Extraordinary meeting of Wirral Council called to discuss Girtrell Court
Edited 24th March 2016 to add quote from Cllr Chris Blakeley.
Edited 4th April 2016 to include a link to the Labour and Lib Dem amendments.
An extraordinary meeting of all Wirral Council councillors about Girtrell Court (requested by Cllrs Chris Blakeley, Bruce Berry, Leah Fraser, Paul Hayes, Lesley Rennie and Steve Williams) is scheduled to take place starting at 6.00pm on Monday 4th April 2016. The meeting will take place in the Council Chamber at Wallasey Town Hall, Brighton Street, Seacombe, CH44 8ED.
The request for the meeting relates to an article in the Wirral Globe and statements that Cllr Chris Jones made a few days before that article was published at the Council meeting on the 14th March 2016.
A copy of the Notice of Motion proposed by twenty Conservative councillors is reproduced below (I’ve linked the bit about the Wirral Globe article to the article in question).
Proposed by Councillor Chris Blakeley
Seconded by Councillor Bruce Berry
1. Council recalls that, at the Council meeting on the 14th March, 2016, the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health gave assurances that there was no timetable for closure of Girtrell Court.
2. Council noted this included a promise that Girtrell Court would remain open until such time as acceptable and alternative respite provision could be provided for users of Girtrell Court and that the Cabinet Member stated that no decision on Girtrell Court would be made until all the statutory ‘one to one’ consultations had
3. Council is therefore deeply puzzled and disappointed that 48 hours later, in the Wirral Globe online version, the Cabinet Member announced that Girtrell Court will close at the end of August.
4. Council resolves that any budgetary decision about Girtrell Court is made in the public arena by Council as required by the Constitution of Wirral Borough Council.
In response to the meeting being arranged, Cllr. Chris Blakeley wrote, “In the last 14 days, we have been told, ‘yeah, but no, but maybe’ by the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health over the future of Girtrell Court.
At the same time, the Leader of the Council pledged to be open and transparent only to then delegate the decision to the Cabinet Member and Director, out of public view and with no reference to the rest of his Cabinet.
This whole sorry saga has proved to be traumatic to the staff and families; it has appalled the trade unions and ward councillors in Saughall Massie. I believe the Cabinet Member should now make it clear what, if anything, she has decided and on what evidence. Neither I, nor the families, believe the repeated claims about ‘extending choice’ – it is, in truth, about closing services.”
Both Labour and the Lib Dems have tabled amendments to the notice of motion above. The Labour amendment deletes paragraphs 3 and 4, criticises the Conservatives for calling a Council meeting about it and repeats their long running position about choice.
The Lib Dem amendment calls for the consultation findings to be shared with councillors and for greater scrutiny by councillors of any re-provision of care.
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