The one and only debate last night was Labours proposal to replace Councillor Jeff Geen as Leader with Steve Foulkes. All nine Liberal Democrats took the decision not to make a decision and abstain, it meant 30 Labour Councillors voted for the proposal while 26 Conservatives voted against. (one of our group was missing)
Like many people I do not understand how the Liberal Democrats can vote to end a partnership that they say they are proud of, and believe has worked and has brought much needed improvements to Wirral. They have now given full control to Labour by their ‘Positive Abstentions’, I really do not know why they bothered to turn up, there may as well have been nine empty chairs!
Last night, in my capacity as Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety I attended Wirral Cabinets Budget Meeting. As well as saving over £50 million since taking over the administration in conjunction with the Liberal Democrats in May 2010, last night the Cabinet announced that there would be no increase in Council Tax as well as making huge investments in services, to all areas of the Council.
Clearly I was delighted that £290,000 has been put into the budget to protect Wirral’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team, a team that delivers tremendous services and is proactive in dealing with the miscreants who unchecked can make life hell for residents of Wirral, I was also pleased that monitoring of day time CCTV is to be reintroduced at a cost of £50,000. When the previous Labour-Led administration scrapped this it was me who led the opposition, its been three or four years but its back. £500,000 has been put into dealing with domestic violence, as well as money for Trading Standards to continue its work in dealing with under age sales of alcohol, as well as further investment in the dog fouling team.
Money has also been invested in Childrens Services, Adult Social Services, Sure Start, provision of free parking, play area cleanups, local businesses, jobs and apprenticeships etc. Well done to everyone who played their part in putting this together, it truly was a budget that the residents told us they wanted in their response to the massive ‘Your Wirral’ consultation. Wirral is leading the way!
The February edition of the Moreton and Saughall Massie Newsline is now being distributed to 6,500 homes across the ward. Our Newsline is paid for by donations from supporters and not by the taxpayer, and is distributed by a network of volunteers.
When I was first elected in 2,000 we had about 3 deliverers and every month me and my wife Sandra would deliver around 4,000 copies, now we have a team of over 40 people who deliver for us, some take up to 200 Newslines others as few as 50, but everyone of them is precious to us and we thank them for their help. But me, Steve and Simon still deliver about 600 each every month!
Earlier today, in crisp, icy but dry weather I met up with Steve Smith, and Cllr Ian Lewis and others, including the Leader of the Council, Jeff Green to help distribute the latest issue of Newsline to the good people of Moreton and Leasowe.
We split up into pairs and spread ourselves far and wide across the ward to get the maximum spread, with me and Leah Fraser taking the long walk, Hoylake Road, Burnely Road and roads off (Don’t worry Don we left ‘Red Rose’ out) finishing in Chapelhill Road. It was a great couple of hours, lots of people chatting to us, all delighted with the Council’s consultation process, and the open and transparent way we are now doing business.
This morning I went along to the Hoylake Food Fayre, held at (what was my old school) Hoylake Community Centre in Hoyle Road. Which is also where I work for Esther McVey MP.
Whilst there I met up with Esther, Council Leader, Jeff Green and local Councillors Gerry Ellis and David Elderton. The event was absolutely choc a blok, with hundreds taking advantage of all the goods on offer, fresh Veg, meat, (the buffalo steaks looked good) cheese, bread, cakes, jams, ice cream etc, etc. There was also cookery demonstrations from the Chefs at La Paz.
All in all a tremedous event, well attended and hopefully will be repeated on a regular basis.
Following the announcement that Steve Maddox OBE will retire after 36 years service at Wirral Council, the Employment and Appointments Committee will recommend to Council that Jim Wilkie, the Director of Corporate Services/Deputy Chief Executive, is appointed as Interim Chief Executive for up to nine months.
To continue the focus on economic recovery, it is essential that there is a Chief Officer in place to progress key economic opportunities and forthcoming issues such as the creation of the Local Economic Partnerships. In anticipation of Council agreeing the recommendation above, it has been agreed that the Head of Strategic Development, Kevin Adderley, be appointed as Interim Director of Corporate Services for up to nine months.