Wirral Council’s Cabinet expected to recommend 5.99% council tax rise for 2018-19

Wirral Council’s Cabinet expected to recommend 5.99% council tax rise for 2018-19

Wirral Council’s Cabinet expected to recommend 5.99% council tax rise for 2018-19

                                          

Cabinet (Wirral Council) 18th December 2017 L to R Cllr Bernie Mooney Cllr Angela Davies Cllr Chris Jones Cllr Phillip Brightmore
Cabinet (Wirral Council) 18th December 2017 Left to Right Cllr Bernie Mooney, Cllr Angela Davies, Cllr Chris Jones and Cllr Phillip Brightmore

The author’s wife has a liability for council tax for 2018-19 for a property on the Wirral, so I declare that as a financial interest in the below piece.

I would like to also thank the Bureau of Investigative Journalists (BIJ) for their help in the area of council budgets and this piece.
Continue reading “Wirral Council’s Cabinet expected to recommend 5.99% council tax rise for 2018-19”

Demonstrators chant “Labour Council – listen to the public!” during “no-cuts” petition

Demonstrators chant “Labour Council – listen to the public!” during “no-cuts” petition

Demonstrators chant “Labour Council – listen to the public!” during “no-cuts” petition

                                      

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Council (Wirral Council) 11th December 2017 Part 1 of 4

Wirral Momentum Wirral Needs petition Wirral Council 11th December 2017
Wirral Momentum Wirral Needs petition Wirral Council 11th December 2017

A Wirral Momentum petition of 3,297 signatures as part of the Wirral Needs campaign triggered a debate of fifteen minutes at Monday’s meeting of Wirral Council’s councillors.
Continue reading “Demonstrators chant “Labour Council – listen to the public!” during “no-cuts” petition”

Wirral Council asks for bids on £275,000 contract for broadcasting its public meetings

Wirral Council asks for bids on £275,000 contract for broadcasting its public meetings

Wirral Council asks for bids on £275,000 contract for broadcasting its public meetings

                                      

Cllr Phil Davies speaking about Labour's Budget (Budget Council, 6th March 2017)
Cllr Phil Davies speaking about Labour’s Budget (Budget Council, 6th March 2017)

At Wirral Council’s Budget meeting in March 2017, included in Labour‘s budget was £225,000 for a webcasting/audio/electronic voting replacement described as “webcasting for committee meetings”.

At the time, the Liberal Democrats opposed this. They stated in their Budget that they believed “that this item should be withdrawn until the costs have been fully investigated and the benefits have been fully assessed and justified.”

In August Wirral Council published two notices in the Official Journal of the European Union. The first notice was published on 23rd August 2017, followed by a change to accept variants. By this point the price had gone up to £275,000 (excluding VAT).

Wirral Council came up with a webcasting Invitation To Tender which asks for the submission of tenders by 12 noon on the 20th September 2017.

11.9.17 ED: Since this article was published, Wirral Council have extended the date for the submission of tenders to noon on the 4th October 2017.

25.9.17 ED: Since this article was published, Wirral Council have extended the date again for the submission of tenders to noon on the 3rd November 2017.

In Wirral Council’s invitation to tender it states, “it must also be fully compatible with the Mod Gov case management solution: http://www.moderngov.co.uk/.

According to the technical information on the Mod Gov case management solution, Public-i and Media on Demand are the only two video webcasting solutions integrated to it.

The contract also requests an electronic voting system for public meetings of all Wirral Council councillors in the Council Chamber. In response to a question, Wirral Council stated that the current system of counting votes by which councillors had their hands up was “unreliable”.

If Wirral Council accepts one of the bids, the contract is expected to start on April 1st 2018 and run for three years.

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What did Andrew Roberts answer to questions about the Headteachers’/Teachers’ Joint Consultative Committee at the First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) hearing (EA/2016/0033)?

What did Andrew Roberts answer to questions about the Headteachers’/Teachers’ Joint Consultative Committee at the First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) hearing (EA/2016/0033)?

                   

At the outset I will make four declarations of interests.

1) I am the Appellant in this case (EA/2016/0033).
2) My wife was my McKenzie Friend in case EA/2016/0033.
3) I made the original Freedom of Information request on the 29th March 2013.
4) I am referred to by name (Mr. Brace) in paragraphs 1, 4 and 5 of the witness statement of Andrew Roberts.


Hearing: EA/2016/0033
Court/Room: Tribunal Room 5, 3rd Floor
Address: 35 Vernon St, Liverpool, Merseyside L2 2BX
Date/time: 16th June 2016 10:15 am

First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) (General Regulatory Chamber)
First-tier Tribunal Judge Mr. David Farrer QC
First-tier Tribunal Member Mr. Michael Hake
First-tier Tribunal Member Dr. Malcolm Clarke

Appellant: Mr John Brace
First Respondent: ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office)
Second Respondent: Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council


The below is an incomplete record written up from my handwritten notes made at the hearing. The below does not cover some of the sections when I am speaking due to the difficulties in taking notes as doing that you end up facing the paper you’re writing on.



First-tier Tribunal Judge Mr. David Farrer QC opened the hearing by explaining how he planned the hearing would happen.

There were some preliminary matters to be discussed at the start of the hearing.

Continue reading “What did Andrew Roberts answer to questions about the Headteachers’/Teachers’ Joint Consultative Committee at the First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) hearing (EA/2016/0033)?”

What was in the 5 A4 page witness statement of Andrew Roberts (Wirral Council) about a Freedom of Information request for the minutes of a meeting of the Headteachers’ and Teachers’ Joint Consultative Committee (EA/2016/0033)?

What was in the 5 A4 page witness statement of Andrew Roberts (Wirral Council) about a Freedom of Information request for the minutes of a meeting of the Headteachers’ and Teachers’ Joint Consultative Committee (EA/2016/0033)?

                                             

At the outset I will make four declarations of interests.

1) I am the Appellant in this case (EA/2016/0033).
2) My wife was my McKenzie Friend in case EA/2016/0033.
3) I made the original Freedom of Information request on the 29th March 2013.
4) I am referred to by name (Mr. Brace) in paragraphs 1, 4 and 5 of the witness statement of Andrew Roberts.

This continues from an earlier blog post headlined What were the 6 A4 pages of partially redacted minutes of a Headteachers’/Teachers’ Joint Consultative Committee meeting and the name of a LGA Associate Tutor that Wirral Council disclosed voluntarily in response to a First Tier-Tribunal (General Regulatory chamber) hearing (case number EA/2016/0033) about a Freedom of Information request first made in March 2013?.

Line breaks are indicated by a double horizontal line break. A picture of Andrew Roberts at a meeting of Wirral Council’s Schools Forum from the 3rd December 2014 is below so people reading know who I’m referring to. I have included his signature at the end of the witness statement as an image.

I have added a links from his witness statement below to decision notice FS50596346 referred to in paragraph 1 of his witness statement as this has been published on ICO’s website. I also link to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 also referred to in paragraph 1.

Where paragraphs cross over multiple page I have added the paragraph number on the second page to preserve formatting and to aid with comprehension.

The witness statement of Andrew Roberts was sent to me by post to the incorrect address (Wirral Council decided to delete the road and property number) for service (recorded signed for mail) by Wirral Council on 31st May 2016. It was received by myself on the 2nd June 2016.

Andrew Roberts at a public meeting of Wirral Council's Schools Forum 3rd December 2014
Andrew Roberts at a public meeting of Wirral Council’s Schools Forum 3rd December 2014

Continue reading “What was in the 5 A4 page witness statement of Andrew Roberts (Wirral Council) about a Freedom of Information request for the minutes of a meeting of the Headteachers’ and Teachers’ Joint Consultative Committee (EA/2016/0033)?”