Council (Wirral Council) 14th October 2013 Questions to the Cabinet Member for the Governance and Improvement (Cllr Ann McLachlan)

Council (Wirral Council) 14th October 2013 Questions to the Cabinet Member for the Governance and Improvement (Cllr Ann McLachlan) on freedom of information requests, the Improvement Board, information governance and assistant Cabinet Members

Please accept YouTube cookies to play this video. By accepting you will be accessing content from YouTube, a service provided by an external third party.

YouTube privacy policy

If you accept this notice, your choice will be saved and the page will refresh.

These questions start at 10:24 in the video above.

Council (Wirral Council) 14th October 2013 Questions to the Cabinet Member for the Governance and Improvement (Cllr Ann McLachlan)

                               

Continues from Council (Wirral Council) 14th October 2013 Answers to Questions to the Cabinet Member for the Environment and Sustainability (Cllr Brian Kenny).

Cllr Lesley Rennie asked, “I’ll put a question really regarding the freedom of information item on your report because it’s rather unfortunate really that the Administration does appear to try to deflect the Council’s well documented inability to deal with the number of Freedom of Information requests that we’ve actually received from a number of people by in some way trying to imply that in some way that it’s members of the public’s own fault that they ask far too many questions really. Would the Cabinet Member agree with me that if in fact local people were able to trust the Council and that in fact the Council was more honest, more open, more trustworthy and transparent then members of the public would not need quite clearly to avail themselves of going down the route of Freedom of Information requests and also I hope that she would also agree with me that some of the information that indeed Members have to ask for should be freely available to Members of the Council to the elected Members to carry out their elected Member duties?”

Cllr Chris Blakeley asked, “The Cabinet Member will be aware that on the 16th July the Chief Executive sent an email out to the councillors. ‘It has come to my attention that a number of freedom of information requests have been made by elected Members for information relating to Council FOI and corporate FOI procedures. Members of course have a right to make FOI requests but I felt it was … in my view that… that I’d be very happy to… I’ve always more than happy to provide a written response personally to any information request.’

In the end Cllr McLachlan, on the 22nd August when I made a request of the Chief Executive for information, I was told that request was unreasonable and therefore had to submit a freedom of information request to which I received an answer in the prescribed time. Perhaps the Cabinet Member could persuade her officers to be more open and transparent and then maybe there won’t be as many freedom of information requests?”

Cllr Bill Davies asked, “My question for the Cabinet Member for Improvement and Governance would be regarding section one of your report on the Improvement Plan, is it too soon for the Improvement Board to consider leaving?”

Cllr Jean Stapleton asked, “Ann, regarding section three of your report on information governance, can you advise if elected Members will be affected by this please?”

Cllr Ian Lewis asked, “Cllr McLachlan, under item two under performance management you make reference to Member development training. On a previous question to a previous Council meeting, I asked you if Members had been appointed as assistant Cabinet Members and you replied in the minutes of the last meeting you said that the Labour Group had appointed assistant Cabinet portfolio holders, they were not within the constitution but the appointments had been made by the Labour Group to assist their Members in training. You say they’re not within the constitution, but on page 239 of the constitution, item F it states that assistant portfolio holders are within the constitution. Can I therefore ask you again to publish the names either in written form after the meeting or now of those assistant Cabinet Members please?”

If you click on any of these buttons below, you’ll be doing me a favour by sharing this article with other people. Thanks:

Council (Wirral Council) 14th October 2013 Answers to Questions to the Cabinet Member for the Environment and Sustainability (Cllr Brian Kenny)

Council (Wirral Council) 14th October 2013 Answers to Questions to the Cabinet Member for the Environment and Sustainability (Cllr Brian Kenny) on dog fouling, litter, garden waste, brown bins, Wirral Coastal Strategy and flooding in Leasowe

Please accept YouTube cookies to play this video. By accepting you will be accessing content from YouTube, a service provided by an external third party.

YouTube privacy policy

If you accept this notice, your choice will be saved and the page will refresh.

Cllr Brian Kenny’s answers start at 4:58 in the video above.

Council (Wirral Council) 14th October 2013 Answers to Questions to the Cabinet Member for the Environment and Sustainability (Cllr Brian Kenny)

                               

Continues from https://johnbrace.com/2013/10/28/council-wirral-council-14th-october-2013-questions-to-the-cabinet-member-for-the-environment-and-sustainability-cllr-brian-kenny/.

Cllr Brian Kenny replied, “On the first question from Cllr Rennie, I must admit I do smile when this Labour administration has been forced to implement cuts of over £109 million over three years, a third of our budget in a situation where there doesn’t appear to be any protest to the national Government for resources, .. into that position. Many decisions that we have to make as part of last year’s Budget are very difficult decisions that we did have to implement and now we’re getting complaints as a result of those reductions. So can I say that we are very concerned about dog fouling, litter picking et cetera and one of the reasons why we’re shortly going to be allocating £10,000 to each of the new four constituency committees to spend on the basis that we want them, within their constituencies, to use that money to basically clean up the area, decide for themselves what their priorities are et cetera et cetera. So money will be allocated for that.

Also at the end of last week Mr Mayor I did have a meeting with Mike Collins, one of the senior dog wardens, on the whole question of dog fouling. I understand a couple of staff have recently left and have not yet been replaced. That is in the process of being dealt with at the moment but hopefully before too long the number of prosecutions will come up but when we’re talking about prosecutions, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again now. People can’t be prosecuted for allowing their dog to foul unless somebody is willing to come forward with evidence. So if anybody in this chamber or anybody in the Wirral has ever got any evidence of allowing their dog to foul without cleaning up please pass the evidence on and I can assure you that evidence will be viewed.

On Cllr Doughty’s question, yes you can from the report that we’ve already had over thirty-five thousand people in the Wirral sign up for the new garden waste scheme. The original target was thirty thousand, so we’re well above the target and again as you can see in the report I’ve been asked to go and speak at a conference, unless it’s called in, but I’ve been asked to speak at a conference outside of Wirral on this whole area, … but I understand that many councils up and down the country have already as Cllr Doughty said, have already introduced charges for garden waste, most of those seem to be well above the charges that we introduced on the Wirral and as we speak many other councils are now considering introducing charges for garden waste and they are very interested in learning from our experience here in the Wirral. Again Cllr Doughty mentioned home composting, I think again the figures in the report are very encouraging because one big aspect of introducing the garden waste scheme was that we wanted to encourage more residents of the Wirral to go down the road of home composting and I’m pleased to say that many of them have already done that.

Again Cllr Gilchrist referred to the question of garden waste. Now we will very shortly be going out to tender to get bids in for the taking away of brown bins for those people who don’t want them. Brown bins will be taken away around about the end of November. At the moment there are no specific figures as to how many are going to be taken in, it will be part of the tendering process as to what the people who tender will intend to do with the brown bins. I am happy to give a written answer on that when we have more details.

Cllr Janette Williamson asked about the Wirral Coastal Scheme and said basically can we afford it. I think my answer to that is we can’t afford not to. We’ve just spent over two years looking at the whole of Wirral coastal strategy scheme to decide what we’re going to do for literally the next hundred years. I can’t guarantee I’ll be here at the end of that hundred years, I probably won’t but it is such an important issue for the Wirral, obviously with it being a peninsula it’s surrounded by water on three sides so we can’t afford to ignore this issue, and that’s why we’ve instructed Kevin Adderley to go away and identify funding from places like the Environment Agency, other areas of funding where the work can be done over the next twenty years to make sure all the coastal areas are protected. So we’ve got to find the money for that one it is so important.

On the last question Mr Mayor about this question about flooding. Well I understand one of the main areas of flooding in the Wirral over the last few years has been in the area of Reedville Grove and Reeds Lane in Leasowe and I understand as a direct result of a public meeting called by Cllr Abbey and Cllr Leech, followed by meetings with United Utilities, we’ve now I think got good news on that one. United Utilities have recently announced that they are putting aside £5 million to resolve this problem. So they’re going to introduce a new pumping station and I think that would be very much welcomed by the residents that live in that area and also people who have cause to use the local station, Leasowe station so there is some good news on that one Mr Mayor.”

Continues at Council (Wirral Council) 14th October 2013 Questions to the Cabinet Member for the Governance and Improvement (Cllr Ann McLachlan).

If you click on any of these buttons below, you’ll be doing me a favour by sharing this article with other people. Thanks:

Council (Wirral Council) 14th October 2013 Questions to the Cabinet Member for the Environment and Sustainability (Cllr Brian Kenny)

Council (Wirral Council) 14th October 2013 Questions to the Cabinet Member for the Environment and Sustainability (Cllr Brian Kenny) on dog fouling, flooding, garden waste and the Wirral Coastal Strategy

Please accept YouTube cookies to play this video. By accepting you will be accessing content from YouTube, a service provided by an external third party.

YouTube privacy policy

If you accept this notice, your choice will be saved and the page will refresh.

These questions start at 1:53 in the video above.

Council (Wirral Council) 14th October 2013 Questions to the Cabinet Member for the Environment and Sustainability (Cllr Brian Kenny)

                               

Continues from Council (Wirral Council) 14th October 2013 Answers to Questions to the Cabinet Member for the Economy (Cllr Pat Hackett).

Cllr Lesley Rennie asked, “Brian, I’m really pleased to note that Council are actually drafting a litter reduction strategy and clearly part of that strategy will be a key focus on dog fouling within that, but surely wouldn’t you not agree with me that the best way to discourage dog fouling is to increase not axe the number of dog wardens that we have? And therefore by increasing you may be able to improve the number of prosecutions for those that actually flout the law in that respect but I have to say Brian, unfortunately under your Cabinet leadership, the number of prosecutions have been nothing short of appalling.”

Cllr Paul Doughty asked, “I’d just like to ask the question, following a very interesting presentation by the Leader of Sevenoaks Council on Saturday a discussion was had with himself where he congratulated Wirral Council on the successful implementation of our garden waste scheme and also was pleased and able to see how low the cost of the service is when in his authority, a Conservative authority, the cost is £43 a year? And also can I congratulate the Cabinet Member on the percentage increase of garden waste composition announced that continues to be implemented?

Cllr Phil Gilchrist asked, “My question is on the issue of garden waste, I wonder if the Cabinet Member has an idea or an estimate how many brown bins are likely to be returned and what is likely to be the fate of the brown bins in terms of their recycling or reuse and what is he going to do with the brown bin mountain?”

Cllr Janette Williamson asked, “Given the Council’s very difficult financial position can you afford to implement the Wirral Coastal Strategy?”

Cllr Tony Norbury, “This question relates to the Coastal Strategy. I welcome the proposals for Council to explore funding options in relation to the Coastal Strategy. Given the serious level of flooding that has been within the Borough recently to people’s homes and land, can the Cabinet Member advise when and where work has been done in relation to this issue with United Utilities and the environmental officers?”

Continues at Council (Wirral Council) 14th October 2013 Answers to Questions to the Cabinet Member for the Environment and Sustainability (Cllr Brian Kenny).

If you click on any of these buttons below, you’ll be doing me a favour by sharing this article with other people. Thanks:

Upton By-election Results (Wirral Council) Matthew Patrick (Labour) elected

Upton By-election Results (Wirral Council) Matthew Patrick (Labour) elected

Candidate Party Votes
Matthew John PATRICK Labour 1,954 ELECTED
Geoffrey Ian GUBB Conservatives 762
Jim MCGINLEY Green Party 143
Alan DAVIES Liberal Democrats 130

Thursday’s by-election returned Matthew Patrick (Labour) as a councillor to represent Upton ward on Wirral Council.

If you click on any of these buttons below, you’ll be doing me a favour by sharing this article with other people. Thanks:

Council (Wirral Council) 14th October 2013 Answers to Questions to the Cabinet Member for the Economy (Cllr Pat Hackett)

Council (Wirral Council) 14th October 2013 Answers to Questions to the Cabinet Member for the Economy (Cllr Pat Hackett)

Please accept YouTube cookies to play this video. By accepting you will be accessing content from YouTube, a service provided by an external third party.

YouTube privacy policy

If you accept this notice, your choice will be saved and the page will refresh.

These questions start at 23:18 in the video above and continues in this video clip.

Council (Wirral Council) 14th October 2013 Answers to Questions to the Cabinet Member for the Economy (Cllr Pat Hackett)

                         

Continues from Council (Wirral Council) 14th October 2013 Questions to the Cabinet Member for the Economy (Cllr Pat Hackett).

Cllr Pat Hackett, Cabinet Member for the Economy answered, “In no particular order, if I could just link here Cllr Elderton’s and Cllr Watt’s car parking question in terms of Cllr Elderton’s question in terms of extra development and also Cllr Watt in terms of West Kirby.

I mean first of all, we need to ask the Government to give us more money particularly Eric Pickles which will help in this situation but I think it’s also quite .. on what Cllr Doughty said just before that the scrutiny committee is looking at car parking charges and according to what Cllr Doughty just said as well, there was non involvement of a lot of your Members in it. So I think a lot of your Members around the room aren’t that interested. So I would suggest that a number of them can go along to a scrutiny committee and give their views on that.

In terms of Cllr Blakeley and the issue of broadband and the questions he asked around that. Can I just say this project that was in the news the last few days, in the papers, this project focuses on addressing and it’s a great project by the way, focuses on addressing those particular areas across Merseyside where the private sector failed to provide super fast broadband services to date. Based on the existing level of super fast broadband it’s been allocated to Merseyside a sum of £5.4 million. The Government allocation comes with a requirement that public match funding must be found and approval was granted if you recall on the 26th of March this year for £5.5 million of ERDF money giving the project a total of £10.9 million. A private sector contribution consisting of twenty percent will also be forthcoming … procurement process has concluded.

There are many benefits Mr Mayor to the City Region of having great access to super fast broadband, in summary it will improve the attractiveness of Wirral to inward investment and generate additional GVA for the City Region of around £50 million and more importantly help raise the digital divide to provide a platform for more efficient delivery of public services.

In relation to the very helpful question from Cllr Rob Gregson regarding the Wirral apprentice. He will recall, Members will recall this is a saving from last year that I’m trying to remember how we looked at different ways to deliver this. I’m glad to say that we have had strong interest in the new scheme and secured fifty-five apprentices in February for the unemployed and those not in employment and education and training. Young people in forty-eight businesses in Wirral, including the four places set aside for care leavers.

Recruitment of young people is taking place throughout this month with vacancies advertised by the National Apprentice Scheme, also Job Centres and also the website. Sixteen have already started and we expect them all to take place near November. The jobs that take place Mr Mayor are with small businesses and there have been high interest from the engineering sector with new vacancies secured in the marine sector and supply chain. It ties in really well with our Regional Growth Fund ambitions and focuses Mr Mayor on keeping our growth in this sector. When we’ve fully recruited we will begin the full breakdown of age, qualification, … and business sector et cetera, but thank you very much for that very helpful question.”

Continues at Council (Wirral Council) 14th October 2013 Questions to the Cabinet Member for the Environment and Sustainability (Cllr Brian Kenny).

If you click on any of these buttons below, you’ll be doing me a favour by sharing this article with other people. Thanks: