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Posted by: John Brace | 13th November 2014

Coordinating Committee meets to discuss Early Years/Childrens Centre call in for 2nd time Part 1

Coordinating Committee meets to discuss Early Years/Childrens Centre call in for 2nd time

                           

Coordinating Committee 12th November 2014 Childrens Centre call in L to R Shirley Hudspeth,  Surjit Tour, Cllr Moira McLaughlin (Chair) &  Michelle

Coordinating Committee 12th November 2014 Childrens Centre call in L to R Shirley Hudspeth, Surjit Tour, Cllr Moira McLaughlin (Chair) & Michelle

Ed – 13/11/2014 Added video of first twenty-five minutes of meeting.

Above is footage from the start of the Coordinating Committee meeting who met in Committee Room 1 at Wallasey Town Hall on the evening of 12th November 2014 (the first 25 minutes) to discuss the Early Years/Children Centres call in.

On 12th November 2014 starting at 6.00pm in a packed Committee Room 1 (standing room only for some) at Wallasey Town Hall the Coordinating Committee met to consider the call in of the Cabinet decision of 11th September 2014 (Early Years and Children’s Centres).

The Coordinating Committee had already met on the 15th October 2014 at 5.00pm for eight and half minutes to consider the same call in. That earlier meeting had decided (video of that earlier meeting is below the decision of the meeting on the 15th October 2014):

(1) the meeting stand adjourned until 6pm on Wednesday, 12 November 2014 in Committee Room 1 of Wallasey Town Hall;

(2) the Call-in Procedure be revised to enable:

(a) a witness to a called in decision, who attends the meeting, to have the option of reading out any prepared written statements to the Committee (within a timescale not to exceed five minutes); and

(b) the relevant Cabinet Member and the Lead Member to the call-in to be questioned by the Committee, once they have made their opening statements;

(3) the revised Call-in Procedure note be presented to the Committee at its reconvened meeting on 12 November 2014 for adoption.

So, moving on to the meeting of the 12th November 2014 under the revised Call-in Procedure.

Unfortunately the revised Call-in Procedure agreed on the 15th October 2014 for the meeting on the 12th November 2014 wasn’t included in the agenda and reports published a week before the meeting on 12th November 2014.

However the meeting started with item 1 (Apologies for Absence).

1. Apologies for Absence

There was an apology for the absence of Councillor Anita Leech (Labour). Deputy Cllr Rob Gregson (Labour) was sent in her place.
There was an apology for the absence of Councillor Andrew Hodson (Conservative). Deputy Cllr Leah Fraser (Conservative) was sent in his place.
There was an apology for the absence of Councillor Wendy Clements (Conservative). Deputy Cllr Chris Blakeley (Conservative) was sent in her place.
There was an apology for the absence of Councillor Mike Hornby (Conservative). Deputy Cllr David Elderton (Conservative) was sent in his place.
There was an apology for the absence of Councillor Christina Muspratt (Labour). Deputy Cllr Irene Williams (Labour) was sent in her place.
There was an apology for the absence of Councillor Steve Williams (Conservative). Deputy Cllr Bruce Berry (Conservative) was sent in his place.

This meant the Coordinating Committee on 12th November was was:

Councillor Moira McLaughlin Chair (Labour)
Councillor Paul Doughty Vice-Chair (Labour)
Councillor Phillip Brightmore (Labour)
Councillor Rob Gregson (Labour) deputising for Councillor Anita Leech (Labour)
Councillor Irene Williams (Labour) deputising for Councillor Christina Muspratt (Labour)
Councillor Walter Smith (Labour)
Councillor Michael Sullivan (Labour)
Councillor Jerry Williams (Labour)
Councillor Janette Williamson (Labour)
Councillor Leah Fraser (Conservative) deputising for Councillor Andrew Hodson (Conservative Spokesperson)
Councillor Tom Anderson (Conservative)
Councillor Chris Blakeley (Conservative) deputising for Councillor Wendy Clements (Conservative)
Councillor David Elderton (Conservative) deputising for Councillor Mike Hornby (Conservative)
Councillor Bruce Berry (Conservative) deputising for Councillor Steve Williams (Conservative)
Councillor Phil Gilchrist (Liberal Democrat spokesperson)

Councillor Chris Blakeley asked the Chair Cllr Moira McLaughlin why Cllr Anita Leech had sent a deputy when she was present in the room the meeting was being held in? The Chair said she was in the audience and that one of the reasons that Cllr Anita Leech had absented herself from the process was because Cllr Anita Leech was on the board of one of the Children’s Centres. Cllr Moira McLaughlin explained that Cllr Anita Leech didn’t have to declare this as an interest as she had sent a deputy [Cllr Rob Gregson] in her place on the Coordinating Committee.

The meeting then moved to agenda item 2 (Code of Conduct – Declarations of Interest Relevant Authorities (Disclosable Pecuniary Interests) Regulations 2012, Including Party Whip Declarations).

Cllr Tom Anderson (Conservative) declared a personal interest as a signatory to the call in and also a director of a community centre.
Cllr Bruce Berry (Conservative) declared a personal interest as a signatory to the call in.
Cllr Leah Fraser (Conservative) asked if she had to make a personal interest as a signatory to the call in.
The Chair answered no. Cllr Leah Fraser (Conservative) declared a personal interest as a signatory to the call in.
Cllr Tony Smith (Labour Cabinet Member for Children’s Services) declared an interest as a director of a nursery.
The Chair said that Surjit Tour had told her that as Cllr Tony Smith wasn’t part of the Coordinating Committee he didn’t need to declare such interests.
The Chair asked if anyone was subject to the party whip? No one replied that they were.

The meeting proceeded to agenda item 3 (Call-in of a Delegated Decision – Minute No. 54 – Early Years and Children’s Centres).

The Chair explained that the Coordinating Committee were to re-examine a decision by the Executive [Cabinet] as it had been formally challenged by councillors through a procedure known as call in. The decision was made on 11th September and was about Early Years and Childrens Centres. The decision had asked for a 6 week public consultation and the signatories to the call in had raised four points. She asked people to introduce themselves. She introduced herself as Cllr Moira McLaughlin who was Chair of the Coordinating Committee.

Here is a list of the others who introduced themselves (* indicates member of the Coordinating Committee):

Surjit Tour (legal adviser to the Coordinating Committee, Wirral Council employee)
Shirley Hudspeth (committee services officer taking the minutes of the meeting, Wirral Council employee)
*Cllr Tom Anderson (Conservative)
*Cllr Bruce Berry (Conservative)
*Cllr Chris Blakeley (Conservative)
*Cllr Leah Fraser (Conservative spokesperson)
*Cllr David Elderton (Conservative)
*Cllr Phil Gilchrist (Lib Dem spokesperson)
*Cllr Jerry Williams (Labour)
*Cllr Irene Williams (Labour)
*Cllr Mike Sullivan (Labour)
*Cllr Phillip Brightmore (Labour)
*Cllr Rob Gregson (Labour)
*Cllr Walter Smith (Labour)
*Cllr Paul Doughty (Labour, Vice-Chair)
*Cllr Janette Williamson (Labour)
Michelle ??? (support to the committee, Wirral Council employee)

To be continued…

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Responses

  1. On this occasion I will repeat myself in relation to Children and Vulnerable Adults. There is National Legislation, Statute, Regulations, Case Law, Ministerial Guidance, NHS Guidance, UN Law, European Law, in how both sets of people should be Treated. Now Dependent to what extent that Law is Breached, depends to what extent any penalty that maybe, we all have Liability to one extent or another for what we have or may do. Financial Impact is not the only thing that should be looked at when deciding who is going to do without

    • Doesn’t matter if Wirral Council doesn’t bother reading it and if people aren’t willing to stand up to Wirral Council under the legal processes.

      Of course if challenged, Wirral Council is known for getting its facts wrong. 😀

      The DDA ’95 used to have a statutory defence of “proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim” which is the general one public authorities rely upon when doing something that would otherwise be discriminatory.


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