Bidston & Claughton Area Forum
Bidston Avenue Primary School
Cllr Denise Roberts, Chair, Claughton
Cllr Jim Crabtree, Bidston & St. James
Cllr Steve Foulkes, Claughton
Cllr Harry Smith, Bidston & St. James
Michelle Gray, Community Engagement
Jim Thompson Community Safety
Paul Murphy Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service
Ian Brand, Lead Officer (Asset Management)
Jim Parson, Community Representative
plus about thirteen members of public
The Chair, Cllr Denise Roberts welcomed people to the Area Forum and asked those on the panel to introduce themselves. She then asked the Lead Officer, Ian Brand (Head of Asset Management) to make a statement.
Ian Brand said he was making a statement on funding, which was a standard statement that would be read to all Area Forums. In September the Director of Finance had reported to Cabinet. Due to a projected overspend, immediate action was taken to freeze non-essential spending and release a [£7 million] reserve, which meant the suspension of the Neighbourhood Funding grants program. He said that this doesn’t mean it is cancelled or removed, but suspended until there is a recommendation as to how to move forward. Mr Brand said that by end of the year they would know the status of applications.
Cllr Roberts said that Kay Smith, from VCAW Wirral was also here to talk about how Healthwatch would replace LINKS.
Michelle Gray gave an update on items discussed at the last Area Forum. On Buttermere Avenue, she said the work has been completed, but she had not been down to see it.
Cllr Harry Smith said that Cllr George Davies had had a site meeting and was satisfied, but another issue raised had been raised at the last Area Forum. He said that the siting of the telegraph pole was down to the developers Rowland Homes, however no one would move into the property unless work completed. On the subject of speeding traffic on Budworth Road, Cllr Smith said that in the program of works it wasn’t identified as priority, but there would be more information at the next Area Forum.
The Chair, Cllr Roberts asked for an officer to give an update on the Budget consultation.
Michelle Gray said she would give a brief update in two stages. The consultation was launched on the 10th September  and would be running until the 19th October  . They had visited Aldi, Tesco, Asda and Morrisons as well as community groups and resident’s groups. Once the consultation was finished all the feedback would be collated and there would be a full report, done around November or December time. The plan was to save £100 million over three years. The consultation would also feed into the three-year Corporate Plan and at the end the Budget would be cut by about a third. She gave out some statistical information and said that they has visited ninety-six events and distributed thirty-seven thousand of the questionnaires. So far three thousand six hundred had been completed online and there were more coming in daily.