to refuse this planning application so it was refused.
The meeting then resumed to the order of the agenda.