Cllr Williams “lack of personal accountability for the numerous errors of judgement made by officers & councillors”
Near the end of the last Council meeting, after most people in the public gallery had left, Council decided to remove the guillotine (had they not done so it would’ve meant going straight to a vote on the motion and amendment without any speeches) for the movers and seconders of the motion on the Improvement Board and the movers and seconders of the amendment on that motion. If you’re not familiar with the conventions of how politicians are referred to in the language of Wirral Council just substitute Members in her speech for councillors.
Cllr Pat Williams (as the seconder of the Lib Dem amendment) made a speech on Wirral Council’s “improvement journey” (a phrase I dislike but couldn’t think of anything better) which can be heard starting at 3:58 on the video clip above.
Cllr Pat Williams (Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group): Thank you Mr. Mayor. I know it’s the spirit of peace and goodwill but in my opinion the Notice of Motion is too congratulatory and ignores the views expressed at the public meeting on the Improvement Board.
Quite clearly there are still unresolved issues of ongoing concern to the public. There is also a lack of personal accountability for the numerous errors of judgement made by officers and councillors during the period which led to the involvement of the Improvement Board.
To be proud of the quickness of the improvement of any Council in the country is seen as a badge of honour. The fact that this Council was in such a dreadful situation that there was a need for the Improvement Board’s involvement seems to be just accepted without any humility or shame.
Of course any improvement is welcome and to be fair to certain people and Members of the Council, particularly newer Members I don’t doubt their sincerity in wishing that Council becomes an outstanding Council.
However some longer established councillors are going to take some time to be convinced that Wirral Council is on the right track and is going to be willing to keep on the right track and that lessons have been learned by those who got us into the mess in the first place.
Labour encouraged Members to fully engage in the policy and performance committees and visioning events. The committees I believe in part are too big, particularly the Family and Wellbeing Committee and have far to wide an area of responsibility to allow full engagement in monitoring what is going on in various service areas.
The scrutiny reviews which are going to be undertaken have been interesting and very worthwhile. Hopefully they will influence future policy making. However to be done properly, they are very time consuming. In the meantime the ongoing work of the Council is not in my opinion being properly monitored.
The need for much more improvement is necessary. It must not be forgotten that Council exists to serve the people of Wirral. It is so easy to get bogged down in policies and procedures, but if they are not in the best interests of the people that they represent they are not worth the paper they are written on.
And of course Mr. Mayor, we must always consider the well being of staff and ensure that they are treated fairly through this period of ongoing change so that we can all work together to everyone’s mutual benefit.
I would say to the Administration “Good try, but could do better” and we’ll look for more improvements for when the Improvement Board come back and see has actually been achieved. Thank you.
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