VIDEO: A round-up of local Wirral and Merseyside politics by John Brace (part 2)
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John Brace on local Wirral and Merseyside politics (part 2)
Part 2 of this video series is shorter than part 1.
As before, this transcript of the video will include relevant links. After I recorded the video I found another bundle of papers that make up the BAM Nuttall contract on the scanner. There are also pages Wirral Council didn’t give me because of commercial confidentiality reasons. However I think you get the point that it’s a long contract!
Hello, I’m John Brace and this is the second part of my videos about local politics on Merseyside and on the Wirral.
One thing I’ll be talking about today is the Bam Nuttall contract. You may not have heard of Bam Nuttall, but they replaced Colas. If I went into the whole Colas saga and the senior officers that were suspended and paid oodles of money because Wirral Council didn’t quite get it right, well I’d probably use up all the tape on this camera.
But anyway going back to Bam Nuttall, in must have been 2014, Wirral Council signed up to a contract with them and the contract called, let’s see the Highway Services Contract. So for instance stuff to do with road works. Anything I think over a certain amount to do with traffic lights is someone else’s responsibility but I’ve scanned in the first bit of the contract which is here, see that’s the bit I’ve scanned in, but it’s an absolutely massive contract.
This is the next bit, bit not the rest of it! Then there’s this. That makes up the contract.
I have asked Wirral Council not to give me things on paper and to save the planet, not cut down so many trees and give them to me on a CD, but Wirral Council always seem to prefer paper.
Anyway the other thing I’ll be writing about in the near future is, this is some of the invoices I got during the audit for various things. For instance, this one is an invoice for £7,389.50 for the Moscow Ballet doing Giselle at the Floral Pavilion.
Now you may well say well what’s the point in getting an invoice for that? Well, the taxpayer actually subsidises the Floral Pavilion to a large amount of money.
So whereas for example Wirral Council sees closing down Lyndale School as a priority because they say they don’t have the money, they do have the money to be subsidising the tickets of rich people going to see the ballet at the Floral Pavilion. OK, I could look up the amount later.
The other thing I was going to talk about is Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. Now of course this was only set up in the recent past and has mired itself in all kinds of controversy over the devolution deal, price, prize, all that and elected Member stuff.
Anyway, what I did notice and this came as news to me, even though I report on the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is that Knowsley Council has set up a website for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and they’re currently running a consultation on the things that make up the devolution deal.
Now, firstly before the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority was set up politicians quite categorically said, I’m not going to name the politician here but I’m sure people can find this out, I’ll probably find this out when I write this up on my blog.
They said the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority won’t cost any more money than the existing arrangements. Now registering a website, having a website hosted, dealing with all the stuff to do with a website does cost money! OK, the politicians will probably turn round and say, well this is from existing budgets or something, but it costs money that can’t be spent on something else.
So anyway, when I write this up on the blog, in the transcript I’ll include a link because to be honest it was news to me, it hasn’t been in a report that was submitted to the Combined Authority and as far as I’m concerned the only mention online about it is from Knowsley, whereas the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is all the councils on Merseyside plus I think Halton and really speaking you shouldn’t just consult with the people of Knowsley, you should be consulting everybody.
So that’s a few things that I’ll be doing, let’s see today’s weather is cold, hence the jumper. When I was looking into market research as to what people want from a blog, one of the things that came up was weather forecasts. Now you’ll be glad to know that unless there’s a big demand I’m not going to start up with a map behind me and little symbols of clouds and sunshine, wind and all that because I really don’t fancy being a weather forecaster probably because people would love turning round and saying, “Well you said it would be sunny today John and now it’s raining!”.
But anyway if you really do want weather forecasts, there’s the Met Office website for that.
So that’s a summary of where I’m up to, this week there are hardly any public meetings because of the half term holidays and of course there’s Halloween at the weekend. One of the things that’s coming up of course is Bonfire Night and the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, ok I’m sure people are probably sick of me talking about Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service.
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service are running, in I think conjunction with Wirral Council, trying to clear up the, say for instance the bits of wood and stuff like that people put together for bonfires because Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service probably really don’t want to be going round putting out a lot of small fires on Bonfire Night.
I mean they’re not being killjoys or anything, there are Council organised fireworks displays and things like that so people can go along. I’m sure there’ll be one in Birkenhead Park this year, people can make the usual jokes about taxpayer’s money going up in smoke, that kind of thing.
But anyway, that’s what I’ll be doing today, I’ve decided to keep it short because typing up these transcripts takes a while, but if there’s anything you want to leave a comment on or you think I should write about then please get in touch.
OK, thanks for listening.
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