The invoice below (for £6,090) is for the junior barrister (Mr Jonathan Easton of Kings Chambers) who acted for Wirral Council at the two-day hearing. This is for £5,075 + VAT (total £6,090). I enclose two versions below. The original received from Wirral Council incorrectly redacted Jonathan Easton’s name and the address/planning reference for the inquiry (which is held in public).
The planning fee Wirral Council charged the developer for this application was £17,765. So at least what they got charged for legal advice and representation at the planning inquiry didn’t exceed this!
As it is a bank holiday today, I will just be writing briefly today about what has been popular on this blog in the last week and taking the rest of the day off. The last week (August is traditionally a quiet month for politics) has seen 551 visitors to this blog viewing 1,247 pages. The top seven stories in order of popularity the last week have been:
Today, is my fourth wedding anniversary to Leonora (who also writes on this blog). She’s stood by me through good times and bad and I love her with all my heart. My reporting of what’s happening at Wirral Council would probably be very different over the last few years without her help.
The photo used is from the Red Arrows display at the weekend at the Southport Air Show (which despite the Red Arrows display team having to use one reserve aircraft that couldn’t use smoke) was very impressive and enjoyable. Certainly Wirral are trying to do a similarly large event with the Ricoh Women’s British Open at the Royal Liverpool in Hoylake.
So here’s to four years of marriage and hopefully many more to come.
The Chair Cllr Gerry Ellis welcomed over eighty people and said it was “lovely that so many were here tonight”. He said Cllr Foulkes had sent a written statement and there was a short film about the lifeboat museum introduced by John Parr which Cllr Ellis described as amazing. Cllr Ellis said there were a “number of other issues”, but they’d “whiz around the main table” to introduce people.
Jim Thompson (Community Safety Team)
Myles Platt (Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service)
John Percival (private sector representative)
Sandra Wall (Older People Parliament)
Cllr Eddie Boult
Cllr David Elderton
Cllr Geoffrey Watt
Cllr Gerry Ellis
Kevin Adderley (Lead Officer)
Margaret Shaunessy (Wirral University Teaching Hospital Foundation Trust)
Cynthia Radford (Community rep)
Inspector Mike Blease (Merseyside Police)
Jim Lester (Head of Parks & Open spaces)
Mark Traynor (Streetscene)
Gary Evans (Community rep)
Apologies were received from Cllr Hale and Cllr Green who were at a local government conference
Kevin Adderley introduced the report referring to the special Area Forums concerned to decide and score the proposals. He said for the Hoylake and West Kirby area that the top five successful projects had been chosen, but that Wirral Council would work with those unsuccessful applications to try and find alternative funding. He said there was a risk regarding council owned assets and that it was a significant risk. The health and safety implications were also referred to and he said they had “learnt a lot” and a further report would be coming to Cabinet on the participatory budget process.
There had been some disagreement with the proposals, stories in the local press, email and a letter from a Caroline Allsop which had been circulated to Cabinet members. Cllr Green and Cllr Elderton declared a personal interest as they had attended the West Kirby area forum. Cllr Green said letting go and inviting people to make decisions meant they had to live with the public’s choice. There had been clear guidance and presentations, however lessons would be learnt. More opportunities need to be taken to delegate decision to residents in their neighbourhoods. It was important to learn the lessons. He thanked Kevin and the engagement team.
Cllr Holbrook noted that both Area Forums chose the participatory budget route. The Cabinet resolution had not specified the method, but evidence showed it was the right decision and went well.
Cllr Lewis referring to community engagement said there had been a good attendance at the special Area Forums, however if there was no real offer at Area Forums and people there just heard the Council drone on it led to lower attendances. Involving residents in deciding how money was spent was a way to encourage them to come along.