The meeting started with the Mayor asking the Mayor’s Chaplain to say a prayer. After the prayer the Mayor thanked his Chaplain for his work throughout the year. He directed people’s gaze towards the returning councillor David Elderton, saying that he [David Elderton] was always one for making dramatic entrances (Cllr Elderton was using a Zimmer frame to get to his seat).
Declarations of Interest
He asked for declarations of interest, nobody declared any.
The Mayor asked for apologies, one was given for Cllr Sylvia Hodrien, he then said that as this would be the last Council meeting he would be chairing, he invited everyone back for drinks in the Round Room, pointing out that the Mayor and Mayoress were paying for the drinks so “don’t drink too much”.
Also mentioned was a service at St. Bridget’s Church at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, all councillors had been invited but not many had replied, after the service would be a light buffet, which again the Mayor and Mayoress were paying for. He then went on to present the Andy Day Memorial Cup for a backbench councillor who had “done good things”, he said that the councillor it was going to this year had supported him in his mayoralty, whether by turning up to events or making donations. The cup was awarded to Cllr Steve Williams.
Petitions were the next item on the agenda. Cllr Walter Smith had a 95 signature petition against antisocial behaviour in Mayer Park, Bebington. Cllr Irene Williams presented a petition of forty-four more signatures against the closure of the Eastham Centre. Cllr Tony Smith presented a petition of 250 against the “bedroom tax”, Cllr Leech also presented a petition of 273 signatures against the “bedroom tax”. Cllr Sullivan presented a petition of 130 signatures asking for improvements to road surfaces and markings. Cllr Williamson presented a petition of 577 signatures against the “bedroom tax”.
The minutes of the last meeting were moved and agreed.
Cllr Phil Davies said that he was pleased to see the return of Cllr Elderton, who had been seriously ill, and that it was “great to see him here this evening”. He paid tribute to the Mayor and Mayoress, saying what a fantastic job they had both done, how it was a pleasure to accompany them at several engagements and how the Mayor and Mayoress had had a fantastic reception from the people of Wirral. He was impressed with the Mayor’s “warmth, spirit, generosity and kindness that you’ve shown to residents from all parts of this Borough”, said that the Mayor had a passion for Wirral and paid tribute for the work he’d done for the Mayor’s charities. Cllr Davie described the Mayor’s sense of humour and jokes as “unique” and that “most were quite funny”. He said that the Mayor and Mayoress do a wonderful job on behalf of the Borough and wanted to thank both of them.
There was applause, when the applause ended Cllr Green said he wanted to associate himself with the kind remarks of the Leader of the Council, he thought that the Mayor and Maggie had done “an absolutely fantastic job” and he’d been fortunate to attend many events. He said, “It is uncanny how you can break through and speak to everybody”. Cllr Green said that the Mayor was impressed by all the charity work and voluntary work that goes on on the Wirral and how much they welcome the support of the Mayor. He wanted to pay tribute to his “selfless service” and what he’d given up to maintain the position of Mayor and that the service the Mayor had shown was an example to them all. This was followed by more applause.
Cllr Tom Harney wanted to echo the comments of his colleagues and that the one bit of their constitution the public understand is the Mayoralty and that the impact he makes on communities is enormous and valued by the people. He’d been to a number of events and that the Mayor had approached people with good humour, with a combination of dignity and formality. Cllr Harney said that it showed the Council’s visible support to communities in the Borough. He thanked him for the good-humoured way that he had conducted Council meetings. This was followed by more applause.
The Mayor said it was “very, very kind”. Cllr Elderton thanked Cllr Phil Davies for his very kind remarks and said that Barbara and himself had been overwhelmed by the support from officers and people they don’t know in detail very well. It had been appreciated and had gone a long way to helping him to get better. He thanked people for their support and said it was really appreciated. This was also followed by applause.
The Mayor said they were delighted to see him back, he thanked people for their kind words and described the Mayoress as “absolutely fantastic and supportive”.