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Council (Extraordinary) (Wirral Council) 30th April 2013 | Revisions to the Constitution | Cllr Blakeley “Where will it end, what next? Will Wirral be twinned with Pyongyang?”
The Mayor thanked Cllr Harney, he asked councillors to keep their speeches to three minutes so that everyone who wanted to could have a say.
Cllr Blakeley said he would stick to three minutes. He said that twelve years ago when the Cabinet form of local government had been started, there was a select committee for each portfolio. This was so there would be no overlap and Cabinet Members were invited along to be asked questions, he said “everything seemed to work ok”.
These were deemed to be “too unwieldy” and “taking too much of officer’s time” so they were reduced to six, although there were some overlapping responsibilities it “was in the main manageable and workable”. Now they [the Labour administration] wanted to cut six committees to three, which Cllr Blakeley regarded as “extremely dangerous”. Cllr Blakeley referred to the Children and Young Peoples Overview and Scrutiny Committee and high-profile cases that had happened in other Boroughs such as Victoria Climbié and Baby P.
He asked them not to forget the overcharging of vulnerable adults on Wirral. He said the new committee would have to “scrutinise these two vast departments”. Cllr Blakeley said, “This is typical of Labour’s control freak dictatorial ‘We know what’s best’ capacity”.
He said that Area Forums made a difference by “giving local people a real opportunity to have a say”, “yet here we have Labour wanting to grab power back to the centre” and that the new constituency committees would be given a “token amount of funding” far less than the funding to the Area Forums they replaced. Cllr Blakeley said it was a “failure to understand what people of this Borough want”.
On the changes to Council meeting procedures, he said if it went through it would “effectively gag councillors from debate in the Council Chamber and put even greater power in Labour’s hands”. Cllr Blakeley said, “Sadly tonight Mr. Mayor, we are witnessing the destruction of the last vestiges of democracy in Wirral and the residents of this Borough will be ruled by a controlling, tyrannical Labour Group”.
He referred to the refusal of the £1.3 million Council Tax Freeze Grant, increases to car parking charges, the brown bin charges and asked “Where will it end, what next? Will Wirral be twinned with Pyongyang?”
Continued at Council (Extraordinary) (Wirral Council) 30th April 2013 | Revisions to the Constitution | Cllr Foulkes “it was the committee system that actually put in the policies that led to the overcharging within the Klonowski report”.