Posted by: John Brace | 16 November 2018

Wirral Council’s Cabinet asked to agree to consult on Birkenhead Town Centre changes and to outsource the running of the Floral Pavilion and 2 golf courses

Wirral Council’s Cabinet asked to agree to consult on Birkenhead Town Centre changes and to outsource the running of the Floral Pavilion and 2 golf courses


Cllr Phil Davies (Leader of Wirral Council) (27th November 2017) Cabinet Strategic Acquisition Programme Europa Buildings

Cllr Phil Davies (Leader of Wirral Council) (27th November 2017) Cabinet Strategic Acquisition Programme Europa Buildings

The agenda and reports for the next meeting of Wirral Council’s Cabinet were published today (16th November 2018) on Wirral Council’s website and contain a number of items that’ll be of wider interest to people.

The pages for the public part of the meeting run to 166 pages, with a further 104 private pages detailing a full business case for the Birkenhead Commercial District project and 4 private pages relating to the golf courses part of the Review of Leisure, Libraries and Cultural Services.

Agenda item 4 (Birkenhead Commercial District), along with Appendix 3 (outlining legal documents) and Appendix 4 (about the approach to public consultation) outline Wirral Council’s plans for Birkenhead Town Centre.

These are intertwined with its Wirral Growth Company plans and involve relocating staff at 14 locations to a new hub, creating office space, buying out the lease to Birkenhead Market and moving it to a new location (the Council’s purchase of the Europa Buildings which Cabinet previously agreed to buy for £8.4 million is mentioned) as well as other changes to Birkenhead Town Centre. If agreed by Cabinet consultation on the plans is expected to take place in the first few months of 2019.

Elsewhere on the agenda is a recommendation that the running of the Floral Pavilion is outsourced to a private organisation to reduce the amount of Wirral Council subsidy that it needs.

There is also a recommendation that the running of a number of Wirral Council golf courses (Arrowe Park and The Warren golf courses) are outsourced to the private sector to reduce Council subsidy.

Cabinet will also asked to approve an extra £2 million for early voluntary retirement and voluntary severance, which suggests that there will be job losses.

Budget forecasts to the same meeting plan a 2.99% council tax rise in the Wirral Council element in 19/20 (although after police and fire elements are added this could be slightly different). There is also a forecast overspend in Wirral Council’s 18/19 budget of around £1 million.

Wirral Council’s Cabinet meets in public (at least for items 1-15) on Monday 26th November 2018 starting at 10.00 am in Committee Room 1, Wallasey Town Hall, Brighton Street, Seacombe, CH44 8ED. Contact details for councillors on the Cabinet can be found on Wirral Council’s website.

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  1. So if they get an outside firm to take over the running of the Floral Pavilion, you know what will happen a few years down the road, prices hiked up and then its closed due to people not buying tickets etc, so no one looked ahead when the millions were poured in to New Brighton to revamp it?
    As for moving Birkenhead Market?
    Does this Council know what its doing from day to day, got no money so we will have to put the Council tax up again, yet they have millions to buy buildings, land etc and the place is still a **** hole with potholes, dog muck and litter/fallen leaves all over the place

    • It’s all to be decided at the next meeting of Wirral Council’s Cabinet.

      Wirral Council bought the Europa Buildings on the other side of the car park from Birkenhead Market for £8.4 million, not just in order to make money from commercial tenants but to have somewhere to move Birkenhead Market to.

      As to what will happen to the Floral Pavilion if the day to day running is outsourced, you are right that ticket prices will be one of the few things that a new operator would have control over. But you are right if the prices are too high, it’ll put some people off.

  2. Is there anything they won’t outsource? And if there isn’t, and it seems it’s so, what happens when they’ve outsourced everything and there’s nothing left for them to outsource.
    The logical conclusion to my own question is, and it’s an answer based upon simple elementary logical thinking, it must be that they’ll have to begin a long deliberate process of reversing their previous practices of outsourcing and then tentatively germinate a vast programme of revisiting their past decisions to outsource services and bring about a new era of Council insourcing whatever it was that they once decided needed outsourcing in the first bloody place and heralded that oft repeated public service mantra of ‘it’ll save you all millions’.
    Course, we all know, as bloody humble and stupid as we are, because we fund and fuel this madness, it’s all a bucket of bollocks. No money has ever been saved. Not one single job has ever been created and the only measurable success has been we’ve succeeded in making some ‘suits’ a whole lot richer than they once were before they became our bastard partners in a glorious ideology of asset stripping the public from their wealth and prosperity.
    It’s all madness! Fiscal stupidity and soon, sooner than anyone thought possible, the new Common Purpose directive will be, ‘let the insourcing begin. Let’s make some more money and reward ourselves accordingly.’
    God help us! We’re all doomed to sink beneath a ten foot trench of slime and mud that logically began to fill when the ‘suits’ decided we needed to form Partnerships that deliberately outsourced everything and anything they could see, think of or dream up and that just might earn them a huge salary and a vast pension pot that was made possible because of a simple but flawed outsourcing policy that was publicly paid for by us, the stupid ***** who fund this game of serving the public.