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Posted by: John Brace | 10th December 2015

Wirral’s Cabinet expected to start consultation on 4% Council Tax rise and £2.4 million of cuts

Wirral’s Cabinet expected to start consultation on 4% Council Tax rise and £2.4 million of cuts

                                                                     

Cllr Phil Davies at a recent Cabinet meeting

Cllr Phil Davies at a recent Cabinet meeting

Wirral Council’s Cabinet will meet next Thursday evening to discuss further cuts to Wirral Council’s budget for the 2016/17 year. Councillors are expected to agree to a public consultation on £2.5 million of budget options as well as a 4% council tax increase. Cabinet is also expected to agree to a staff consultation on budget options such as reducing the pay rise from 2% to 1%.

The consultation will run from the 18th December 2015 and finishes on the 29th January 2016. At the end of the consultation Cabinet will propose a budget to be voted on at a meeting of all Wirral’s councillors.

The nine budget options that Cabinet is expected next week to start a consultation on start on page 16 of this report to Cabinet and are:


  • Community Safety (£367,000) – litter enforcement was recently outsourced to Kingdom Security and this proposal would see the same happen to dog fouling enforcement, Wirral Council hope to increase income to the community safety service from landlords and schools.

  • Discretionary Housing Payments & Advice (£406,000) – this proposal would see Wirral Council only covering rent shortfalls to people in hardship to the amount they receive from the government, it would also see the end of Wirral Council providing welfare benefits advice.

  • Girtrell Court service re-provision (£155,000) – Girtrell Court provides short breaks for carers of adults with physical and learning disabilities, this proposal would see that service provided by the private sector instead of directly by Wirral Council.

  • Highways Maintenance and Road Safety (£320,000) – This proposal means Wirral Council would only use the money it receives for highways maintenance, only 100 out of 300 grit bins would be filled and school crossing patrols would be reviewed.

  • Leisure Centres and Golf Courses (£641,000) – Discounts and free access would be removed, such as free access for long serving Council staff, foster carers and families, free swimming for those under 18 in the school holidays and free swimming for the over 65s between 9am and noon.

  • Libraries Re-provision (£203,000) – Transferring up to 12 of Wirral’s libraries into "community ownership" (run by volunteers rather than paid staff).

  • Parks Community Partnership Working (£108,000) – Increasing the role of community organisations and volunteers in parks maintenance and looking to increase parks income.

  • Charging for the Pest Control Service (£30,000) – Charging landlords, business and residents who can afford to pay for dealing with rats.

  • Charging for the Garden Waste Service (£196,000) – Increasing the brown bin charge from £35 a year to £40 a year (but with a £5 discount if paid online).

So to summarise the proposed cuts (along with a 4% council tax increase) are to dog fouling, community safety, covering rent shortfalls for those in financial hardship, axing the welfare right service, the short breaks for carers service, highways maintenance, grit bins, school crossing patrols, free swimming for children, free swimming for pensioners, free leisure access for some Council staff, transferring many of Wirral’s libraries to be run by volunteers, having more volunteers involved in parks maintenance, charging for dealing with rats and increasing the brown bin charge by £5.

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Responses

  1. When I see the statement published stating:

    “Senior six figure salaries are to be reviewed with a view to making them five figure salaries owing to the rapidly shrinking number of services provided to taxpayers”

    …I’ll believe the penny has finally dropped and that the ££gravy train service departing from and calling at all Wirral stations is to be discontinued – in the public interest.

    • If I remember correctly councillors voted for an automatic yearly pay increase for the Chief Executive of an extra £5,000 a year.

      However the workers will soon be consulted on having their pay rise cut from 2% to 1%.

      Meanwhile Wirral Council spends money on agency staff/consultants like it grows on trees!

  2. Consultation on whether to charge people to deal with rats? I didn’t know that that was up for consultation.

    Oops! Sorry, my mistake. I thought you were referring to the changes to The Freedom of Information Act.

  3. Why don’t they just stop everything, as were not getting much now, close the library, there was a gold mine and they throw it away, road grit bins so the Nhs budget will rise when the crashes and people falling over, [if we get snow and ice]
    I don’t understand why central government doesn’t pay for everything and scape council tax all they need to do is add a penny or two to income tax then we can get away from the shite heads in the town hall, infact we could sell that off.

    • Central government are looking to cut non protected government departments (which includes local government apart from spending on education) between 25% and 40% in order to balance the books by the end of the parliament (although that’s what they said they were going to do at the start of the last parliament!?)

      The plans out to consultation soon involve handing over half of Wirral’s libraries to be run by volunteers (which results in just over 13 full time equivalent posts going), what’ll happen if they don’t have enough volunteers?

  4. Lets just stop paying it!

    • If you try that, they can take you to court and put you in prison for unpaid council tax.


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