The agenda and reports for this committee can be found by clicking on this link.
Corporate Governance Committee
Chair, Cllr Steve Foulkes
Cllr Phil Davies
Cllr Adrian Jones
Cllr Anne McArdle
Cllr Ann McLachlan
Co-optee (no voting rights) Cllr Jeff Green
Co-optee (no voting rights) Cllr Tom Harney
Bill Norman (Borough Solicitor)
Jim Wilkie (Chief Executive)
Ian Coleman (Director of Finance & Deputy Chief Executive)
David Smith (Deputy Director of Finance)
A couple of members of the public/press
A number of other officers
Cllr Foulkes, once the microphones had been put out began the first meeting of the Corporate Governance Committee.
He said he couldn’t start the meeting without him [Cllr Jeff Green]. Some jokes were made about Cllr Jeff Green’s smoking habit and the people present waited for Cllr Jeff Green to return. Once he returned Cllr Foulkes asked for any declarations of interest. No declarations of interest were declared.
Cllr Foulkes said there’d be a slight change to the agenda as Chris Hyams [Head Of Human Resources & Organisational Development] needed to leave early as Cllr Foulkes said she had worked hard. Therefore they would be dealing with item 7 first which was on performance management, along with its six appendices.
Cllr Dave Mitchell and Cllr Eddie Boult proposed and seconded Application APP/11/00911. All councillors voted in favour so the application was approved.
The committee considered Application APP/11/00932. The officer said this was for a change of use as a hyperbaric training centre was being relocated from Murrayfield. The site near the water was a key location requirement. There had been a letter hand delivered from John Moores University confirming that there had been no commercial discussions or contracts signed and that they had nothing to do with the current application. Therefore the reference to John Moores University should be deleted.
Cllr John Salter and Cllr Eddie Boult proposed and seconded the application. All councillors voted in favour.
The last planning application APP/11/0133 was for a single storey rear extension. Cllr Mitchell proposed it, Cllr Keeley seconded it. All councillors voted in favour.
Cllr Elderton asked for any comments on the quarterly performance report. There were no comments, so the report was noted.
There were comments on the planning applications decided under delegated powers and no any other business so the meeting ended.
Cllr Mitchell asked why numbers 3, 4 and 5 were only 10.5 metres apart? The officer said they recommended a flexible approach between new properties.
Cllr Realey asked if there was any possibility that the speed limit could be reduced to below 20mph as this was “really fast”.
The officer from technical services said there would be physical measures to slow vehicles down and that it was Wirral Council policy to have 20mph speed limits on residential roads. If the speed limit was below 20mph it would be difficult to enforce as speedometers were not accurate at these low speeds.
Cllr Glasman referred to the comments from Merseytravel and the extra traffic that would result from the Asda development in Birkenhead.
The officer from the Technical Services Department asked if she meant whilst it was constructed?
Cllr Glasman said the submission was about buses and was likely to be a problems.
The officer from the Technical Services Department said that in the process of construction, vehicles going to and from the site can be disruptive. It was on a main classified road.
Cllr Salter referred to tree protection and wanted to make sure the trees were reinstated. The officer said there were two conditions on the retention and protection of trees.
Cllr Clements asked about a condition for renewable energy and whether this was feasible or viable?
The officer said that regional policy on this matter gave the developer a get out. However it would be up to the developer to prove.
Cllr Mitchell referred to a Notice of Motion a decade ago and how it was already council policy. He thought they should be doing more to make sure developers were environmentally friendly and reducing the carbon footprint of developments.
Cllr Salter and Cllr Mitchell proposed accepting the application. All councillors voted in favour.
Cllr Mitchell asked about separation distance and whether the windows were obscurely glazed.
The officer said they haven’t asked for obscure glazing. Separation distance weren’t considered as the two dwellings face at an oblique angle.
Cllr John Salter and Cllr Eddie Boult proposed and seconded the application. Ten councillors voted for the application and Cllr Kelly and Cllr Mitchell voted against, so the application was approved.
The committee then considered planning application APP/11/00714. The officer said this was a residential development of sixty-two houses. These would be mainly two storey, with ten being two and a half storeys high. It would largely use the existing road layout, but there would be gardens and off-road parking. The key issues were separation distances, which were internally shorter than normal standards. Two properties’ windows were within 14 metres and were only partly obscured. The people moving in would be aware of this. 30% of the housing would be purchased by Wirral Partnership Homes as affordable housing due to the development agreement with Keepmoat. There would be a 20mph speed limit on this residential development.
Cllr Elderton asked about the fear that the roads would lead to a rat run under the proposed layout. Cllr Mitchell asked about the implications of the separation distance being below the normal requirement.
The officer said that it had been proposed to make Brett Street a through road, but had led to concerns expressed by Merseyside Police. The plans had now been amended to a cul-de-sac, so there was not an extra route.