Yesterday’s Shadow Health and Wellbeing Board’s agenda and reports can be found on Wirral Council’s website.
The meeting started later than planned.
The Chair, Cllr Phil Davies said apologies had been received from Cllr Jeff Green, David Armstrong, Sheena and another. He also informed those present that unfortunately the Cabinet Member for Public Health, Cllr Anne McArdle couldn’t attend as she was unwell. Cllr Phil Davies also referred to Dr. Jennings and Pete Naylor.
Councillors on the Board were Cllr Phil Davies (Chair) and Cllr Tom Harney. Also on the Board was the new Interim Chief Executive of Wirral Council Graham Burgess, Emma Degg and others from the public sector.
Professor Laurie McMahon of Loop 2 gave a confidential presentation (with Powerpoint slides) to the Board (and public present) on leadership following the telephone interviews.
He explained that Wirral Council had been successful in bidding for funds to improve its leadership and the training he was providing was part of that.
He told those present about the interpersonal rules of engagement and how they need to “stop seeing the Health and Wellbeing Board as an organisation”. The Professor continued by saying they need to recognise it is not a new committee, he mentioned his concern at its purpose not being clarified, especially its relationship to other bodies and suggested they create a map to map out its relationship with other bodies such as the Local Strategic Partnership (and others).
If they didn’t do this he had concerns that it would be swamped or delegated difficult decisions. Lobbying of Board members was also an issue he flagged up as well as the need for a Communications and Engagement Strategy. He asked the Board to imagine all the questions people ask you and said that the Health and Wellbeing Board was about “establishing direction” for Wirral.
There were various formal processes he wanted them to adopt, such as the Council’s Code of Conduct, although he admitted he didn’t know what it looks like. He suggested they use the Nolan principles and adopt the Council’s COI procedure. The professor though that overt lobbying should be discouraged and reported and that they needed to sort out the process of cooptees, although the law required certain people (or organisations) to be on the Board.
The Professor said they had told his that they don’t like voting or delegated decisions, but they were keen on subgroups who would make recommendations back to the Board. Cllr Phil Davies (Chair) asked a question. The Professor referred to the Act and how they hold each other to account. Cllr Phil Davies (Chair) asked if it had executive powers? The Professor answered No, Wirral Council’s Chief Executive Graham Burgess said it did have powers of revision, but these were a “dynamite option”.