A full meeting of the Council took place on Wednesday, 20 September at 6pm.
You can see the agenda and read the reports in full on the council website – or take a look at our quick summary of the main items which were up for discussion below.
Knowsley Safeguarding Children’s Board Annual Report 2016/17
The Knowsley Safeguarding Children’s Board (KSCB) annual report was presented to Council. It sets out the safeguarding services which are delivered across Knowsley and the partnership, and the work of the board in the last financial year.
It also states the work that KSCB will focus on during 2017-18, with priorities including safeguarding and protecting children from abuse, neglect and exploitation, ensuring the views and experiences of children and young people are at the heart of practice and service planning, and learning lessons from serious case reviews.
Community Governance Review
This item looked at the effect of a recent electoral review, which means that changes will be made to the way our local town councils are structured.
The Local Government Boundary Commission’s electoral review of Knowsley is the same process which resulted in the 21 borough wards reducing to 15, and the number of borough councillors reducing from 63 to 45 in May 2016. Another of the review’s recommendations, to change the warding arrangements for Halewood, Knowsley, Prescot and Whiston Town Councils, is due to come into force from May 2019.
At tonight’s meeting, Council considered a review of the Parish and Town Councils, looking at whether there is the need for community governance to reflect the identities and interests of the community, and the need to secure effective and convenient community governance in that area. Public consultation will be undertaken as part of the review process.
Unacceptable Behaviour – Escalation Policy
Council agreed an Escalation Policy to address instances of unacceptable behaviour. While there are established Codes of Conduct for Elected Members and officers, a formal policy was not in place setting out the expected behaviour of members of the public, which has become a necessity due to a number of incidents at Council meetings and other events which has caused disruption to proceedings. The policy which was agreed at Council sets out examples of the type of behaviour which would require the Council to take further action, and sets out what action this will be.
A Notice of Motion calling on the Government to fund schools properly and enable young people and future generations to receive the quality of education that they deserve was proposed by Cllr Graham Morgan. This comes as the Dedicated Schools Grant has not had an inflationary increase for over seven years, meaning schools have had to fund the impact of pay and price inflation through their own budgets.
Fair pay for local government workers
Cllr Mike Murphy peoposed a Notice of Motion around fair pay for local government workers. He called on the Local Government Association to make representations to the Government to fund a “fair and just” pay award for local government workers. This call comes after the basic pay of local government workers fell by 21% since 2010, making local government pay the lowest in the public sector.
Support for the Tyred campaign
The Council agreed a Notice of Motion to support the national ‘Tyred’ campaign, which urges Government to amend legislation to prohibit tyres more than 10 years old being used on public service vehicles.
The Tyred campaign was developed following a devastating coach crash on the A3 in September 2012, which resulted in three fatalities and many more injuries, during a journey from the Isle of Wight’s Bestival music.
Establishment of a Minister for Older People
Cllr Chris O’Hare put forward a Notice of Motion calling on the Government to establish a Minister for Older People, providing an opportunity to commit to a coherent cross-governmental approach to age and ageing.