Wirral council staff storm the town hall in protest at 'unavoidable' cuts

Wirral Globe: Protesters outside the town hall before last night's meeting Protesters outside the town hall before last night's meeting

HUNDREDS of angry council workers descended on Wallasey Town Hall last night as Wirral’s ruling cabinet met to allow consultation to begin on a major package of cuts.

The ruling cabinet was asked to approve measures designed to save around £40m over the next year.

They also allowed the authority’s chief executive Graham Burgess to enter negotiations with Trade Unions over changes to staff terms and conditions.

Redundancies are now unavoidable and the current enhanced payment for departing staff is to be scrapped.

Thousands of council staff are being briefed on the proposed cuts today.

Councillors were also be asked to give the go-ahead to radical changes in workers' employment contracts, including redundancy payment policy.

Chief officers have already been sent letters saying their jobs are at risk and that the authority is seeking to reduce its manangement tier by a third.

'At risk' letters will be sent to thousands of staff next week.

Cabinet members were jeered by around 400 staff ahead of the night’s meeting.

Because of the number of protestors, the meeting was moved from the cabinet’s usual committee room to the main civic hall.

Mr Burgess said cuts were unavoidable. He told the meeting that he would be announcing a £49m package of cuts options for members of the public, staff and councillors to choose from.

He said: "This arises because the council is facing a significant financial challenge, because of reductions in government grant.

"I will be setting forward a series of options, not decisions, which will now be consulted upon.

"The council has a legal obligation to consult workforce on changes which will affect them."

Addressing cabinet, Joe Taylor, branch secretary of workers union Unison expressed concerns that some of the council’s lowest paid workers faced losing thousands of pounds in pay or redundancy packages.

He said: "We understand that savings will be made. There will be job losses, we have been told that, and there will be compulsory redundancies.

"If consultation is going to be meaningful and sensible, 28 days is not long enough."

 Council leader Phil Davies said: “We are facing this situation because the coalition government is making cuts to local government funding.

"I totally disagree with the austerity measures, because they are targetting vulnerable areas. The responsibility lies with this government nationally.

"Legally, we have to make changes to this budget and have to make as good a job as possible.

"I don’t want to make these savings, but we have to make them in order to make the books balance.

"We have to balance the budget, because if we don’t, the Government will send in commissioners to do it for us.

"We will protect, as far as we can, frontline services. What we can’t do is do nothing, so we’ve got to make alternative decisions."

Comments (16)

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10:49am Fri 9 Nov 12

PaulCa says...

May I refer Mr Burgess to the www.wirralleaks.com website?

It appears the cuts in services, cuts in staff and cuts in conditions don't apply when it comes to the kitting out of the ex-UNISON CEO's stately offices.

No, following the hundreds of thousands paid out in golden handshakes, it's business as usual; an office refit, and the squandering of thousands more pounds in public money .............. all enabled through the slashing of jobs and services.
May I refer Mr Burgess to the www.wirralleaks.com website? It appears the cuts in services, cuts in staff and cuts in conditions don't apply when it comes to the kitting out of the ex-UNISON CEO's stately offices. No, following the hundreds of thousands paid out in golden handshakes, it's business as usual; an office refit, and the squandering of thousands more pounds in public money .............. all enabled through the slashing of jobs and services. PaulCa

11:11am Fri 9 Nov 12

Cheesy Peas says...

@PaulCa

It's http://wirralleaks.t
umblr.com

How your concerned council, that has learned so many humbling things recently, still doesn't give a flying toss what you think.
@PaulCa It's http://wirralleaks.t umblr.com How your concerned council, that has learned so many humbling things recently, still doesn't give a flying toss what you think. Cheesy Peas

11:28am Fri 9 Nov 12

bigfoot says...

"Stuf youm me and the three stooges are alright Jack and Jill"
Pete Prices stunt double.
"Stuf youm me and the three stooges are alright Jack and Jill" Pete Prices stunt double. bigfoot

11:35am Fri 9 Nov 12

bigfoot says...

Cheesy Peas wrote:
@PaulCa

It's http://wirralleaks.t

umblr.com

How your concerned council, that has learned so many humbling things recently, still doesn't give a flying toss what you think.
How much has Kubla Khans pleasure palace cost? Perhaps he's moving in.
Unless the Tranmere money is being used for the creation of his palace,
They should have asked Peel to pay for it in lieu of having free use for the Waters scheme.
[quote][p][bold]Cheesy Peas[/bold] wrote: @PaulCa It's http://wirralleaks.t umblr.com How your concerned council, that has learned so many humbling things recently, still doesn't give a flying toss what you think.[/p][/quote]How much has Kubla Khans pleasure palace cost? Perhaps he's moving in. Unless the Tranmere money is being used for the creation of his palace, They should have asked Peel to pay for it in lieu of having free use for the Waters scheme. bigfoot

11:49am Fri 9 Nov 12

MDRyUK says...

Yes, I agree it's about time more was done in practical terms to reign in unnecessary spending.
I was at the meeting last night at the Town Hall to witness events for myself as a member of the public.. Several hundred staff were present too. They all looked mighty disgruntled at those on the top table in Cabinet.
Graham Burgess read out his report to cabinet and outlined some options, including a possible measure to save up to £49 million figure in terms of savings!
Wait until there are plans to close libraries and leisure centres, that really will put "the cat amongst the pigeons"!
Today (Friday) apparentlly Mr Burgess addresses staff with regards options he envisages. I am sure this will generate more reports and reader comment in the Wirral Globe.
So the touch paper is now well alight, stand by for more fireworks.
Yes, I agree it's about time more was done in practical terms to reign in unnecessary spending. I was at the meeting last night at the Town Hall to witness events for myself as a member of the public.. Several hundred staff were present too. They all looked mighty disgruntled at those on the top table in Cabinet. Graham Burgess read out his report to cabinet and outlined some options, including a possible measure to save up to £49 million figure in terms of savings! Wait until there are plans to close libraries and leisure centres, that really will put "the cat amongst the pigeons"! Today (Friday) apparentlly Mr Burgess addresses staff with regards options he envisages. I am sure this will generate more reports and reader comment in the Wirral Globe. So the touch paper is now well alight, stand by for more fireworks. MDRyUK

12:04pm Fri 9 Nov 12

PaulCa says...

But the public are closed out here, with the comments facility removed:

http://www.wirralglo
be.co.uk/news/100381
63.Wirral_Council_ch
ief_spells_out_cuts_
options/

Can the Web / Editor fix this?
But the public are closed out here, with the comments facility removed: http://www.wirralglo be.co.uk/news/100381 63.Wirral_Council_ch ief_spells_out_cuts_ options/ Can the Web / Editor fix this? PaulCa

1:00pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Positive thinker says...

Won't get them anywhere
Won't get them anywhere Positive thinker

1:03pm Fri 9 Nov 12

don't look back in anger says...

i know a few council workers who voted in this government. i bet they're sorry now,
i know a few council workers who voted in this government. i bet they're sorry now, don't look back in anger

1:31pm Fri 9 Nov 12

woodyres2 says...

Well, I wish I had been at the meeting last night.

I would hope to see some of the Council staff who worked in Woodchurch during the "Neighbourhood Management years" in line for redundancies now. The voluntary community groups suffered because of their manipulative behaviour here, and it divided the community.

Hundreds of thousands of pounds were wasted, and when they left, there was nothing to show for it, yet they claimed it had been a great success !! Utter rubbish ....

I think the libraries will be under threat despite the review that took place only 3 years ago which stated that the planned closures then were illegal. It will be interesting to see what has changed in those 3 years !!

The community has had to battle hard to achieve the asset transfer of the Woodchurch Community Centre, which the council did not really want to see happen, because Tranmere wanted the land the Tardis stands on .... and that has been a fact for many years. They would rather have seen it close down & bulldozed to make way for yet more football pitches.

Interesting times ahead I think ....
Well, I wish I had been at the meeting last night. I would hope to see some of the Council staff who worked in Woodchurch during the "Neighbourhood Management years" in line for redundancies now. The voluntary community groups suffered because of their manipulative behaviour here, and it divided the community. Hundreds of thousands of pounds were wasted, and when they left, there was nothing to show for it, yet they claimed it had been a great success !! Utter rubbish .... I think the libraries will be under threat despite the review that took place only 3 years ago which stated that the planned closures then were illegal. It will be interesting to see what has changed in those 3 years !! The community has had to battle hard to achieve the asset transfer of the Woodchurch Community Centre, which the council did not really want to see happen, because Tranmere wanted the land the Tardis stands on .... and that has been a fact for many years. They would rather have seen it close down & bulldozed to make way for yet more football pitches. Interesting times ahead I think .... woodyres2

1:49pm Fri 9 Nov 12

PaulCa says...

Funny how these things arrive just on cue:

http://www.guardian.
co.uk/society/2012/n
ov/09/payoffs-local-
government-chief-exe
cutives

...the need to curb excessive pay in local government. Aimed at legions of poorly performing Chief Execs & Directors.
Funny how these things arrive just on cue: http://www.guardian. co.uk/society/2012/n ov/09/payoffs-local- government-chief-exe cutives ...the need to curb excessive pay in local government. Aimed at legions of poorly performing Chief Execs & Directors. PaulCa

1:55pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Hugo1008 says...

Anything the so called Council runs is destined to fail enventually.
Librarys, Community Centres, Leisure Facilities, Parks and Gardens, Football Pitches, Community Services, Care Homes, Housing Asscotiations, you name it they have and will in time drive them all into the ground or private companies.

How many times have you heard the mantra (If you dont use it you lose it) what should be come obvious to eveyone is (IF YOU ABUSE IT YOU LOSE IT) and that applies equally to Staff and The Public.

The staff at all levels abuse it from ineptitude and greed plus idleness.

The Public abuse it from appathy, complacency, and could not give a monkies, easy come easy go.

If you are sincere about community benefits, decent surroundings, available leisure facilities, and a desire to see things improve, then proove it, get off your backside and join others who put time and effort into all the things you take for granted.
These things do not run themselves and the so called council and the Councillors do not have a clue how to.

Therefore you and generations after you lose them.
Anything the so called Council runs is destined to fail enventually. Librarys, Community Centres, Leisure Facilities, Parks and Gardens, Football Pitches, Community Services, Care Homes, Housing Asscotiations, you name it they have and will in time drive them all into the ground or private companies. How many times have you heard the mantra (If you dont use it you lose it) what should be come obvious to eveyone is (IF YOU ABUSE IT YOU LOSE IT) and that applies equally to Staff and The Public. The staff at all levels abuse it from ineptitude and greed plus idleness. The Public abuse it from appathy, complacency, and could not give a monkies, easy come easy go. If you are sincere about community benefits, decent surroundings, available leisure facilities, and a desire to see things improve, then proove it, get off your backside and join others who put time and effort into all the things you take for granted. These things do not run themselves and the so called council and the Councillors do not have a clue how to. Therefore you and generations after you lose them. Hugo1008

2:08pm Fri 9 Nov 12

reliant22 says...

Check out the arranged Labour Members meeting at the Lauries Centre, Nov 24th re: Cutbacks and Job losses
Nice to know all other Wirral residents are excluded!
I was given this info by a Labour party member.
Check out the arranged Labour Members meeting at the Lauries Centre, Nov 24th re: Cutbacks and Job losses Nice to know all other Wirral residents are excluded! I was given this info by a Labour party member. reliant22

7:04pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Positive thinker says...

The Lauries centre,is that the place down by the new Asda store?could be a good night out,pop into the pub next door for a bottle of beer afterwards followed by a Dominos pizza
The Lauries centre,is that the place down by the new Asda store?could be a good night out,pop into the pub next door for a bottle of beer afterwards followed by a Dominos pizza Positive thinker

10:52pm Fri 9 Nov 12

WarrenWard says...

They plan to shut down all satalite youth centres accross the Wirral! WHAT ON EARTH are they going to do that for, to long has the youth sector been the frontline of cuts. What will they do when we are all out on the streets and the "Anti-Social" Behavior percentage rages up! Disgrace I tell you, I represent Bebington Youth Centre and over my dead body will I allow our local youth club to close. It's ridculous!
They plan to shut down all satalite youth centres accross the Wirral! WHAT ON EARTH are they going to do that for, to long has the youth sector been the frontline of cuts. What will they do when we are all out on the streets and the "Anti-Social" Behavior percentage rages up! Disgrace I tell you, I represent Bebington Youth Centre and over my dead body will I allow our local youth club to close. It's ridculous! WarrenWard

11:32pm Fri 9 Nov 12

PaulCa says...

This is an abusive council that stole £700,000 from disabled people. Then lied until it was blue in the face in a failed attempt to cover it all up... which they're still trying to do now.

They still haven't paid these people their money back. Chances are they won't if it's all wasted on new furniture for the CEO's office and plush video facilities at "Mills Media What Really Matters" (Google that).

If they can plumb those depths, then you can expect job losses, and a LOT worse.

ps. you won't shift any of the councillors or get a reduction in their expenses. That is a red line they WILL NEVER CROSS.
This is an abusive council that stole £700,000 from disabled people. Then lied until it was blue in the face in a failed attempt to cover it all up... which they're still trying to do now. They still haven't paid these people their money back. Chances are they won't if it's all wasted on new furniture for the CEO's office and plush video facilities at "Mills Media What Really Matters" (Google that). If they can plumb those depths, then you can expect job losses, and a LOT worse. ps. you won't shift any of the councillors or get a reduction in their expenses. That is a red line they WILL NEVER CROSS. PaulCa

9:58pm Sun 11 Nov 12

Positive thinker says...

Mills Media,won't being themselves any good in the long run
Mills Media,won't being themselves any good in the long run Positive thinker

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