Bid to block Wirral Council spending £20,000 on new office

Wirral Globe: Cllr Stuart Kelly: "With the level of savings the council needs to make over the next few years it is vital that we put all expenditure under review and scrutiny" Cllr Stuart Kelly: "With the level of savings the council needs to make over the next few years it is vital that we put all expenditure under review and scrutiny"

A SENIOR Wirral councillor has launched a bid to halt the authority's decision to spend £20,000 on new office accommodation at the same time as 500 jobs are at risk.

Wirral Council came under fire again last week for its spending habits, less than 24 hours after chief executive Graham Burgess warned staff that they may face compulsory redundancies due to a £57m budget shortfall.

Wirral needs to save around £27m this year alone, and council chiefs came under fire for approving spending £20,000 on leasing an office at Birkenhead fire station for two years - less than two miles from the town hall.

The £10,000-a-year lease will allow the authority's Birkenhead constituency committee to have a permanent base and will act as a location for future meetings.

A report published on the local authority's website states: "As the council requires the property for operational purposes no other options have been considered."

Oxton Liberal Democrat councillor Stuart Kelly has now launched a bid to use his "call-in" procedures to delay the decision and force further debate on the issue.

"The report makes clear that no other options were considered. I think councillors need to be certain that there isn't already space in any of the council's estate in Birkenhead," said Cllr Kelly.

"My understanding is the HMRC has left the Conway building for example, isn't this space now available?

"With the level of savings the council needs to make over the next few years it is vital that we put all expenditure under review and scrutiny."

Wallasey Conservative councillor Leah Fraser also criticised the spending.

She said: "They have put staff under threat of redundancy, they are trying to close the Lyndale School and have spent £17,000 on posh toilets.

"Now they want to lease a building for the exclusive use of councillors and senior managers to use?

"It beggars belief, especially when, by their own admission they haven't even investigated using council-owned buildings, not even Birkenhead town hall or the numerous other buildings that taxpayers own.

"iif they're not fit for operational purposes, why is money being thrown at them year in, year out?"

Assistant chief executive David Armstrong last week defended the decision, saying office space at Birkenhead town hall is not readily available.

He said: "Birkenhead Community Fire Station was identified as a central, accessible location for the constituency office.

"Current national policy encourages public bodies to co-locate and this is one of a number of arrangements with fire, police and health."

Councillor Kelly's call-in requires six council members to sign up by this Tuesday, June 17 to be referred to a committee for debate.

Comments (9)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:52am Mon 16 Jun 14

JohnON says...

So, after it's been called-in, which 11 of the Labour Councillors is Cllr. Kelly hoping to change the minds of?

Thought so. Worthwhile gesture but, in a dictatorship, that's all it is.
So, after it's been called-in, which 11 of the Labour Councillors is Cllr. Kelly hoping to change the minds of? Thought so. Worthwhile gesture but, in a dictatorship, that's all it is. JohnON
  • Score: 4

12:27pm Mon 16 Jun 14

rover600 says...

Thank goodness for the likes of Councillor Kelly & Fraser! Neither are my representatives but good to hear some of them are sticking their heads above the parapet on this matter, I hope they get the required numbers for this and that collectively they put a stop to this madness!

When will the likes of Mr Burgess and co realise that there is more to their jobs than just spending often wastefully, our money?

£10,000 a year lease? If that kind of money is 'sloshing around' it should be used towards keeping necessary employees under the threat of redundancy in work?
Thank goodness for the likes of Councillor Kelly & Fraser! Neither are my representatives but good to hear some of them are sticking their heads above the parapet on this matter, I hope they get the required numbers for this and that collectively they put a stop to this madness! When will the likes of Mr Burgess and co realise that there is more to their jobs than just spending often wastefully, our money? £10,000 a year lease? If that kind of money is 'sloshing around' it should be used towards keeping necessary employees under the threat of redundancy in work? rover600
  • Score: 12

12:36pm Mon 16 Jun 14

Growl Tiger says...

If Mr Burgess is planning to cut the work force by up to 500 why would he want MORE accommodation? As with all decisions this Council makes – the figures just don’t add up and the decision making is based not on actual facts, but on statements plucked out of thin air.
If Mr Burgess is planning to cut the work force by up to 500 why would he want MORE accommodation? As with all decisions this Council makes – the figures just don’t add up and the decision making is based not on actual facts, but on statements plucked out of thin air. Growl Tiger
  • Score: 11

12:47pm Mon 16 Jun 14

BlueHue says...

Thank you, Cllr Kelly. At last, someone acting for us.
Thank you, Cllr Kelly. At last, someone acting for us. BlueHue
  • Score: 8

1:20pm Mon 16 Jun 14

Joeblogg85 says...

Growl Tiger wrote:
If Mr Burgess is planning to cut the work force by up to 500 why would he want MORE accommodation? As with all decisions this Council makes – the figures just don’t add up and the decision making is based not on actual facts, but on statements plucked out of thin air.
All over it again Growl.

Once the 500 are gone then there will be plenty of room to hold the Constituency Team which I believe consists of no more than 3-4 staff. There is plenty of meeting rooms in the council. This is just nonsense.

If this was your own business then you would never spend this money. End of!
[quote][p][bold]Growl Tiger[/bold] wrote: If Mr Burgess is planning to cut the work force by up to 500 why would he want MORE accommodation? As with all decisions this Council makes – the figures just don’t add up and the decision making is based not on actual facts, but on statements plucked out of thin air.[/p][/quote]All over it again Growl. Once the 500 are gone then there will be plenty of room to hold the Constituency Team which I believe consists of no more than 3-4 staff. There is plenty of meeting rooms in the council. This is just nonsense. If this was your own business then you would never spend this money. End of! Joeblogg85
  • Score: 7

4:28pm Mon 16 Jun 14

Joeblogg85 says...

This decision completely flies in the face of the Councils Strategic Asset Management Plan due to be put forward for agreement to Cabinet on 19th June. What's the point of having a strategy, getting it signed off by Cabinet and then IGNORING it! Improvements, what improvements?
This decision completely flies in the face of the Councils Strategic Asset Management Plan due to be put forward for agreement to Cabinet on 19th June. What's the point of having a strategy, getting it signed off by Cabinet and then IGNORING it! Improvements, what improvements? Joeblogg85
  • Score: 5

7:50pm Mon 16 Jun 14

It's all gone to pot says...

Sums them up that they say can't find anywhere else suitable and are only happy when wasting money.Philip Davies should stand up and be counted instead of hiding behind Graham Burgess, is he afraid of becoming unpopular and losing him his seat in the elections.What has Graham Burgess achieved that an A level student in Business couldn't achieve. Anyone can cut costs and redundancies , but try and get money saved, intelligently and generate money using new ideas and they are totally clueless.Might as well get a contestant from the apprentice, stand a better chance.
Sums them up that they say can't find anywhere else suitable and are only happy when wasting money.Philip Davies should stand up and be counted instead of hiding behind Graham Burgess, is he afraid of becoming unpopular and losing him his seat in the elections.What has Graham Burgess achieved that an A level student in Business couldn't achieve. Anyone can cut costs and redundancies , but try and get money saved, intelligently and generate money using new ideas and they are totally clueless.Might as well get a contestant from the apprentice, stand a better chance. It's all gone to pot
  • Score: 1

12:04pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Llamedos 1 says...

I have said it before and had my comment removed.....when will these idiots in the clown hall ever learn......it looks very much like never
I have said it before and had my comment removed.....when will these idiots in the clown hall ever learn......it looks very much like never Llamedos 1
  • Score: 5

1:49pm Tue 15 Jul 14

Mojo68 says...

Yet again proving that these officers/councillors are not fit for purpose!! They make my blood boil.
Yet again proving that these officers/councillors are not fit for purpose!! They make my blood boil. Mojo68
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree