What were top 7 most viewed articles and top 7 most viewed videos for May 2016?
Well just over a month has passed since polling day the election for a Merseyside PCC and local councillors on the Wirral and on the 23rd June 2016 there will be a referendum about membership of the EU.
As I’ll be at Wirral Council’s Cabinet meeting on Monday morning, instead I thought I’d look back at the most read stories of last month (May 2016) and some of the most watched videos. Both are in order of most viewed (so the top number 1 slot was the one that attracted the most interest).
Since I wrote this story question marks have also been raised about the election of two further Wirral councillors not referred to by name in the article, which leads to unanswered questions about over a quarter of the 23 councillors elected. If all six elections had been (or are in the next 2 years) declared null and void*, no political party would have a majority on Wirral Council.
*Highly unlikely considering how this country works or doesn’t work and I’d like to point out that councillors/candidates are innocent until proven guilty and that trial by media doesn’t count.
Here are some quotes from the peer review (followed by my comments in italics):
In past years the council has been overspending in some directorate revenue budgets and using its reserves to balance the revenue budget. This issue was reflected in the previous peer challenge in 2012 and the council needs to develop the 2016/17 budget and not divert from it. It is currently anticipating a £9.2m slippage on this year’s savings target of £38m.
The Leader’s role as Chair of the Merseyside City Region is seen as recognition of the important role that the Wirral is playing in the development of the city region.”
Well shortly after this peer review, Cllr Phil Davies resigned as Chair and Mayor Anderson is now Chair of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.
“However, the Senior Leadership Team is not currently giving adequate corporate leadership and this needs to be much stronger if the Plan is to be delivered effectively. More connected leadership is needed from the top to the bottom of the organisation. The council must have the senior officer leadership resource to create capacity to deliver change. The peer team also had a concern at the current high use of consultants and interims who are providing temporary specialist support. This is not a concern about consultants/interims per se, but an observation about their number and duration. The council should continue to ‘invest to save’ – efficiently and effectively – using the right external help for specific time-limited purposes, but look to reduce the overall number of longer-term interims in key roles. The council needs to move quickly to a new organisational shape to support the Chief Executive, including providing the right kind of strategic level capacity.”
The council and its partner agencies recognise that they want to form a different relationship with residents in the future. There is general recognition that relationships with local communities has been negatively impacted by the past challenges the council has had to deal with. The new relationship will be based on a clearer Wirral narrative, a greater ability to listen to resident’s issues, making better use of the data and intelligence the council gathers across the Wirral and greater use of channels use as digital and social media.”
There is evidence of community involvement in the council’s budget processes, although more limited evidence that this has influenced decision-making.”
So, this seems to imply that when Wirral Council have a budget consultation, the consultation has a limited effect on the decision after the consultation?
“There is also an opportunity for a more coordinated and cost-effective approach to community engagement amongst the Wirral Partnership members. This might extend to a more joined up approach to communications and campaign activities.”
Despite reading this a few times, I’m a little unsure what this means? Anyone care to hazard a guess? I thought the constituency committees were supposed to do community engagement?
“New Models for Service Delivery
Delivering significant change must take account of some instances of low staff morale generated by the perception of indiscriminate universal cuts in service provision in recent years.”
In other words Labour councillors constantly going on about government cuts nearly every public meeting is damaging staff morale at Wirral Council.
“The move to new ways of working will need to be driven by a much more powerful Senior Leadership Team to collectively own and drive transformation.”
In other words, there’s going to be a senior management restructure and some managers are going to be leaving.
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Mr. Green continued by saying there was a mechanism for collecting ideas and passing on the information to a Project Manager to expand the program. He said they were happy to “pinch anybody’s ideas”. He said they would also look at what other local authorities were doing.
Cllr Brighouse thanked Mr. Green for his reply and said he felt they didn’t need consultants. With all the innovation and ideas he felt it was pointless to employ consultants.
Cllr Green said this was very true and that he had an anathema to consultants. However, where there isn’t the capacity or the pace he was not completely averse to them. They could deploy skilled people. One area of challenge was the top fifty contracts. He mentioned capacity as being a limiting factor. Mr. Green said that they really have an extra cautious approach. Cllr Green said originally it had just been the top 25 contracts, now since he intervened it was the top fifty. If a saving couldn’t be found here he would find it somewhat strange. He then went on to talk about administration processes, internal communication, petty cash and paper time sheets.