Chris Davies MEP on Merseytravel’s Cllr Mark Dowd

As usual Chris Davies MEP puts things rather well in a defence of freedom of speech.

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Economy & Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee 5th September 2011 Part 1 Budget Issues for Economy and Housing in 2012/2013

The Chair, Cllr Johnston welcomed people to the meeting, he said he was varying the agenda to bring the budget item first, then apprenticeships, then the rest of the agenda.

Cllr Stuart Wittingham declared a personal interest as a Director of Wirral Partnership Homes in item 3 (Affordable Housing in Wirral). The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted.

The Chair said further information would go out tomorrow in an email about priority letting and a tour was in progress. He also said that 6 (Budget Issues for Economy and Housing in 2012/2013) was a last-minute agenda item, there would be a presentation, then he would make a statement giving every councillor a chance to speak in turn. They would then work out motions. Kevin Adderley said it was a Cabinet request for overview and scrutiny committees to consider the 2012 Budget and challenges. The projected shortfall was £25 million. The budget for areas under this committee’s control was £21 million revenue and £9.6 million capital. They had lost Housing Market Renewal Initiative funding and Working Neighbourhoods Fund funding of £20 million in 2011/2012. The £1.2 million funding for Homelessness and the Private Sector Housing Team (from the Community Fund and carry over of HMRI funds) was due to end in March 2012. There was a £500k shortfall in the income target for Development Control. The £740k in year grant for worklessness wouldn’t be received until 2012/2013. They have been successful in their ESF and ILM bid, but it had been taken out of the Budget that ended in May 2012.