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Posted by: John Brace | 2nd November 2015

Wirral Council’s Cabinet to decide on whether to have public meetings on Monday mornings from 2016

Wirral Council’s Cabinet to decide on whether to have public meetings on Monday mornings from 2016

                                               

Councillor Phil Davies at a Cabinet meeting earlier this year

Councillor Phil Davies (Leader of Wirral Council) at a Cabinet meeting earlier this year

There are many decisions on the agenda of Thursday’s Cabinet meeting and many are about changing how Wirral Council does things to be more like how they’re done at Liverpool City Council.

I’m going to write about one proposed change that could be described that way and explain the problems it might cause.

Item 9 with the exceedingly dull title of Executive Arrangements and Pledge Champions (the latter doesn’t mean some councillors are pledging to stop drinking alcohol) proposes that from next year instead of Cabinet meeting in the evening, Cabinet meetings will be on Monday mornings at 10.00am.

From a public relations perspective I can see why they’d do this. For example each year for the past years I can remember, a rabble rousing trade union representative has turned up to a Cabinet meeting with a lot of supporters (I think one year so many it had to switch to the Civic Hall) which would be nigh impossible to do if your trade union members were at work on a Monday morning.

If Cabinet meetings had been on Monday mornings when a decision was made about Lyndale School, that would’ve meant the staff (including the headteacher) or the children affected couldn’t attend the meeting where politicians decided about their school.

On the plus side, public transport during the day means councillors would able to get to and from meetings without relying on taxis, but that’s not the point as strictly speaking public meetings are for the public not for the councillors.

Essentially having a Cabinet meeting on Monday mornings will rule out the public turning up or at least the ones with jobs. Of course some councillors have jobs too, but their employers have to give them paid time off work for this sort of thing.

Now the decision states that the Leader can decide to change the time of the meeting away from Monday morning. However if the agenda is published, the date and time of the meeting is set, then a topic on the agenda kicks up a fuss with large numbers of Wirral residents, how will it be possible to change the time of the meeting without confusing people as to when the meeting is?

Of course going back to public relations, a meeting on Monday evening would mean reports of Cabinet decisions could make the next edition of the Wirral Globe. I would be interested to hear people’s thoughts on changing Cabinet meetings to Monday mornings as there may be issues with this change that I haven’t thought of.

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Responses

  1. So changing to time so nobody knows when the meetings are or are at work means no one can voice objections, meaning they have things to hide, corruption at it best!

    • It’s the way Liverpool City Council does their Cabinet meetings. Theirs are held on Friday mornings.

  2. Monday mornings?

    Oh, Wirral, you surely know that Monday’s washing day and you really don’t want people to see your dirty laundry aired in public!

    Pledge? A bit of Pledge really can’t make tattered old wood shine though. and as the ad’ went,

    “Treat me nice,
    treat me good,
    treat me like you really should,
    ‘cos I am made of wood
    and I do have a wooden heart”.

    My mangle’s not up to much these days though and there are pots to be boiled.

    So well done Wirral, what a forward thinking Council we have to be proud of.

    • I think the Pledge Champions are connected to the 2020 Plan.

      Maybe they’ll drop the idea for Monday morning Cabinet meetings, who knows?


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