SAVE Girtrell Court – YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Thank you to all the people who have signed up to ‘Save Girtrell Court’ either by email, letter or telephone.   The very many responses we have received show just how valued this facility is.

Last Tuesday we met with Paddy Cleary and David Jones from Unison to discuss the Councils proposal to close Girtrell Court and to share information so that we can work together on this campaign.   It’s clear that together we are stronger.   However we need your support to stop this Councils attack on vulnerable people.

Unison have arranged a meeting on Wednesday 20th January, commencing at 7:30pm at St Mary’s Church Centre, 127 Saughall Massie Road, Saughall Massie, Upton CH49 4LA (Next to the Premier convenience store) and it’s important that as many people who can, attend this meeting to hear first-hand how by working together we can stop this proposal.

In the meantime there other things you can you do now to help us stop this Councils attack on some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

  • If you have not done so please sign the online petition which can be accessed by going to: https://t.co/k7BY1enacM
  • Please make your views known on the Council’s online consultation (which closes on the 29thJanuary). As the Council uses these responses to inform Cabinet about peoples’ views it’s important that you register your opposition on this survey.  You can access the Girtrell Court consultation page by going to: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/X33578S

As well as points 1 and 2 which are extremely important to do, you could also email your views and concerns (Please cc me in if you do) to the ten Labour Councillors who make up the Council Cabinet, and who will make the final decision on the future of Girtrell Court.  Their email addresses are listed below:

phildavies@wirral.gov.ukgeorgedavies@wirral.gov.ukpathackett@wirral.gov.uk,

adrianjones@wirral.gov.ukchristinejones@wirral.gov.ukannmclachlan@wirral.gov.uk,

chrismeaden@wirral.gov.ukberniemooney@wirral.gov.uktonysmith@wirral.gov.uk,

stuartwhittingham@wirral.gov.uk

Girtrell Court – A Message to Cllr Phil Davies, Leader of the Council

From: “Blakeley, Chris \(Councillor\)” <chrisblakeley@wirral.gov.uk>
Date: 16 December 2015 at 09:22:14 GMT
To: <phildavies@wirral.gov.uk>
Cc: “Councillor Steve Williams” <stephenwilliams@wirral.gov.uk>, “Bruce Berry” <bruceberry@wirral.gov.uk>
Subject: Girtrell Court
Dear Phil

We note that the budget proposals before Cabinet this Thursday include the closure and demolition of our only dedicated facility for people with complex mental and physical disorders, Girtrell Court. This will result in those who currently benefit from Girtrell Court moving to private provision.

We are all aware of the strains on the Social Care budget, indeed, it has been a feature of almost every council budget for more than 20 years, under all governments.

However, we believe this specific proposal will be extremely damaging to the clients and their families.

You will recall that around 18 months ago as part of a previous budget saving, all nine long term residents of Girtrell Court were re-housed, and the facility used instead as a kind of respite centre. However, since then six of those re-housed have returned to Girtrell Court because those alternative placements have broken down. It is clear that the staff at Girtrell Court are fully qualified and best placed to provide the very intensive care, much of it one to one with the clients who have a mixture, and or both, complex mental or physical needs.

Both myself and my colleague, Cllr Berry met recently with the Director of Adult Social Services to discuss this budget proposal, at that meeting the Director was not confident that suitable care could be found in the private sector for complex needs, something that is borne out by the facts above.

We would hope that given our concerns, and in real terms the minimal saving that could be achieved, that as Leader of the Council you would recognise the very complex needs of these extremely vulnerable individuals and the impact on their families that closing Girtrell Court would have and withdraw this proposal from the budget savings package.

Furthermore, we understand that the option for the 2% Council Tax rise ringfenced for adult social care could specifically be used to retain this important facility, providing high quality and very specific social care to some of the most vulnerable adults in Wirral.

Should you be willing to work with us on this issue, setting aside Party political differences, we would of course be delighted to do so.

We look forward to your response

Best wishes

Cllr Chris Blakeley, Cllr Bruce Berry, Cllr Steve Williams
Moreton West and Saughall Massie Ward, Wirral Borough Council.

Sure Start, Safe with Conservatives

Last April just before the elections, I (and many other Conservative Councillors) were being asked whether Sure Start was safe if we were elected, of course we said.

But why were people asking?   Well that’s simple.    Labour used smear and fear tactics, distributing letters such as this one saying that Sure Start wasn’t safe.  You’ll see the person behind the letter (in the small print on the left)  is one of the Labour Councillor’s for Leasowe.

So, what’s happened?  Labour-led Liverpool is looking to close four Sure Start centres.  Conservative-led Wirral is not, and at tonight’s budget Cabinet meeting  Wirral’s Cabinet enhanced the Sure Start service with a huge £732,000 investment for the next 12 months.       More on Wirral’s budget tomorrow

Apprentices Part Two

Yesterday I blogged about Wirral West MP, Esther McVey employing an apprentice in her constituency office.     Then last night I attended the Cabinet meeting at the Town Hall to agree with the rest of the Cabinet to increase the number of ‘Wirral Apprentices’.    This fantastic programme works with employers to provide training and skills to young people and the Conservative Lib Dem Cabinet decisioion will see the number of apprentices increased to more than 200 across the Borough.

The Leader of the Council, Jeff Green, has recently started blogging and he reports back on some of the highlights of last nights Cabinet meeting here.

A Great Tribute to a Great Man!

At Wirral’s Cabinet on 2nd September it is proposed to name a section of the newly developed King’s Parade ‘Ian Fraser Walk’ after one of our great, local war heroes Lt. Commander Ian Fraser, VC, DSC, RD and Bar, JP, RNR (Rtd).

During Word War II Commander Fraser was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest award for bravery for an attack, codenamed ‘Operation Struggle’ , he made on the Japanese warship, Takao in a midget submarine in 1945.       He was also a successful local businessman, Magistrate, and life-long supporter of the Lifeboats Service as well as being a freeman of the Borough.     I think it’s a great idea and one that I, as a Cabinet member will be supporting wholeheartedly.

Where Did That Week Go!

Well as we know, Wirral Council is now Conservative led for the first time in 24 years.    Wirral Conservatives and Wirral Liberal Democrats joined together in a ‘Progressive Partnership Coalition’.    I have been appointed as Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety, and from Tuesday morning onwards it has been meeting after meeting as I get to grips with my new role.   Please don’t misunderstand me, I am delighted with the challenges the role brings, and I will do my very best to serve all the people of Wirral to deliver world class services.

Change Is Here!

Leader of Wirral Borough Council, Cllr Jeff Green signing the Partnership Agreement whilst Cllr Simon Holbrook looks on

Last night, after 24 years of a Labour led Council, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats joined forces in a ‘Progressive Partnership’ to wrest control of the Council.      Conservative Councillor Jeff Green was elected as leader for four years under the new governance arrangements.  The new local coalition also reflects what’s happening nationally.   Believe it or not, it is the first Conservative-led Council in Wirral for 24 years.  

  • The ‘Partnership’ has 42 of the 66 seats
  • Conservatives hold 7 of the 10 Cabinet portfolios, the Lib Dems hold 3.
  • The Lib Dems do NOT have the leisure and libraries portfolio.
  • We will protect key frontline services 
  • We have implemented a 5% pay cut for Cabinet Members to reduce the cost of politics
  • We will Publish details of all Council spending in excess of £500
  • We will ensure greater involvement with people on key issues.
  • We will work with the coalition Government to freeze Council Tax for Wirral residents

I am delighted and honoured to have been offered the Housing and Community Safety portfolio, and will do my very best to carry out my duties and responsibilities to the people of Wirral.      You can read the partnership agreement by clicking HERE