Posted by: John Brace | 21st February 2018

Will council tax rise by 5.98% for Wirral residents from 2018-19?

Will council tax rise by 5.98% for Wirral residents from 2018-19?


Budget Cabinet (Wirral Council) 19th February 2018 Part 1 of 2

Budget Cabinet (Wirral Council) 19th February 2018 Part 2 of 2

Councillor Janette Williamson left Cabinet Member for Finance and Income Generation middle Cllr Stuart Whittingham right Cllr Matthew Patrick Cabinet Wirral Council 19th February 2018

Councillor Janette Williamson left Cabinet Member for Finance and Income Generation middle Cllr Stuart Whittingham right Cllr Matthew Patrick Cabinet Wirral Council 19th February 2018

The author of this piece declares a financial interest in that my wife is liable to pay council tax to Wirral Council for a residential property we both live in on the Wirral.

The piece was possible because of a collaboration with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ).

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the overall increase was 5.2%, when it is in fact 5.98%. This was corrected at 19:22 on the 21.2.18 by JB.

Wirral Council’s Cabinet on Monday morning (19th February 2018) agreed to recommend a 5.99% rise in the Wirral Council element of council tax for 2018-19. You can watch video clips of that public meeting above.

The recommendation has been made to another public meeting of all Wirral Council councillors that meets on the 5th March 2018 starting at 6.00 pm in the Council Chamber at Wallasey Town Hall. The Cabinet recommendation will form Labour’s proposals, which as 38 of the 65 Wirral Council councillors are Labour Party councillors are expected to be agreed on March 5th.

The budget proposals from the opposition parties are not known at this stage, although there are usually proposals each year from the Conservative councillors and Liberal Democrat councillors too. It is unknown whether the sole Green Party councillor on Wirral Council Councillor Pat Cleary will propose a budget this year.

In addition to the Wirral Council element of council tax, there are also elements (called precepts) for police, fire and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

Mayor Steve Rotheram and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) have decided to set a £NIL amount for 2018-19, the amount for the police goes up by a further £12 for band D when compared to 2017-18 (with proportionately lower increases for bands A-C and proportionately higher increased for bands E to H).

The fire element will be set by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority (MFRA) when it meets tomorrow afternoon. However it is expected that MFRA will increase it by 2.99%.

Overall, the combined effect of the Wirral Council element*, LCRCA element, fire element* and police element if proposals for Wirral Council and fire are unchanged, will lead overall to a 5.98% rise in council tax for Wirral Council residents compared to this year.

*These are yet to be finally decided.

These of course are the maximum amounts people may pay on the Wirral, many people will be entitled to a reduced amount and some may even have no council tax liability at all.

Below are the tables. The Wirral Council element is at the recommendation (but not final stage). The fire element will be decided on Thursday afternoon, the police element has already been decided at an earlier meeting of the Merseyside Police and Crime Panel.

There may however be a penny difference in the figures below (which may lead to a total rounding error of three pence) as bands A-C and F-H are set relative to band D. If these amounts do not come to a whole number of pence, then other bands may need slight adjustments up or down to come to the right total amount.

2018-19 Council Tax Proposals (Wirral)

Fire and Rescue
City Region
Office of the
Police and Crime
Commissioner for

* not yet finally decided, recommendation made from Cabinet to public meeting of Council on the 5th March 2018 (figures are from Labour Budget)

** not yet decided, will be decided at a public meeting on the 22nd February 2018 but based on recommendations to meeting

The rises in council tax (once decided) will have effect for the 2018-19 local government year which runs from the 1st April 2018 to the 31st March 2019.

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  1. Hi John can I ask WTF are Wirral council playing at I may be 71 and a band E ratepayer currently £1807.89 proposed £2118.88 that is an 11.72% not 5.99%, Not unless my grey matter has gone south what is proposed is virtually double .Perhaps you younger grey matter you could clarify the situation before the blood vessel on my forehead bursts. I have only done the figures on my band and not others but some of the percentages seem even more. love to hear from you cheers Jonathan Hardaker.

    • Hi Jonathan,

      Thanks for your comment as it’s meant I’ve corrected an incorrect figure in the article and headline, instead of the overall figure being 5.2%, it should be 5.98%.

      You’re not comparing like to like. The increase is the 2018-19 figure compared to 2017-18 figure.

      The total figure for band E of £2,118.88 for 2018-19 includes fire, police and Wirral Council.

      The equivalent total figure in 2017-18 for band E for Wirral Council, fire and police is £1,999.43 (a 5.98% increase overall).

      You’ve compared the total figure for Wirral Council, fire and police for band E for 2018-19 compared to just the figure for Wirral Council for band E for 2018-19.

      Hence why you get 11.72% and not 5.99% (it should be 5.98%).

  2. G’day John

    I have been off the air waves but I will be back in March.

    Are they effing serious.

    What is Little Matty Patty doing making decisions (or should I say doing as he is effing well told) for real grown ups in wirral?



    It beggars belief a school kid can even get in the Clown Hall,

    • Thanks for your comment James, I look forward to your return!

      Well you only have to be eighteen years of age to be elected as a councillor these days James (although he is quite a bit older than that!).

      He’s making decisions because he’s part of the Cabinet.

      One of the first decisions he made as a Cabinet Member a few years ago was to start the Council’s newspaper Wirral View.

      What have you got against young people being councillors anyway or is it just him?

  3. Heard on the radio yesterday that they are going to do up parts of Seacombe, Birkenhead and somewhere else, so this will cost millions and no indication as to where the money is coming from, so the taxpayers thinks oh great we get the area done up, so a raise in the council tax is fair only further down the line nothing done.
    In turth is all bull!

    • It’s going to Cabinet for a decision next Wednesday morning (having been delayed from the original timescale of 29th January 2018).

      I’ve been musing writing an article on it (but it is rather long and complex).

      Wirral Council do however seem to be engaging in a PR campaign about it though.

      In a nutshell however, Wirral Council has various pieces of land and buildings across the Wirral it doesn’t have a use for. Instead of selling them, it plans to team up (a joint venture) with their preferred bidder to redevelop them.

      A limited company has already been set up to facilitate this last year called the Wirral Growth Company Ltd.

      Then Wirral Council wants to share in the profits (50:50) that arise.

      The developer will submit planning applications for the change of use (to Wirral Council of course). Whereas Wirral Council will ultimately decide for planning reasons of course on each planning application, they have changed their planning policies recently to make a material consideration being economic factors (such as their own economic wellbeing eg Hoylake Golf Resort and that of the Borough as a whole).

      The 92 pages of detail are in the reports to next Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting, but so they’ve had a tendering process and this stage is to award the contract to the preferred bidder.

      This has been in the planning for years really, it’s just taken a long time to get to this point due to all the bureaucracy and red tape!