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Posted by: John Brace | 8th August 2014

Despite Tory objections, Labour adjourn meeting to revisit 2 matters (leisure centre concessions and Forest Schools)

Despite Tory objections, Labour adjourn meeting to revisit 2 matters (leisure centre concessions and Forest Schools)

                                    

Video of the entire Coordinating Committee meeting of the 7th August 2014 can be viewed above

Yesterday Wirral Council’s Coordinating Committee met to consider two call-ins of Cabinet decisions. In a short ten minute meeting, Councillor Moira McLaughlin (the Chair) explained that the meeting had been called to consider call-ins about the cancellation of the “Forest Schools” funding and changes to the concessions that current and former Armed Forces personnel receive at the Council’s leisure centres.

It was agreed that despite the Chair’s initial view that both call ins should be considered in the same evening that they will be heard over two different evenings instead. Due to a constitutional requirement, the Coordinating Committee had to meet to consider these decisions within 15 days, however was unable to proceed any further as officers were not available (presumably as they are on holiday).

Therefore (as previously reported on this blog even before the decision was formally made) the call-in about Forest Schools will be heard starting at 6pm on the 18th September 2014 and the call-in about leisure centres will be heard starting at 6pm on the 23rd September 2014.

Councillor Chris Blakeley (Conservative spokesperson) suggested a different date as he was not happy with the choice of date for one of the reconvened meetings. However Labour councillors used their majority on the committee to vote through their preferred choice of date. The Chair Cllr Moira McLaughlin gave a detailed explanation as to why the dates had been chosen and why she disagreed with Councillor Chris Blakeley’s motion that a different date should be used.

Due to the call-ins the Cabinet decisions will not be implemented until a decision has been reached by the Coordinating Committee. Therefore the existing concessions at the Council’s leisure centres for current and former Armed Forces personnel will continue and so will the funding for the Forest Schools program in order to not prejudge the outcome of the Coordinating Committee decisions in September.

Similar reasons to do with availability and holidays were given behind the recent adjournment of the Audit and Risk Management Committee’s BIG/ISUS investigations.

Councillor Chris Blakeley (Conservative spokesperson) did raise the point that the meeting was being adjourned to suit Wirral Council officers, therefore why couldn’t it be rearranged to suit councillors (referring to three Conservative councillors)? However the Labour councillors on the Coordinating Committee disagreed with this approach.

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