Chief Executive Ged Fitzgerald: Good evening Lord Mayor and Members, can I advise the Chamber that apologies for absence have been received from Councillors Rosie Jolly, Barbara Mace, Gary Millar and Hayley Todd. Are there any other apologies please?
Thank you Lord Mayor.
Lord Mayor of Liverpool Cllr Erica Kemp: Thank you, can I remind those present that this is a meeting held in public and not a public meeting? I would also like to emphasise that this is a key public meeting, can I therefore request that everyone present including the public treat this meeting accordingly which will enable the business to be dealt with effectively? The use of social media and filming for recording proceedings is permitted during Council meetings. This does not extend to filming of members of the public and anyone wishing to film the proceedings are also particularly directed to the very sensitive issue of filming children without the express permission of their parents. Can I ask the permission of the Council to allow the palantypists to record the proceedings which are projected on the large screens in the Chamber, is that agreed?
Chief Executive Ged Fitzgerald: Thank you Lord Mayor, declarations of interest, can I remind Members that you are only required to declare at meetings any disclosable, pecuniary or prejudicial interest, in which case the Member will need to leave the Chamber during the consideration of that item, are there any such declarations please? Thank you, can I also remind Members that if an amount due in respect of his or her council tax has not been paid for at least two months after it became payable, then he or she should not vote on any question concerning the calculation relating to setting of council tax, precepts or limitation of council tax and precepts, any recommendation, resolution or other decision that might affect the making of such calculation and administration or enforcement matters in relation to council tax. Thank you Lord Mayor.
Lord Mayor of Liverpool Cllr Eric Kemp: Right, item 2 errm, err the minutes of the Council meeting held on the 14th of January, is that agreed? Thank you. Item 3, public question time, Chief Executive?
Chief Executive Ged Fitzgerald: Thank you Lord Mayor, in accordance with the requirements of standing orders, can I advise the Council that there are no petitions to be submitted and also no statements to be received at this evening’s meeting.
Lord Mayor of Liverpool Cllr Erica Kemp: This is a Budget Meeting, with the permission of the Council, in terms of timing of speeches. for Budget items, errm, I’m suggesting that Mayor Anderson has twenty minutes to speak, the mover of an amendment and right of reply for ten minutes, for all other speakers to be allowed five minutes and with the consent of the Council a two minute extension to allow the maximum possible number of Members of Council, err Members of the Council to speak, are we agreed to that? Are you happy with that, I know it’s not in the constitution, it’s only by terms of guidelines and in order to keep a good framework for the meeting this evening. Right, OK, well I’ll take that as agreed and I’ll be flexible if necessary, ok, thank you. Item 4, Chief Executive.
Chief Executive Ged Fitzgerald: Thank you Lord Mayor, can I advise Members that card votes will be conducted as prescribed under standing order 25 of the City Council constitution, when amendments and the budget motion are considered, which will be recorded in the minutes of the proceedings when Members cast their vote for the decision or against the decision or whether he or she abstain from voting. Thank you.
Lord Mayor of Liverpool: Item 4. Mayor Anderson?
Mayor Joe Anderson: Lord Mayor, can I move the statement of the Chief Financial Officer on the robustness of estimates for 2015/16 to 2016/17 and the statement of the Chief Financial Officer on the adequacy of the provisions and reserves for 2015 to 2016/17? Can I move that the statements of the officer and the robustness of those estimates be agreed by the Council please?
Lord Mayor of Liverpool Cllr Eric Kemp: OK, are we agreed on that? We move to item 5, Mayor Anderson? Lord Mayor, this of course is the second year of our three year budget plan, so before I talk about the challenges that we still face, as a city, I think it’s also important that we recognise the hard work of of the officers of this Council in what they’ve been undertaking on our behalf over the difficult period in time that we’ve faced, so can I begin by thanking Becky Hellard and her team and her finance team for all her support to me and the Chief Executive, during the last errm, over twelve months, as you know we’ve faced an onslaught by this government in terms of financial pressure, not just for last year, this year and next year, but since 2010. So can I thank Becky and her finance team for all the work that they’ve put in, not only supporting me but also giving advice and information to the opposition. Can I also thank the Chief Executive as well and the Executive Directors of the Council who’ve been working extremely hard under difficult decisions and with a reduced number of staff, something I think that we often overlook. So as we look forward to the next twelve months and I don’t mean look forward in a happy sense, but look forward to the challenges that we face and not only the next twelve months but beyond that over the next twenty-four months. I think it’s important that we recognise how professional and dedicated our staff are and with their extraordinary commitment to the people of this city. Special thanks I would also like to pay to our union colleagues, to the joint trade union council and its members and they in my opinion are a real source of pride to this Council, in the way that they have understood the difficult decisions that we’ve had to make and they also fully understand only too well where the blame lies for the difficult decisions that we’ve had to take. I think it’s also important to recognise the work of our partners within the city, who’ve worked with us to actually move and drive our city forward, the business community for instance, the NHS, the universities, community groups, social enterprises, charities, our schools and many, many others too numerous to mention that work alongside us to make our city what it can be today and what it is for the future, tremendously committed to helping us work for a better city. I think it’s also from my point of view as well as Mayor of the city, but also Leader of the Labour Group to actually put our thanks on record my thanks to all my colleagues in the Labour Group but equally to all the Cabinet Members on the Council who’ve engaged with the Budget process and also pay tribute to Councillor Radford and the Liberal Group for taking part in the earlier discussions on the Budget which actually we’ve set our three year budget proposals. I really do value and appreciate your commitment and support as we faced a tragedy of