The minutes of the meeting held on the 21st July 2011 were agreed. The next item was Budget Projections 2012-15 introduced by the Director of Finance Ian Coleman. Mr. Coleman said there had been minor changes from July, Parliament had been in recess so there had only been consultation papers. Cllr Davies (Phil) said it was a standard report to note and review. He noted that the shortfall of £25.3 million continued to bear down on the budget [for 2012/2013]. He said there were “big challenges”. He referred to section 4.2.1 of the report and stated the Formula Grant had been decreased by £41 million [Ed – the actual figure in the report was £14 million not £41 million]. He said the issues in the next item regarding business rates “could be a challenge”. He referred to the meeting next Tuesday with a government minister in which councillors would explain Wirral’s case and hopefully get a sympathetic hearing. There would be a report back next time.
At this point the mobile of Cllr Chris Meaden (Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Leisure) started ringing loudly which drowned out what her colleague Cllr Ann McLachlan was trying to say. Once Cllr Chris Meaden had found the mobile in her bag and switched it off, Cllr McLachlan finished by saying that £14 million was a lot of money and she encouraged the representation from Wirral Council. The report was noted.