Venue: St Saviour's Parish Centre, Bidston Road, Oxton CH43 2JZ
Contact: Louise Harland-Davies Area Forum Co-ordinatorItems No. Item
Welcome and Introductions
Cllr Williams welcomed 22 members of the public to the meeting and introduced the evening’s two presentations.
Minutes and matters arising from February 2009
There were no matters arising and the minutes were agreed.
Louise Harland-Davies introduced herself and outlined the following initiatives
i. Older People’s Parliament pg 34 of the co-ordinator’s report
ii. You Decide: Oxton and Prenton area forum have an extra £20,000 to spend on additional services in the local community. Questionnaires for 2009/10 are available now
Feedback from You Decide 2008/09
£5,000 has been allocated towards new bins
£10,000 has been allocated for Community Sports Development worker and youth sports night. Andrew Wild introduced himself outlining his intentions to work with the police and local councillors to engage with young people in the community. He invited any suggestions or ideas from the public for setting up projects with the aim of targeting hotspot problem areas.
£5,000 for environmental works including £3,600 trees and £1,400 on 2 benches.
iii. Funds for You: funding open to local voluntary and community groups, closing date for applications is 30 June 2009
Local government structure (Steve Maddox)
Steve Maddox gave a presentation on Local Government Structure, an overview of how the Council functions and how day-to-day decisions are made. He explained how the Council sets its priorities and outlined the five strategic objectives of the Corporate Plan which are evidence-based to address critical and significant issues in the borough. He highlighted the example of inequalities of health and wellbeing and how the Local Authority is working with other partnerships to reduce this. He emphasized the Authority’s objective to create more jobs, improve the local economy, generate investment opportunities and attract new businesses and explained the importance of working in partnership with other agencies and the voluntary sectors.
He outlined the difficulties the Authority faces with increased expectations for services with limited budget. A key issue is to get people to accept more responsibility for things that traditionally they have expected the Local Authority to do and this is the approach that the Authority is hoping to take.
Some points raised by audience
1. Preference to return to previous Executive Committee structure for decision making.
2. What is the Authority’s policies on employing local firms?: - The Council does try to use local businesses, especially smaller ones, by giving them information on the tendering process; however, Councils can experience legal and practical problems in only employing local firms. Recent initiatives include the apprenticeship scheme where companies working for the Authority must include trainees in their workforce and Business Forum, where over 600 businesses have registered.
Cllr Holbrook highlighted the Construction Integrator Scheme which provides greater employment opportunities for young people.
Richard Neale: Thanked Steve Maddox for his excellent presentation and raised points which gave rise to a debate on the political pressures by Central Government. Mr Maddox explained the effectiveness of working in partnership with other local authorities to solve problems which are common in all areas such as unemployment.
Steve Maddox be thanked for his informative presentation
Seven Waves Community Radio
Glyn and John were introduced from local radio station Seven Waves Community Radio based in Leasowe, where all the presenters are volunteers.
Facilities available to the community including soundproof studio where local bands can rehearse, I.T. suite housing 16 P.C.s, training studios. Live interviews with local politicians and community leaders can be conducted on air and they are proposing to set up a forum of approximately twenty local people whose purpose would be to give feedback on performance. More than 200 local people have been trained in radio production and some students have subsequently progressed on to media production courses. It has given many people increased confidence and has been a useful community tool by giving community groups a good platform to get their message across.
Points raised by the public
1. The building is within proximity to the local leisure centre is this a separate enterprise?:- Yes, completely separate
2. Where does funding come from? Funding was a £2.2m match funding bid from Europe and has a five year licence which may or may not be renewed. Advertising is allowed however this is capped and other funding comes through training.
Graham Bell, Merseyside Police: Is funding available for directing youths and possibly new recruits for community projects towards their facilities? - John Martin to have further discussion after the meeting.
John and Glyn be thanked for attending meeting
Public question time
1. Mr Holt, Holm Lane, Oxton: Concerned about the serious road traffic problems, namely inconsiderate parking, access to properties, blocking off closes, noise levels, speeding and parking on pavements. Unable to back out of his drive because of cars parked on pavements and stated that he has been in communication with the Council for approximately twenty years regarding these problems. He expressed concern that, although pavement parking is illegal, no-one enforces it and people are not being prosecuted. All the residents are affected and annoyed by the problems and are asking for yellow lines and fines, particularly around the school area.
Cllr Williams agreed that she also experiences the same problems but that it is at least two years since she has received a letter from him. She believes that there are plans for double yellow lines but does not know at this stage how far they will be extended, although it should be at least down to Holm View Close; however, this will not stop people dropping off children. She confirmed that he will receive a response to his complaint.
Mr Holt stated that he feels the Police should be more involved. Graham Bell, Merseyside Police agreed that yellow lines are a deterrent, however, there are four other schools in the same area which also have parking problems
Cllr Williams stated that the school is trying to work with local residents to improve the situation. Cllr Doyle said that parking problems are common to every school in Wirral but are made worse in Holm Lane due to it being used as a short cut to Woodchurch Road.
2.Alan Dollery: Problems around the recycling bins which were located near the flats in Prenton and have had to be removed due to local youths playing football and lighting fires and asked how this problem will be solved - Cllr Bridson confirmed the flats belong to Wirral Partnership Homes and agreed it is a difficult situation which is currently on hold while it is being reconsidered. She offered to contact them again to try to resolve the problem.
3. June Foster: Concerned about non-enforcement of the laws regarding illegal parking, litter and dog fouling- Steve Maddox confirmed that fixed penalty notices are in fact issued to people who drop litter and that people are prosecuted for dog fouling. The key is to educate people to stop doing these things in the first place.
Alan Stennard commented that there was a policy to issue a press release relating to people who had been prosecuted for dropping litter and dog fouling however these go unnoticed as media decide that local people prefer to read about ASBOs. More educational work is being done and a new scheme is in place where people are being rewarded for being socially responsible. Other council officers including the Park Service and Community Patrols can become involved in the enforcement process, consequently people are cleaning up after their dogs. Society’s attitudes need ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
Future meetings: Tuesday 6th October venue to be confirmed
Tuesday 6 October 2009, venue to be confirmed.