Wirral LGA/Improvement Board 30th March 2012 Part 1

I attended a meeting (the first I could attend as only every third meeting was held in public) of the Wirral/LGA Improvement Board.

The first I heard about the “public meeting” of the Wirral/LGA Improvement Board was Monday evening at the Council Excellence Committee Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting.

If you check the calendar of public meetings for March on Wirral’s website, it’s not there.

As far as I know the notice board outside the Town Hall doesn’t list it either.

Even the agenda for this meeting, wasn’t published five working days before the meeting and the agenda as published on the Council website, which I finally found on the Council website after the meeting, had been published late (it’s supposed to be published five working days before the meeting) and only published the day before the meeting itself.

However on the agenda on the Council’s website (which is a copy of a fax), it’s very difficult to read the date, time and place of the meeting due to the coloured background. The one 4-page report to this public part of the meeting (Agenda Item 2), wasn’t published before the meeting and had exempt written all over it and “NOT FOR PUBLICATION”.

However, this is ironic considering the “NOT FOR PUBLICATION” bit as it was the already previously published notes of the meeting held on the 3rd February 2012 and notes of the meeting held on the 2nd March 2012 with two words added at the top “Progress Report”, and an extra one page, previously unpublished appendix 1 detailing “Wirral Improvement Priorities”. Sadly the Wirral Improvement Priorities weren’t published with the agenda before the meeting, but they are as follows (I’m basically typing up verbatim the original document below, although on the original the priorities are in a table). To be honest despite reading these a few times since returning from the meeting, actually understanding what the below truly means is eluding me. I understand the meaning of some but not all of it. Even the automatic proofreading flags up priorities 3 and 4.


1. Corporate Plan

To put in place an agreed Corporate Plan that sets clear priorities reflecting a good understanding of citizens and customers views through consultation, participation and localism. Underpinned by rigorous performance management and performance appraisal arrangements.

2. Focus on critical service, areas safeguarding and developing the local economy.

Ensure that there is a clear organisational focus on critical service areas such as safeguarding (children and adults) and developing the local economy and ensuring that we improve the skills of local residents and stimulate the private sector to grow and create jobs.

3. Budget and financial stability

Clear longer term financial plan, linked to the Corporate plan, setting out how the Authority will respond to reducing levels of resources including the development and enhancement of the Strategic Change Programme and the development of a clear commissioning strategy for the Authority.

4. Corporate governance and decision making

Risk, whistleblowing, audit are strong. Agreed protocol on sharing information with Members. Clear Scheme of Delegation. Culture of openness rather than secrecy.

5. Leadership – political and managerial

Trust/respect between politicians and senior management. Strong strategic leadership and oversight of delivery. Development needs for Members and management identified and addressed. Strong corporate culture and cohesiveness.

Anyway the report on the meeting itself will form the basis of another blog post, well the three items the public were allowed to stay for.