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Posted by: John Brace | 17th May 2017

What’s going on at Wirral Council?

What’s going on at Wirral Council?

                                              

Madam Mayor and Surjit Tour (Annual Council) Meeting (Wirral Council) 16th May 2017

Madam Mayor and Surjit Tour (Annual Council) Meeting (Wirral Council) 16th May 2017

And so did councillors gather and the meeting got to “Leader’s Announcement”, otherwise known as the gospel according to Cllr Phil Davies.

Cllr Phil Davies gave a prayer of thanks for Councillor Jeff Green and asked for his appreciation to be recorded.

He set out his priorities for the next year which of course include the 2020 pledges.

Three new Cabinet portfolios would be created, “Delivering Differently”, “Transformation” and “Finance and Regeneration”.

However “issues” had arisen in Children’s Services according to Phil. The Director of Children’s Services had resigned and his Cabinet Member had “stepped down” which Phil felt was the “right decision”.

Cllr Phil Davies continued, but as this is an election period, we have to provide some political balance on this blog.

But before that, some words from someone who isn’t allowed to be party political Madam Mayor. She was asked why she decided to stop around sixty councillors from speaking on this topic towards the end of the meeting.

Madam Mayor said, “Council, I have exercised at my discretion, I do not have to explain that to you! I’ve accepted it. You or any other Member of the Council, this is how we will proceed now.

This is going to be the order of speakers, Group Leader for the Conservative Group Cllr Ian Lewis (5 minutes), Group Leader for the Liberal Democrat Group Cllr Phil Gilchrist (5 minutes), Deputy Group Leader for the Conservative Group Cllr Lesley Rennie (3 minutes), the spokesperson for the Liberal Democrat Group Cllr Alan Brighouse (3 minutes), the Cabinet Member for Children and Family Services Cllr Bernie Mooney (3 minutes), the Leader of the Council Cllr Phil Davies (5 minutes).”

Cllr Ian Lewis said he had, “no faith whatsoever that the lessons have been learned or that this department is being well-led” and went on to say, “Madam Mayor, it is our view that such is the chaos in this department, that expecting this problem to be managed in-house is no longer feasible. Nor is it acceptable to expect unelected individuals to manage the department under the guise of an Improvement Board that meets in secret.

Extra support and guidance to this Council is required. Not one person on this Council can hold the Improvement Board to account in public. That is not good enough!

For that reason Madam Mayor, the Conservative Group will be asking for government intervention as we’ve seen in other failing authorities with similar cases as we’ve seen in the Liverpool Echo and other media over the last 48 hours.

Madam Mayor, whether this happens or not, the Conservative Group will not sit quietly while those in authority such as Cllr Davies utter platitudes and wring their hands. We will hold this administration to account, before, during and after the serious case review and at every opportunity from now on.”

Cllr Phil Gilchrist said, “The minutes of the Improvement Board are available in public on the Council’s website if Members wish to look for them. They record the contributions of Members I think fairly and accurately.

I do think that the Chair Eleanor Brazil is determined that things should improve and is keeping a very weather eye on it. I’m not in the business of rocking the boat when work is in hand and in progress. The issue is that the work is in progress, but incomplete.”

Annual Council (Part 2) Wirral Council 16th May 2017 Part 2 of 2

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Responses

  1. The Mayor should now resign. Her time in office as first citizen of Wirral (24 hours) has been a complete and utter disaster.

    Go, and go now. The public have spoken.

    • From the agreed policy on this matter.

      2.1 Apolitical

      First and foremost it is important to remember that the position of Mayor is apolitical. Being apolitical means taking an unbiased position in regard to political matters; being politically neutral; without political attitudes, content, or bias. Mayors therefore needed to be careful about attending events which may be construed as having a political bias.

      The convention has been that during the Mayoral Year, the Mayor reduces his or her political profile. Mayors generally go to great lengths to display their even-handedness in political matters during the year. It would be inappropriate for an individual to be associated with a contentious issue or election process, which confuses roles. The Mayor should also maintain this a-political role when chairing Council meetings.

      The year in office may lead the Mayor to consider how ward business can be kept up to date during the year. The Mayor is advised to discuss this with his/her Group Leader and fellow Ward Councillors.”

  2. Inept, corrupt, not fit for purpose And the sooner they are all sacked and administrators are brought in the better. They could not learn a lesson if it jumped up and bit them in A””E,

  3. What pray is the difference between “Transformation” and “Delivering Differently” ? Surely you “Deliver Differently” by “Transforming” the existing mess into hopefully something better and fit for purpose ?

    Other than the provision of another seat on the majority gravy train, what is the purpose of two new posts ???

    • I’ll try and answer those in as politically neutral a way as possible.

      To be honest I’ve no idea what exactly the new Cabinet portfolios cover as the version of the constitution on Wirral Council’s website hasn’t been updated.

      The person whose Cabinet position was last year called Transformation, Leisure and Culture is the Mayor this year. You can’t be Mayor and be on the Cabinet as the Mayor is seen as politically neutral.

      So from what was said at the meeting on Tuesday evening by Cllr Phil Davies, her (the Mayor’s) former Cabinet position and his political view that Wirral Council needs to raise more of Wirral Council’s income from fees and charges is given as the rationale behind those posts.

      The purpose behind the Cabinet posts is that each area of the Council ultimately reports to a councillor who is on Cabinet, who can then be held to account by the other councillors and public.

      That system of course relies on other councillors and the public actually knowing what’s going on though.


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