You may have read in the local papers about some of the outcomes of Sefton's Full Council meeting last Thursday, which I attended.
A lot of hot air was delivered by all 3 parties, but mainly by the leading Labour group.
Two issues which took up most of the time were: the presentation of a petition to protect green belt land from development and a motion put forward by my colleague Tony Robertson to express delight at progress being made by Merseytravel to make much needed changes to their governance.
If you would like further information on these 2 issues I surges that you visit Tony's Blog at:
Thursday night was also one of those rare occasions when I felt the need to join in, but not with the usual banter and slanging matches that often occur.
I put forward 2 amendments to the proposal put forward by the Labour leader of the council to implement some of their planned savings.
A great deal of time and effort has been spent on consulting the public to gain their views on proposed cuts to services. One of the proposed savings is to pass on all maintenance and utilities costs to sports ground users. This has been consulted upon and some of the savings have already been implemented.
My concerns are over the next round of savings where junior sports users will also be expected to pay their way. Consultation has already started on this proposal and my amendment was to simply defer the decision on adult users until consultation on junior users is completed.
Many of the pitches and greens are used by both adult and junior users, so it makes sense to deal with both sets of users at the same time.
My second amendment was to defer a decision to increase the fees for burials and cremations.
To illustrate the fees involved I will use the proposed fees for cremation. Burial fees will also be increased but they are slightly more complicated.
Fees were increased for cremation from a previous £501 to £600 in February/March, an increase of 19.7%.
This proposal was widely consulted upon before the decision was made.
We are now faced with a further hike in fees from £600 to £750, a further increase of 25%.
This will lead to Sefton having the most expensive charge locally, regionally and nationally!
However, this time no consultation was planned for. When I asked the Labour Cabinet Member concerned for a reason I was told that this was the advice he had been given and that a consultation was not needed as a similar proposal was consulted on last year.
My party do not agree with this sentiment. We believe that this decision will have a major impact on Sefton's residents and a consultation must therefore take place.
Both amendments were accepted unanimously by all members present.
Expect further postings on these 2 issues in future postings.