Will councillors agree to Clare Fish retiring early at a cost of £105,000 tonight?

Will councillors agree to Clare Fish retiring early at a cost of £105,000 tonight?

Will councillors agree to Clare Fish retiring early at a cost of £105,000 tonight?

Clare Fish 3rd November 2014 Families Wellbeing Policy and Performance Committee Wirral Council
Clare Fish 3rd November 2014 Families Wellbeing Policy and Performance Committee Wirral Council

ED – edited at 15:39 on 10.7.17 to add sentence about amendments moved by opposition councillors.

Tonight Wirral Council’s councillors meet for two public meetings. Both are in the Council Chamber at Wallasey Town Hall, Brighton Street, Seacombe, CH44 8ED.

The first regular public meeting of all 66 councillors starts at 6.00 pm and I’ll hopefully be asking questions during agenda item 5 of the Vice-Chair of the Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee Cllr Paul Stuart (as the Chair Cllr Moira McLaughlin is unable to make the meeting tonight).

The second meeting is an extraordinary meeting called by 21 Conservative councillors. The requisition notice for that meeting and the motion on greenbelt policy can both be found on Wirral Council’s website.

Buried in the supplementary agenda for the first meeting on pages 15-16 are two previously exempt reports to the Employment and Appointments Committee meeting on the 27th June 2017 (see pages 15-16).

Both the Liberal Democrat councillors and the Conservative councillors have moved amendments to this to be voted on tonight.

The reports show that the recommendation to spend £105,000 on early retirement for Clare Fish (Executive Director for Strategy) and to create a new management post of Director of Strategy and Partnerships at a salary range of £103k-£115k (£146k including on costs).

As both the new post has a salary of over £100,000 and the early retirement cost for Clare Fish is over £100,000, both decisions can’t be delegated to the Employment and Appointments Committee, but instead the Employment and Appointments Committee makes a recommendation for a decision by a meeting of all Wirral Council’s councillors tonight.

The votes on the recommendation agreed in private at the Employment and Appointments Committee to do this was as follows.

For 4 (Cllr Phil Davies (proposer), Cllr Bernie Mooney (seconder), Cllr George Davies* and Cllr Chris Jones*)
Against 3 (Cllr Chris Blakeley, Cllr Lesley Rennie*, Cllr Phil Gilchrist*)
Abstain 1 (Cllr Adrian Jones*)

All votes with an asterisk are educated guesses, as the meeting chose to exclude the press and public from the decision (as you can watch below) and the names of the people voting are not recorded in the draft minutes (apart from the proposer and seconder who are assumed to vote for their recommendations!).

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Employment and Appointments Committee (Wirral Council) 27th June 2017 Part 1 of 2

The details on the change to make it a legal requirement that all councillors voted on generous severance packages over £100,000 was referred to in further detail in a blog post from 2015 about a proposed £110,000 severance package for Liverpool City Council’s outgoing Director of Public Health.

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Wirral’s Labour and Lib Dem councillors vote against Conservative motion that recommended restricting future development on Council owned land in the greenbelt

Wirral’s Labour and Lib Dem councillors vote against Conservative motion that recommended restricting future development on Council owned land in the greenbelt

Wirral’s Labour and Lib Dem councillors vote against Conservative motion that recommended restricting future development on Council owned land in the greenbelt

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Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Wirral Council) 5th July 2017 starting at agenda item (Notice of Motion – Green Belt) 1:18

Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee 5th July 2017 Left Colin Hughes solicitor Right Cllr Paul Stuart Chair
Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee 5th July 2017 Left Colin Hughes solicitor Right Cllr Paul Stuart Chair

ED: Edited to add quote from Wirral Society at end. 8.7.17 16:58

Yesterday evening, Wirral Council’s Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee discussed Cllr Chris Blakeley’s motion about Wirral Council owned land in the greenbelt.

The Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee is made up of 9 Labour councillors, 5 Conservative councillors and 1 Lib Dem councillor. However 1 Labour councillor couldn’t make it which meant on the evening in question there were 8 Labour councillors, 5 Conservative councillors and 1 Lib Dem councillor.

Cllr Chris Blakeley wanted an “unconditional guarantee” that it wouldn’t be “developed under any circumstances”.

The Labour councillors disagreed with Cllr Chris Blakeley and Cllr Foulkes gave the example of Arrowe Park Hospital as a development that Cllr Foulkes approved of that was on Council-owned land in the greenbelt. The Conservative councillors agreed with Cllr Chris Blakeley.

However when it came to the vote, the Labour councillors (plus a Lib Dem councillor) voted down Cllr Chris Blakeley’s notice of motion, replacing it instead with a Labour proposed notice of motion.

The text of the replacement motion proposed by the Labour Chair Cllr Paul Stuart was as follows:

“We note the notice of motion.

The Council recognises the value of the greenbelt, which should only be developed in special circumstances.

We await the Emerging Core Strategy: Local Plan and the consultation around this with specific reference to the national guidelines.”

 

The Labour notice of motion was agreed by a 9 (for): 5 (against) vote. This recommendation has to be agreed by a future meeting of all Wirral Council’s councillors before it becomes policy.

The Wirral Society “applauds the commitment by Wirral Councillors to uphold the integrity of the Wirral Green Belt and especially of land within its ownership.

As the legislation makes provision for exceptions to be made for development in the Green Belt under Very Special Circumstances, we accept that it would be difficult to for the Council to say it would never allow any development on its Green Belt land. However, the Society was disappointed that the Motion passed made no mention of the need to pursue a policy of giving priority in all cases to developing ‘Brown-Field’ (ie previously developed) land as a priority.”

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Why did Wirral Council councillors vote for a just over 4.5% council tax rise?

Why did Wirral Council councillors vote for a just over 4.5% council tax rise?

Why did Wirral Council councillors vote for a just over 4.5% council tax rise?

                               

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Wirral Council (Budget) 6th March 2017 Part 1 of 5

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Wirral Council (Budget) 6th March 2017 Part 2 of 5

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Wirral Council (Budget) 6th March 2017 Part 3 of 5

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Wirral Council (Budget) 6th March 2017 Part 4 of 5

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Wirral Council (Budget) 6th March 2017 Part 4 of 5

Cllr Phil Gilchrist (right) (Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group of councillors on Wirral Council) speaking at the Budget meeting of Wirral Council (6th March 2017)
Cllr Phil Gilchrist (right) (Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group of councillors on Wirral Council) speaking at the Budget meeting of Wirral Council (6th March 2017)

It’s been misreported in the press that both Wirral Council and Liverpool City Council agreed a 4.99% council tax rise.

Continue reading “Why did Wirral Council councillors vote for a just over 4.5% council tax rise?”