The Cabinet meeting of Wirral Council of the 15th March 2012 in Committee Room 1, Wallasey Town Hall, Brighton Street, Seacombe, Wirral in audio form (7 parts). Also links to agenda, reports, supplementary agenda and meeting information.
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Video of Wirral Council’s Cabinet meeting from 15th March 2012, here is a playlist with all seven parts, apart from the odd few seconds in between. Can anyone tell me how to embed a playlist into a WordPress post? Thankfully the battery lasted, so did the tape. Will do write-up and more subtitles later when I’ve had more sleep.
Mainly audio only as there’s no way to film video and write subtitles without a tripod (I only have a pair of hands!), so apologies for the “scribbling noise”! I might get a tripod in the next few weeks soon, if more people start watching this videos, or leave nice comments. One retweet of part 4 already, which is pleasing.
Any tips on Youtube please feel free to leave advice in the comments (whether on Youtube or here).
Cllr Ann McLachlan said [the Child Poverty Strategy Action Plan] was an “important piece of work” whose “natural home is the Children’s Trust Board”. She said she wanted to move a motion.
Cllr George Davies mentioned Cllr Sheila Clarke and Cllr Mark Johnston. He said that they “owe it to the people of Wirral” and the “statistics are frightening”. He talked about a Tranmere Community Project which had welcomed people from the United States of America to share views. He said certain parts of the Wirral had not altered in the areas of unemployment, housing and deprivation. He said, “Talking has to stop, action has to start.”
Cllr Steve Foulkes referred to the conference and the will to tackle the issue as well as recent press coverage. He also talked about the governance priorities, trends going forward into the future and the last paragraph in which it was declared to be a Budget priority. He said in light of the consultation exercise, he would prefer to call it a “key priority” as it was premature to fit it in the Budget. He said the last paragraph reflected that they would make it a key priority for 2012/13.
Cllr Ann McLachlan said she recognises the issues and welcomed the Action Plan. She emphasised the extreme urgency and referred to an Institute for Fiscal Studies study and referred to 600,000 in child poverty by 2012/13 which would mean the 2010 targets would be missed. She asked Cabinet to agree the recommendations. She thanked people and wanted to make tacking child poverty a key priority. Cllr Steve Foulkes seconded the motion which was agreed.
Well yesterday the Conservative & Lib Dem Cabinet “unveiled” their Wirral Council budget for 2011/2012. Labour’s (opposition) budget will arrive by noon on Friday the 25th February.
Next Monday (1st March) the full Council will vote on the budget, although with 41 (yes I know it’s 42 including the Lib Dem Mayor but generally he doesn’t vote as he’s supposed to be politically neutral as part of his office) “progressive partnership” councillors to Labour’s 25 24 (edit – I sometimes forget Cllr. Knowles had switched from Labour to Tory and the independent Cllr Kirwan isn’t still with Wirral Council) councillors, I’m sure even Labour can do the maths and realise Labour’s budget will be defeated next Monday (with no need for Budget Part 2 on the evening of the 9th March) by around seventeen votes.
Can you see which bits of the Budget are from the Lib Dem side and which from the Conservative side? Yes you can see “the seams” between the two halves as we continue to be two independent political parties with minds and policy making processes of our own. If you look really hard you can see the bits influenced by yours truly and others (for example the 4-year rolling programme for 20 mph residential zones discussed last year by the party when Cllr Quinn was Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Transport) now carried forward by Cllr Rennie.
One Lib Dem policy coming into play is the pupil premium which means about £5 million extra for Wirral Schools to spend on children on free school meals, looked after children and service children. You should’ve heard the “wails of anguish” at the Wirral Schools Forum from headmasters/headmistresses from the more prosperous parts of the Borough when they realised £5 million would be spent on improving the educational chances of the most needy! Clearly Wirral is a place of large social divides and the extra money will be a welcome boost to the schools in Bidston & St. James.
Due to increased costs and inflation (as well as a high proportion of its costs being on staff), Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service will be cutting some jobs. Their Chief Exec/treasurer explains the situation in a self-styled “podcast” (I don’t think he quite knows what a podcast is but I have to give them a few marks for trying), which unfortunately with my browser Firefox either opens a blank black window or six video windows of him at once creating an echo effect so I’ve uploaded it to Youtube (which has slightly better audio quality than five echoes).
For the purposes of any copyright lawyers out there, as the work has been made previously available to the public (and still is on Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service’s website at this location), this is classed as “fair dealing” under s.30 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and is being done for the purpose of news reporting (and making sure you can hear what the speaker says).
Quite why councillors on Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service left it to an officer to record a video to explain the cuts is a mystery I’m sure my humble readers can enlighten me on in the comments section (or maybe I’ll just ask Cllr Ellis, Cllr Niblock, Cllr Rennie or Cllr Roberts next time I see them).