After the minutes were accepted, the Leader of Wirral Council Cllr Foulkes stated he wanted to make a statement. Although he said the agenda didn’t have this as an item, due to his “new status as Leader” he wanted councillors to be “up to date” so he would “be brief” as it was “not my style to dominate Council proceedings”.
Once the laughter had died down, Cllr Foulkes started with one of his favourite subjects Eric Pickles. Unfortunately he told councillors, Eric Pickles “can’t make it”. Instead he was going to meet Rt Hon Bob Neill MP on the 6th September in a meeting he “hoped would be fruitful”. There had been “something missing” so he had set up a regular meeting between the Chief Exec, Chris Hyams, himself, Cllr Adrian Jones and senior trade union officials who were now meeting regularly perhaps monthly. He said under the old style anything to do with employment would be dealt with by the Chief Executive. However the “boundaries were more blurred” and “no one could accuse him of not having the full facts”.
He said he “had been asked to clarify regarding Champions” and that there was a “plethora of Champions”. However he saw “politics as a team game” and went on to refer to the fact according to him this was “enshrined in the Constitution”. He had chosen Cllr Jerry Williams as Heritage Champion, which was a change of format from the Leisure & Culture Cabinet Member being Heritage Champion. There were a number of other Champions he would be reviewing. He felt the Overview and Scrutiny Committees should take over the Champions role and it was up to them to select.