Kevin Adderley introduced the report referring to the special Area Forums concerned to decide and score the proposals. He said for the Hoylake and West Kirby area that the top five successful projects had been chosen, but that Wirral Council would work with those unsuccessful applications to try and find alternative funding. He said there was a risk regarding council owned assets and that it was a significant risk. The health and safety implications were also referred to and he said they had “learnt a lot” and a further report would be coming to Cabinet on the participatory budget process.
There had been some disagreement with the proposals, stories in the local press, email and a letter from a Caroline Allsop which had been circulated to Cabinet members. Cllr Green and Cllr Elderton declared a personal interest as they had attended the West Kirby area forum. Cllr Green said letting go and inviting people to make decisions meant they had to live with the public’s choice. There had been clear guidance and presentations, however lessons would be learnt. More opportunities need to be taken to delegate decision to residents in their neighbourhoods. It was important to learn the lessons. He thanked Kevin and the engagement team.
Cllr Holbrook noted that both Area Forums chose the participatory budget route. The Cabinet resolution had not specified the method, but evidence showed it was the right decision and went well.
Cllr Lewis referring to community engagement said there had been a good attendance at the special Area Forums, however if there was no real offer at Area Forums and people there just heard the Council drone on it led to lower attendances. Involving residents in deciding how money was spent was a way to encourage them to come along.