Wirral Council releases a document – all black boxed out

The legal department at Wirral Council (specifically Law, HR and Asset Management, Legal and Member Services section) have authorised a document to be released to me which I requested a while ago but received yesterday. You can see it below. Care to guess at what’s in the black boxes?

Document released by Wirral Council

Of course to be fair to Wirral Council the document might just be an error. It could be the photocopying settings were just set wrong or the ink from blacking out on one page managed to go on another when they were folded together.

Cllr Green (Conservative leader on Wirral Council) stated on 23rd May 2011 "he believed that under Labour there had been a lack of openness and secrecy in which the public had been excluded from decision making.".

However I did read a communication written by Cllr Steve Foulkes (Labour’s leader & Leader of Wirral Council) who sent out a side of A4 co-delivered with something from Wirral Council (I think it was the annual voter registration form). It left me highly amused. In it he’s trying to consult the public in the budget setting process for the 2012/2013 budget.

As some of the savings for 2012/2013 were identified for him by the previous Conservative/Lib Dem administration I’m wondering exactly why Labour councillors are trying to outsource the budget to the public. Are they trying to be popular or is it genuine consultation and engagement with the public in an effort to influence their decisions?

Or is it because with so few Labour councillors, if the Conservative and Lib Dem councillors disagree with the Labour Budget it won’t get passed in March 2012?

M53 Bidston Moss Viaduct Strengthening – Work Delayed Due to Weather

Bidston Moss Viaduct roadworksPhase 2 of the work to strengthen the bridge at Junction 1 of the M53 (Bidston Moss Viaduct) will be extended by a further two weeks from the original planned date of 11th August.

This is because of heavy rain delaying the waterproofing work. Hopefully the work will be completed by the 26th August in time for the Bank Holiday. Further information on the delay and diversions can be found on the Highways Agency website here and here.

From a local perspective the diversion is causing a lot of extra traffic along Hoylake Road and making it harder to cross.

Currently there is full closure of the northbound M53 link onto the A5139 Docks Link Road and full closure of the northbound carriageway of A5139 Docks Link Road to Poulton Bridge Road roundabout.

A diversion is in place from M53 Junction 1 via A554, A553 Hoylake Road and A5088 Wallasey Bridge Road to Poulton Bridge Road roundabout.

http://www.wikio.co.uk

Election Expenses – election of a councillor (elections declared on 6th May 2011) – Birkenhead (Bidston & St. James, Birkenhead and Tranmere, Claughton, Oxton, Prenton & Rock Ferry)

I spent the morning inspecting election expenses returns for candidates in the 2011 local elections to Wirral Council in the Birkenhead constituency. I have requested copies of the returns and invoices but here are the total amounts declared (split down by ward). I’ll double-check these figures when I get copies of the returns tomorrow:-

Bidston & St. James ward
Brace (Lib Dem) £279.02
Romnes (UKIP) £33.81
Vickers (Conservative) £169.00
Smith (Labour) £516.00 ELECTED

Birkenhead and Tranmere ward
Allan Brame (Lib Dem) £0.00
David Martin (UKIP) £33.81
Patrick Cleary (Green) £217.02
Philip Davies (Labour) £994.00 ELECTED

Claughton
Barbara Sinclair (Con) £639
Bethan Williams (UKIP) £33.81
Roy Wood (Lib Dem) £0.00
Steve Foulkes (Labour) £827 ELECTED

Rock Ferry
Chris Meaden (Lab) £594 ELECTED
Ann Flynn (UKIP) £33.81
Peter Heppinstall (Lib Dem) £0.00
Joyce Hogg (Green) No return submitted
Barbara Poole (Conservative) £169

Oxton
Bowler (Green) No return submitted
Kelly (Lib Dem) £1120.60 ELECTED
McDonnell (Con) £169
Williams (UKIP) £43.81
Patrick (Labour) £942.00

Prenton
Broadshaw (UKIP) £33.81
Ferguson (Con) £169
Holbrook (Lib Dem) £1129.61
Mitchell (Green) No return submitted
Doughty (Labour) £1112.69 ELECTED

Walking stick user collapses at ticket barrier at Liverpool Central

This afternoon my wife, Mrs. Brace was travelling with me back to the Wirral. We both have passes so waited in the queue to go through the barrier. I went through alright and the ticket barrier closed behind me. However Mrs. Brace swiped her pass to go through the barrier and it opened.

As she was part way through the barrier closed on her grabbing her walking stick in the process. With nothing to hold she collapsed. Now on the wrong side of the barrier I went back through another barrier and (sadly) didn’t arrive in time to catch her before she fell to the ground.

The Merseyrail staff offered her first aid and asked if she wished them to call an ambulance. We both went to an office, where two staff asked her details. She was a little shaken up by what happened, but most of her injuries were caused by the fall. The suspicion is that the walking stick triggered a motion sensor which then closed the barrier. Clearly something needs to change as there are plenty of elderly and disabled passengers with passes that are going to have trouble otherwise.

Merseyrail also said they’ll be reducing the staff at the ticket barriers as they move to more automation. Previously pass holders (and others such as those pushing a push chair) went through a side gate. Personally I don’t have any trouble when going through using my pass but I can understand how a walking stick could trigger a motion sensor.

Planning Committee Site Visits

Further to the Planning Committee decision to have site visits for a number of applications the following have been agreed (all on the 5th September 2011):-

5th September 2011

12 NOON APP/11/00561 – REFURBISHMENT & EXTENSION TO EXISTING BUILDINGS INTO 21 APARTMENTS AT 98 BIDSTON ROAD, OXTON, CH43 6TW

1245 APP/11/00613 – FIRST FLOOR REAR EXTENSION AT 2 DINGWALL DRIVE, GREASBY, CH49 1SG

1330 – APP/11/00645 – Land to north of BEAUFORT ROAD, and to the East of WALLASEY BRIDGE ROAD, WEST FLOAT BIRKENHEAD, CH41 1HG

You can find more information on each planning application by either reading the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting or by entering the planning application numbers in the Application Quick Search box on Wirral Council’s website.