Posted by: John Brace | 26th November 2019

What happened at Wirral Council’s Cabinet meeting held on the 25th November 2019?

What happened at Wirral Council’s Cabinet meeting held on the 25th November 2019?

                                       

Cabinet (Wirral Council) 25th November 2019 (left Vicki Shaw, right Cllr Pat Hackett)

Cabinet (Wirral Council) 25th November 2019 (left Vicki Shaw, right Cllr Pat Hackett)

On Monday morning (25th November 2019) Wallasey Town Hall had a “Preparing for Retirement” course running in Committee Room 2 and in the One Stop Shop the public were explaining why they were struggling to pay their council tax.

Wirral Council’s Cabinet (which was on borrowed time and would itself cease to exist in around 6 months time) met for a somewhat brief 18 minutes in public (video of the meeting can be watched below).

Please accept YouTube cookies to play this video. By accepting you will be accessing content from YouTube, a service provided by an external third party.

YouTube privacy policy

If you accept this notice, your choice will be saved and the page will refresh.

Cabinet (Wirral Council) 25th November 2019

Despite the ongoing general election, there were still matters to be decided. The recommendations of an ADASS (Directors of Adult Social Services) peer review into the integration of health and social care were briefly discussed.

Five different items within the portfolio of Cllr Janette Williamson (Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources and Labour’s Deputy Leader) took up most of the meeting.

She highlighted how she hoped their policies on council tax would encourage landlords to bring empty properties back into use (something her fellow Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change Cllr Liz Grey was “proud of”). The care leavers council tax discount (introduced in 2018) was also discussed.

Next was a report on the projected £7.1 million overspend. This had led to a “spending freeze” and “recruitment freeze”. References were made by Cllr Williamson to her preferred outcome to the general election in relation to the funding by national government of local councils such as Wirral and some of the reasons for these projections.

The report on the capital budget was more upbeat with an update on capital spend in the first half of 19-20 and was a recommendation to Council of a £52.889 million capital budget for 20-21.

Technical changes to the minimum revenue provision re-profiling were proposed due to accounting changes which were projected to free up an extra £2 million a year over the next ten years (although this was again a recommendation from Cabinet to a future meeting of all 66 Wirral Council councillors).

The treasury management mid-year report was the last report within Cllr Janette Williamson’s remit and dealt with borrowing and investments (£32 million of investments and £293 million of borrowing).

The final two items fell within the portfolio of Cllr Tony Jones (Cabinet Member for Growth and Regeneration). His items were:-

a) a recommendation for a £100,000 grant and £320,000 loan to an unnamed company in Birkenhead and Tranmere ward and

b) a grant of £275,000 to an unnamed company in Bromborough ward.

And with the public part of the Cabinet meeting nearly over, it only fell to Cllr Pat Hackett to propose a motion requiring the public to leave for the rest of the meeting.

If you click on any of the buttons below, you’ll be doing me a favour by sharing this article with other people.


Responses

  1. this is all tax payers money not the councils to throw about, again , we are entitled as tax payers to know who these loans & grants are going to & what benefit to the tax payers if any ?? or do we have to go to a freedom of information request ?,

    • Thanks for your comment.

      Unfortunately I don’t know who the companies are. Feel free to make an information request if you wish!

  2. Why ‘unamed’ companies?

    • Thanks for your comment.

      Councillors on the Cabinet decided not to release the names of the companies into the public domain based on the recommendation of a Wirral Council employee – reason given was “Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)”.

      In other words it’s not deemed in the financial interest of the companies involved for their names to be made public. Hope that helps!

  3. As i look around Wirral and see what a **** hole it is, litter everywhere, dog muck on the footpaths, blocked grids street lights not working etc etc, why i’m i paying council tax,
    Think its about time that the government got rid of councils and ran them from London, thus it would also get rid of council tax, just increase income tax and dish out the money depending the numbers living there

    • Thanks for your comment.

      All the concerns you mention – are contracted out by Wirral Council to the private sector (but are still Wirral Council’s responsibility to tackle).

      The enforcement policy (Wirral Council cancelled the dog fouling/litter contract earlier this year) is on the agenda of a meeting of councillors tomorrow evening. Here’s a link to the report and proposed policy.

      National government does has legal powers to send in commissioners to run councils (instead of councillors). Such powers however are rarely used and matters have to be very dysfunctional before it’s even considered!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Categories