Cllr Pat Hackett, Cabinet Member for the Economy answered, “In no particular order, if I could just link here Cllr Elderton’s and Cllr Watt’s car parking question in terms of Cllr Elderton’s question in terms of extra development and also Cllr Watt in terms of West Kirby.
I mean first of all, we need to ask the Government to give us more money particularly Eric Pickles which will help in this situation but I think it’s also quite .. on what Cllr Doughty said just before that the scrutiny committee is looking at car parking charges and according to what Cllr Doughty just said as well, there was non involvement of a lot of your Members in it. So I think a lot of your Members around the room aren’t that interested. So I would suggest that a number of them can go along to a scrutiny committee and give their views on that.
In terms of Cllr Blakeley and the issue of broadband and the questions he asked around that. Can I just say this project that was in the news the last few days, in the papers, this project focuses on addressing and it’s a great project by the way, focuses on addressing those particular areas across Merseyside where the private sector failed to provide super fast broadband services to date. Based on the existing level of super fast broadband it’s been allocated to Merseyside a sum of £5.4 million. The Government allocation comes with a requirement that public match funding must be found and approval was granted if you recall on the 26th of March this year for £5.5 million of ERDF money giving the project a total of £10.9 million. A private sector contribution consisting of twenty percent will also be forthcoming … procurement process has concluded.
There are many benefits Mr Mayor to the City Region of having great access to super fast broadband, in summary it will improve the attractiveness of Wirral to inward investment and generate additional GVA for the City Region of around £50 million and more importantly help raise the digital divide to provide a platform for more efficient delivery of public services.
In relation to the very helpful question from Cllr Rob Gregson regarding the Wirral apprentice. He will recall, Members will recall this is a saving from last year that I’m trying to remember how we looked at different ways to deliver this. I’m glad to say that we have had strong interest in the new scheme and secured fifty-five apprentices in February for the unemployed and those not in employment and education and training. Young people in forty-eight businesses in Wirral, including the four places set aside for care leavers.
Recruitment of young people is taking place throughout this month with vacancies advertised by the National Apprentice Scheme, also Job Centres and also the website. Sixteen have already started and we expect them all to take place near November. The jobs that take place Mr Mayor are with small businesses and there have been high interest from the engineering sector with new vacancies secured in the marine sector and supply chain. It ties in really well with our Regional Growth Fund ambitions and focuses Mr Mayor on keeping our growth in this sector. When we’ve fully recruited we will begin the full breakdown of age, qualification, … and business sector et cetera, but thank you very much for that very helpful question.”
EXCLUSIVE: 90 Pages of North West Regional Development Agency’s Contract With Wirral Council for Business Grants Program
The astute among you will no doubt be aware that the North West Regional Development Agency was abolished last year, however I would guess that in its absence that its functions under the contract are now done by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.
There is more to the contract than the first ninety pages, although the other pages can wait for another day. The contract between the North West Regional Development Agency and Wirral Council was for business grants and has been the subject of recent whistle blowing concerns.