4 Lib Dem councillors say “No, no, no” to Councillor Adrian “Father Christmas” Jones over £20,000 lease decision
Leonora Brace (my wife) and Councillor Adrian Jones (as Father Christmas) in Birkenhead, Christmas 2013
Liberal Democrat councillors have gathered four of the six signatures needed to “call in” Councillor Adrian Jones’ decision to agree to a £20,000 lease of office space at Birkenhead Fire Station for the Birkenhead Constituency Committee. Birkenhead Fire Station is leased to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service for the next thirty years. This is because it was built by a private developer under a private finance initiative scheme. Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service have told Wirral Council that the private developer will need £10,000 a year (over the two years of the lease) if Wirral Council were to lease office space in it. If the lease was agreed it would see Wirral Council being responsible for any costs and utilities of the office space on a pro-rata basis.
The four Lib Dem councillors are worried that “no other options have been considered” and express a view that there is available office space in Council owned buildings nearby. The Lib Dem councillors also ask for the criteria for choosing the location and whether it was just office space required or whether there was a requirement for public access too.
Should the Lib Dem councillors gather the six signatures required for a call in by the call in deadline on the 17th June, the decision will be looked at again by a special meeting of the Coordinating Committee. Since its former Chair Councillor Stuart Whittingham became Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, this committee is now chaired by recently re elected Councillor Moira McLaughlin. As the Coordinating Committee has a majority of Labour councillors on it, even if the Lib Dem councillors get the necessary support for a call-in, Councillor Adrian “Father Christmas” Jones is likely to have the last “ho, ho, ho” on the matter.
If you click on any of the buttons below, you’ll be doing me a favour by sharing this article with other people.