Budget Meeting (Merseytravel | Merseyside Transport Authority) 9th February 2012 Chair’s Note

Chair’s Note from Merseyside Integrated Transport Authority Budget Meeting of the 9th February 2012.

I came across this Chair’s note for Merseytravel’s Budget Meeting in February, which I found interesting and explains why Cllr Mark Dowd (Labour Chair) did things the way he did at the meeting. I’m not sure if I was given it by mistake.

Merseyside Integrated Transport Authority

Budget Meeting

9 February 2012

Chair’s Note

1.       Apologies for Absence

Declaration of Interest

2.      Minutes of the Last Meeting

(Copy attached to this note).

3.      Mersey Tunnel Tolls

Chair to move the recommendation in paragraph 11 of the report.

4.      2012/2013 Budget – Financial Perspective

Chair to move the attached recommendation.

5.      Independent Review of Members Allowances

Chair to move that the Dr. Halls report be noted and comments be sought.

6.      Feedback from Members Workshop

Chair to receive, if any, from Members feedback with regard to the workshop held earlier in the day.

This information can be provided in alternative formats on request.

Merseytravel 9/2/2012 2012/13 Budget Meeting Mersey Tunnels, Mersey Ferries Limited subsidy

Everyone was present, so the Chair Cllr Mark Dowd started the meeting at 2.30pm by wishing everyone a very pleasant time. He asked for declarations of interest. Cllr Chris Blakeley declared an interest as a Fast Tag holder and an interest in item 5 as a recipient of allowances from Merseytravel.

The Chair declared an interest for everyone else in item 5. He asked if the minutes were ok? They were and agreed. The Chair then wanted to move a recommendation c in respect of the item on the Mersey Tunnel tolls. Cllr Chris Blakeley said he wished to move an amendment (which is below).




Authority/Committee/Sub-Committee: Integrated Transport Authority Budget Meeting

Date: 09 February, 2012

Agenda Item/Minute No: Item 3 – Mersey Tunnel Tolls

Amendment moved by: Councillor Chris Blakeley. Seconded by: Cllr Les Rowlands

11 Recommendations

Accept all recommendations and add new clause (d)

(d) The Authority asks the Interim Director General / Director of Resources to investigate the cost implications, as well as any implications to the Tunnels Act 2004 of bring forward a further discount for Fast Tag users in order to reduce the burden of tolls on regular users of the Mersey Tunnels.      The results of that investigation to be brought back to an Authority meeting in October 2012 prior to the review of the Mersey Tunnel Tolls for 2013 as per the Tunnels Act 2004.


23rd July 1991

He said he “won’t keep us too long” as he was not calling for tunnel tolls to be removed. He was not going to shout for immediate reductions. He felt that the 2004 Act had taken away some of their powers, as they couldn’t vote against an increase, but they did have the power to discount. He had trouble with the Tunnels Act but was delighted that tolls would not increase. The small reduction he asked for Fast Tag users had been circulated.

The Chair said Cllr Blakeley’s motion was ” ill-conceived” as the Tunnels Act had been agreed by Merseytravel before going to the House of Lords. He said they should be doing this anyway, so why do what they should be doing?

Another councillor said wasn’t Cllr Blakeley up for election, therefore wasn’t this political?

Cllr Blakeley said he moved an amendment every year and there was nothing peculiar.

The Chair asked for a vote on the amendment. Five voted for the amendment (including Cllr Blakeley and Cllr Rowlands). The others voted against the amendment so the amendment was lost.

All councillors ten voted in favour of the original motion.

The Chair moved the meeting onto the 2012/13 Budget.

Jim Barclay introduced the report.

A councillor asked where the £2.985 million grant came from for the ferries?

The answer given was that Mersey Ferries Limited was a limited company, the subsidy was reduced in order to trade in line with its constitution. He was thanked.

Another councillor pointed out an error on page 31 in the 4th paragraph. Jim apologised for the error.

The councillors approved the 2012/13 Budget unanimously.

The last report on the agenda was the independent review of Members Allowances. The Chair welcomed Professor Hall and also circulated a recommendation from the Labour Group to not accept an increase in the Basic Allowance or Chair’s Allowance.

Cllr Chris Blakeley welcomed what had been moved, but asked for clarification. Were they accepting the other recommendations?

Arriva 410 Bus: From “Ferry Across the Mersey” to “Folsom Prison Blues”

English: Mersey Ferry Royal Iris of the Mersey...
Image via Wikipedia

So, having a rare day out with the wife we returned from Liverpool on the Mersey Ferry (she likes the ferry whereas my taste in music isn’t Gerry and the Pacemakers “Ferry Across the Mersey” as loud as possible). We get an Arriva 410 bus from Woodside planning to change on Conway Street on the way back.

The bus goes through the bus station, lets some passengers off, past the new Asda and carries on down South Claughton Road. There must have been at least about twenty passengers on it.

A noise as loud as a firework going off a few feet away happens, and one of the windows on the left side of the bus goes from transparent to opaque with lines running from the point of impact. How it actually managed to hold itself together is anyone’s guess. In a surreal twist the one passenger sitting next to it carries on listening to his music through a Walkman oblivious to his lucky escape.

The bus driver stops the bus at the next stop near Cole Street, informs everyone that they’ll have to get off and get on another 410 that’ll be sent. He invites anyone who smokes to get off and have a cigarette (and looks visibly shaken up himself). As we get off the bus and walk past you can see the glass window is completely buckled and warped. It was clearly something that hit the window with a massive force.

There were many ideas from the bus about what happened, one said a kid through a stone (unlikely when you consider the damage), another said someone fired something at the bus. Certainly the guy sitting next to the window, when he realised what was going on was out of the bus like a shot and not seen by anyone on the replacement bus.

I was looking out of the wrong window at the time and didn’t see anything, but heard a very loud bang similar to a firework or a gun shot. The police didn’t turn up before the replacement bus arrived and decided to investigate things at the bus depot instead. You’d think they’d take a possible firearms discharge more seriously… but it’s certainly strange when Arriva can arrive on the scene quicker than Merseyside Police.

We got off on Conway Street by the entrance to Birkenhead Park, the bus driver came round, stopped the bus and pushed out the glass with a rolled up newspaper. Certainly the thing had rattled him, but I expect he got the rest of the day off. It was one of the massive windows you get to look out of…