Feb 6 2013 by Liam Murphy, Birkenhead News
WIRRAL council has come under fire over council proposals which could see hundreds of pounds spent on giving a former Tory councillor special honours.
An extraordinary meeting of the full council will decide next week whether to make Kate Wood an honorary alderman. Mrs Wood stood down at the last election after almost 40 years as a Conservative councillor in Wallasey.
Council leader Cllr Phil Davies said the move will cost £367 for a “badge of office” to be specially made, plus the £80-100 cost of hospitality, understood to be an “afternoon tea” ahead of the meeting.
There is no specific budget provision for this and the money would need to be found from existing budgets.
Cllr Davies said: “That is what we would give anyone else made an alderman of the borough. Kate Wood has served 40 years as a councillor, and I think it’s appropriate to the office of alderman.”
However secretary of Wirral TUC Alec McFadden called on Wirral’s Labour and Liberal Democrat groups to block the move.
He said: “It’s staggering they are doing that at a time when we are distributing vouchers for foodbanks. People will be incredulous at such a thing. I would ask Labour and the Liberal Democrats to seriously think again.”
Mrs Wood was first elected to the former shadow Wirral council in 1973, a year before the creation of the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral. She served as Mayor in 2000 and was a long-standing member of Merseyside Police Authority.
The honour is reserved for former councillors who during their time “rendered eminent service to the council”, and will be decided at an extraordinary meeting of the full council on Monday.
It requires two thirds of the council to vote in favour so would need approval from members of both main parties.
Honorary aldermen can attend full council meetings, though not take part in debate, as well as civic ceremonies.