Who are the 103 candidates in the 2016 Wirral Council elections?

Who are the 103 candidates in the 2016 Wirral Council elections?                                               The nomination period for anyone wishing to stand as a candidate in the elections to become a councillor at Wirral Council has been closed for some time. As usual elections in each of the twenty-two wards on Wirral are all being contested (ranging … Continue reading “Who are the 103 candidates in the 2016 Wirral Council elections?”

Who are the 103 candidates in the 2016 Wirral Council elections?

                                             

Polling card Bidston and St James ward 2016 front
Polling card Bidston and St James ward 2016 front
Polling card Bidston and St James ward 2016 back
Polling card Bidston and St James ward 2016 back

The nomination period for anyone wishing to stand as a candidate in the elections to become a councillor at Wirral Council has been closed for some time. As usual elections in each of the twenty-two wards on Wirral are all being contested (ranging from two candidates in Seacombe ward to seven in Liscard ward).

All wards except Liscard will be electing one councillor, Liscard will elect two councillors.

Continue reading “Who are the 103 candidates in the 2016 Wirral Council elections?”

Overall election results for Wirral Council elections (2014): Labour majority

Overall election results for Wirral Council elections (2014): Labour majority

Overall election results for Wirral Council elections (2014): Labour majority

                        

My polling card for the 2014 election (Bidston & St. James ward)
My polling card for the 2014 election to Wirral Council (Bidston & St. James ward)

Last month (because of the local and European elections on the same day) this blog received its highest number of monthly visitors (3,918 visitors viewing 7,597 pages) and highest daily visitors (23rd May with 694 visitors and 1,111 page views) since the blog started. The jump in visitors on 23rd May was people interested in what the results were in the local Wirral Council elections.

Although I’ve published results on a ward by ward basis, I haven’t yet published the overall result. These results differ (slightly) from the results on Wirral Council’s website. I will explain why below.

In Greasby, Frankby & Irby ward there was an election for two councillors as the former Conservative Councillor Tony Cox had resigned. The reason for his resignation is that he’d been selected as the Conservative’s candidate in the General Election for Newcastle-under-Lyme and felt that he couldn’t do this to the best of his ability and be a local councillor for Greasby, Frankby & Irby ward. Despite this seat technically being a vacancy Wirral Council include this vacancy in the numbers of Conservative councillors before the election. I’m classing it as a vacancy in the results below.

The other difference is in how you regard Liscard ward. Darren Dodd resigned as a councillor in Liscard in November of last year. Nobody requested a by-election in Liscard, so there was just an election at the end of what would have been the end of his term of office in May 2014. As there has been a vacancy for six months in Liscard before the election I’m surprised that Wirral Council don’t list it as a vacancy in the results. This also means their figure in their election results table for how many Labour councillors there were before the election started is one higher than it was.

Election Results for 2014
Overall: Labour Majority (34 seats are needed for a majority and Labour have 38)

Party (or Independent) Total Votes Council Seats Before Stood Gain Lost Overall Change Council Seats After
Labour 33,983 36 23 3 1 2 38
Conservative 25,792 21 23 1 1 0 21
Liberal Democrat 7,477 6 18 0 0 0 6
Green Party 6,835 0 22 1 0 1 1
Independent 239 1 3 0 1 -1 0
UK Independence 14,793 0 22 0 0 0 0
Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts 91 0 2 0 0 0 0
Vacancy N/A 2 N/A 0 2 -2 0

Have improvements to make Wirral Council’s decision making better got bogged down in bureaucracy?

Have improvements to make Wirral Council’s decision making better got bogged down in bureaucracy?

Have improvements to make Wirral Council’s decision making better got bogged down in bureaucracy?

                                     

The New Year is a time of looking back to the previous year and forward to the new one. So please cast your minds back to November 2013 and a meeting of the Improvement Board held in public.

Prior to this there had been a short ten-day consultation on the Improvement Board Review report.

As the Improvement Board Review report is sixty-three pages long I will quote the sections I am referring to here about changes to the Audit and Risk Management Committee (the committee referred to in the quote from section 95 is Wirral Council’s Audit and Risk Management Committee):

20. Action Taken


20.4 It is proposed to strengthen the independent nature of the Audit and Risk Management Committee through the appointment of a majority of external members.” (page 15)

“PRIORITY 2: CORPORATE AND DECISION MAKING

95. It is proposed to strengthen the independent nature of the Committee through the appointment of a majority of external members.” (page 34)

“Next Steps

112. Compliance with the constitution will be through more rigorous challenge from Audit and Risk Management Committee. It is proposed that would be enhanced, by (subject to Council agreement) appointing a majority of independent members of the committee.” (page 37)

“SUMMARY OF NEXT STEPS FOR WIRRAL

167. A key challenge is to ensure compliance to the revised procedures. Compliance with the constitution will be through more rigorous challenge from Audit and Risk Management Committee. It is proposed that would be enhanced by (subject to Council agreement) appointing a majority of independent members of the committee. The Leader of the Council has indicated that he will develop a proposal for consideration by Councillors alongside the review of the Constitution.” (page 49)

Prior to the Improvement Board public meeting on the 15th November there were special meetings of both the Coordinating Committee and the Audit and Risk Management Committee to discuss the Improvement Board Review report.

The Coordinating Committee agreed this:

That this Committee welcomes the Report. It clearly states that the Authority is moving in the right direction.

This Committee pledges to play its full part in continuing that direction of travel.

All Members will be encouraged to engage in the next steps identified within the report.

We must not be complacent as we still need to improve in many areas identified in the report and embed positive changes.

We thank all members of the Improvement Board for their help.

We thank all employees and Members for their efforts in this journey of improvement.

We would recommend the approach adopted by the Local Government Association, in piloting sector led improvement, and would recommend it to others who find themselves in difficulties.

and the Audit and Risk Management Committee (by eight votes to one agreed):

(1) That this Committee welcomes the report of the Improvement Board, which draws attention to the significant progress Wirral has made in the last 20 months.

It recognises that there are still issues which need to be addressed but believes it is clear that Wirral is now an outward looking Authority – open to constructive criticism and willing to address problems when they occur.

We would recommend the sector-led approach to change and development to other authorities who find themselves in difficulty.

(2) That the thanks of the Committee be accorded to the Improvement Board, all staff and Members who have participated in the change process. It now remains for Members to continue to participate in their own development and not become complacent but ensure that change becomes embedded for the future.

(3) That the recommendations contained within the Review report be endorsed and that, subject to clarification as to the ownership of the steps required to support continued improvement, all Members be encouraged to engage in the work required in those areas.

Here is a transcript of the answer given to my question on this issue at the Improvement Board meeting of the 15th November 2013 on the issue of changes to the Audit and Risk Management Committee:

In the review report it states “it is proposed to strengthen the independent nature of the Audit and Risk Management Committee through the appointment of a majority of external members”. How many independent members of the Audit and Risk Management Committee will be appointed, who will they be appointed by and will the Audit and Risk Management Committee be chaired in future by one of these independent members?

You can watch Graham Burgess’s and Cllr Phil Davies’ reply to this question by following this link to footage of the Improvement Board meeting.

Graham Burgess replied, “In terms of the request to strengthen the independent nature of the Audit & Risk Management Committee. First of all I think it’s going to be proposed by the Leader of the Council that for the new municipal year, after the elections in May, that there should be a majority of independent people on the Audit and Risk Management Committee.

There’s only one other Council in the country that’s adopted this approach and the Leader may wish to speak for himself on this matter but I think it is, it’s got to be recognised I hope, the willingness of this Council to open itself up to external scrutiny by I don’t know the numbers yet because that’s going to be discussed, it will be and Phil’s agreed that it should be referred to the Council’s scrutiny committee to discuss the best way to do it, the best way to recruit them, the exact numbers, but certainly I think it’s really brave of him, the fact that this Council and the other one Council to open themselves up in this