VIDEO: Former council leader takes up Wirral's mayoral chains

Wirral Globe: Labour's Steve Foulkes was installed as the borough’s new civic leader at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton Labour's Steve Foulkes was installed as the borough’s new civic leader at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton

WIRRAL'S former council leader has officially taken up the mayoral chains of office tonight.

Labour's Steve Foulkes was installed as the borough’s new civic leader at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton, with fiancee Elaine Nolan becoming mayoress.

Heswall Conservative Les Rowlands and wife Paula are deputy mayor and mayoress.

But the ceremony was marred by controversy when, in a break with traditional cross-party unity, 50 councillors voted in favour of Cllr Foulkes' nomination, four Consevatives and Green Party councillor Pat Cleary voted against and 10 abstained.

On becoming mayor, Cllr Foulkes told the Globe: "It's a great honour, with immense responsibilty. I know I may not have been everyone's cup of tea, but I will work really hard to unite the borough.

“I’ve always only ever done my best for the borough and as mayor, this wil be no exception. In this job I will continue to do my best for the borough."

His three chosen charities are Stick'n'Step, which helps provide conductive education to children with cerebral palsy; Clatterbridge Cancer Centre and Wirral Foodbank.

Cllr Foulkes continued "We've met lots of people from different charities, but these are the three that really touched us.

"I chose Stick’n’Step because of the unique way it helps people who are challenged and their lives are enhanced.

"I decided to support the cancer charity, because we have the most fantastic facility on our doorstep. We all know someone whose life has been blighted by cancer and I’m keen to support charities that help fight back against the disease.

"Wirral Foodbank is run by genuinely caring people who are in crisis. It takes steps to stop them getting deeper in crisis.

"As I said in my speech, we are only a few wage packets away, or a very serious accident away, from being in a situation of crisis. There, but by the grace of God go I, which is why I’m also pleased to support the charity."

Among those who voted against Cllr Foulkes was outspoken Conservative councillor Chris Blakeley, who was hauled before a disciplinary standards committee last year after saying he believed the former council leader was "not fit" to be mayor.

Following these remarks, Cllr Foulkes made a complaint under the Members’ Code of Conduct.

However, the investigation concluded Cllr Blakeley was “acting in his official capacity” when he made the comments and that no breach of the code had occurred.

Speaking prior to tonight's ceremony, Cllr Blakeley told the Globe his opposition to Cllr Foulkes would continue. "My position has been clear all year and it's certainly not going to change now.

"I will vote against Cllr Foulkes. I know this won’t be popular with the Labour group; it may also upset some of my colleagues and some of the council’s invited guests.

"But I will remain true to my views. I will stand up and be counted.”

In a break with tradition, mayor-making had moved from the Civic Hall at Wallasey Town Hall to the Floral Pavilion Theatre. Tories had opposed the change.

The civic honour is especially important this year as Wirral welcomes the return of the Open Golf Championship in July.

Council leader Phil Davies, who nominated Cllr Foulkes for mayor, said: "I think it's a shame that the tories voted against Steve.

"My group's always taken the view that the mayoralty should be above politics, and it's sad that a sizeable portion of the Conservative group abstained, and four of them voted against, as well as the new Green councillor.

"It's a shame because, obviously, Steve's family and friends were here, so it should have been a nice night and council should have been unanimous in its support.

"It's left a bit of a bitter taste in the mouth."

Comments (20)

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11:33pm Mon 2 Jun 14

vicarious phil says...

Well done to Cllr Pat Cleary, voting against the slimy machine politics that Wirral Council prides itself on, at your first opportunity!
Well done to Cllr Pat Cleary, voting against the slimy machine politics that Wirral Council prides itself on, at your first opportunity! vicarious phil
  • Score: 13

11:58pm Mon 2 Jun 14

Joeblogg85 says...

I'm not a supporter of Blakely in any way shape or form apart from the fact that he stood up for what he believed in and for that he deserves some credit.
I'm not a supporter of Blakely in any way shape or form apart from the fact that he stood up for what he believed in and for that he deserves some credit. Joeblogg85
  • Score: 7

1:36am Tue 3 Jun 14

Thepleb says...

This lot make me sick the mayor role is above politics then why is the role given to a succession of councillors year after year the tax paying public should vote from candidates or maybe include the scrapping of the mayor role in this year's soon to be printed what really matters ****, absolute parasites the lot of them £10,000 a year plus £9,000 councillor fees plus £5,000 merseytravel costs and whatever panel he decides to sit on plus of course free 5 Star Open Golf tickets all this while there is a 12 week consultation to close a school for disabled children as an ex council worker unceremoniously shafted in the last round of cuts I hope they choke on their prawn voluvonts, all this from a Labour council as well absolute shameful.
This lot make me sick the mayor role is above politics then why is the role given to a succession of councillors year after year the tax paying public should vote from candidates or maybe include the scrapping of the mayor role in this year's soon to be printed what really matters ****, absolute parasites the lot of them £10,000 a year plus £9,000 councillor fees plus £5,000 merseytravel costs and whatever panel he decides to sit on plus of course free 5 Star Open Golf tickets all this while there is a 12 week consultation to close a school for disabled children as an ex council worker unceremoniously shafted in the last round of cuts I hope they choke on their prawn voluvonts, all this from a Labour council as well absolute shameful. Thepleb
  • Score: 20

7:21am Tue 3 Jun 14

PaulCa says...

It amounts to a kick in the teeth from out of control Torylite abusers who've attacked and abused our vulnerable people, and who hold the public in contempt.

Over the years, we've voted for it, funded it and allowed it to happen.

Are we simply masochists?
It amounts to a kick in the teeth from out of control Torylite abusers who've attacked and abused our vulnerable people, and who hold the public in contempt. Over the years, we've voted for it, funded it and allowed it to happen. Are we simply masochists? PaulCa
  • Score: 8

10:36am Tue 3 Jun 14

Thepleb says...

Why have previous comments been taken down?
Why have previous comments been taken down? Thepleb
  • Score: 3

10:57am Tue 3 Jun 14

MX says...

Yes Phil there are things that should be above politics. This appointment isn't one of them.
Demonstrates once again that the default position with this Council is denial.
Yes Phil there are things that should be above politics. This appointment isn't one of them. Demonstrates once again that the default position with this Council is denial. MX
  • Score: 10

11:28am Tue 3 Jun 14

JohnON says...

According to the Liverpool Echo, Cllr Davies said because the Tory Councillors voted in three different ways (voted against, abstained and voted for) it "shows a lack of leadership."

How can you have 'leadership' and be 'above politicsl' at the same time !!

Personally, I think it shows that members of at least one party are allowed to think for themselves. That's how Democracy is supposed to work.
According to the Liverpool Echo, Cllr Davies said because the Tory Councillors voted in three different ways (voted against, abstained and voted for) it "shows a lack of leadership." How can you have 'leadership' and be 'above politicsl' at the same time !! Personally, I think it shows that members of at least one party are allowed to think for themselves. That's how Democracy is supposed to work. JohnON
  • Score: 8

1:06pm Tue 3 Jun 14

hobroW says...

If the possibility of voting against is so perverse why have a vote.?

The protest vote is not shameful when it is provided for in the constitution.

One should have worried at the unanimity in the Reichstag 1933 onwards, or in the Russian politburo or the convention in Iraq under Saddam Hussein.

Cllr Davies should be taking the position of gratitude that so many opposition councillors who previously had posted a vote of no confidence in Cllr Foulkes as Leader were now prepared to vote him in as Mayor presumably on the grounds of his long service.
If the possibility of voting against is so perverse why have a vote.? The protest vote is not shameful when it is provided for in the constitution. One should have worried at the unanimity in the Reichstag 1933 onwards, or in the Russian politburo or the convention in Iraq under Saddam Hussein. Cllr Davies should be taking the position of gratitude that so many opposition councillors who previously had posted a vote of no confidence in Cllr Foulkes as Leader were now prepared to vote him in as Mayor presumably on the grounds of his long service. hobroW
  • Score: 6

3:20pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Dave J1608 says...

FF Foulkes as mayor. What a ridiculous buffoon.
FF Foulkes as mayor. What a ridiculous buffoon. Dave J1608
  • Score: 8

6:06pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Mary Adair says...

""It's left a bit of a bitter taste in the mouth." Bullies feign victimhood. Well done Pip, you sorry excuse for a man. Foulksey is the last person to be regarded as Wirral's first citizen and you know it you shambling husk of a man. Not sure the red robes does much for your complexion Steve dear.
""It's left a bit of a bitter taste in the mouth." Bullies feign victimhood. Well done Pip, you sorry excuse for a man. Foulksey is the last person to be regarded as Wirral's first citizen and you know it you shambling husk of a man. Not sure the red robes does much for your complexion Steve dear. Mary Adair
  • Score: 12

6:21pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Growl Tiger says...

"It's left a bit of a bitter taste in the mouth." For once in your life Cllr Davies you are absolutely correct. This appointment certainly has.
"It's left a bit of a bitter taste in the mouth." For once in your life Cllr Davies you are absolutely correct. This appointment certainly has. Growl Tiger
  • Score: 9

6:53pm Tue 3 Jun 14

reliant22 says...

I just hope he makes as big a `c***u* of the Mayoralty as he did as leader.
Phil Davies to lose his seat at next election.
Hard faced Labour politicians need to be booted out.
I just hope he makes as big a `c***u* of the Mayoralty as he did as leader. Phil Davies to lose his seat at next election. Hard faced Labour politicians need to be booted out. reliant22
  • Score: 7

7:03pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Thepleb says...

According to Philly Davies the council should just agree with his every decision not have any constructive views on this embarrassing appointment, there not called the opposition for nothing Philly boy
According to Philly Davies the council should just agree with his every decision not have any constructive views on this embarrassing appointment, there not called the opposition for nothing Philly boy Thepleb
  • Score: 9

5:56pm Wed 4 Jun 14

Joeblogg85 says...

Jesus, didn't realise so many hangers on went to this event! How much must it cost to feed and water this lot? Even Mad Dog was in the front row! Blooming heck it must have cost thousands.

Does anyone know why Wirral still has a blooming Mayor. For the cost of the Mayor and his Mayoral Office support, the Council could keep a certain school open or bring back Meals on Wheels. Now what is more important?
Jesus, didn't realise so many hangers on went to this event! How much must it cost to feed and water this lot? Even Mad Dog was in the front row! Blooming heck it must have cost thousands. Does anyone know why Wirral still has a blooming Mayor. For the cost of the Mayor and his Mayoral Office support, the Council could keep a certain school open or bring back Meals on Wheels. Now what is more important? Joeblogg85
  • Score: 7

3:10pm Thu 5 Jun 14

Hugo1008 says...

We Done to those who actually voted, that is the first step in Democracy, poor show to those who abstained, that is just sheer cowardice and demonstrates no back bone and no integrity.
Congratulations to those who showed they had the courage and decency to vote against that indicates that they have some shred of decency and and do actually listen to the electorate.
The appointee is and has been a complete disgrace for a good number of years and deeply involved in all the sleaze, disgrace, and scandal, together with the gallons of whitewash that is the hall mark of a completely disreputable bunch of of elected peoples representatives that we the population of Wirral have been unfortunately saddled with for decades. And this wont change until people start voting for proper decent caring individual candidates and not some party political stooge. That applies to every Political Party like New Pretend Labour, Corrupt Conservative, and Bewildered Liberal Democrats. (Pick A New Face) every time.
We Done to those who actually voted, that is the first step in Democracy, poor show to those who abstained, that is just sheer cowardice and demonstrates no back bone and no integrity. Congratulations to those who showed they had the courage and decency to vote against that indicates that they have some shred of decency and and do actually listen to the electorate. The appointee is and has been a complete disgrace for a good number of years and deeply involved in all the sleaze, disgrace, and scandal, together with the gallons of whitewash that is the hall mark of a completely disreputable bunch of of elected peoples representatives that we the population of Wirral have been unfortunately saddled with for decades. And this wont change until people start voting for proper decent caring individual candidates and not some party political stooge. That applies to every Political Party like New Pretend Labour, Corrupt Conservative, and Bewildered Liberal Democrats. (Pick A New Face) every time. Hugo1008
  • Score: 4

5:48pm Thu 5 Jun 14

Thepleb says...

Mayor -£30,000 a year
Drivers - £60,000
Vehicle- £18,000 plus fuel,insurance,tax
Catering- ???
Office staff x 3 - £45,000
I think we all know where this money could be utilised for greater effect, only five more weeks of consulting.
Mayor -£30,000 a year Drivers - £60,000 Vehicle- £18,000 plus fuel,insurance,tax Catering- ??? Office staff x 3 - £45,000 I think we all know where this money could be utilised for greater effect, only five more weeks of consulting. Thepleb
  • Score: 6

8:01pm Thu 5 Jun 14

Joeblogg85 says...

Thepleb wrote:
Mayor -£30,000 a year
Drivers - £60,000
Vehicle- £18,000 plus fuel,insurance,tax
Catering- ???
Office staff x 3 - £45,000
I think we all know where this money could be utilised for greater effect, only five more weeks of consulting.
Wow, that is a lot of money to keep a non political Mayor when funding is tight. So let's say catering is £10k a year. Also, 3 office staff will definitely come to much more than £45k. I would suggest with pensions etc it would be more like £90k. That would make it at least £200k a year. Blimey, you could keep a school and Meals on Wheels going for that.
[quote][p][bold]Thepleb[/bold] wrote: Mayor -£30,000 a year Drivers - £60,000 Vehicle- £18,000 plus fuel,insurance,tax Catering- ??? Office staff x 3 - £45,000 I think we all know where this money could be utilised for greater effect, only five more weeks of consulting.[/p][/quote]Wow, that is a lot of money to keep a non political Mayor when funding is tight. So let's say catering is £10k a year. Also, 3 office staff will definitely come to much more than £45k. I would suggest with pensions etc it would be more like £90k. That would make it at least £200k a year. Blimey, you could keep a school and Meals on Wheels going for that. Joeblogg85
  • Score: 7

8:41pm Thu 5 Jun 14

Thepleb says...

Cllr Philly Davies "because of the government's cuts to our funding we have to make huge savings protecting essential services and the vulnerable people in our borough"
Lyndale,meals on wheels,transport for special needs,streetlights,s
chool crossing patrols,
Vast amounts spent on staircases,offices,f
urniture,carpets also millions spent on one day so called experts giving super duper directors a much needed break.
We don't need a mayor on the Wirral as we already have 66 wastes of space clogging up the town hall.
Cllr Philly Davies "because of the government's cuts to our funding we have to make huge savings protecting essential services and the vulnerable people in our borough" Lyndale,meals on wheels,transport for special needs,streetlights,s chool crossing patrols, Vast amounts spent on staircases,offices,f urniture,carpets also millions spent on one day so called experts giving super duper directors a much needed break. We don't need a mayor on the Wirral as we already have 66 wastes of space clogging up the town hall. Thepleb
  • Score: 8

12:57pm Fri 6 Jun 14

Local Govwatcher1 says...

The election of Steve Foulkes totally demeans the office of Mayor. Time it was done away with.
The election of Steve Foulkes totally demeans the office of Mayor. Time it was done away with. Local Govwatcher1
  • Score: 5

1:31pm Mon 16 Jun 14

WirralAl says...

Local Govwatcher1 wrote:
The election of Steve Foulkes totally demeans the office of Mayor. Time it was done away with.
Could not agree more.

In these difficult times how can they elect the twit that wasted all the money and abused so many it is disgusting to reward this person with such a position and to that extent I believe that in order to save costs this role should be scrapped now. It really makes me vomit.

The councillors only show that nothing has changed in this council and they are still looking after themselves whilst stopping services and depriving people of their needs.

Total abuse of power!!!!
[quote][p][bold]Local Govwatcher1[/bold] wrote: The election of Steve Foulkes totally demeans the office of Mayor. Time it was done away with.[/p][/quote]Could not agree more. In these difficult times how can they elect the twit that wasted all the money and abused so many it is disgusting to reward this person with such a position and to that extent I believe that in order to save costs this role should be scrapped now. It really makes me vomit. The councillors only show that nothing has changed in this council and they are still looking after themselves whilst stopping services and depriving people of their needs. Total abuse of power!!!! WirralAl
  • Score: 0

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