Cabinet (Wirral Council) Special Meeting 18th April 2013

Special Cabinet meeting (Wirral Council) 18th April 2013 Labour confirm they’re sticking with the Leader and Cabinet model

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Cllr Phil Davies
Cllr Brian Kenny
Cllr Ann McLachlan
Cllr Chris Meaden
Cllr Chris Jones
Cllr Pat Hackett
Cllr Tony Smith
Cllr George Davies
Cllr Adrian Jones

The Chair (Cllr Phil Davies) welcomed people to the special meeting of Cabinet and asked for any declarations of interest. No declarations of interest were made, but apologies were given for Cllr Harry Smith by Cllr Chris Meaden.

The minutes of the previous Cabinet meeting were agreed.

The Chair said he would ask the Cabinet Member for Improvement and Governance to talk to this report (on revisions to Wirral Council’s constitution) after he said a few words himself. He thanked Stephen Gerrard for his work on the report.

Cllr Davies said the changes to the Council’s Constitution were “a key issue with the Improvement Board”, a “key action area in the Improvement Plan” and “an issue the Corporate Peer Challenge raised with us last Autumn”.

He continued by saying, “I want to stress at the outset that the Administration intend to continue to operate the Cabinet and Leader model, that’s very clear. We are not persuaded that it is time to depart from that model and we’re certainly not persuaded to go back to the old Committee system and I know that’s an issue of contention with the Opposition, but I want to make it absolutely crystal clear that that is the Administration’s position for the avoidance of doubt and I do personally believe that the Cabinet and Leader model is the best model for us at present and actually will enable us to work in the most efficient and effective way in which we make decisions. So I think it’s important to put that on record.”

He talked about the aims behind the changes and how their “big hope is the new arrangements will lead to greater engagement by local residents”. Cllr Davies said the new procedure for Council meetings was “designed to focus on things we are actually responsible for rather than things we’re not responsible for” and “we need to move away from the kind of too often I think all of us have been guilty about engaging in the kind of Punch and Judy aspect of debating the issues in the Council Chamber”.