What happened when I tried to inspect candidates’ consent to nomination forms at Birkenhead Town Hall?

What happened when I tried to inspect candidates’ consent to nomination forms at Birkenhead Town Hall?

What happened when I tried to inspect candidates’ consent to nomination forms at Birkenhead Town Hall?

                                                             

By John Brace (Editor)
First publication date: Wednesday 12th April 2023, 14:00 (GMT).

Candidate consent to nomination (Elizabeth Anne Grey) Bidston and St James ward election of a councillor to Wirral Council in 2023
Candidate consent to nomination (Elizabeth Anne Grey) Bidston and St James ward election of a councillor to Wirral Council in 2023

During the election period (once the nomination period has ended and before polling day) the nomination papers and candidate’s consent to nomination are available to be inspected.

As it (usually) runs more smoothly if they know what I want to look at in advance rather than just it being a big surprise, there had been a series of emails between myself and Wirral Council about what I wanted to look at (the candidate’s consent to nomination forms for candidates standing in the election of councillors for Bidston and St James, Claughton and Heswall) and Wirral Council knew I ’d be there on Tuesday 11th April.

When I arrived at Birkenhead Town Hall, I went up to the first floor, to find that those working on the election were behind locked doors that could only be opened with a key card (which obviously I didn’t have) and there was no doorbell. I tried knocking on that door, but nobody answered. Going back down the corridor and turning left, I found another door with a piece of A4 paper stuck to the door with “Election Office” on it.

The door was locked, so I knocked on the door and waited. I was ignored, so I knocked again. The poem The Listeners by Walter de La Mere springs to mind at this point in this tale. Eventually my persistent knocking led to someone answering the door. I explained what I was therefore and was told to go to a different room which was next door.

There I explained (again) what I was there for. The person I’d previously been in email contact with was running a training session at Wallasey Town Hall and not answering their mobile phone.

However, I was then told I couldn’t inspect the candidates’ consent to nomination as the person speaking thought that they might contain home addresses (they actually don’t contain home addresses as you can see of the example of Elizabeth Anne Grey standing in Bidston and St James ward above) and to come back in an hour.

So I returned as requested an hour later, again knocking on the unanswered door. Eventually a person angrily answered the door and barked in a frustrated way, “I’m in a meeting!” at me.

This drawn out saga is now starting to become less like Walter De La Mere’s The Traveller and along the lines of Douglas Adams quote:-

“But the plans were on display‚Ķ”
“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”
“That’s the display department.”
“With a flashlight.”
“Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”
“So had the stairs.”
“But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”
“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.”
  

Once again I explained why I was there and this time was told to wait in the corridor outside. Shortly after, a very apologetic Wirral Council employee appeared with the paperwork I had requested to inspect.

What did suprise when I calculated the average age of the candidates in Heswall, Bidston and St James and Claughton is (I’ve just included the four political parties already represented on Wirral Council in the analysis below and for clarity have included those who have withdrawn) is how similar the average age of a candidate standing was across different political parties. In the Labour Party the average age was 54.9 years, for the Conservatives 57.7 years, in the Lib Dems 57.3 years and the Green Party it was 57.8 years.


If you click on any of the buttons below, you’ll be doing me a favour by sharing this article with other people.

Wirral Council’s Labour and Green councillors vote for increased on and off street car parking charges despite opposition from Conservative and Lib Dem councillors

Wirral Council’s Labour and Green councillors vote for increased on and off street car parking charges despite opposition from Conservative and Lib Dem councillors

Wirral Council’s Labour and Green councillors vote for increased on and off street car parking charges despite opposition from Conservative and Lib Dem councillors

                                                         

Fort Perch Rock Car Park, New Brighton, Wirral (29th June 2015)
Fort Perch Rock Car Park, New Brighton, Wirral (29th June 2015)

By John Brace (Editor)
and
Leonora Brace (Co-Editor)

First publication date: Wednesday 11th August 2021, 11:44 AM (BST).

Please accept YouTube cookies to play this video. By accepting you will be accessing content from YouTube, a service provided by an external third party.

YouTube privacy policy

If you accept this notice, your choice will be saved and the page will refresh.

Decision Review Committee (Wirral Council) 29th July 2021 Car Parking Charges Call In

Please accept YouTube cookies to play this video. By accepting you will be accessing content from YouTube, a service provided by an external third party.

YouTube privacy policy

If you accept this notice, your choice will be saved and the page will refresh.

Decision Review Committee (Wirral Council) 10th August 2021 Car Parking Charges Call In

At the end of two lengthy public meetings which you can watch above (and you can read a report on the previous adjourned meeting here), a majority of councillors voted to uphold the decision of Wirral Council’s Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee to go ahead with car parking charges options 1, 3 and 4 (as outlined in this report. The changes were opposed by Conservative and Lib Dem councillors but voted through by Labour and Green councillors, however Lib Dem councillor Chris Carubia voted in favour to consult on charges at new locations and increase charges at existing locations that charge.
Continue reading “Wirral Council’s Labour and Green councillors vote for increased on and off street car parking charges despite opposition from Conservative and Lib Dem councillors”

What is the timetable for the May 2021 elections of councillors to Wirral Council, Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Mayor?

What is the timetable for the May 2021 elections of councillors to Wirral Council, Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Mayor?

What is the timetable for the May 2021 elections of councillors to Wirral Council, Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Mayor?

                                

Holy Cross Primary School, Bidston (polling station) Bidston and St James 4th May 2017
Holy Cross Primary School, Bidston (polling station) Bidston and St James 4th May 2017

Delayed elections in May 2021 on the Wirral will mean people (depending on where you live) will have either 3 or 4 votes.
Continue reading “What is the timetable for the May 2021 elections of councillors to Wirral Council, Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Mayor?”

How have councils been coping with virtual public meetings in the last month and what public meetings are happening locally in the week starting 11th May 2020?

How have councils been coping with virtual public meetings in the last month and what public meetings are happening locally in the week starting 11th May 2020?

How have councils been coping with virtual public meetings in the last month and what public meetings are happening locally in the week starting 11th May 2020?

                                      

Please accept YouTube cookies to play this video. By accepting you will be accessing content from YouTube, a service provided by an external third party.

YouTube privacy policy

If you accept this notice, your choice will be saved and the page will refresh.

Cabinet (Liverpool City Council) 7th May 2020

Mayor Joe Anderson (Liverpool City Council) Cabinet 7th May 2020
Mayor Joe Anderson (Liverpool City Council) Cabinet 7th May 2020

As public meetings of local councils move online to virtual meetings, after a month of the new arrangements I thought it was time to write a piece about different council’s approaches including where things have gone wrong or well.
Continue reading “How have councils been coping with virtual public meetings in the last month and what public meetings are happening locally in the week starting 11th May 2020?”

Regulations allow “virtual” public meetings of local councils and other local government bodies in England from Saturday 4th April 2020

Regulations allow “virtual” public meetings of local councils and other local government bodies in England from Saturday 4th April 2020

Regulations allow “virtual” public meetings of local councils and other local government bodies in England from Saturday 4th April 2020

                               

Please accept YouTube cookies to play this video. By accepting you will be accessing content from YouTube, a service provided by an external third party.

YouTube privacy policy

If you accept this notice, your choice will be saved and the page will refresh.

Planning Committee (Wirral Council) 19th March 2020

Cllr Ian Lewis at a public meeting of Wirral Council’s Planning Committee held on the 19th March 2020 at Wallasey Town Hall
Cllr Ian Lewis at a public meeting of Wirral Council’s Planning Committee held on the 19th March 2020 at Wallasey Town Hall

At Wirral Council’s last Planning Committee meeting held on the 19th March 2020 Cllr Ian Lewis referred to the Government’s intention to allow councils to hold public meetings virtually. Indeed a report on that meeting was previously published on this blog under the headline Wirral Council’s Planning Committee suspends meetings and rules due to COVID-19.
Continue reading “Regulations allow “virtual” public meetings of local councils and other local government bodies in England from Saturday 4th April 2020”