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.

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Don’t lose your vote!

Over the last few days you should have received important documents from the Council about voter registration.

Click on this LINK for the notice from the Council: Wirral residents to receive important voter advice

Here in Moreton, Labour has sometimes scraped in by less than 20 votes. Yet, at every election, there are people who find they are not registered to vote but who could have made a difference to the result.

Don’t lose your right to vote!

Demise of the Councils Streetscene Service – What next?

Recently all elected members received an email from Joe Blott, Strategic Director at Wirral Council informing us that the Councils Streetscene Department would cease and be replaced by an online reporting system for Members of the public, Councillors and MPs.  That email is reproduced below.

Its fair to say I have never been a fan of Streetscene for many reasons, not least of all the lack of a dedicated officer who can be held to account.  Consequently I remain to be convinced that this new system is any better.

This new system also disadvantages those people who do not have Internet access or are not internet savvy and I believe is an underhand way of dissuading people from reporting issues.   I believe the Streetscene telephone number will still be available with limited operators who will be able to ‘key in’ any issues that are reported by the public.   However the chances are you will be waiting a long time for your call to be answered, time will tell..

If you have any questions on this please contact Mr Blott on 691 8001.   Alternatively please contact me, Steve or Bruce and we will do our very best to help

Dear Councillor

This is a reminder that from 31st July 2015, the Streetscene@wirral.gov.uk email address will close.

All Councillors should report or request Streetscene issues through Councillor.Net, the dedicated site for all Wirral members.

If an email is received into the Streetscene@wirral.gov.uk email account on or after the 31st July the following will happen:

o From a Councillor
o An automatic email acknowledgment will be sent in reply informing the Councillor to submit a Streetscene request through Councillor.Net
o From an MP or MP’s staff
o An automatic email acknowledgment will be sent in reply informing the MP to submit a Streetscene request via a dedicated web link
o Customer
o An automatic email acknowledgment will be sent in reply informing the customer to go to Wirral.gov.uk

Submitting Streetscene requests via an online form on a web link automates the process, freeing up advisors to help those customers who can’t self- serve, either because their enquiry is too complex or because they are not able to get online.

Anyone without internet access can use a self-serve desk at any library or one stop shop for easy and quick access to online service. Our libraries also have free wifi so they can use their own phone, tablet or laptop if they prefer. Staff in our one stop shops and libraries can help people to get online, so in future they will be able to access more services on their own.

These changes in our customer services are nothing new and are not unique to Wirral. Councils around the country are encouraging residents to interact with more services online and, like Wirral, have been for a number of years.

As a Councillor, you can play a role in encouraging your constituents to use online services by becoming familiar with them yourself. As well as the public facing online services, as members you can use Councillor.Net to report issues or request services and track progress for services other than Streetscene. Councillor.Net is freely available to all members and can be accessed through the council website.

The changes in our approach will not only encourage more customers to go online, where it costs the council less to deal with their enquiry, but will also help us meet our ongoing financial challenges. The cost of a face to face transaction is over 20 times that of an online transaction

Regards
Joe Blott
Strategic Director – Transformation and Resources
Wirral Council
Telephone Number : 0151 691 8001
Email : joeblott@wirral.gov.uk

Another Four Years – I Hope So

Like my colleague, Cllr Ian Lewis, who has had his application approved to stand in Leasowe and Moreton East, my application to be the local Conservative Candidate to stand in Moreton West and Saughall Massie in May 2012 has also been approved. 

I am delighted and honoured to be allowed to seek a fourth, four year term, as Councillor for Moreton West and Saughall Massie Ward.     Currently there are three Councillors in this ward – me and my two Conservativee colleagues, Cllr Steve Williams and Cllr Simon Mountney.   Ok so May 2012 might seem like a long way off, but with almost 11,000 voters in the ward, I need months to get round.

I am always looking for people to help us deliver our Community Newsline, stuff envelopes, canvass etc.     If you feel you can help in any way, drop me an email, or call/text me on 07803 614418

To say I am over the moon to be approved as candidate again, would be an understatement.   I have found being a Councillor hard work, but equally one of the most rewarding things I have done over the last 11 years.   I sincerely hope that come May next year the voters put their trust and faith in me again.

On Thursday May 5th Vote for Steve WILLIAMS

As a lifelong resident of Moreton West & Saughall Massie ward Steve is really keen to continue to tackle the issues in our community.   As one of the local councillors for Moreton West & Saughall Massie, Steve keeps in touch all year round, while he can’t solve every problem, he will always do his best     On Thursday 5th May, Steve WILLIAMS needs your vote to continue his work with Chris Blakeley and Simon Mountney to tackle the issues in this community. 

Nominations Closed

Lunchtime today saw the close of nominations for the local government elections on the 6th May.     Here in Moreton West and Saughall Massie we have my colleague, Cllr Simon Mountney (Local Conservatives) seeking reelection, we also have the usual suspects, New Labour, Green, UKIP, Lib Dem and sadly this year a BNP candidate!     I hope all parties join together to condemn such a far right party.     

Its also interesting to note that the promises made by Merseyside Trades Council leader, Alec McFadden to stand a candidate against every Labour and Lib Dem candidate who voted for the Strategic Assett Review has just been another publicity seeking empty promise made at the time, he and his Wirral Against The Cuts Party has not fielded one candidate in any seat.   The word Bull**** springs to mind.

To see a full list of candidates for the whole of the borough, click HERE

Look Out For Your ‘CHANGE’

Our new leaflet, ‘Change’, is hitting the streets of Moreton West and Saughall Massie as well as the wider Wallasey Community from today,  it includes articles on:

Look out for your copy dropping through your door, in the next week or so!