Cllr Harney stated it was not just about changing leader. He also said it was not a no confidence vote. He referred to Lib Dem achievements over the last 4 years and last 12 months on recycling and CO2 reduction, 20mph zones in residential areas and the turnaround of Social Services. He said there had been progress in an open council, engaging and listening and that the results had been clear.
The Lib Dem Group had lost able and experienced councillors such as Simon Holbrook, Bob Moon and Peter Reisdorf. He said it was perverse that the party that caused the debt crisis would benefit from it. He said politics was not fair or logical. He said the Lib Dems had no mandate for the coalition. He said they were not striking deals and there would be no easy ride. He said the onus was on them to find a way with sensible and coherent policies. The Lib Dems would cast their votes accordingly on an issue by issue basis. They would hold Labour to account when they were wrong on the Budget and frontline services. Lib Dems would be watching for the loss of frontline services. They wanted Wirral Council to adhere to the Notice of Motion on engagement and to actively involve people. Anything less that “Wirral’s Future: Be a Part of It” would be a dismal step back. He was waiting for coherent plans to be put forward.
He said they were all in agreement about the big issues and making over £20 million of savings. Once the policies were revealed Lib Dems would respond in detail. He said Labour can’t blame the Coalition and that they would need imagination and creativity to take responsibility for matters rather than passing the buck and blaming others. He said the Lib Dems would be a “critical friend” or a formidable foe. His purpose was to ensure their voices and influence was best used for local people. He conveyed his best wishes for a successful year.