Posted by: John Brace | 29th November 2017

Cllr Michael Sullivan starts public meeting by calling me “discourteous”

Cllr Michael Sullivan starts public meeting by calling me “discourteous”


Cllr Mike Sullivan (Chair) Business Overview and Scrutiny Committee 29th November 2017

Cllr Mike Sullivan (Chair) Business Overview and Scrutiny Committee 29th November 2017

Cllr Mike Sullivan (Chair of Wirral Council’s Business Overview and Scrutiny Committee) tonight decided near the start the public meeting to use meeting time to refer to me as “discourteous” and stated that I “interrupted him when someone from the CCJ” was speaking.

I think Cllr Michael Sullivan is incorrect when he states CCJ and instead means the CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group).

He then went on to criticise the way that Labour councillor Cllr Julie McManus chaired the meeting.

As to his suggestion that I go to the desk in the lobby and ask a member of staff, well I did and no-one was there!

I also have video footage of last night’s meeting of the Adult Care and Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Above is Cllr Muspratt sitting next but one to Cllr Sullivan talking to Fiona Johnstone while someone from the CCG is speaking.

Yet Cllr Mike Sullivan remains silent about her behaviour which as she was much nearer to him than I was to Cllr Mike Sullivan. Multiple councillors also complained during the meeting that the people from the CCG weren’t given microphones to speak into.

Below is an email to the Chair of the Adult Care and Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee which is in reply to an earlier email. I’ve redacted three words from it.

I have also this evening made a complaint to the Monitoring Officer about Cllr Mike Sullivan’s behaviour.

from: John Brace <>
to: “Sebastian, Patrick” <>
cc: Julie McManus <>,
Fiona Johnstone <>,
“Phil McCourt (Monitoring Officer)” <>,
Building Control <>
date: 29 November 2017 at 11:50
subject: Re: Public Meetings – disruption

Hello Patrick,

Prior to trying to close the window in Committee Room 1, Fiona Johnstone approached me and said the opposite of what you said in your email.

She said that a councillor on the Committee was cold because the window was open and it was causing a draught (which is the opposite to the view expressed in your email).

Due to the closure of the door to Committee Room 1 (insisted upon by Fiona Johnstone), the insufficient ventilation meant my wife had to use her ********************** as it impacted her health and ability to breathe. Fiona Johnstone insisted on the door being shut despite being told what the impact would be on Leonora’s health.

Could I point out that Fiona’s actions in insisting the door to Committee Room 1 was shut was what prompted this and is why we left early?

Wirral Council is required to comply with the building regulations which I’m sure your Building Control section (copied in to this email) can confirm means that there has to be sufficient ventilation.

I am asthmatic and also found the insufficient ventilation also made it difficult to breathe.

Wirral Council is therefore discriminating against myself and Leonora for being disabled, failing to make reasonable adjustments and in addition you are engaging in harassment by both emailing myself about this and copying your email into the Chair.

I might also point out that it is not up to yourself to determine whether any constitutes disruption to the meeting as that is down to the Chair who remained silent on that point during the meeting.

The Chair, Cllr Julie McManus is a councillor in Bidston & St. James ward in which I am a resident.

Both Leonora and I are residents in Bidston & St. James ward and therefore Cllr McManus is there to represent our views.

Somewhat ironically the above happened at the Adult Care and Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Yours sincerely,

John Brace

On 29 November 2017 at 09:59, Sebastian, Patrick <> wrote:
Hello Mr Brace

I had hoped to catch you last night, but you had left the room prior to the meeting close.

Could I ask that you refrain from adjusting the windows during committee meetings. I appreciate that the age and room layout of Wallasey Town Hall makes it difficult to maintain the balance between fresh air ventilation and a moderate, regular temperature to suit everyone.

Members of the Committee were quite satisfied with the ventilation last night, and although I appreciate you were trying to be unobtrusive, your actions did cause some minor disruption to the discussions taking place.

Best regards

Patrick Sebastian MInstLM
Principal Committee Officer
Law and Governance
Wallasey Town Hall
T: 0151 691 8424

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  1. Just a point like to ask, did you open this window on your own, or did you ask first!

    • The window was already open.

      I discussed it before I did anything with a member of staff first (Fione Johnstone) who is at the Deputy Chief Executive level. She had no objection to me closing it as an alternative to having the door shut.

      I went to close it, a councillor on the Committee next to me said to me very quietly (so quietly that the public didn’t hear them) that they wanted it closed and that they’d tried to close in earlier.

      In fact this councillor had done exactly the same thing I did during the meeting and tried to close it earlier during the meeting to no objection from Cllr Sullivan whatsoever.

      So I attempted to close it, but it was jammed, so I went to find a member of staff at the desk that Cllr Mike Sullivan refers to, but there was no-one there.

  2. Cllr Sullivan has been discourteous to me on numerous occasions.

    • I remember when my wife (who has hearing difficulties) asked politely to turn a microphone when speaking during a public meeting, he castigated her for having the temerity to remind him what the Chair had told everyone at the start of the meeting to do anyway!

  3. Sullivan is an arrogant *******, he tries to come across as being nice and helpful, but as I said he’s just an arrogant ******* who’s only interested in himself.