Double Standards

Wirral Council is carrying out a major ‘remodelling’ of staffing structures and salary scales to reduce spending. A report at tonight’s Policy Council meeting says this will lead to lower incomes (by 10%) for over 150 managers and a “transitional pay” scheme will give affected workers up to £4,000 over a 12-month period while they try to adjust to their reduced incomes.

At the same time Labour councillors are making moves to raise the salary of its chief executive by up to £40,000 a year, increasing the salary to a possible £175,000 per year*.

I have been contacted by several officers who are caught up in this ‘remodelling’ exercise – and they are worried sick about how they’re going to deal with such a massive loss of earnings – several will see their wages reduced by £7,000 per year.

Like most people, they have mortgages and bills to pay and many are financially at full-stretch as it is.

For the administration in almost the same breath to then agree an astronomical pay rise for the new chief executive is beyond belief.

The Prime Minister’s salary is £142,000 per year. Are they really saying the chief officer of a local council has more responsibility – and deserves a higher rate – than the PM?

To many hundreds of council workers, it must appear that it’s one rule for them, another for the elite, the upper echelon.

The Labour deputy leader of the council says ‘salaries across the authority are being compressed to reflect the new, flattened structure’ – there’s one for the Plain English Society, albeit one which doesn’t apply to the chief executive.

Read more HERE

*The chief executive if also the Returning Officer for elections. He received £12,473 for this year’s European Election and an additional £5,297 for the Local Election boosting his salary to £153,000pa.

Wallasey Conservatives select candidate for Leasowe & Moreton East

Denis Knowles selected for Leasowe  Moreton East 2 jpg

Following on from the selection of Steve Williams (Moreton West & Saughall Massie) and Paul Hayes (Wallasey Ward), local Conservatives last week, selected Denis Knowles to stand in Leasowe and Moreton East.  Former Councillor Ian Lewis backed the choice.

Denis is a former Labour Councillor in the constituency, but joined the Conservatives five years ago, unhappy with the policies of Labour in Wirral, not least Labour’s attempt to close our leisure centres and libraries.

Grove Road Station

After some investigation it turns out NO ONE owns the land that borders Groveland Road and Grove Road Station.  The Council have agreed to cut back the trees in this area, which are overgrown and cover part of the pavement but the maintenance of the area will be left.  I’m in the process of finding out about a scheme run by Network Rail which encourages improving local stations.  Helpfully they have a funding pot! – perhaps they could get together with Wallasey Village in Bloom?

Still on the subject of Grove Road Station, I’ve received complaints from residents about the trees, weeds and ivy which haven’t been dealt with for a number of years and are growing fast and unhindered along the embankment – as the train pulls out going towards New Brighton (which IS the property of Network Rail), and are causing problems for local residents.  Some clearance work was carried out last year but only along the track, leaving everything else to grow rampant.

I’ve emailed Network Rail and asked them to cut back and tidy the area.

Christmas Night in Wallasey Village

The Wallasey Village Christmas Night event has been organised by local businesses with the support of volunteers and sponsors.  It takes place tomorrow, Thursday 27 November from 3.30pm to 8.30pm to late.

The Mayor will open the event at 4pm followed by Liscard Primary choir at the Lighthouse pub with ex boxer John Conteh switching on the Christmas tree lights at 6pm at Sheridans pub.  Not only are there 40 stalls lining the route selling and advertising everything from cakes, pies, face painting, jewellery, Rotaract, Tidy Space, shoes and Wallasey Village in Bloom to name but a few! but children can meet Father Christmas and get their photo taken, meet/ride the donkeys and there’s even a Petting Zoo!

I’ll be there for a couple of hours (helping out at the Wallasey Village in Bloom stall) so do stop and say hello – I’ll be the one NOT dressed as an elf!!

Winter Maintenance Programme

It’s good to know that the Council’s Highways Winter Service Plan sets out details of how the authority will keep the borough moving in the event of a severe winter with possibly prolonged spells of icy weather or snow and, as the temperature dropped a few degrees today, I thought you would like to know what those plans are.

From earlier this month until Monday 6 April 2015, staff from the council and its Highways Contractor, BAM Nuttall, are on standby 24 hours a day, ready to respond when the regular weather forecasts they get through from MeteoGroup UK suggest gritting will be needed.

There are 10 full size gritters and two mini-gritters available for use for winter operations and snow ploughs will be available for use with each of the full-size gritters.

The 10 main gritting routes are continually assessed to ensure that major bus routes, certain school routes and strategic vehicle routes across Wirral are treated.  Supplementing the work of the gritters, there are 286 grit bins installed and stocked up across the borough.

 

Overgrown borders

At Grove Road Station there are a section of trees, plants etc which act as a border between the station and Groveland Road.  The shrubbery is overgrown and in some places covers the pavement making it difficult for people to walk passed.  Due to the state of the area it has also been used as an open ‘bin’, with bottles and general rubbish strewn about.  In this instance the Council isn’t responsible as the land is owned by Merseytravel.

I’ve emailed Merseytravel and asked them to cut back the borders and clear out the rubbish.

Another new proposal for a retail store in Wallasey Village

Wirral’s planning department have received yet another application for the construction of a new convenience retail (Tesco?) store on the vacant land where Classic Cars of Wirral Limited (next to the Farmer’s Arms) use to be situated in Wallasey Village.

The first application was refused on the basis that it was an ‘alien feature’!  the second was refused by Wirral’s Planning Committee, went to appeal and the Planning Inspectorate in London were very critical in their refusal.

Every time an application has been made, local residents have been quite clear: they don’t want a retail (Tesco?) store in Wallasey Village and they’ve backed it up with a petition of over 1,200 signatures with many hundreds more writing, emailing and telephoning the council to make their thoughts known; that they are against this going ahead.

Each time a new (or revised) application is submitted for development of this site the comments, letters and petitions from previous applications are not valid, so have to be completed again.

Someone’s not listening and as the saying goes ‘every little helps’.  You can make your comments by writing or emailing:

Writing: to Sarah Lacey at Wallasey Town Hall, North Annexe, Brighton Street, Wallasey, CH44 8ED

Email to: planningapplications@wirral.gov.uk

Please quote planning application APP/14/01387 on all correspondence – you have until 16 December 2014 to submit any comments or petitions.

To read the application in full click HERE