Cllr Green said a series of lessons had been learnt, the key lesson being regarding how and why regarding the opportunity to get involved. Allsop’s letter had asked the Cabinet not to go forward. He was not minded to do so as they needed to move forward. The controversy was around the criteria and issues regarding money going direct to companies to spend. He asked Kevin Adderley about this.
Kevin said there was wide ranging support for the seaside towns. Support for business needed to comply with EU State aid rules. For example if they gave money to one retail business it would be unfair on competition grounds, the same would go for a local manufacturer of kitchens. He said they need to ensure that officers look at any proposals before they are recommended to Cabinet.
Cllr Green asked about helping the unemployed to work in the tourism sector. Regarding the ideas that had not been successful, what support would be given or would these ideas be lost? If the recommendations were accepted, would Wirral Council speak to all applicants including the unsuccessful ones?
Kevin said there was work in the town regarding the Open golf tournament. £1.4 million was being spent to support worklessness. Environmental improvements were being made and there was funding for empty shops. Cllr Lewis referred to a Labour leaflet of Cllr Dodd’s in Liscard that said the support had been cancelled and that there was no money for empty shops.
Kevin said that Cabinet had agreed £14,500 to each Area Forum above the three areas and original allocation. Cllr Lewis said the three pilot areas had been Bromborough, New Ferry and Egremont. The agreed budget meant an equivalent sum went to each of the twenty two wards. This meant some areas had received double.