Coordinating Committee (Wirral Council) 3rd September 2013 Agenda items 1,3 and 4

A report on the Coordinating Committee (Wirral Council) 3rd September 2013 Apologies for absence, Declarations of Interest and Minutes of the meeting of the 3rd July 2013

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1. Apologies for absence 0:17

Cllr David Elderton gave his apologies for Cllr Andrew Hodson (Conservative spokesperson) as he was on holiday. Cllr Andrew Hodson had appointed Cllr David Elderton Conservative spokesperson in his absence.

Shirley Hudspeth (Committee Clerk) gave apologies for Cllr Steve Williams (Conservative).

3. Declarations of interest/Whip 0:50

Cllr Ron Abbey declared an interest in agenda item 5 (Combined Authority – Cabinet Minutes No.45) as a Board Member of Merseytravel.
Cllr Steve Foulkes declared a personal interest in agenda item 5 (Combined Authority – Cabinet Minutes No.45) due to his membership of the Merseyside Integrated Transport Authority (Merseytravel).
Cllr Stuart Wittingham declared a personal interest in agenda item 5 (Combined Authority – Cabinet Minutes No.45) due to his employment (Arriva).

4. Minutes of previous meeting (3rd July 2013) 1:20

Cllr Stuart Wittingham (Chair) said he had one issue on page 2. He said that the Coordinating Committee had resolved to note the comments, not alter the minutes.

Cllr David Elderton said that the second paragraph on page 4 concluded by “He informed that he would circulate an easily understandable form of words in plain English on this matter to all Members of the Committee.” He was not quite sure what that referred to.

Surjit Tour responded that it was to do with the committee having clarity of its remit. Cllr Elderton asked if it had already been circulated as to his recollection he hadn’t received it yet? Surjit Tour replied that the note had yet to be circulated by him. Cllr Elderton asked for it to be sent out.

Cllr Stuart Wittingham asked if subject to his comment and that of Cllr David Elderton were the committee happy with the minutes of the meeting held on the 3rd July? The minutes were agreed.

Continues at Coordinating Committee (Wirral Council) 3rd September 2013 Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

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Another apology from Wirral Council… FOI request over amounts paid to councillors on outside bodies Merseytravel, Merseyside Police Authority, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service & Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority

In an email Wirral Council apologises (“The Council apologises that it failed to collect the information“) as they weren’t complying with their own agreed policy. One only has to look at the information to guess at £120,000 worth of reasons why it took so long to release it!
It took nearly three months after the FOI request to put the information on their website! The information is 12 months out of date now anyway, but the public can now see (in the same place) how much councillors are getting for representing Wirral Council on various outside bodies for 2009-2010. They say they’ll update the start of April with the 2010-2011 figures.

Merseyside Integrated Transport Authority (Merseytravel)

Cllr Ron Abbey £12,958.64
Cllr Chris Blakeley £24,120.19
Cllr Dave Mitchell £5,942.34

Total: £43,021.17

Merseyside Police Authority

Cllr Adrian Jones £11,172
Cllr Kate Wood £15,214

Total: £26,386

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority

Cllr Gerry Ellis £10,713.30
Cllr Steve Niblock £14,660.64
Cllr Lesley Rennie £16,508.66
Cllr Denise Roberts £8,025.75

Total: £49,908.35

Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority

Cllr JJ Salter (amount not specified)
Cllr G Gardiner (amount not paid as she is already in receipt of an Special Responsibility Allowance as Deputy Leader of the Lib Dem Group)

Total: Unknown

The above amounts are in addition to their councillors allowances which range from just over £9000 for 2009-2010 to just over £32000. These are not the only outside bodies that councillors are paid for being on but cover most of the ones covered by Council tax (and precepts) eg police, fire, Merseytravel and waste. I’m not sure if these amounts include payments that come under councillors allowances as attending meetings on outside bodies is classed as an “approved duty”. Nor does the above amount AFAIK include amounts paid for conferences & accomodation.

It’d be nice to have in one place a list of names, council allowances, amounts from outside bodies with a total. I might compile such a list later this year. After all the public should know they’re getting value for money. Just so the public know:-

Labour voted for and decided the budget for Merseytravel (which includes the amounts paid to councillors).
Labour (and independent members) voted for and decided the budget for the Merseyside Police Authority.
Labour voted for and decided the budget for the Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority.
Labour voted for and decided the budget for the Merseyside Fire & Rescue Authority.

All the cuts this year and last to police, fire, transport and other services were voted for by Labour who voted against other parties such as the Lib Dems and Tories that wanted things differently.