Cllr Joe Walsh asked, “Taking into account what the former local MP .. is Cllr Adrian Jones in a position to provide further information?
Cllr Chris Blakeley asked, “It’s regarding the disruption to IT services. Is the Cabinet Member aware that since the major outage there have been a further three periods of disruption, particularly at weekends, where local residents who wish to contact their local councillors cannot get email through? Can he tell us what action will be taken to provide a reliable and consistent service, so that we can serve the people who elected us to the Town Hall?”
Cllr Gerry Ellis asked, “My question relates to the first part of your report which is to do with human resources. You and I both have an interest in this and in your report you mention that you’re making numerous savings in the report. My question is can you explain to the Council why the top ten Chief Officers today get paid more than the top ten Chief Officers did in 2010, when ordinary council workers have had their pay frozen during that period and progression halted under this present Administration?”
Cllr Adam Sykes asked, “Can the Cabinet Member give me their assurance that they will work with Thingwall Primary School to ensure that the old Stanley School site adjacent to Thingwall Primary is put to good use after the continued effort of the Thingwall Primary to work with the Authority in providing a facility that benefits the whole of the ward?”
Cllr Bernie Mooney asked, “The asset management report page fifty-two confirms the integration will not result in any increased costs to the Council and the trade union accommodation reduces. So will the trade union still have offices?”
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Council (Extraordinary) (Wirral Council) 30th April 2013 | Revisions to the Constitution | Cllr John Hale “these proposals should be consigned to the dustbin where they belong”
Cllr Hale thanked Cllr Tom Harney for his kind remarks. He referred to the Chief Executive’s report to Cabinet of the 18th April, page 46 (page 8 on the file that’s linked to) and quoted from 5.3 “The views of the Democracy Working Party which has met on a number of occasions have helped inform these proposals.”
He considered it to be misleading as it could be read that there was general support for the proposals, in fact a majority of the Democracy Working Party were opposed to the proposals. The Democracy Working Party had only met on five or six occasions for one and a half hours at a time, although it did overrun by ten minutes at its last meeting. Cllr Hale said that this was to review a constitution of one hundred and ninety-nine pages. He said, “I don’t believe this to be anything else except a cynical exercise carried out in order to claim full cross-party consideration and consultation when nothing could be further from the truth.”
Cllr Hale said the result would be to give greater power to Cabinet and the Chief Officers. Fourteen months ago over 70% of councillors voted for a return to the committee system. He said even if they assumed that the new councillors were against a return to the committee system that there would still be a majority in favour of it. Cllr Hale said that this had been the result of a secret ballot.
He said democracy was best served when all parties in proportion to their numbers were represented in the decision making process at all levels of the Council. Cllr Hale referred to the freedom that overview and scrutiny committees have and that no new powers were given to them, just their names were changed.
Cllr Hale said the coordinating committee would have ample opportunity to interfere with and constrain the overview and scrutiny committees. He felt the changes to the Council meeting procedures would reduce the time for opposition councillors whilst increasing the time for the majority party councillors. Cllr Hale said “any third world dictator would be proud” and that “these proposals should be consigned to the dustbin where they belong”.