Demonstrators chant “Labour Council – listen to the public!” during “no-cuts” petition
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A Wirral Momentum petition of 3,297 signatures as part of the Wirral Needs campaign triggered a debate of fifteen minutes at Monday’s meeting of Wirral Council’s councillors.
The petitioners were asking for closer working with the trade unions, to come up with a “no cuts” budget, ask the government for a further £25 million for Children’s Services, withdraw co-operation on sustainability and transformation partnerships, ask the government for a further £20 million in NHS funding, re-open Eastham Walk-in Centre, drop the Hoylake Golf Resort project, keep the guards on the trains, ask the government for a further £12 million for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and for Wirral Council to campaign with other local councils for greater funding. During the lead petitioner’s speech those supporting the petition chanted, “Labour Council – listen to the public!”
In response to the petition, Cllr Phil Davies (Leader of the Labour councillors) said, “frankly what we’ve just heard from the Wirral Needs budget is total and utter fantasy”.
Cllr Ian Lewis (Leader of the Conservative councillors) responded by saying, “how refreshing it is that there are finally people in this Council Chamber who are prepared to stand up and talk about their socialist beliefs”.
The Leader of the Liberal Democrat councillors Cllr Phil Gilchrist said, “I am however bearing in mind that the Council’s Cabinet papers for next week talk about a substantial loan to the golf resort. I think when we get that far giving money or loaning money to organisations that should dip into their own resources that I have to part with the company of the Leader of the Council.”
At the end of the debate, both the Conservative and Lib Dem amendments were voted down. The Labour amendment (below) was carried by 34 votes in favour, 23 votes against and 1 abstention.
Council cannot and does not support the petition entitled Wirral Needs on the grounds the plan it promotes for 2018/19 puts the authority into a position where it would be unable to set a legal and sustainable budget, by failing to address the £61 million funding gap. It would also be contrary to Labour policy.
Council reaffirms its support for delivering the twenty pledges in the Wirral Plan and believes that we will achieve these goals through the policies and strategies developed and delivered with partner organisations across Wirral and the Liverpool City Region.
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