UPDATED: Leaders on collision course as Wirral Council meets to set budget tonight

Leaders on collision course as Wirral Council meets to set budget this week

Leaders on collision course as Wirral Council meets to set budget this week

First published in News
Last updated
by , Geoff Barnes

AN explosive budget council meeting is in prospect tonight with Wirral Tory group preparing to submit a series of controversial proposals that clash with those of the Labour administration.

One particularly bitter barb is a call for £130,000 of tax payers’ money to be withdrawn from Trades Unions.

Tory group leader Cllr Jeff Green said: “As trades unions are wealthy organisations we do not believe the council tax payer, or school budgets, should be expected to fund full time union officials.”

Following acceptance of a council tax top-up grant, a previously assumed 2% tax increase became unnecessary and Labour's recommendation before Tuesday’s meeting will be for the tax to be frozen.

But Tories want the budget to include reverting car parking charges to pre-April 2012 levels; reinstating the ‘free after three’ parking initiative; halving garden waste collection charges and freezing all council fees and charges at current levels for a year.

They are also demanding all school crossing patrols should be protected; plans to turn off street lights be reversed; anti-dog fouling measures increased and £1m invested into a programme of pot hole and pavement repairs.

Further proposals include a call for reinstatement in full of the pensioner discount scheme of 7.76% for households where all occupants are aged over-70. This has been reduced to 5% in the new budget.

Councillor Green said: “If the Labour budget goes through, the only people who will be paying extra will be pensioners.

“It is the economics of the mad house."

Council leader Phil Davies said: "I've seent the Tory proposals in some detail now and they're completely lacking any new vision for Wirral.

"There's all the usual Tory criticism of trade unions and staff training, but not a single new idea.

"To be honest, I expected far more from a group who want to be considered as a serious opposition."

Liberal Democrat leader Phil Gilchrist said: “This is not a time for tinkering but a time for straight talking.

"The old model of ‘getting and spending money’ has broken down, both through the banking crisis and mistakes made closer to home.”

“School Crossing Patrols are provided to help children walk to school safely. We are opposed to raiding school budgets to pay for this public service.”

“Turning off street lighting by cutting lamps here and there isn't working, this should not be a hit-or-miss service. This muddle has to end.”

Comments (10)

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10:46am Mon 24 Feb 14

WirralAl says...

Save some money and get rid of some Councillors!!!

Phil Davies you have done NOTHING to be proud of!!
Save some money and get rid of some Councillors!!! Phil Davies you have done NOTHING to be proud of!! WirralAl
  • Score: 14

12:28pm Mon 24 Feb 14

Llamedos 1 says...

I don't know about getting rid of councillors.....how about getting rid of the whole lot ......CEO, directors and top management and 44 councillors (we only need one per ward). I am not having a go at the general council employees they do their best with the bufoons that manage them.
I don't know about getting rid of councillors.....how about getting rid of the whole lot ......CEO, directors and top management and 44 councillors (we only need one per ward). I am not having a go at the general council employees they do their best with the bufoons that manage them. Llamedos 1
  • Score: 20

1:07pm Mon 24 Feb 14

WirralAl says...

Llamedos 1 wrote:
I don't know about getting rid of councillors.....how about getting rid of the whole lot ......CEO, directors and top management and 44 councillors (we only need one per ward). I am not having a go at the general council employees they do their best with the bufoons that manage them.
Agreed!
[quote][p][bold]Llamedos 1[/bold] wrote: I don't know about getting rid of councillors.....how about getting rid of the whole lot ......CEO, directors and top management and 44 councillors (we only need one per ward). I am not having a go at the general council employees they do their best with the bufoons that manage them.[/p][/quote]Agreed! WirralAl
  • Score: 12

3:39pm Mon 24 Feb 14

bigfoot says...

The local press largely depend on Council press releases & "off the record" comments to fill their paper. Without good relationships with local councillors they would get no info. At the same time the councillors require regular "good news" stories in the press to keep them in the voter's eye. It is an unhealthy but symbiotic relationship.

In my view, much of the problem is the prevalence of the party system in local politics. If you are a Tory representing a safe Tory area (or Lib or Lab in similar safe seats) you will probably be re-elected regardless of what you do or don't do. It is only in the event of a big local issue going wrong that there will be a change of council representative. most of us do not know who our local councillors are, or what their responsibilities are.

That is why you will struggle to get support for simple changes from councillors who not only don't understand the issues, but mostly they really don't care.

Do you remember Yes Minister and the old saying "never a truer word spoken in jest". A lot off it is the permanent staff on councils not the councillors themselves. They build walls of excuses. When they think it is easier to please us rather than pee us off. Then things will change.
The local press largely depend on Council press releases & "off the record" comments to fill their paper. Without good relationships with local councillors they would get no info. At the same time the councillors require regular "good news" stories in the press to keep them in the voter's eye. It is an unhealthy but symbiotic relationship. In my view, much of the problem is the prevalence of the party system in local politics. If you are a Tory representing a safe Tory area (or Lib or Lab in similar safe seats) you will probably be re-elected regardless of what you do or don't do. It is only in the event of a big local issue going wrong that there will be a change of council representative. most of us do not know who our local councillors are, or what their responsibilities are. That is why you will struggle to get support for simple changes from councillors who not only don't understand the issues, but mostly they really don't care. Do you remember Yes Minister and the old saying "never a truer word spoken in jest". A lot off it is the permanent staff on councils not the councillors themselves. They build walls of excuses. When they think it is easier to please us rather than pee us off. Then things will change. bigfoot
  • Score: 5

4:51pm Mon 24 Feb 14

Hugo1008 says...

Remember all the Hack and Slash decisions are made by less than a dozen Labour Party Councillors, The so Called Cabinet, the rest of the 66 Parasites we are lumbered with just rubber stamp the decisions.

Massive reductions in Council Staff, Massive Reductions of Council Services, mostly effecting the Elderly, Youngsters, and Disabled or Disadvantaged members of our Wirral Population.

Yet not one Penny or Person of the 66 Councilors and their lavish expenses suffers any form of reduction, they all just turn up at Council Meetings, exchange a few words then collect their money from the trough of plenty.

Remember this when you get a chance to vote, whatever your politics they are all by and large the same, and the ones longest in office are the same ones who have brought Wirral Borough Council to this state of abject misery for the last twenty Years, even worse in the last ten years, with lies, deceit, poor judgement, mismanagement, and lack of proper Governance.

Remember who it was who paid off a bunch of Very Senior Directors, Chief Executives, and Senior Managers who quite clearly were not up to the job they were paid to do, with your money.
Not Government Money not Council Money, but yours every single pound shilling and pence of it, Your Money.
Remember all the Hack and Slash decisions are made by less than a dozen Labour Party Councillors, The so Called Cabinet, the rest of the 66 Parasites we are lumbered with just rubber stamp the decisions. Massive reductions in Council Staff, Massive Reductions of Council Services, mostly effecting the Elderly, Youngsters, and Disabled or Disadvantaged members of our Wirral Population. Yet not one Penny or Person of the 66 Councilors and their lavish expenses suffers any form of reduction, they all just turn up at Council Meetings, exchange a few words then collect their money from the trough of plenty. Remember this when you get a chance to vote, whatever your politics they are all by and large the same, and the ones longest in office are the same ones who have brought Wirral Borough Council to this state of abject misery for the last twenty Years, even worse in the last ten years, with lies, deceit, poor judgement, mismanagement, and lack of proper Governance. Remember who it was who paid off a bunch of Very Senior Directors, Chief Executives, and Senior Managers who quite clearly were not up to the job they were paid to do, with your money. Not Government Money not Council Money, but yours every single pound shilling and pence of it, Your Money. Hugo1008
  • Score: 14

5:05pm Mon 24 Feb 14

WirralAl says...

Hugo1008 wrote:
Remember all the Hack and Slash decisions are made by less than a dozen Labour Party Councillors, The so Called Cabinet, the rest of the 66 Parasites we are lumbered with just rubber stamp the decisions.

Massive reductions in Council Staff, Massive Reductions of Council Services, mostly effecting the Elderly, Youngsters, and Disabled or Disadvantaged members of our Wirral Population.

Yet not one Penny or Person of the 66 Councilors and their lavish expenses suffers any form of reduction, they all just turn up at Council Meetings, exchange a few words then collect their money from the trough of plenty.

Remember this when you get a chance to vote, whatever your politics they are all by and large the same, and the ones longest in office are the same ones who have brought Wirral Borough Council to this state of abject misery for the last twenty Years, even worse in the last ten years, with lies, deceit, poor judgement, mismanagement, and lack of proper Governance.

Remember who it was who paid off a bunch of Very Senior Directors, Chief Executives, and Senior Managers who quite clearly were not up to the job they were paid to do, with your money.
Not Government Money not Council Money, but yours every single pound shilling and pence of it, Your Money.
Could not of said it better. Let us hope for an end the the Apathy of people who cast historical votes!
[quote][p][bold]Hugo1008[/bold] wrote: Remember all the Hack and Slash decisions are made by less than a dozen Labour Party Councillors, The so Called Cabinet, the rest of the 66 Parasites we are lumbered with just rubber stamp the decisions. Massive reductions in Council Staff, Massive Reductions of Council Services, mostly effecting the Elderly, Youngsters, and Disabled or Disadvantaged members of our Wirral Population. Yet not one Penny or Person of the 66 Councilors and their lavish expenses suffers any form of reduction, they all just turn up at Council Meetings, exchange a few words then collect their money from the trough of plenty. Remember this when you get a chance to vote, whatever your politics they are all by and large the same, and the ones longest in office are the same ones who have brought Wirral Borough Council to this state of abject misery for the last twenty Years, even worse in the last ten years, with lies, deceit, poor judgement, mismanagement, and lack of proper Governance. Remember who it was who paid off a bunch of Very Senior Directors, Chief Executives, and Senior Managers who quite clearly were not up to the job they were paid to do, with your money. Not Government Money not Council Money, but yours every single pound shilling and pence of it, Your Money.[/p][/quote]Could not of said it better. Let us hope for an end the the Apathy of people who cast historical votes! WirralAl
  • Score: 9

9:10am Tue 25 Feb 14

Growl Tiger says...

As this is such an important meeting I wonder whether the leader of the Council will simply walk out when it reaches a difficult point and not return. Perhaps it would be better all round if he did.
As this is such an important meeting I wonder whether the leader of the Council will simply walk out when it reaches a difficult point and not return. Perhaps it would be better all round if he did. Growl Tiger
  • Score: 10

9:17am Tue 25 Feb 14

hobroW says...

Yet not one Penny or Person of the 66 Councilors and their lavish expenses suffers any form of reduction, they all just turn up at Council Meetings, exchange a few words then collect their money from the trough of plenty.

exchange a few words!!!

Words well worth repeating.

For example I am told not one accountant amongst them, So given the complexity of budgets and of spending proposals how do they navigate through it? The mantra from councillor(s) with ISUS and BIG was "I'm not an accountant so I dont understand" . Decisions have to be made fast and understanding must be quick yet the Councillors profess their own inexperience. Look at the recent cashflows published re the Pacific Road Centre and its purc

Words wasted on the ether
Yet not one Penny or Person of the 66 Councilors and their lavish expenses suffers any form of reduction, they all just turn up at Council Meetings, exchange a few words then collect their money from the trough of plenty. exchange a few words!!! Words well worth repeating. For example I am told not one accountant amongst them, So given the complexity of budgets and of spending proposals how do they navigate through it? The mantra from councillor(s) with ISUS and BIG was "I'm not an accountant so I dont understand" . Decisions have to be made fast and understanding must be quick yet the Councillors profess their own inexperience. Look at the recent cashflows published re the Pacific Road Centre and its purc Words wasted on the ether hobroW
  • Score: 7

11:29am Tue 25 Feb 14

PaulCa says...

hobroW wrote:
Yet not one Penny or Person of the 66 Councilors and their lavish expenses suffers any form of reduction, they all just turn up at Council Meetings, exchange a few words then collect their money from the trough of plenty.

exchange a few words!!!

Words well worth repeating.

For example I am told not one accountant amongst them, So given the complexity of budgets and of spending proposals how do they navigate through it? The mantra from councillor(s) with ISUS and BIG was "I'm not an accountant so I dont understand" . Decisions have to be made fast and understanding must be quick yet the Councillors profess their own inexperience. Look at the recent cashflows published re the Pacific Road Centre and its purc

Words wasted on the ether
Time to give Councillor Hackett some worthwhile competition in the elections Mr H?

Maybe we need someone on the inside, armed with experience, a fine tooth comb AND a whistle.
[quote][p][bold]hobroW[/bold] wrote: Yet not one Penny or Person of the 66 Councilors and their lavish expenses suffers any form of reduction, they all just turn up at Council Meetings, exchange a few words then collect their money from the trough of plenty. exchange a few words!!! Words well worth repeating. For example I am told not one accountant amongst them, So given the complexity of budgets and of spending proposals how do they navigate through it? The mantra from councillor(s) with ISUS and BIG was "I'm not an accountant so I dont understand" . Decisions have to be made fast and understanding must be quick yet the Councillors profess their own inexperience. Look at the recent cashflows published re the Pacific Road Centre and its purc Words wasted on the ether[/p][/quote]Time to give Councillor Hackett some worthwhile competition in the elections Mr H? Maybe we need someone on the inside, armed with experience, a fine tooth comb AND a whistle. PaulCa
  • Score: 8

3:42pm Tue 25 Feb 14

hobroW says...

The conservative fella that lost to Hackett, Ex Cllr Pritchard seems a good bet but whomsover ought always to consult not the party but the likes of the inestimable John Brace, a voluntary accountant and yourself Paul Cardin.
The conservative fella that lost to Hackett, Ex Cllr Pritchard seems a good bet but whomsover ought always to consult not the party but the likes of the inestimable John Brace, a voluntary accountant and yourself Paul Cardin. hobroW
  • Score: 3

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