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Council (Wirral Council) 14th October 2013 Questions to the Leader (Cllr Phil Davies)
The Council meeting started with a one minute silence for the late Sylvia Hodrien and Jim Edwards. There were prayers for councillors after which the Mayor invited people to sit down.
Cllrs Rennie, Niblock, Roberts and Stapleton declared a personal interest in item 11 (Recommendation from the Regeneration and Environment Policy and Performance Committee) as Wirral Council’s representatives on the Mersey Fire and Rescue Authority.
The Mayor gave apologies for Cllr Pat Williams. He asked if there were any further apologies? Cllr Chris Blakeley gave apologies for Cllr Leah Fraser.
Cllr Les Rowlands presented a petition of seventy-four households opposed to the proposal to sell off public land on the corner of Boundary Lane and Telegraph Road.
Cllr Stuart Kelly presented a petition of a hundred and eight residents asking for improvements to the lighting on the pathway from the Holmlands area to Woodchurch High School and Woodchurch Leisure Centre.
Cllr Philip Brightmore presented a petition of two hundred and thirty-seven households asking for something (sadly the rest of what Cllr Brightmore said about that petition was unclear).
Cllr Pat Hackett presented a petition of one hundred and eight people from the Field Road Residents Association in New Brighton objecting to the Council selling a car park.
The Mayor informed the Council that he had not received any requests from the public for questions.
5. Minutes 6:28
The Mayor invited the Leader of the Council to introduce his report. Cllr Phil Davies said that his report covered five main areas. These areas were the future Council model and vision, the Budget, European funding (Wirral Council were going to submit a judicial review on this matter), the progress of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority application and his recent visit to China.
Cllr Jeff Green asked the first question to Cllr Phil Davies. His question was, “Given the Council’s Budget position, as set out in this report, is the Leader of the Council aware of the rumours circulating around a £48,000 compensation payment made to a serving Council officer and does he know what that payment was for?”
Cllr Denise Roberts asked, “Would the Leader of the Council join with me in congratulating the Chancellor of the Exchequer for following Wirral’s example by leading a trade delegation to China and declaring he wants Britain to share in China’s economic progress?”
Cllr Stuart Kelly asked, “In the Leader’s report he talks about working in partnership with strategic partners such as business. At the Council meeting on the 15th July, the Leader will recall that I asked him whether he was aware that the policy of payments to small and medium-sized enterprises within five days was being quietly abandoned by officers. In his reply to me in July, the Leader was clear that the policy had not been abandoned by him or the Administration but also does he recall in his answer saying that he had and I quote ‘asked for a report to be presented to the Cabinet by the Strategic Director for Regeneration and Environment detailing what support is in place to ensure SMEs continue to survive and grow which would include information regarding payment times’? I’d ask the Leader Mr Mayor what has happened to that report and how is Council performing against the five-day payment times?”
Cllr Chris Blakeley asked, “My question is about the visit to China. Mr Mayor, we’re informed a key theme of the latest visit was to develop educational links between the young people of Wirral and the young people of China. Can the Leader of the Council tell us why that key theme does not appear in his report because he’s covered everything else (developing education links)? Mr Mayor, I think I … to update councillors on the status of the gifts that travelled halfway round the world and back.”
Cllr Stuart Wittingham asked, “Can I express my thanks to all those involved in organising the second Wirral Council annual conference which was held at the Floral Pavilion on Saturday? Can I ask the Leader of the Council to emphasise the importance of all elected Members to engage in the discussion about developing a model and vision of how the Council operates in future?”
Cllr Andrew Hodson asked, “I was delighted to read of the ongoing progress of the Wirral Waters site and will he be joining me in congratulating Esther McVey on her recent promotion as Employment Minister and place on record his thanks to her for her endeavours to secure Enterprise Zone status for Wirral Waters?”
Cllr Mark Johnston asked, “My question is in relation to point five in the report and the International Trade Centre. Firstly I would like to applaud the Council for its outward looking approach to inward investment, however I note that all three party leaders have all been out to Taicang, China on separate visits. My question relates to the progress on the recommendations made under a scrutiny review looking at the International Trade Centre, especially the agreement reached to explore a cross party working party to make sure the recommendations were carried through. I haven’t seen any progress on that yet, thank you.”
The Mayor asked the Leader of the Council, Cllr Phil Davies to answer those questions.
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