Rt Hon Frank Field MP asks for report on The Hive
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The video above is of the Birkenhead Constituency Committee meeting held on the 8th October 2015 (public question and answer agenda item). The video should start at the point I asked a question which is at the 36 minutes 17 seconds mark.
Below is a copy of my question for the Birkenhead Constituency Committee. I submitted it on the 18th September 2015 for its meeting on the 24th September 2015. However the 24th September 2015 meeting was then cancelled and rearranged to the 8th October 2015.
The Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority decided recently to transfer the land by Birkenhead fire station to Wirral Council for a Youth Zone which will be called The Hive.
I also discovered that councillors on Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority were receiving their allowances in full, but the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority was paying any tax or National Insurance due (an arrangement costing Merseyside council taxpayers an extra £10,820.28p). These amounts for tax were not deducted from the allowances they received but instead were paid by the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority.
Could the Birkenhead Constituency Committee:
a) give an update on progress on the expected timescales for the Youth Zone called “The Hive”
b) explain why some councillors are paying payroll taxes directly out of their allowances, whereas in other cases these taxes are paid not by the politician but by the public? It just seems a basic issue of fairness.
The written answer is below.
Response from CYPD and Merseyside Fire Service:
a) The Hive is due to open in December 2016.
b) Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS) have advised that they have given John Brace an explanation of the figures on a number of occasions. If John Brace would like further information he should contact MFRS directly.
However a verbal answer was also given at the meeting which was more detailed. Sadly some of what Jo Burrell said at this point is unclear on the video.
Rt Hon Frank Field MP (Chair) Great, on a) we’ll ask for a report. On b) this is not actually relevant to this Committee because we have no say in it. I’m all in favour of extending our authority but I gather they have written and will continue to take up your points and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority will answer your issues on that John.
On where are we with the Hive? [Cllr] Jean [Stapleton]’s not here about this, do you know?
Cllr ??? ???: … Chief Exec.
Jo Burrell (Constituency Manager) That’s the information we’ve received. I don’t know exactly where the, this building is up to, it’s something I would probably have to ask …
Rt Hon Frank Field MP (Chair): Yes but I think whatever the target date is it’s on target, and most of the money seems to have been raised, hasn’t it? So I think it’s actually, it’s huge sums, it’s brilliant that people have made contributions so that will actually go ahead. The police, the Fire Authority John are very happy having a conversation with you by correspondence.
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