Kevin Adderley continued about the population demographics which was outlined on page 44. He did have good news of a Telegraph report on cities in the UK with the greatest growth over three years measured by companies that had grown 20% year on year. Birkenhead was second best after Aberdeen. 12% companies had grown 20% year on year, however there were signficant challenges in housing and the “worst recession in living memory” which led to small growth and difficult challenges. Universal Credit, housing benefits reforms and the work program being delivered by national providers as well as an aging population and housing were all issues to consider. Kevin talked about employer’s opportunities to retrain young people and keep the average age of the population down as the greatest reduction had been in young people of working age.
It was a changing global economy and the investment strategy had to include businesses and jobs. There was a focus on housing, specifically private sector housing. They were trying to secure inward investment into Wirral to tackle the economic problems. Wirral had 112,000 private sector units. Wirral Waters would help to tackle some of the economic disparities between different parts of the Borough.
The priorities were strategic planning and a strategic function for housing and planning. Hoylake, Devonshire Park and Liscard Neighbourhood were all involved in the Neighbourhood Planning Vanguard pilot. The land charge role was going to change and be opened up to the private sector. There would be partnerships between businesses, registered social landlords and developers. The European funding specification for Merseyside given since the 1980s was due to finish in 2012. There was discussion over continuing the regional program or a UK-wide program, they would lobby to maximise European funding. Cllr Mark Johnston thanked Kevin Adderley and the council officers.