Posted by: John Brace | 2nd March 2018

What happened at the Birkenhead Constituency Committee public meeting held at the Wirral Deen Centre on the 1st March 2018?

What happened at the Birkenhead Constituency Committee public meeting held at the Wirral Deen Centre on the 1st March 2018?

                                         

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Birkenhead Constituency Committee (Wirral Council) 1st March 2018 Part 1 of 2

Yesterday evening saw the Birkenhead Constituency Committee meet for the first time at the Wirral Deen Centre on Borough Road on a cold, snowy evening that the Vice-Chair described as “horrendous”.

Prior to the public meeting starting, there was a chance from 6 pm for informal networking and to sample multicultural food.

Photo 1 Cllr Moira McLaughlin (Vice Chair) Birkenhead Constituency Committee (Wirral Council) 1st March 2018

Photo 1 Cllr Moira McLaughlin (Vice Chair) Birkenhead Constituency Committee (Wirral Council) 1st March 2018

The meeting was chaired by Vice-Chair Cllr Moira McLaughlin (pictured above) as the Chair Cllr George Davies wasn’t there.

At the start Cllr Foulkes declared two interests, one as being on the Board of Magenta Living (Wirral Partnership Homes Limited) and also as a councillor on the Planning Committee. The Vice-Chair asked for a block interest to be recorded for all councillors present who are also on the Planning Committee.

Photo 2 Ibrahim Syed (Leader, Wirral Deen Centre) Birkenhead Constituency Committee (Wirral Council) 1st March 2018

Photo 2 Ibrahim Syed (Leader, Wirral Deen Centre) Birkenhead Constituency Committee (Wirral Council) 1st March 2018

Mohammed Mustafizur and Ibrahim Syed (pictured above) both talked briefly about the Wirral Dean Centre and its dual role as a community centre and mosque. It was explained what activities happened there, how it had previously been a vacant shop and their links with other groups in the local community.

The Chair rearranged the order of the agenda for public question time to be next. There were ten questions (although questions 8, 9 and 10) were all numbered question 8. Questions submitted before the meeting were circulated at the meeting and can be read below.

Birkenhead Constituency Committee (1st March 2018) questions page 1 of 4

Birkenhead Constituency Committee (1st March 2018) questions page 1 of 4

Birkenhead Constituency Committee (1st March 2018) questions page 2 of 4

Birkenhead Constituency Committee (1st March 2018) questions page 2 of 4

Birkenhead Constituency Committee (1st March 2018) questions page 3 of 4

Birkenhead Constituency Committee (1st March 2018) questions page 3 of 4

Birkenhead Constituency Committee (1st March 2018) questions page 4 of 4

Birkenhead Constituency Committee (1st March 2018) questions page 4 of 4

Photo 3 A member of the public asking a question about air pollution Birkenhead Constituency Committee 1st March 2018

Photo 3 A member of the public asking a question about air pollution Birkenhead Constituency Committee 1st March 2018

Some of the public asking the questions were present and read out their questions such as a member of the public (pictured above). Questions were grouped together by subject.

Photo 4 - Cllr Phil Davies answering questions Birkenhead Constituency Committee 1st March 2018

Photo 4 – Cllr Phil Davies answering questions Birkenhead Constituency Committee 1st March 2018

Then Cllr Phil Davies gave answers to each block of questions. Subjects ranged from the Wirral Growth Company (decided at Wednesday morning’s Cabinet meeting), council tax bands, housing, air pollution, golf courses, Hoylake Golf Resort, due diligence, the effect of the collapse of Carillion on the building of the hospital in Liverpool and the closure of the Marks and Spencer store in Birkenhead. Only questions submitted in writing up to the day before the meeting were accepted and none taken unscripted from the public on the evening of the meeting.

In relation to Wirral Council’s recent release of part of the Hoylake Golf Resort contract with Nicklaus Joint Venture Group Ltd (which I had requested in 2016), a spokesperson from the Stop Hoylake Golf Resort Action Group commented (although not at this meeting), “Information previously withheld by Wirral Council, and subsequently released, does not appear to be information that may harm the economic interests of the Nicklaus Joint Venture Group. It appears that the Council could be using the “commercial and confidential” justification inappropriately, to avoid publishing potentially controversial information. The Council has repeatedly stated that it will be “open and transparent” throughout the development of this project, yet regrettably has spent yet more Council tax payers money trying to keep their agreement with the Venture Group secret. This begs the question, what else are they trying to hide?”

Photo 5 - Community Sergeant Katie Wilkinson Birkenhead Constituency Committee 1st March 2018

Photo 5 – Community Sergeant Katie Wilkinson Birkenhead Constituency Committee 1st March 2018

Later in the meeting Sergeant Katie Wilkinson (Merseyside Police) talked about community cohesion, crime, hate crime (with a special focus on racism), antisocial behaviour, young people, homelessness, drug and alcohol issues and begging.

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Birkenhead Constituency Committee (Wirral Council) 1st March 2018 Part 2 of 2

Photo 6 - Cllr Matthew Patrick Birkenhead Constituency Committee 1st March 2018

Photo 6 – Cllr Matthew Patrick Birkenhead Constituency Committee 1st March 2018

Cllr Matthew Patrick (pictured above) talked briefly about the four constituency committees on the Wirral. Sue talked about the Wirral Libraries Troll Trail and handed out salt dough to councillors to make their own trolls.

Cllr Phil Davies left early at around 7.34 pm (the meeting started at 6.18 pm), the rest of the public meeting was the Constituency Manager’s (Jo Burrell’s) update on her report which can be found at pages 15-50 of the agenda pack for the meeting (which can be read on Wirral Council’s website.

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Responses

  1. As someone has asked me on Twitter when the next public meeting of the Birkenhead Constituency Committee is, it’s recommended to be held on 13th June 2018 starting at a time and venue yet to be determined (but the time is likely to be 6.00 pm).

  2. […] What happened at the Birkenhead Constituency Committee public meeting held at the Wirral Deen Centre… […]


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