The Town Hall has been forced to u-turn on previous refusals to issue sandbags to homes that are most at risk of flooding following last year’s devastation in Moreton.
Following an independent review into the floods, and the responses of the various authorities, Wirral Council was slammed for acting too late, and not working with others.
Councillor Bruce Berry (pictured at the Arrowe Brook) welcomed the outcome of the review and the u-turn: “We know that many of the residents in Millhouse Lane, Carnoustie Close and Tern Way wanted to take action to protect their properties as the flood waters approached but couldn’t due to a botched response from the authorities whose action was too little, too late.
“The fact that Wirral Council has now agreed to order new-style sandbags, in the form of gel-filled ‘hydrobags’, and issue to them to the most at risk residents will be a big help. Nobody wants to see a repeat of last year’s problems.”
The Town Hall has also agreed to carry out a flood plan for each property at risk, personalised to the household, showing the actions residents can take when a flood warning has been issued. The Arrowe Brook is also currently being cleared of rubbish and undergrowth.
Councillor Berry said: “As well as this work by the Council, we also need to see more residents sign up for the free text alert service for flood warnings. Signing up won’t affect insurance premiums or Council Tax, but those extra couple of hours could make all the difference between losing your possessions or not.”
Residents across Wirral can sign up for the free, text alert service from the Environment Agency by logging on to: www.environment-agency.gov.uk<http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk> or by calling: 0345 988 1188.
Conservative Councillors have written to David Mowat MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Health, seeking intervention in the Council’s decision to close its last remaining home, Girtrell Court in Saughall Massie. You can read that letter HERE
Councillor Bruce Berry said, “As we saw last week, the Council cannot be trusted to look after the most vulnerable in Wirral. Since the decision was made by Wirral’s Labour Cabinet to close Girtrell Court, it is becoming clearer by the day that the promises of a suitable alternative was just ‘Pie in the Sky’.
“Hardly a week goes by without reports from users, their families and staff who are being kept in the dark and treated abysmally. Only today we have heard that bookings that have been made in the future are now being cancelled because the alternative provision in Tollemache Road is simply not big enough.
“The Council has failed to make the saving of £155,000, and some of the most vulnerable people in Wirral have found the safety net that has been promised to them is full of holes.”
Cllr Chris Blakeley added: “The policies and performance of the current administration are unravelling – whether it is looked after children or vulnerable adults. We hope our requests for Government intervention with both services will do what Wirral Council is incapable of doing and give our residents some much needed protection.”
Having recently received many concerns about the transition from Girtrell Court to the alternative provision, the latest concerning staff I have found it necessary to email the Director of Adult Social Care yet again. My latest email to him is reproduced below.
From: “Blakeley, Chris \(Councillor\)” <email@example.com>
Date: 25 September 2016 at 12:49:42 BST
Cc: “Surjit Tour” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, “Steve Williams” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “Bruce Berry” <email@example.com>, “Jeff Green” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “Lesley Rennie” <email@example.com>
Subject: Girtrell Court
In the last couple of weeks I have raised concerns with you regarding Girtrell Court users, timescales for the transition to the alternative provision, and the contract with Sanctuary.
You have of course responded to all of those concerns, indicating that everything in the garden is rosy, and everybody is relatively happy with progress.
Well today I have been contacted by staff members of Girtrell Court who have raised their concerns with me. Please see message below:
Hi Chris all the staff at Girtrell are wondering if you have any idea what the council’s intentions are regarding the staff. as we have heard that we are being forced to be tupe over to the new provider and will not be able to take EVR. as you can imagine the morale is very low and feel we are left in the dark with rumours flying around.
Given the compilation of concerns in the recent weeks about the transition from Girtrell Court to Tollemache Road I would ask you to personally ‘Get a Grip’ of this situation, as it would appear the officers who are leading on this matter, are perhaps not keeping you fully informed of the situation, which in turn is leading to all the unrest with users and staff.
I look forward to your response.
Councillor Chris Blakeley
Moreton West and Saughall Massie Ward
Wirral Borough Council
As this application gets ever closer to you writing a report and making a recommendation we just wanted to take this opportunity to remind you of the words of your colleague, Sheila Day in her pre-planning advice of the 13th November, 2015.
” I am concerned, that in the light of your fall-back scenario of being able to redevelop the fire station at Upton within the urban area and with no impact on the Green Belt, very special circumstances will not exist. In which case, planning permission is not likely to be granted.”
We believe her words encapsulate the situation exactly, and while the fire service has not shown their existing Upton site as one of the sites considered in their planning application, it is nevertheless an option, it is their Fall Back position, as they themselves have clearly stated, and one for which the Government grant can be utilised.
Given this scenario there can be absolutely no reason that any very special circumstances exist. We would therefore ask that you give very real consideration to this when determining this matter, and respectfully request that your recommendation is one of ‘Refusal’
Cllr Chris Blakeley, Cllr Bruce Berry, Cllr Steve Williams
Moreton West and Saughall Massie Ward
Wirral Borough Council
Following the damning Ofsted report, today, all 21 members of the Wirral Conservative Group has written (via email) to the Mayor of Wirral to requisition a special Council meeting.
The full text of that request can be read by clicking HERE