What are the Labour Budget proposals for Wirral Council for 2019/20?

What are the Labour Budget proposals for Wirral Council for 2019/20?

What are the Labour Budget proposals for Wirral Council for 2019/20?

                                    

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Cllr Phil Davies 26th November 2018 Cabinet discussing golf
Cllr Phil Davies 26th November 2018 Cabinet discussing golf

The ancient Hundred of Wirral rests peacefully between the Dee and Mersey estuaries.

Its very crest shows a Oystercatcher upon a red sandstone rock between two sprigs of bog myrtle.
Continue reading “What are the Labour Budget proposals for Wirral Council for 2019/20?”

Opposition councillors request meeting to review Wirral Council’s Cabinet decision to increase car parking charges by 20 pence and introduce new car parking charges in country parks

Opposition councillors request meeting to review Wirral Council’s Cabinet decision to increase car parking charges by 20 pence and introduce new car parking charges in country parks

Opposition councillors request meeting to review Wirral Council’s Cabinet decision to increase car parking charges by 20 pence and introduce new car parking charges in country parks

Cabinet (Wirral Council) 19th June 2017 L Cllr Stuart Whittingham R Cllr George Davies Traffic Regulation Order
Cabinet (Wirral Council) 19th June 2017 | Left Cllr Stuart Whittingham | Right Cllr George Davies | Agenda Item Car Parking Charges Traffic Regulation Order – Consideration of Further Representations

One of the decisions made by councillors on Wirral Council’s Cabinet, I’ve been meaning to write about since the Cabinet met last month was a decision to increase car parking charges (which has since been put on hold).

On the 19th June 2017, Wirral Council’s Cabinet agreed (see video below starting at 33:31 and photo above) to increase charges for parking at Council car parks on the Wirral by twenty pence and to introduce charges for parking where there had been no charges before (50p for an hour, £1 for 2 hours and £2 for all day) at Arrowe Country Park, Royden Country Park, Eastham Country Park and Thurstaston Country Park.

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Cabinet (Wirral Council) 19th June 2017 (agenda item
Car Parking Charges Traffic Regulation Order – Consideration of Further Representations starts at 33:31)

However for the country parks only, in a modification to the original proposals households could pay for a £50 annual permit instead of paying charges when they parked in the country parks.

There’s a long 21-page draft traffic regulation order that goes into all the details.

The Cabinet minutes were published and opposition councillors had five days in which the decision could be called in for review.

Six (or more) opposition councillors on Wirral Council “called in” the decision, so it now it won’t be implemented immediately but put on hold until the Business Overview and Scrutiny Committee meets.

There will be a special public meeting of the cross-party Business Overview and Scrutiny Committee starting at 4.00 pm on the 18th July 2017 in Committee Room 1 at Wallasey Town Hall, Brighton Street, Seacombe, CH44 8ED.

The Business Overview and Scrutiny Committee is composed of 9 Labour councillors, 5 Conservative councillors and 1 Liberal Democrat councillor on it.

There’s a long history to the parking charges issues and an earlier stage in the same decision was called in and was reviewed in March 2017. You can watch video of that meeting below.

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Business Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Wirral Council) 13th March 2017

Usually after representations are made during the consultation period, a cross-party advisory panel called the Highways and Traffic Representation Panel meets in public and makes a recommendation to the Business Overview and Scrutiny Committee. The Business Overview and Scrutiny Committee then makes a recommendation onwards to the Cabinet (or Cabinet Member) for a decision.

As the Business Overview and Scrutiny Committee met for the first time yesterday evening since the Claughton by-election (when it decided the councillors to appoint to the Highways and Traffic Representation Panel), when the Cabinet had made the decision on the 19th June 2017, there were no councillors at that point appointed to the Highways and Traffic Representation Panel to consider the objections made during the consultation.

Increases to parking charges are on hold till at least the 18th July 2017. The Business and Overview and Scrutiny Committee can choose at that meeting to either:

a) uphold the Cabinet decision made on the 19th June 2017 (in which case the decision is implemented),

b) refer the matter back to Cabinet for reconsideration,

or

c) refer the matter to Council.

At the call-in meeting of the Business Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the 13th March 2017, councillors voted at the end of that meeting. 8 councillors voted in favour (Labour) and 6 councillors (Conservative and Liberal Democrat) voted against. So the decision taken by Cllr Phil Davies (Leader of the Council) at an earlier stage was upheld on a 8:6 vote.

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Wirral Council’s Cabinet alters car parking charges proposal following outcry

Wirral Council’s Cabinet alters car parking charges proposal following outcry

Wirral Council’s Cabinet alters car parking charges proposal following outcry

                                        

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Cabinet (Wirral Council) 20th February 2017

Cllr Stuart Whittingham (Cabinet Member for Transport) (left) about to speak on the Budget proposals 20th February 2017
Cllr Stuart Whittingham (Cabinet Member for Transport) (left) about to speak on the Budget proposals 20th February 2017

Labour councillors on Wirral Council’s Cabinet have recommended a 4.99% rise in council tax for Wirral residents next year. However once the police and fire precepts are taken into account (expected to be a 1.99% rise each) the overall effect on council tax bills will be slightly less than five percent.

The controversial on street car parking proposals have been altered with a full report on the changes available on Wirral Council’s website.

The proposal to increase the charges at all council operated car parks that currently charge by 50 pence has been reduced to a 20 pence increase. The new £4 flat rate tariff proposed for country parks (Arrowe Country Park, Royden Country Park, Eastham Country Park and Thurstaston Country Park) has been altered to 50 pence for the first hour, £1 for two hours and £2 all day.

Proposals to introduce charges for parking at Birkenhead Park, New Brighton, West Kirby, Hoylake, Heswall, Liscard, Bromborough, Bebington, Irby, Upton and Moreton have been dropped.

These altered proposals will be discussed at a meeting of all Wirral Council councillors when they meet to set the budget for next year on the evening of the 6th March 2017.

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