The Cabinet then considered Agenda item 6 – You Choose – Budget Consultation.
Cllr Phil Davies chairing introduced Steve Owen who would be giving a presentation for this item. Mr. Ian Coleman (Director of Finance) said it was a budget consultation. He said a number of local authorities were using this to consult, however it was the first time they had run through the key aspects.
Steve Owen demonstrated how it worked. They had used an increase of 3% Council Tax as Council Tax rises had been capped last year. So far Wirral Council had received two hundred suggestions. These ranged from reducing pay, selling land, pay freezes to sharing services.
There were some problems showing this during the meeting as it didn’t work, so Steve Owen took them to the next screen which showed that there had been 647 responses, the average Council Tax increase or decrease of these 647 responses was a 3% decrease. He tried to show the areas on a map where the people had responded from. However the Google map wouldn’t show. Steve Owen said that this was a “technical issue outside of his control”.
He also demonstrated to those present how a person would go through the steps needed to respond to the budget consultation. Unfortunately each time part way through Internet Explorer crashed and had to be restarted.
Cllr Phil Davies thanked him and said he had had a go and was heartened by the 647 submissions so far. He asked how long it had been running for and was told two weeks. Cllr Phil Davies said it was the 5th highest number of responses from the 41 local authorities running it. Cheshire West and Chester had 309, Liverpool 9 and Sefton 459. He said that 647 was good as they had been proactive in promoting it.