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Labour/Tory Coalition is Letting Wirral Down

Wirral Greens respond to letter from the Independent Assurance Panel

The final letter from the independent panel is welcome news. It allows Wirral Council to move on from the failures of past Labour administrations and focus on delivering for the people of Wirral, notwithstanding the significant challenges of delivering core services within a budget constrained by 14 years of Tory austerity.

However, despite the warm words about “improved cross party working” the reality is that Wirral operates a Labour/Tory coalition which is prepared to push through decisions that unnecessarily damage our communities (e.g. the closure of Europa fun pool and Bromborough Civic Centre), are clearly opposed by the wider public (Birkenhead Market) and even fly in the face of national and international law (Hoylake Beach).

The panel correctly highlights the risks around the council’s regeneration programme. The recent fiasco of Labour and Tory councillors undermining the future of Birkenhead Market in the face of widespread opposition calls into question the council’s commitment to the ambition outlined in the Birkenhead 2040 Framework. An urgent reset is required so the public and private sector can regain confidence that Wirral Council is serious about regeneration and successfully implementing its brownfield only Local Plan.

The panel may be saying goodbye but the failure of Labour and the Tories to put Wirral’s people and its environment front and centre of its decision making mean the public remains rightly sceptical that the council has really changed.