The minutes of the meeting held on the 18th April 2011 were agreed as a true record.
Councillors noted the election results which are here.
Then Cllr Phil Davies, seconded by Cllr Adrian Jones moved a motion. The motion can be read here.
There was an amendment submitted to the motion by the Conservative councillors which can be found on Cllr Green’s blog.
Cllr Dave Mitchell (Lib Dem Deputy Leader) requested a ten minute adjournment to consider the Conservative amendment. The meeting adjourned between 18:25 and resumed at 18:41.
Upon resuming, the Mayor asked the proposers and seconders of the motion and amendment to repropose and resecond their respective motion and amendment.
Cllr Davies proposed the Labour motion, Cllr Davies seconded the Labour motion. Cllr Green proposed the Conservative amendment, Cllr Rennie seconded the Conservative amendment.
Cllr Davies started speaking and said he would be brief. He said in accordance with 7.3 of Wirral Council’s constitution and in light of the Wirral Council election results, the Labour Party had the largest share with over 46,000 votes. He said they were the largest party wih 30 seats. Therefore he moved that Jeff Green be removed as Leader of Wirral Council. The second part of his motion was that Steve Foulkes be appointed Leader of Wirral Council.
Cllr Green said that he thought the last 12 months had been out of success and achievement. He congratulated the Labour Party for their good result on 5th May. A number of his colleagues had lost seats which were a loss to Wirral Council. He didn’t believe Labour had sufficient votes or seats for control. Looking at the two parties in the administration, who had 51,000 votes and 36 seats he believed that under Labour there had been a lack of openness and secrecy in which the public had been excluded from decision making. His administration had been inclusive, open, transparent and consulted with the public. He said they had also been fair and responsible. He was surprised and disappointed by the Liberal Democrats and felt they suffered from a collective loss of self-confidence regarding the future direction for the Wirral people if what was quoted in the press was true.
He said the Lib Dem councillors had asked the public to vote for them on the basis of making decisions rather than to be advocates. He reminded about what had been achieved. He mentioned the Enterprise Zone and the International Trade Centre at Wirral Waters. He referred to the “free after 3pm” scrapping of car parking charges. He referred to the Empty Shop funding. He mentioned library repairs and restocking. He reminded those present of incorporating Guinea Gap baths into the base budget. He also talked about funding to the voluntary, community and faith sector and said “not a penny had been cut from them”. He referred to daytime CCTV, apprenticeships, Wirral jobs, the OFSTED inspection of the Children and Young People’s department and the moves towards Academy status. He referred to the actions taken to address the failures of the Department of Adult Social Services following the Care Quality Commission report. He was proud that 37% of service users now had personal budgets when it had previously been less than 10%.
He said they had opened up decision making to people with experience and given opportunities to residents to take part. He referred also to the Task Forces. He referred to £millions saved. He also talked about protecting children from harm, the high standard of environmental improvements and the well maintained highway network. He even mentioned the homeless and how they had made best use of the existing housing stock. He referred to a reduction in antisocial behaviour.
He went on to talk about rebalancing the economy, barriers to work and the well subscribed Jobs Fair earlier that day that had been “well subscribed”. He also talked about wider public sector partnerships. He gave credit to the Lib Dems what had been full partners and members of the progressive partnership. He said their contributions had enhanced it. He said they had ensured no part of Wirral had been left behind and that there had been prudent management of resources. He referred to the life chances of children and the value that councillors placed on private sector employers.
He once again referred to the environmental improvements and shopping centres as well as CO2 reduction which had been a boost to Wirral’s low carbon economy. He said more power had gone to residents, that spending to the voluntary, community and faith sector had been protected and that Wirral Council was stronger and more open with a reduction in management costs. He said any member of staff with a temporary contract over 2 years had been offered a permanent contract as those on temporary contracts couldn’t access mortgages.
They had prudently left balances of £14 million for the new administration and improved health and wellbeing. He commended his record of achievement to the Council and the people of Wirral.