3 different political versions of the same Wirral West Constituency Committee meeting
Just for a bit of fun and as it’s Friday, I’m going to offer you three different versions of the Wirral West Constituency Committee yesterday evening (the reports for the meeting can be read on Wirral Council’s website). This is meant partly as satire as there is a Conservative version, a Labour version and the peoples’ version. You can watch video of what happened at the meeting below.
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Playlist of the Wirral West Constituency Committee meeting held on the 30th June 2016
The Conservative version
Surprisingly even the Labour councillors voted for our Leader Cllr Jeff Green to be Chair for another year. Cllr Jeff Green was of course too humble to vote for himself.
Cllr Jeff Green proposed as Vice-Chair Cllr John Hale.
However after supporting our Leader, the three Labour councillors decided they wanted Labour Cllr Phillip Brightmore as Vice-Chair.
(This must be some sort of joke by Labour as they never gave us opposition parties chairs of the scrutiny committees as recommended by the peer review).
After the Conservatives rejected a Labour Vice-Chair, the meeting heard that all Labour councillors on the
politburo, sorry Cabinet couldn’t make it to the meeting tonight.
The meeting heard the troubles over appointing community representatives, apart from our own former Conservative councillor Jackie Hall for Hoylake and Meols. Cllr Jeff Green told the meeting about how wonderful Jackie Hall was and how they hoped to encourage more people to come forward as community representatives.
There were various reports presented to the Committee. The people in Wirral West had been celebrating Queen Elizabeth II‘s 90th birthday, plus due to the benevolence of the Constituency Committee money had been spent on small grants to community groups. In addition nearly 3,000 people had voted online or by paper as to where this money should be spent.
Ten minutes into the meeting, one of the three Labour councillors Cllr Michael Sullivan left.
The Constituency Manager continued with a report on new benches, the small grants for parties to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday, money to tackle antisocial behaviour (mainly in the Labour wards of course!), a mentoring project for boys, litter issues and road safety funding.
Cllr Brightmore (Labour) asked about antisocial behaviour involving bikes and vandalism. The Conservative Chair pointed out that his comment was unfair bearing in mind they had spent the antisocial behaviour budget in a neighbouring Labour ward. The Labour councillor persistently called for money to be spent on his area. The Conservative Chair tried to placate him.
The meeting moved onto agenda item 6 and another report about how the grants scheme was going. There were some questions from the Conservative councillors.
An update was given on the Hoylake Golf Resort scheme by David Armstrong (reading a note he had been given by David Ball). He explained what was happening and how maybe (in the future) if all went well the Hoylake Golf Resort project would go ahead but that there would be a period of a year for technical reports whilst it would seem that nothing was going on.
The Chair thanked him and various Conservative councillors commented on the plans. Local councillor Gerry Ellis gave his views. The councillors on the Planning Committee explained why they weren’t giving their views. Jackie Hall (community representative) referred to a “silent majority” of residents who hadn’t made their mind up yet.
Community question time started with a question about Heron Road (in fact many further questions were about Heron Road). Residents were calling for action and had been to see their local Labour MP Margaret Greenwood.
John Hutchinson asked a question about comments made earlier about the Hoylake Golf Resort. A resident asked about the new monthly newsletter approved by Wirral Council’s Cabinet.
The Conservative Chair Cllr Jeff Green explained that it had been decided by the nine Labour councillors on the
politburo, sorry Cabinet and that he’d referred to it as “Pravda”. However there was an opportunity for the decision to be called in.
Susan Brown asked about the difficulty of advertising events on a Wirral website and asked for councillors to help.
Various comments were made in response to her question. Susan Brown referred to various events that attracted visitors from all over the country which needed better promotion.
The Constituency Manager Jane Morgan said she would take the point back to Wirral’s tourism team, but that the Wirral West Constituency Committee had its own Twitter account. The Chair made some comments in response.
Questions were asked about abandoned cars and cars being advertised for sale on the highway. It was pointed out by a Conservative councillor that private individuals could sell their cars this way, but it was unlawful for traders to do so.
Another series of questions were asked about the Hoylake Golf Resort, why weren’t councillors going to meetings about it? Would the new Metro Mayor (elected in May 2017) get the final say?
The Conservative Chair replied explaining that some councillors were on the Planning Committee, that Jackie Hall was a volunteer, that Conservative Councillor Gerry Ellis could give his views on it.
A question was asked about road repairs and the WICT? Group. The Constituency Manager replied with details of upcoming road repairs.
Heron Road and indeed its history going back to 1968 was the subject of another question including what the Chair referred to as a “wicked slur” that money earmarked for Heron Road had been diverted to a roundabout instead. A short answer was given.
It was pointed out that the timetable for grants would be difficult for voluntary groups as it fell mainly over the holiday period. The length of the application forms at eight pages was also commented on. Various comments were made by councillors in response.
Another question was asked on Heron Road. Another answer was given.
A member of the public commented on weed growth and high grass. The Chair explained that every councillor was doing everything they could and called on people not to make assumptions and generalisations about councillors and Council employees. He pointed out that Cllr Phil Brightmore (Labour) was Chair of the scrutiny committee that covered this.
Cllr Phillip Brightmore said he would talk at the end and take details about it. Other issues were raised about flooding and litter enforcement. Various comments were made by councillors in response. David Armstrong commented on the problems with seasonal workers, the huge volume of litter Wirral Council removed and weather issues.
Conservative Chair Cllr Jeff Green thanked people for their answers and thought-provoking questions and gave notice of a vigil at the war memorial at Grange Hill in West Kirby to mark 100 years since the Battle of the Somme.
The Labour version
Once again the Tory Cllr Jeff Green was reelected as Chair. Comrades tried to suggest a bi-partisan approach by nominating Cllr Phillip Brightmore as Vice-Chair, but this was rejected by the Tories.
Even our councillors on the Cabinet can’t make it tonight! Here we go again with Cllr Jeff Green saying how wonderful a former Conservative councillor (now community representative) is!
See one of the three Labour councillors here has left now! Cllr Phillip Brightmore (Labour) made an important point about antisocial behaviour only for the Tory Chair to describe it as “unfair”!
Now they’re talking about the Hoylake Golf Resort. Ahh brilliant, our great Labour MP Margaret Greenwood gets mentioned in a question about Heron Road! The Tory Chair’s now trying to blame the monthly newspaper idea on us! No wonder Cllr Phil Davies is cross with him for referring to it as “Pravda”.
A set of interesting questions from residents (many about Heron Road and the Hoylake Golf Resort). Isn’t it about time the Tories stopped sitting on the fence on these issues?
The Peoples’ version
After sitting patiently for around an hour waiting for the Committee to finally get through the earlier items on the agenda we had our chance to have our say!
Why don’t they understand the strength of feeling about Hoylake Golf Resort? Why hasn’t Heron Road been sorted out? Why, why, why?
Oh well there’s always the next meeting in October!
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