Contact: Ruth Harrison Democratic Services Manager
The Mayor took the opportunity to welcome Members to the remote meeting of Sefton Council and extended a special welcome to members of the public who were viewing the meeting online. This meeting was being held using Microsoft Teams Live Events software. A protocol for Members attending remote meetings had been circulated prior to the meeting and Members were respectfully requested to adhere to the protocol.
The Mayor advised all Members who were nominated Spokespersons or Movers and Seconders of Motions to turn their cameras off and mute their microphones when not addressing the meeting. The Mayor also advised that any of the nominated Spokespersons, Movers and Seconders of Motions who would like to address the meeting at any time should indicate by using the chat facility in Microsoft Teams and emphasised that the chat facility should only be used to indicate the wish to speak.
The Mayor further advised that all Members who were not nominated Spokespersons should turn their camera off and mute their microphone, and that they should only un-mute their microphone to confirm their attendance and to state how they wished to vote.
The Mayor highlighted that during the meeting Members should indicate their agreement to an item in the usual way and in the case of an item not being agreed, a vote would be taken on the item. The vote would be taken by an officer asking each member in alphabetical order to indicate their vote. Members should turn on their microphones when it was their turn to vote but that there was no need to turn on their camera.
The Mayor also drew Members’ attention to the fact that the Council Meeting was taking place during “purdah” and explained that the term “purdah” was used across central and local government to describe a period of time immediately before elections or referendums when specific restrictions on communications are actively in place. She also advised that in addition to communications, no Council resources should be used in a way to promote any political party. The Mayor explained that “purdah” doesn’t prevent councils from carrying out business as usual but by having the meeting the Council is using Council resources and so Members should speak on reports and motions on the agenda and refrain from making overtly political statements in relation to the forthcoming elections.
Apologies for Absence
An apology for absence was received from Councillor Pitt.
Declarations of Interest
Members are requested at a meeting where a disclosable pecuniary interest or personal interest arises, which is not already included in their Register of Members' Interests, todeclare any interests that relate to an item on the agenda.
Where a Member discloses a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest, he/she must withdraw from the meeting by switching their camera and microphone off during the whole consideration of any item of business in which he/she has an interest, except where he/she is permitted to remain as a result of a grant of a dispensation.
Where a Member discloses a personal interest he/she must seek advice from the Monitoring Officer or staff member representing the Monitoring Officer to determine whether the Member should withdraw from the meeting during the whole consideration of any item of business in which he/she has an interest or whether the Member can remain in the meeting or remain in the meeting and vote on the relevant decision.
The following declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests were made and the Members concerned left the teams meeting live event during the consideration of the item:
Minutes of the meeting held on 4 March 2021.
That the Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 4 March 2021 be approved as a correct record.
Death of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh – Prince Phillip
The Mayor reflected on the sad passing of The Duke of Edinburgh on Friday 9 April 2021 and referred to the Merseyside Commemoration Service she attended on Sunday 18 April and stated that it was an honour to attend.
Death of Shirley Williams – Former MP for Crosby 1981 – 1983
The Mayor reported on the sad passing of Shirley Williams former MP for Crosby.
Councillors Brodie Browne and Councillor Sir Ron Watson paid tribute.
The Council observe a one-minute silence as a mark of respect.
MAYORS CHARITY RAFFLE 2021
The Mayor reported on her Charity Raffle that had been advertised by the Mayoral and Civics Officer and encouraged Members and Officers to purchase tickets. The Mayor advised that Members should contact the Mayoral and Civics and Officer.
Councillors Not Seeking Re-Election
The Mayor reported that this was the last Council meeting before the Council Elections on 6 May 2021 and that the following Councillors would not be seeking re-election:
Councillor Hands who had served on Sefton Council for 35 years since May 1986; and
Councillors Gannon, O’Hanlon, Pitt and Pullin, who had all served on Sefton Council for 5 years since May 2016.
On behalf of the Council, The Mayor expressed thanks to those Members for their dedicated service to the people of Sefton and extended her best wishes to them for the future.
Councillors Pugh, Brodie-Browne, Grace, Maher, Sir Ron Watson and Brough paid tribute to the service given by Councillor Hands.
Councillor Pugh paid tribute to the service given by Councillor Pullin.
Mayor Elect 2021/22
The Mayor reported that Councillor Carragher had been nominated for the office of the Mayor of Sefton for 2021/22 and that the appointment would take place on 18 May 2021.
Matters Raised by the Public
To deal with matters raised by members of the public resident within the Borough, of which notice has been given in accordance with the procedures relating to public questions, motions or petitions set out in Paragraph 36 to 47 of the Council and Committee Procedure Rules in Chapter 4 of the Council Constitution.
(Details of any further petitions notified or questions submitted by members of the public will be circulated at the meeting).
The Mayor reported that no matters had been raised by members of the public.
To receive and consider questions to Cabinet Members, Chairs of Committees or Spokespersons for any of the Joint Authorities upon any matter within their portfolio/area of responsibility, of which notice has been given by Members of the Council in accordance with Paragraph 49 to 51 of the Council and Committee Procedure Rules, set out in Chapter 4 of the Council Constitution.
The Mayor reported that the schedule setting out the questions submitted by Members of the Council together with the response by the appropriate Cabinet Member had been e-mailed to all Members of the Council.
The Mayor further reported on the following procedure for the asking of supplementary questions at the remote meeting of Council.
Members would be given the opportunity to ask one supplementary question of the Leader/Cabinet Member and those questions should be e-mailed to the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer by 4 p.m. the following day after the Council Meeting, Friday 23 April 2021. It was further reported that the answers to the supplementary questions would be e-mailed directly to the Councillor by 4 p.m. on the Monday following the Council meeting, date being 26 April 2021.
The Mayor indicated that the Democratic Services Manager or her colleague would e-mail all Members of the Council with the complete supplementary question and answer schedule the following week after Council.
The Mayor reminded Members when submitting a supplementary question that the question should be a question and not a statement and furthermore must arise directly out of the original question or the reply.
Report of the Head of Highways and Public Protection
The Council considered the report of the Head of Highways and Public Protection in relation to the draft Public Spaces Protection Order – Dog Control (PSPO) under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 and detailed issues concerning dog control including an overview of the public consultation on the proposed additional dog control measures through a proposed new Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO).
It was moved by Councillor Kelly, seconded by Councillor Lappin and
That the following requirements / restrictions previously contained within the Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council Public Spaces Protection Order – Dog Control 2017 (PSPO – dog control 2017) be included within the proposed new Public Spaces Protection Order be approved:
Membership of Committees 2020/21
To consider any changes to the Membership of any committees etc.
No changes to the Membership of Committees were made.
It was moved by Councillor Dawson, seconded by Councillor Brodie-Browne that:
Proposed NHS Changes Affecting Principally Southport, Formby And West Lancashire Communities
A. Council Notes:
That managers of major NHS units and
‘management consultants’ have spent the past three
years involved in a largely-secret and unaccountable process of
developing options/proposals for significant changes in the
siteing and manner of provision of many hospital services in the
Merseyside, south Lancashire and Cheshire area, which changes are
likely to have a disproportionate effect on the residents of
Southport and Formby.
That the Secretary of State for Health in
England has just been declared by the High Court to have breached
the law in respect of required transparency within the
That NHS organisations in the Southport,
Formby and West Lancashire area have recently announced and
publicised a ‘community engagement’ exercise which does
not constitute any meaningful consultation about any
4. That one of the clear stated aims of the new NHS White Paper and the Secretary of State in justifying a major management upheaval at this difficult time has been to give himself more power over decisions being made in various parts of the NHS in England, which would likely decrease local accountability and transparency of decision making.
B. Council commits itself:
To oppose strongly any significant
reductions in quality, quantity or accessibility of NHS
hospital or community
health services for residents of any part of the Borough of
To support a truly NATIONAL Health
Service, free at the point of use and integrated as closely as
possible with Social Care provision and accountable locally to
persons elected democratically.
3. To support the integration of Health & Social Care provision and reform of care service finance provided that this is done through a process of decision-making which is transparent, open and democratic, and that the outcome of such a process is fair in particular to frail, disadvantaged and/or disabled citizens.
An amendment was moved by Councillor Moncur, seconded by Councillor Cummins that the Motion be amended by:
replacing the following words in the title of the Motion:
“Principally Southport, Formby and West Lancashire Communities” with the words “The Communities of Sefton” so that the title reads:
“Proposed NHS Changes Affecting the Communities of Sefton”;
that the word “significant” be deleted from paragraph B1;
that the words “properly resourced truly National” be inserted after the letter “a” in the first sentence of paragraph B2; and
That the words “including reform and increasing care” be inserted after the word “provision” in the first sentence of paragraph B3.
Following a debate on the amendment it was unanimously:
PROPOSED NHS CHANGES AFFECTING THE COMMUNITIES OF SEFTON
A. Council Notes:
1. That managers of major NHS units and ‘management consultants’ have spent the past three years involved in a largely-secret and unaccountable process of developing options/proposals for significant changes in the siteing and manner of provision of many hospital services in the Merseyside, south Lancashire and Cheshire area, which ... view the full minutes text for item 87.
It was moved by Councillor Sir Ron Watson, seconded by Councillor Brough that:
Health Service Review
The current Covid 19 situation has clearly re-emphasised the fact that moves towards significant integration between the NHS and local government is critical to the development of services.
The Council is involved in the consultation process and perhaps the most important element in the overall approach to be adopted and will therefore respond to any proposals particularly in respect of service delivery that are put forward by the Cheshire and Merseyside Health Care Partnership and other interested parties.
Whilst there are currently agreements in place because of the more fundamental aspects that may emerge the more expertise from Elected Members that can be injected into the process is clearly desirable.
Sefton is fortunate that it has Members who – for example – have great experience in Mental Health issues, Adult & Children’s Social Care, Strategic Health Authorities, Acute Hospital Trusts and legal aspects of the NHS as they apply to individual patients and so a Working Group of Elected Members to review and assist in the consultation process will add value to the process.
This Council resolves to:
Establish a cross party Working Group to advise the Council on all aspects of the government’s health integration agenda. The Working Group being able to report to Cabinet, Full Council, the Health and Well Being Board or any Overview and Scrutiny Committee as it deems appropriate. Membership of the Working Group, which will not be a formal committee of the Council, to be determined by the Leader following consultation with the other political group leaders.
Following a debate on the Motion the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer officiated a vote and the Mayor declared that the Motion was lost by 40 votes to 19.
It was moved by Councillor Brough, seconded by Councillor Sir Ron Watson that:
Strategic Seminars for non-cabinet Elected Members
Sefton Council is embarking upon a range of highly significant developments which include the implementation of the Southport Town Centre Funding Agreement, the development of a comprehensive policy in respect of beach management, the continuing position of the Bootle New Strand Centre, the Sandway Homes Development Programme and our response to the consultation process in respect of the future configuration of NHS services together with greater integration with Adult Social Care in the borough with the relevant Health Authority.
In all instances the direct involvement of Elected Members has been minimal and the Council now agrees that a comprehensive day seminar on all of these subject areas should be arranged with each issue being presented by the appropriate Cabinet Member and the Chief Officer and the format should also include the opportunity for a Q&A section.
This will enable Councillors who have had minimal involvement the opportunity to hopefully gain the wider perspective which is currently only possible for the limited number of Cabinet Members who have been involved.
Following a debate on the Motion the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer officiated a vote and the Mayor declared that the Motion was lost by 41 votes to 19.
It was moved by Councillor Irving, seconded by Councillor McCann and after a debate it was unanimously:
Sefton Council to Legislate Towing Away Motor Vehicles Causing Obstruction
This council notes that:
Almost twenty years ago Sefton Council decided like most other Councils in England to de-criminalize parking restrictions for yellow line offences in their area. It was felt at that time not to introduce towing away legislation for vehicles parked illegally as they believed drivers would behave in a responsible manner.
Times have now changed and areas of Sefton Coast have become a major attraction, Crosby, Formby, Ainsdale and Southport. Some of these areas cope very well with traffic but Formby has suffered immensely due to the numbers of people that arrive there at various peak times. There is limited parking in the nature reserve and the residential properties have been built right up to it. This has resulted in the area being covered with various types of yellow line restrictions, all of which try to prevent unwarranted illegal parking. It has got that bad that roads have been completely blocked with parked cars which cannot allow emergency vehicles to pass. Vehicles double park on grass verges, round-a-bouts, single and double yellow lines, on the corner of junctions as well as peoples drive- ways.
Sefton Council has commissioned a survey into the problems of visitor pressure on this coastal section but there is no legislation at present for this council to lawfully remove illegally parked vehicles causing an obstruction beside calling for Police assistance which is unsatisfactory.
Due to the increase of Visitor Pressure and the lack of responsibility shown by some drivers who park their vehicles illegally in the Sefton Metropolitan Borough throughout the year the recommendation to increase the powers of Traffic Services Department should be investigated.
This council resolves to:
Investigate increasing the legal powers of the Councils Traffic Services Department in using their discretion of removing illegally parked vehicles that are contravening traffic regulations and unwarranted parking on grassed areas in Sefton.
It was moved by Councillor Lappin, seconded by Councillor Friel that:
NJC Pay To Councils - A Fully Funded, Proper Pay Rise For Council And School Workers
This council notes:
Local government has endured central government funding cuts of more than 50% since 2010. Between 2010 and 2020, councils lost 60p out of every £1 they have received from central government.
Over the last year, councils have led the way in efforts against the Covid-19 pandemic,
providing a huge range of services and support for our communities. Local government has shown more than ever how indispensable it is but the pandemic has led to a massive increase in expenditure and loss of income, and the Government has failed to provide the full amount of promised support.
Local government workers have kept our communities safe through the pandemic, often putting themselves at considerable risk as they work to protect public health, provide quality housing, ensure our children continue to be educated, and look after older and vulnerable people.
Since 2010, the local government workforce has endured years of pay restraint with the majority of pay points losing at least 23 per cent of their value since 2009/10. At the same time, workers have experienced ever-increasing workloads and persistent job insecurity.
Across the UK, 900,000 jobs have been lost in local government since June 2010 – a reduction of more than 30 per cent. Local government has arguably been hit by more severe job losses than any other part of the public sector. The funding gap caused by Covid-19 will make local government employment even more precarious. There has been a disproportionate impact on women, with women making up more than three-quarters of the local government workforce.
Recent research shows that if the Government were to fully fund the unions’ 2021 pay claim, around half of the money would be recouped thanks to increased tax revenue, reduced expenditure on benefits, and increased consumer spending in the local economy.
This council believes:
Our workers are public service super-heroes. They keep our communities clean and safe, look after those in need and keep our towns and cities running. Without the professionalism and dedication of our staff, the council services our residents rely on would not be deliverable.
Local government workers deserve a proper real-terms pay increase. The Government needs to take responsibility and fully fund this increase; it should not put the burden on local authorities whose funding has been cut to the bone and who have not been offered adequate support through the Covid-19 pandemic.
This council resolves to:
Support the pay claim submitted by GMB, Unison and Unite on behalf of council and school workers, for a substantial increase with a minimum of 10 per cent uplift in April 2021.
Call on the Local Government Association to make urgent representations to central government to fund the NJC pay claim.
Write to the Chancellor and Secretary of State to call for a pay increase for local government workers to be funded with new ... view the full minutes text for item 91.
It was moved by Councillor Pugh, seconded by Councillor Brodie-Browne that:
Learning the Lessons from the Caller Report
In the light of the Caller Report and recent events in Liverpool, this Council
(a) believes that the role of executive mayors within local government has few real benefits and many obvious risks;
(b) deplores central governments' encouragement and the imposition of the Executive Mayoral system within local government;
(c) notes the real risk to transparency, accountability and good decision making when power is overly centralised;
(d) regrets the limited role in decision-making currently assigned to ‘backbench' councillors in all parties; and
resolves following lessons learnt from the Caller report to strengthen independent scrutiny within this Council - such moves to include allowing opposition members to chair scrutiny committees in line with best practice.
An amendment was moved by Councillor Sir Ron Watson, seconded by Councillor Brough that the Motion be amended by:
Replacing the words “has few real benefits and many obvious risks” with the words “carries some risks in respect of transparency” in paragraph (a);
That paragraph (b) be deleted and paragraph (c) becomes (b) and paragraph (d) becomes (c);
That the newly numbered paragraph (c) includes the following words at the end:
“to add to the Cabinet Membership as ex-officio members the Leaders of all Political Parties on the Council subject to them having a minimum of 4 Elected Members”.
“These new Members to have access to all the Cabinet reports, including those recommended for exclusion from the press and public, to have the right to speak at the Cabinet but not to have a vote.”; and
The following paragraph be included as paragraph (d)
“(d) In addition believes that the Council in view of the light of experience should take an early opportunity to review the Cabinet System in total with a view to its replacement by a more democratic Committee System which applies in other parts of Merseyside.”
Following a debate on the amendment the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer officiated a vote and the Mayor declared that the amendment was lost by 41 votes to 18.
Following a debate on the Motion the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer officiated a vote and the Mayor declared that the Motion was lost by 41 votes to 19.
It was moved by Councillor Brough, seconded by Councillor Morris that:
Identification of Brownfield Sites for Housing Development
That this Council acknowledges the current and high number of applications for housing within the Borough of Sefton and undertakes to reduce waiting times for applicants by identifying and promoting ‘brownfield’ sites for housing development. The use of these sites would increase the number of dwellings available for occupation and reduce waiting times for applicants.
Following a debate on the Motion the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer officiated a vote and the Mayor declared that the Motion was lost by 42 votes to 19.