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Posted by: John Brace | 3rd February 2015

Who decides what your Council Tax bill will be (on Wirral) for 2015/16?

Who decides what your Council Tax bill will be (on Wirral) for 2015/16?

 

As I write this blog, the Merseyside Police and Crime Panel is meeting in the Council Chamber in Huyton to decide on the police precept for council tax payers on Merseyside for 2015/16. The Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside Jane Kennedy has asked for a 1.95% increase (compared to the 2014/15 figure) for the police precept on Council Tax. This extra 1.95% raises just over £1 million more than last year.

The Police and Crime Panel (10 councillors (2 are from Wirral) plus 2 independent people) have to consider her proposed precept and report back to the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside Jane Kennedy by 8th February 2015. Although the Police and Crime Panel can veto the precept, this requires a two-thirds vote and is unlikely to happen. The details are in this report and here’s the agenda. This public meeting can be filmed for the first time.

Merseyside Waste and Recycling Authority will set their budget on Friday 6th February 2015, the papers for that meeting have been published and the budget is agenda item 7 (vii). They then levy the Merseyside councils (including Wirral Council).

Wirral Council has two meetings. Wirral Council’s Cabinet will meet on the 10th February to make a recommendation on the budget to a meeting of all councillors that will meet on the 24th February 2015.

The Merseytravel Committee (part of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority) will set a budget on the 12th February 2015 followed by a meeting of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority on the 13th February 2015. Merseytravel levy each of the Merseyside councils, it’s not a precept.

All 66 Wirral Council councillors will then be invited to a meeting on the 24th February 2015 to decide the budget and the council tax for 2015/16 will be set subject to the outcome of the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority meeting on the 26th February.

The Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority (18 councillors (4 are from Wirral)) decide the fire precept element of the Council Tax at their budget meeting on 26th February 2015.

In addition to the above there are small amounts added to council tax for flood defence (goes to the Environment Agency), port health (decided at the Mersey Port Health Committee on the 15th January) and sea fisheries.

For the first time, all (except one the Merseyside Waste and Recycling Authority) of these budget meetings can be filmed, audio recorded, reported on live by anyone at the public meeting because the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014 came into force last year.

One recent change called the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 which came into force on 25th February 2014 last year means that all votes on budget items, amendments et cetera have to be made individually by councillors and recorded by name in the minutes whether they voted for, against or abstained.

This seemed to cause a bit of difficulty (and explanation) for Wirral Council last year as their budget meeting was actually on 25th February 2014 (the day it came into force) although they got a letter from Brandon Lewis dated 4th February 2014 warning them of this it seemed to take some councillors by surprise that they would be voted individually by name rather than by show of hands.

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Responses

  1. This now brings in the “Variables” and your individuals connected thereto;
    Administration, DCLG, Court’s, etc. Theft Act 1968, Local Authorities (Standing Orders) and so forth. Consider each party wants it’s own each individual piece of the Pie?, Consider why they want it, where will it go and who too?, do the parties have the correct documentation? and who decides whether it is a valid distribution of wealth? What would be ” Dishonest ” and who will take it to be decided and when you get it there who will decide?.

    There appears as it would seem throughout History, a Balance and Check Regime has been in place, but it appears in this case to have Failed. Carry on Regardless or call in the Administration.

    • Try Labour majority as the common theme running through all those public bodies I mentioned setting budgets.

      As to correct documentation, well who in their right mind has the time or inclination to check very complex calculations or information that just has to be taken at face value?

      As to who decides a valid distribution of wealth? Well it’s not solely one person.

      The checks and balances are designed on paper, then they meet real life…

  2. Mr Brace, this is where Nature v Nurture comes into it or as you relate Real Life, Because a Political party has a Majority in whatever Local Government does not mean, they can Legally Overstep the Mark, even Parliament has to Repeal and Create Anew, before Law is Changed or attempt to use one of those old long lost residue powers from the Sovereign and one of them is currently under Review

  3. Mr Brace and Mr Griffiths, it would appear you really do want your pound of Flesh, the possibility of the over and above payments (3) through Agreements, Government, Out of Normal costs and the Protection of the Third Reich

  4. G’day John

    You write

    The Police and Crime Panel (10 councillors (2 are from Wirral)

    Says an awful lot.

    You must have some idea by now about the short list for the Poisoned Chalice?

    Do you think HE will let us whistle blowers in early with The DATABASE and THE NOKIA/RASPBERRY.

    When “Highbrow” and I met (or wasted our time) with “The Shyster” “The Pretend Friend” and “The auditor with the alphabet after his name” I was tapping the database on the boardroom table but they didn’t ask to see it.

    I wonder why?

    Ooroo

    James

    Keep up the great work John.

    • Shortlisting for the post of Chief Executive happens tomorrow with interviews on Friday. It’s then a recommendation to a future Council meeting.

      However whoever he/she is recommended, if they accept the job offer, when in post as the new Chief Executive, as the post also includes being Returning Officer he/she will be kept busy with that role between now and the elections in May.

      I’m pretty sure that one of their early priorities will also be recruiting a permanent s.151/Director of Resources at Wirral Council as the previous one left on 31/12/14.

      So sadly, I don’t think BIG/ISUS matters will be high up on the “things to do” list of the incoming Chief Executive.

      • Thanks John

        Do you think they will be asked at interview

        How they will treat whistle blowers?

        How they will treat senior officers that tell porkies, either, privately, or, in public?

        Ooroo

        James

  5. It would not be because they already had it, getting paid for having it and knowing all about it and playing the matter down?. Lets look through the key hole; All 3 are getting paid to cover backs, all three have special qualities, that allow this to happen, until the Police or Administration are called in, this will continue to happen and all the other matters connected thereto and the longer it persists the longer they have of getting stories straight… or being in a position to get another Penn, etc, report going.


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