Labour councillors vote to hold Girtrell Court closure decision behind closed doors
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The first part of the debate on Girtrell Court can be watched in the video above (starting at the 22 minutes 21 seconds point)
Councillors at yesterday evening’s meeting of Wirral Council debated a notice of motion on Girtrell Court proposed by Conservative Cllr Chris Blakeley. He asked councillors to agree that the decision on the future of Girtrell Court should be taken during a public meeting rather than behind closed doors.
The Labour councillors (in an amendment proposed by Cllr Phil Davies) disagreed with this and instead restated their previous position. Their view was that a decision on the future of Girtrell Court should be made behind closed doors by the Cabinet Member Cllr Chris Jones and the Director of Adult Social Services Graham Hodkinson.
The Lib Dem councillors (in an amendment proposed by Cllr Phil Gilchrist) agreed with the original motion, but called for all the background and supporting material to be published when Cllr Chris Jones makes her decision.
The Lib Dem amendment didn’t receive enough votes to be agreed as it was only supported by the four Lib Dem councillors. Labour’s amendment received 36 votes for, 24 votes against with one abstention.
It was also announced during the debate that bookings for Girtrell Court will be extended to the end of August 2016.
The following was agreed yesterday evening by councillors:
Council believes that it is important to offer service users and their families a choice of respite care provision. People want the ability to choose the type of care and support which is right for them. At present they are unable to do this. This is not about a building or provider, it’s about the person.
Council notes that the Leader of the Council has previously stated that he wants his Administration to be open, transparent and fair with the people of Wirral. Council welcomes this approach.
Council notes that a detailed debate on Girtrell Court took place at Budget Council on the 3rd March and a clear way forward was agreed. This involves statutory consultation with service users and their families followed by a clear new service offer and events for carers and cared for people to meet potential new providers. Services will be commissioned to meet all of the identified needs at that stage. Authority will be delegated to the Director, in conjunction with the Cabinet Member, to make decisions in order to avoid undue delays which would prolong uncertainty. We are not imposing deadlines on when this process will be complete and, in the meantime, Girtrell Court will remain open.
Council further believes that the families of those using Girtrell Court, the staff, trade unions and residents and users must be given every opportunity to influence the future of Girtrell Court through a clear and transparent decision-making process.
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