Creative! Wirral Labours New Word for Closure?

Here we go again, only back in control for three weeks and already Labour is threatening our libraries, clearly they have not learned the lessons of the past.    Read more by clicking HERE.      My message to the Cabinet Member, Cllr Chris Meaden is clear.  If you are going to be creative, use the £240,000 the Conservatives put into this years Council budget to improve Wirral’s libraries…..    Of course Labour would not be able to go down this road if it wasn’t for the nine empty seats vacated by the Lib Dems?


At long last we have sight of the report by by Sue Charteris into the Labour plan to close our libraries.     Click HERE for a copy of the report.  

Having now read it, it is no surprise that Steve Foulkes and his cronies made such a humiliating U Turn on the closure programme.   The report basically damns their actions!   Among the key findings, is this: The Public Inquiry into Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council’s (MBC) Library Service has found the Council’s decision to restructure its Library Service to be in breach of its statutory duties under the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 , to provide “comprehensive and efficient public Library Services for all persons desirous to make use thereof”.    TIME FOR CHANGE!

Who Saw What, and When?

top-secretThat was one of the questions asked last night by my colleague, Cllr Ian Lewis  of the Council’s Monitoring Officer.  The Monitoring officers response, I will reflect on the question before giving my answer!   Read what the Daily Post says by clicking here.      The question was asked at a special Council meeting called by Wirral’s Conservatives to try to get to the bottom of just what is going on in this Council following the Council leaders humiliating ‘U Turn’ on the Library issue.    

I have now sent an email to the Councils Monitoring Officer seeking answers to who saw what? when? And who decided who could and could not see the contents.   Seems to me to be unfair?   Read what the Wirral Globe says by clicking here

hypocriteI also pointed out the absolute hypocrisy of some members of the Labour group who were now claiming they spoke out vociferously against the closure of the local library in their ward!     If they did speak out vociferously I never heard them, and if that is the case then perhaps they will explain why they supported their leadership, and voted for the closure of libraries?  Hypocrisy at a new level!   

Sadly, despite making this borough a laughing stock, losing all credibility and trust with the people of wirral, this useless, inept and out of touch Labour/Lib Dem administration steadfastly refuses to resign.     The choice is simple go now, or be humiliated in May 2010.

Library Inquiry – QC Costs shocker!

There have been many rumours circulating about how much the Council is paying to be represented by a QC at the recent Library Inquiry at the Floral Pavillion.

I thought no point in messing about so I asked the Chief Exec.   He instructed the Head of Law to respond to me and the cost he is telling me is between £15 and £20k.   His response to me is below:


I have been asked by Steve Maddox to respond to this query.

The cost will probably be in the £15-20K range depending on the final time taken on the matter.  In the first instance I expect I will pay this from the Legal Fees budget.



Bill Norman

Director of Law, HR and Asset Management

Wirral Council

Library Inquiry Closes

Sadly I could not attend the Inquiry this morning at the Floral Pavilion, because I was Chairing a Wirral MAP meeting at the Lauries Centre in Birkenhead.    As soon as that finished I hotfooted it across to the Floral to meet with my colleagues and in time to catch Alan Stennard being grilled by Sue Charteris and Annabel from the DCMS.   From all accounts, and from the part I witnessed, Alan Stennard was not given an easy ride!    It’s clear from proceedings yesterday and this morning that the Council’s case for Library closures has totally collapsed.

After lunch the QC representing the Council (rumoured to be on £15,000) summed up for the Council.  When he finished he was asked by Sue Charteris to elaborate on an early point he made in his submission, he could not remember what it was he said and Annabel from the DCMS had to prompt him, I ask you?    That in itself is bad enough but the QC then goes on to say thank you, that is an important point I was making!    So important he could not remember it until prompted?   He is clearly real value for money!   

Anyway we await the draft report and recommendations from Sue Charteris,and we are told we can expect a decision by the end of July.      If justice is to be done, the Library’s earmarked for closure will be spared, and this Labour Lib Dem Cabinet disgraced by its actions.      Read a resume of this mornings proceedings by clicking here 

It really is time for change at Wirral Council!