Liberal Democrat Leader Cllr Phil Gilchrist calls for cross-party unity on Wirral Council on issue of EU funding withdrawal

Liberal Democrat Leader Cllr Phil Gilchrist calls for cross-party unity on Wirral Council on issue of EU funding withdrawal

Liberal Democrat Leader Cllr Phil Gilchrist calls for cross-party unity on Wirral Council on issue of EU funding withdrawal


Below is an email from Cllr Phil Gilchrist (Liberal Democrat Leader on Wirral Council) to Cllr Phil Davies (Leader of Wirral Council).

It asks for a unified cross-party approach on Wirral Council to the issue of EU funding if the UK withdraws from the EU.

Cllr Phil Davies did make some remarks at the start of the Cabinet meeting this morning, but the video is yet to upload at the time of writing.

Cllr Phil Gilchrist (Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group) speaking at the Extraordinary meeting of Wirral Council on the 4th of April 2016
Cllr Phil Gilchrist (Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group) speaking at the Extraordinary meeting of Wirral Council on the 4th of April 2016

From: Gilchrist, Phil N. (Councillor) <>
Sent: 25 June 2016 14:40
To: Davies, Phil L (Councillor) <>

Good afternoon Phil
I have begun to pick myself up after the outcome of the Referendum, an outcome neither of us desired.
However the result is what it is and I’ve no idea when the Government will set Article 50 in motion.

In the meantime I would welcome any briefing papers you can supply on the on the European funding stream that exist currently
I expect there will be streams we have expected and planned / hoped for and still are working to gain for Wirral and the region.
I say working to gain as I feel we have to start work on this!

With Cabinet coming up on Monday morning I expect you will want to address this, possibly under any other business / urgency.

Thinking on these lines would suggest that a statement to Cabinet, a referral or Motion to Council might run along these lines…
Council/Cabinet recognises that funding is currently available for a range of projects, training and investments to support our local and regional economy.
Council is, as with many other bodies, is uncertain on how the funding streams might be replaced, and when but believe arrangements must be made to
secure equivalent replacement funding.
Council therefore calls on the present Government to clarify the situation, offer certainty to our region, and continue the programmes as
envisaged. Council asks for assurances that the UK Government and any successor will match pound for pound any funding stream that are now at risk as a result of the Referendum.

Ideally each group on the Council would accept a formula to present a united approach from Wirral and the region. I would be happy to develop the wording in consultation.

. At various times in the recent campaign various ‘Leave’ people suggested that money would be ‘freed’ for the NHS, Agriculture, etc.

I cannot recall seeing whether ‘regional’ aid got the same treatment!

I will be home on 334 1923 on Sunday evening if you would like to have a word.

Phil Gilchrist

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EXCLUSIVE: NHS Consultation on impact on 2,269 Wirral cancer patients of Clatterbridge inpatient and outpatient cuts

EXCLUSIVE: NHS Consultation on impact on 2,269 Wirral cancer patients of Clatterbridge inpatient and outpatient cuts

EXCLUSIVE: NHS Consultation on impact on 2,269 Wirral cancer patients of Clatterbridge inpatient and outpatient cuts


Despite Clatterbridge Cancer Centre being one of three charities chosen by the Mayor of Wirral for fundraising this year, Wirral Council’s Families and Wellbeing Policy and Performance Committee will be discussing at a public meeting on the evening of the 8th July (in Committee Room 1 (ground floor) at Wallasey Town Hall, Brighton Street, CH44 8ED) a consultation on major changes to Clatterbridge Cancer Centre. Employees from the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre will be there at the meeting to answer questions from councillors and co-opted members of the Families and Wellbeing Policy and Performance Committee.

The formal consultation, expected to start next month (July 2014) will run for twelve weeks. UPDATED: 28th July 2014 The consultation has started and runs to October 19th 2014.The “preferred option” being consulted on includes:

  • Creating a new Cancer Centre at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital campus. Closing all cancer inpatient beds at the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre and moving the inpatient beds to the Royal Liverpool University Hospital’s new Cancer Centre,
  • Relocating the Teenage and Young Adult Unit (including the inpatient beds) from the Wirral to Liverpool and
  • Relocating complex outpatient radiotherapy from the Wirral to Liverpool (which represents about 6% of outpatient treatments).

If the NHS decides to go for the preferred option after the consultation period, predictions show the new Cancer Centre in Liverpool having 278 in-patients from the Wirral area by the time it opens in 2018/19. It is also predicted that 2,269 cancer patients living on the Wirral will be travelling to the new Cancer Centre in Liverpool by 2018/19. If the preferred option was agreed, all patients however would still be given a choice of where they receive treatment (provided this choice provides the specific treatment they need based on their type of cancer).

The proposals plan that the new Cancer Centre will be built in Liverpool between July 2016 and July 2018. Due to the wide area affected by the proposals, if Wirral Council’s Families and Wellbeing Policy and Performance Committee deem the proposals to be substantial they will nominate two Wirral Council councillors to a Merseyside and Cheshire Joint Scrutiny Committee. The Merseyside and Cheshire Joint Scrutiny Committee will scrutinise the proposals in detail and could comprise of representatives from Cheshire East Council, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Halton Borough Council, Knowsley Council, Liverpool City Council, St. Helens Metropolitan Borough Council, Sefton Council, Warrington Borough Council and Wirral Borough Council.

A briefing session on the joint scrutiny protocol was given to the following councillors on the 11th March 2014 (Councillor Wendy Clements (in her capacity as the then Chair of the Families and Wellbeing Policy and Performance Committee), Councillor Moira McLaughlin (in her capacity then as Vice-Chair of the Families and Wellbeing Policy and Performance Committee (she is now its Chair) and Councillor Pat Williams (Liberal Democrat spokesperson).

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Lyndale School Consultation Meeting: questions about Stanley, Elleray, Foxfield & the educational psychologist (Part 4)

Lyndale School Consultation Meeting: questions about Stanley, Elleray, Foxfield & the educational psychologist (Part 4)

Lyndale School Consultation Meeting: questions about Stanley, Elleray, Foxfield & the educational psychologist (Part 4)


Continues from Lyndale School Consultation Meeting: questions about banding, outdoor space and Stanley School (Part 3).

The person asked a question referred to the one to one care that children were receiving at Lyndale School. Julia Hassall replied that that was part of the reason behind getting up to date assessments of each child was to ensure that if they had to transfer to a different school they would get exactly the same care that they get at Lyndale.

A parent said that since the last meeting they had visited Stanley School. She said, “The facilities there don’t get me wrong are absolutely fabulous, but I’d just like you to know I would be absolutely petrified to leave Scott there. I’m absolutely petrified.” and “my child would definitely not go to Elleray so the only other choice would be Stanley and it would be a massive, massive risks for Scott to go to that school.”

Phil Ward thanked her for her point.

The next question was about if anyone had spoken to the pediatricians of children at Lyndale. She said that there were children on hospital wards that might be suitable for Lyndale School but that nobody seemed to have asked the paediatricians or specialists if these children could go to Lyndale School.

Phil Ward answered, “Sorry I can’t speak for paediatricians, but surely the point..” was interrupted by the questioner asking again if anyone had asked the paediatricians to which he replied, “No, they have not, no is the answer to that.”

The next questioner referred to Julia Hassall’s statement earlier that there was a growing number of children with complex learning difficulties and referred to something that Andrew Roberts said at the call in. She asked what would happen when they can’t get into Stanley School? She said that the parents were categorically telling you that they don’t want to send their children to those schools.

Phil Ward asked if her first question was about how they’d respond to growing numbers? He said the question had come up a number of times and the answer was that Wirral Council has a responsibility on specialist provision. When there was evidence that the numbers were growing in any particular category then they would start discussions with schools to plan places.

The next questioner said that if they were providing up to two hundred and thirty places across Stanley and Elleray Park and those places were taken up by children transferring from Lyndale then wouldn’t there not be room for the expected increase in children with complex learning difficulties?

Phil Ward said that it was an ongoing process, as children were leaving for secondary school at the same time as children joining primary school the balance was shifting and changing all the time.

Someone asked what special arrangements that Wirral Council were making to gather the views of the children, almost all of whom had no conventional language whatsoever. He said that there were issues about friendships, relationships, their sense of place and security. As well as these there were issues about a safe environment to do with children with behavioural problems being mixed in with children who were very vulnerable with poor hand eye coordination and couldn’t protect themselves and anticipate danger. He said to find out what the children themselves would need special skills and special arrangements.

Julia Hassall responded, “This is why we’ve got our principal educational psychologist pulling together a group of meetings with the key staff involved with each child, the parents, any health professionals to really understand each individual child but also how the children interact with each other.”

The same person asked when that report would be available? Julia Hassall replied, “What will, they’re very specific to individual named children these meetings to get an update. So I think it would be breaching the confidentiality of the individual children but in terms of using that information to apply this SEN Improvement Test. That’s something we will absolutely make sure the needs of the children are put at the heart of that and this independent person Lynn Wright (I’m not sure of the exact spelling of this person’s name) will absolutely make sure that the needs of the children drive the future provision.”

Councillor Chris Carubia said that he was his understanding that if Lyndale was closed then the children would go to Elleray and Stanley, however nobody had mentioned Foxfield before?

Phil Ward answered, “In relation to, so, should a final decision be made about closure of the school”… “the children have got to go somewhere else. In terms of the legislation, we then would have a responsibility as a local authority then to engage in further conversations with each of the parents, not the parents as a group but each of the parents of each child that’s got a statement of special educational needs and that discussion will be had with each of the parents who may for their own reasons decide to express a preference potentially anywhere frankly. So there’s no presumption automatically that if the school were to close children would go to A, B or C. We’ve got to enter into that conversation.”

The next person referred to a visit to Stanley School and referred to it as a “brilliant building” but wasn’t sure whether it was “usable” and that it “felt like Manchester Airport”. A woman said that when she went to Stanley that it was a ninety place school but had a hundred children in it. She said that there were ten children at the school that were not funded and would this be sorted out if the Lyndale School children went to Stanley School? Andrew Roberts replied, “In terms of places at special schools, those decisions are taken annually. So the schools take it at a point in time, the decision taken in respect of Stanley was taken last November as a census. Clearly we need to be reviewing, as do the number of places at other special schools.” Phil Ward thanked him for his answer.

Continues at Lyndale School Consultation Meeting: questions about the sensory garden, resources, Elleray Park and Stanley (Part 5).

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Shadow Health and Wellbeing Board 4th September 2012 Part 1 Agenda Item 8 – Place Based Leadership Development Activity (Board Behaviours) Professor Laurie McMahon (Loop 2)

Yesterday’s Shadow Health and Wellbeing Board’s agenda and reports can be found on Wirral Council’s website.

The meeting started later than planned.

The Chair, Cllr Phil Davies said apologies had been received from Cllr Jeff Green, David Armstrong, Sheena and another. He also informed those present that unfortunately the Cabinet Member for Public Health, Cllr Anne McArdle couldn’t attend as she was unwell. Cllr Phil Davies also referred to Dr. Jennings and Pete Naylor.

Councillors on the Board were Cllr Phil Davies (Chair) and Cllr Tom Harney. Also on the Board was the new Interim Chief Executive of Wirral Council Graham Burgess, Emma Degg and others from the public sector.

Agenda Item 8 – Place Based Leadership Development Activity (Board Behaviours)

Professor Laurie McMahon of Loop 2 gave a confidential presentation (with Powerpoint slides) to the Board (and public present) on leadership following the telephone interviews.

He explained that Wirral Council had been successful in bidding for funds to improve its leadership and the training he was providing was part of that.

He told those present about the interpersonal rules of engagement and how they need to “stop seeing the Health and Wellbeing Board as an organisation”. The Professor continued by saying they need to recognise it is not a new committee, he mentioned his concern at its purpose not being clarified, especially its relationship to other bodies and suggested they create a map to map out its relationship with other bodies such as the Local Strategic Partnership (and others).

If they didn’t do this he had concerns that it would be swamped or delegated difficult decisions. Lobbying of Board members was also an issue he flagged up as well as the need for a Communications and Engagement Strategy. He asked the Board to imagine all the questions people ask you and said that the Health and Wellbeing Board was about “establishing direction” for Wirral.

There were various formal processes he wanted them to adopt, such as the Council’s Code of Conduct, although he admitted he didn’t know what it looks like. He suggested they use the Nolan principles and adopt the Council’s COI procedure. The professor though that overt lobbying should be discouraged and reported and that they needed to sort out the process of cooptees, although the law required certain people (or organisations) to be on the Board.

The Professor said they had told his that they don’t like voting or delegated decisions, but they were keen on subgroups who would make recommendations back to the Board. Cllr Phil Davies (Chair) asked a question. The Professor referred to the Act and how they hold each other to account. Cllr Phil Davies (Chair) asked if it had executive powers? The Professor answered No, Wirral Council’s Chief Executive Graham Burgess said it did have powers of revision, but these were a “dynamite option”.

Bidston and Claughton Area Forum 12th June 2012 Part 2

Colette raised the issue of the NHS doing armchair exercise with a pensioner’s luncheon club, she said the NHS had only guaranteed to pay for the coach for a further nine weeks, after which they’d have to pay. She said the existing coach was very good and that Arrowe Park Hospital were referring people to them.

In response to a question Colette clarified that the coach was a person and not a transport issue. It was pointed out that a decision over the Area Forum funds wouldn’t be made until October.

Michelle Gray pointed out that the St James Centre also had funding for community projects.

Donnie asked if the £83,000 included Your Wirral funds?

Michelle Gray said no as that was dealt with by regeneration and Wirral Partnership Homes.

John Cocker suggested they could put the existing IT suites in the community centres to better use, but that they needed someone to run it.

Michelle Gray encouraged them to apply for the participatory budget funding.

Colette asked the police to investigate cars braking harshly in the early hours of the morning in Grange Road West. She said there had been drug activity and a recent stabbing there.

I asked the police about what had been done about antisocial behaviour around the Tollemache Road play area. Inspector McGregor said they had had more patrols in the area.

Inspector McGregor said they had monthly meetings with their partners and concentrated on hotspots. He referred people to the handout and said there had been a reduction in crime. Three lads had been arrested which had led to a drop in crime. Joy riding of vehicles on Bidston Hill and Bidston Moss was still a problem, but they now had a quad bike to patrol and were working to engage the young people in positive activities. This was aimed not just at those that had got into trouble, but also as a reward for good behaviour.

Colette said she used to go to neighbourhood action group meetings, but these had stopped. Inspector McGregor said they’d been replaced by Have Your Say meetings, as well as an emailed newsletter that went out to 3,000 on the mailing list.

Paul Murphy of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service explained that the main fire station in Birkenhead would soon be demolished and rebuilt over the next year under a PFI scheme. He provided statistics on different categories of fires and home fire safety checks done. He asked those present to identify vulnerable residents and to tell the fire service about them via the free phone number so a Home Fire Safety Check could be carried out. There had been a reduction in deliberate secondary fires. They were aiming for a target to reduce smoking which was the cause of some fires in this area.

Leonora asked about tyres dumped on Bidston Hill and about these had been set on fire before they were removed. What could be done to stop dumping of tyres here?

Paul Murphy said it was partly seasonal, as children were more likely to light fires in the holidays. They had received training as to where the hydrants were and trained the Community Patrol. He felt that the removal of flytipping was an issue for Wirral Council.

A member of the public asked where the fire service would be operating from while the building was rebuilt?

Paul Murphy said there would be temporary accommodation while it was constructed.

A member of the public asked what would happen if the building work overran?

Paul Murphy said that there were penalty clauses in the contract and that other PFI contracts had been finished on time.

Community Safety gave an update encouraging new Neighbourhood Watch schemes, there was also a new Birkenhead Park Watch. He also said they now had a more robust reporting mechanism for disability hate crime which involved the safeguarding team at the Department for Adult Social Services and the Sigma team at Merseyside Police.

There was a camera monitoring Tapestry Gardens and one monitoring the new Asda, although levels of antisocial behaviour there had not been above the normal level they expect. The limited resources they had such as the Contactabus had gone to a hotspot in another part of the Wirral.

Cllr Harry Smith asked if Neighbourhood Watch scheme stickers were available. Ian Lowrie said they were and they were trying to link the Neighbourhood Watch scheme areas to No Cold Calling Zones.

Donnie advised against residential properties displaying the stickers as they could become targets for crime, but suggested lamp posts instead.

Ian Lowrie said that in the No Cold Calling Zones there would be signs at either end of the street to advise traders.

Laura Quigley gave an update on the changes affecting the GP Commissioning Groups. From April 2013, they instead of the PCT would commission services. There were sixty-one GP practices in three groups on the Wirral, there were patient groups at each GP that patients could contact or they could raise matters with their GP. It didn’t involve privatisation and healthcare would still be free at the point of delivery.

A member of the public asked if it would lead to a postcode lottery?

The answer given was that the big things such as Arrowe Park hospital services would be commissioned together.

The Chair asked what would happen next.

Laura Quigley answered that before they commissioned any services they had to be authorised which was a rigorous process. They would find out in January 2013 if they were, if not a NHS Commissioning Board would commission services.

A member of the public said the three groups had similar names, would they be commissioning the same sort of services and what was the logic in having three?

Laura Quigley answered that they had been formed in isolation, however they would commission some services together.

Colette asked how this would affect hospital services.

Laura Quigley replied that there wouldn’t be a change as the yearly contract would be made on behalf of all three groups for emergency and elective care.

The issue of the vascular services review was brought up by Colette. The Chair said there had been public consultation and public meetings.

A member of the public brought up speeding in the morning in Wexford Way and asked for traffic calming. Another member of the public asked for Buttermere Avenue to be resurfaced as there were many potholes. Someone else asked if the double yellow lines outside shops were reviewed as many shops were closing. Cllr Harry Smith suggested people contact Streetscene about it.