EXCLUSIVE: Councillor Phil Davies agrees to pay extra £113,189 to Hoylake Golf Resort consultants based on secret report
Yesterday Councillor Phil Davies agreed that consultants on the Hoylake Golf Resort project would be paid an extra £113,189 based on a report in the name of Kevin Adderley, the Strategic Director for Regeneration and Environment. David Ball, Wirral Council’s Head of Regeneration (firstname.lastname@example.org/0151 691 8395) had a role in preparing the report.
The report on which Councillor Phil Davies made his decision has not been made available to the public on grounds that it has “commercial sensitive information”. However the surprising decision would seem to not to comply with The Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012. The decision is a key decision however:
- A document detailing that they wish to make a key decision was not published 28 clear days by Wirral Council before making the decision (see Regulation 9 (Publicity in connection with key decisions).
- A notice was not published five days before the decision detailing agreement of the chair of the relevant policy and performance committee that it was an urgent decision and could not be reasonably deferred (see Regulation 10 (General Exception).
- A notice wasn’t published claiming special urgency and detailing agreement of either the chair of the relevant policy and performance committee, Mayor or Deputy Mayor that it was urgent and couldn’t be reasonably deferred (see Regulation 11 (Cases of special urgency).
- It’s a legal requirement that an annual report (see Regulation 19) is brought by the Leader to a meeting of all Wirral Council councillors about decisions where a case of special urgency is used since the last report. Despite this being a legal requirement since the 10th September 2012, to my recollection no such report has ever been brought to a Council meeting.
Councillor Phil Davies’s decision could still be called in by councillors as a call-in deadline of 24th April 2014 has not yet passed. The reason for the urgency was given as “to allow the OJEU Competitive Dialogue process to be finalised and a preferred developer for the Hoylake Golf Resort project to be selected and announced prior to the Open Golf Championship at Royal Liverpool in July 2014.” At least one Conservative councillor has previously asked at a public meeting about when the public will be consulted on Wirral Council’s Hoylake Golf Resort plans.
UPDATED: The extra £113,189 paid to David Langdon (AECOM) is in addition to £123,823 already agreed by Cabinet last year who also agreed to £55,000 of legal advice from Pinsent Masons LLP.
A report on Wirral Council’s website from last year details what the Hoylake Golf Resort is about.
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