Leasowe, Saughall Massie and Moreton Area Forum 27th February 2013 Part 1| Minutes silence for Anne McArdle | United Utilities update
Cllr Chris Blakeley (Chair)
Cllr Ian Lewis
Cllr Steve Williams
Cllr Anita Leech
Tracey Smith, Area Forum coordinator
Steve Preston, Community Safety
Inspector Peter Kolokotroni, Merseyside Police
Chris Begya (Head of Branch, Personal Support (Department of Adult Social Services)
Graham Hodkinson (Director of Adult Social Services)
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service
and about forty members of the public
The Chair, Cllr Chris Blakeley welcomed the public to what he said was sadly the last Area Forum as the Council wanted to move to Neighbourhood working based on the four constituencies. Cllr Blakeley said that this would not be as local and as the constituency the Area Forum was based in was Wallasey that it might involve travelling further to meetings. He thanked those involved with the Area Forum over the last ten years.
Two items in particular [on the Area Forum agenda] had generated interest locally, the Moreton Youth Club and Moreton Day Centre, on the latter Graham Hodkinson, the Director of Adult Social Services had been invited to answer questions. Cllr Blakeley said that Tracey had been a “fantastic Area Forum coordinator” and he wanted to thank Tracey who he thought was the best Area Forum coordinator.
He introduced Cllr Steve Williams and Cllr Ian Lewis and told them that the latter had been elected in the recent byelection. Cllr Ian Lewis asked that as this was the first Area Forum since the death of former Cllr Anne McArdle for a minutes silence. There was a minute of silence for former Cllr Anne McArdle.
Cllr Blakeley asked for apologies? Apologies were given for Cllr Simon Mountenay, Cllr Ron Abbey and another. He asked if there were any questions arising from the minutes? None were asked. He then asked Peter Cummings to give an update on United Utilities. However Peter Cummings wasn’t present. Cllr Blakeley commented on the widespread nature of current United Utilities roadworks in the local area.
David Green said that the [West Wirral] Area Forum was “my favourite Area Forum” as it is the “best attended and lively”. Starting with PACSPE, he said it was long and complicated as politics had been injected into the parks. The important thing which he was happy to talk about at the end, was on the 22nd September a public report had gone to Cabinet. This report was on the council’s website and had started with a 2008 review of the £11 million of services provided in this area. There had been engagement, but [Wirral Council] didn’t know what was being delivered for the money. In 2008 the work for the review covered cemeteries, golf courses, infrastructure and buildings. There had been enthusiasm injected over the past year. In total the £11 million of services had been reduced by £4 million. In July 2010 the contract had been exposed to the markets with no in-house bid. The cost effectiveness had been reviewed and in July 2011 the scope had been agreed which covered £8.1 million out of the original £11 million. The crematorium and golf courses had been excluded.
Cllr Jeff Green started talking, but someone from the audience said they couldn’t hear him, so the wireless microphone was passed to him. He continued by thanking Tracey Smith and her team for the opportunities that local residents had been given to feed into Neighbourhood Plans. He wanted to make a point about the number of responses and the quality of responses. He said if you went to West Kirby Primary School, it would not be surprising if road safety especially speeding around schools was brought up. If they chatted to youngsters it was not suprising, however he was interested in the broader picture and not taking things for granted.
Resources were following the Neighbourhood Plans, which Cllr Green said were “only as good as the people who contributed” to them. He didn’t want a small number of people to set the agenda, as most people [present at the Area Forum] came to every one of the meetings. He asked Tracey if she agreed?
Tracey Smith, Senior Community Engagement Co-ordinator replied in the affirmative.
Deputy Mayor Cllr Gerry Ellis said that they should “take the opportunity” and that “the council would take some notice”. He said the “main attraction of the evening is Dave Green”. He also mentioned the display and that from Monday United Utilities would be digging up the road in Market Street and Birkenhead Road. There would be disruption to traffic.
Peter Cummings from United Utilities said the display illustrated the areas affected, but they would be working with Wirral Council’s Head of Traffic.
Deputy Mayor Cllr Gerry Ellis mentioned the work on the railway. Peter Cummings said the United Utilities work had been delayed. Deputy Mayor Gerry Ellis opened it up to the floor for questions.