Economy and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee 7/6/2012 Declarations of Interest, Minutes, Appointment of Vice-Chair, Presentation on Combisave valve

The Chair pointed out there were no microphones as these were needed by the Employment and Appointments Committee. He asked people to speak up. He welcomed the three new members of the Committee, Robert, Mike and Janette. Item 1 Declarations of Interest No Declarations of interest were made. Item 2 Minutes The minutes of the … Continue reading “Economy and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee 7/6/2012 Declarations of Interest, Minutes, Appointment of Vice-Chair, Presentation on Combisave valve”

The Chair pointed out there were no microphones as these were needed by the Employment and Appointments Committee. He asked people to speak up. He welcomed the three new members of the Committee, Robert, Mike and Janette.

Item 1 Declarations of Interest
No Declarations of interest were made.

Item 2 Minutes
The minutes of the meeting held on 8th March were agreed.

Item 3 Appointment of Vice-Chair
Nominations were sought for Vice-Chair.
Labour spokesperson Cllr Jean Stapleton was proposed by Cllr Mark Johnston and the proposal was seconded.
There were no other nominations.
Cllr Jean Stapleton was appointed as Vice-Chair unanimously.

Item 4 Presentation and Discussion – Member of the Business Community

The Chair tried to give context to the presentation and Q&A session of David and Lisa.

A Powerpoint presentation was given by Lisa about their Combisave product which was a thermostatic valve for a combi boiler. When attached to the pipe work it would save gas (resulting in carbon savings) and water. It also speeded up the time that hot water arrived.

Lisa showed the Committee a Youtube video created by University of Salford students. She estimated that fitting the valve would result in savings of £50 to £100/year. There was also a video for installers on Youtube.

She detailed the work they had done with United Utilities, British Gas as well as the media coverage they had received on BBC Radio 2. She went into detail about their problems in finding a manufacturer and the awards they had won (or been shortlisted for).

She showed links to the following Youtube videos.

Combisave Before and After and Fitting the Combisave.

Councillors then asked questions.

One asked the price. The answer given was £79 + VAT (£94.80) and it was pointed out that Wirral Partnership Homes was trialling forty.

Cllr Denise Realey asked a question about pre heat. It was answered that it was the same or better than pre heat.

Another councillor asked why they didn’t manufacture it themselves?
The answer given was that it had taken three years of research and design and the product had only been launched last year. The current products were being given out for trials.

Cabinet Wirral Council 15/3/2012 Parts 1 to 7 (15th March 2012)

The Cabinet meeting of Wirral Council of the 15th March 2012 in Committee Room 1, Wallasey Town Hall, Brighton Street, Seacombe, Wirral in audio form (7 parts). Also links to agenda, reports, supplementary agenda and meeting information.

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Video of Wirral Council’s Cabinet meeting from 15th March 2012, here is a playlist with all seven parts, apart from the odd few seconds in between. Can anyone tell me how to embed a playlist into a WordPress post? Thankfully the battery lasted, so did the tape. Will do write-up and more subtitles later when I’ve had more sleep.

Mainly audio only as there’s no way to film video and write subtitles without a tripod (I only have a pair of hands!), so apologies for the “scribbling noise”! I might get a tripod in the next few weeks soon, if more people start watching this videos, or leave nice comments. One retweet of part 4 already, which is pleasing.

Any tips on Youtube please feel free to leave advice in the comments (whether on Youtube or here).

Here are links you might need to understand it:-


Agenda reports

Supplementary Agenda reports (item 27)

Meeting page on Wirral Council’s website

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Economy and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee 16/1/2011 Part 3 Peel presentation on Wirral Waters

English: Liverpool Lime Street
Image via Wikipedia

Cllr Denise Realey asked if it was true they would have tidal power by 2020?

Mr. Mawdsley said that was incorrect, they had finished the feasibility study, settled on a location, technology and costed it. The total cost came to £3.5 billion for 720 MWh of power. It would last for one hundred and twenty years, but financial models only went over twenty-five years and this had a break even point at the thirty year mark. He said pension funds would have to take a long-term view, it was a green project, but they were sitting on their hands waiting for government and overseas investors. It was now over to government if it happened….

Cllr Andrew Hodson said he had done really well and he’d found the presentation interesting. Would there really be occupation next year?

Mr. Mawdsley from Peel said the remediation would run from March to November. The site needed cleaning up as it was a remnant of the industrial heritage. They also needed to investigate the geotechnical conditions. Once this was done they would build the first phase, however they needed tenants as well as to secure a loan for 50% of the capital costs.

Cllr Andrew Hodson asked if they had got the money to start construction?

Mr. Mawdsley said they had got 50% and were hoping to get the other 50% in a bank loan.

Cllr Hodson asked if they could start with just 50%?

The person from Peel said it was a joint venture and they had already put in £5-£6 million. It was difficult getting a loan from a UK bank, so they were speaking to the Bank of China.

Cllr Hodson referred to Peel’s assets of £6 billion. Cllr Stuart Kelly said he never failed to be impressed by the sheer scale, but he had his eye on the fact he’d like to see bricks and building of this long-term project. He said the other issues were there’d be a shift in the business and retail centre on the periphery. Chinese and Far East companies would have good links to the rest of the country, but was there anything they should be doing about infrastructure? High Speed 2 wasn’t enough in our direction and there was the whole mess that is the M6.

Peel responded by saying that the International Trade Centre would be a springboard into the UK and Europe. The fact it was close to the port was essential, where it was, was pretty good with the motorway and public transport. What was important was connections to London, ideally there would be a direct mainline station to Euston, but that was not going to happen. However you could get from Liverpool Lime Street to the Wirral quickly and it was very well-connected. If it was connected to Lime Street through a disused tunnel to the dock there could be a feeder service.

Cllr Tony Cox asked about the proposed automotive and rail businesses and whether they were close enough to their target market for example Vauxhall Motors?

Economy and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee 16/1/2011 Part 2 Peel presentation on Wirral Waters

Mr. Mawdlsey went into detail about what would be in the “neighbourhood areas”. Part of it would be residential, with high density families called Sky City. They also hoped to have an area for corporate headquarters, studios, small and medium sized enterprises and a civic/educational hub. There would be a channel for large vessels as well as a marina park. Peel were also leaving an opportunity for a large cultural building. He showed various CGI images. The planning application in 2009 was for 13,500 residential units, which would hopefully create 20,000+ new jobs, but it would take 30+ years to build it.

The planning application had not been called in and the area was now part of the Mersey Waters Enterprise Zone. The next steps were getting occupiers in 2012 in the areas of cultural, commercial, educational and manufacturing. They wanted to secure both local and international occupiers.

On green infrastructure the Forestry Commission had pledged £1.4 million for tree planting. They were also looking for funding to extend the tram network. The first phase of the project was the Hydraulic Tower and the International Trade Centre. They wanted to have hotels, services offices, education as well as an automotive or rail supplier. The focus would initially be at the Four Bridges end.

The trams had the potential to be extended, which was “cheap and cheerful”. They would gift the land to the operators of a disused railway line and already had apprentices working on it.

The Peel International Trade Centre had come about from their sponsorship of the Shanghai Expo in 2010. The ITC would include four buildings, each with up to a thousand companies showcasing their products to trade buyers. There would be a series of showrooms in a large box. They had visited a trade centre in China with sixty thousand tenants called Yiwu City. They were working on the funding strategy and as part of the first phase had entered into a joint venture with Stella Shiu who would contribute fifty percent of the capital costs.

They were now in talks with the Bank of China for a loan for the other 50%. In March 2012 they would start remediation of the former industrial site and hoped that the first tenants would be occupying in early 2013. They had entered a new phase of work, in a difficult economic climate they were trying to take the small steps to get the catalytic occupiers. The strong government support they had received so far they needed to continue. He thanked people for listening.

The Chair asked if people had any questions.

Cllr Pat Hackett said he had a simple question, it was a massive piece of real estate, what were the processes for acquiring businesses if they didn’t want to move? What were the processes for relocating businesses on the dock estate?

Mr. Mawdsley said most of the land was already vacant, however the steel business was important to the local economy. Since gaining planning permission they were working with the businesses on the dock estate. However for some it could be five or ten years before they needed to move. They would look at their needs and help them move, but it was an ongoing dialogue.

Economy and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee 16/1/2011 Part 1 Peel presentation on Wirral Waters


Cllr Tony Cox
Cllr stuart Kelly
Cllr Gerry Ellis
Cllr Mark Johnston
Cllr Andrew Hodson
Cllr Denise Realey
Cllr Steve Niblock
Cllr Pat Hackett
Cllr Stuart Wittingham

Cllr Mark Johnston wished people a happy New Year. He asked for any declarations of interest. Cllr Steve Niblock declared a personal and prejudicial interest in item 5 (Outcome of Wirral’s Housing Market Renewal Transitional Funding Bid) as he lives in a Housing Market Renewal Initiative area.

Cllr Mark Johnston asked a question on the minutes, specifically about page 4 item 29. He asked if the information had been released?

Kevin Adderley said that the Department for Work and Pensions had not changed its approach and the information was embargoed as confidential. The minutes were agreed.

Cllr Mark Johnston said that as Lindsay Ashworth was in China, instead the presentation would be given by Richard Mawdsley instead. Richard Mawdsley introduced himself as the Project director for the Wirral Waters project which encompassed the Mersey Waters Enterprise Zone and the Peel International Trade Centre.

He gave those present some background to Peel, describing it as an asset rich, cash poor company with a brief description of its various divisions which included the Trafford Centre and a stake in Pinewood Studios. Mr. Mawdsley also referred to the wind turbines on the Mersey and Peel’s plans for power from a Mersey tidal barrage.

Media City UK in Salford Quays was given as an example of a completed regeneration project involving a docks area. He offered to show officers and councillors a tour to show them the site. The BBC had relocated to Media City in Salford Quays who he described as a “catalytic occupier”. He said that people had been sceptical that they could deliver the Trafford Centre but they had.

He explained Peel’s Ocean Gateway and Atlantic Gateway projects including a map showing the land owned by Peel. Peel’s projects were in three areas which were regeneration, transport & logistics and sustainable technologies. In 2005 they had bought the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company. The Liverpool Waters project had raised issues related to their World Heritage Status.

Mr. Mawdsley showed those present an aerial photo of the three miles of Wirral dock land. This covered the East Float, West Float, Bidston and Twelve Quays. The Bidston area was going to be a centre for leisure and retail. They would start the concept of the design in the Summer. The area had good motorway links and a underutilised railway line. He pointed out the polarised situation of house prices on the Wirral, with an East vs West divide.

Cllr Peter Kearney arrived.

Mr. Mawdlsey said they had gone “back to the drawing board” in 2006, with consultation with stakeholders and a supportive public. They had looked at best practice in different cities and had set out ten goals in 2008. These included an international city waterfront, new markets and prosperity, health and well-being as well as master planning. They wanted to create a new skyline for Wirral. He compared the height of the planned Peel buildings with other well-known tall buildings from around the world, stating it was going to be a similar height to the London Eye.