The Chair, Cllr Phil Gilchrist welcomed those present to the Council Excellence Overview and Scrutiny Committee. He asked councillors if they had any declarations of interest.
Cllr Ron Abbey and Cllr Jon Salter declared the same interest in regard to item 7. This was because they are Wirral Council’s representatives on Merseytravel (Merseyside Integrated Transport Authority) which has previously bid for the Pacific Road Theatre and Arts Centre.
The Chair said he was going to vary the order of the agenda, and take item 8 You Choose Budget consultation first. He also pointed out that there were ninety-one pages of explanatory notes.
Peter Molyneux (Chief Accountant – Financial Services) was there to introduce the report.
At this point (6.05pm) the Vice-Chair Cllr Alan Brighouse arrived. Cllr Steve Foulkes (Cabinet Member for Finance & Best Value) also arrived and sat near the door.
Peter Molyneux demonstrated the budget simulator on the display screen. He said they could only raise Council Tax by 3%, if it was above this it would be capped. Consequences of reducing budgets by 10%, 20% and 50% had been entered into the system. The results were available by place and the public could see some information. There had been 1,334 responses so far.
Cllr Gilchrist asked about the timetable and when data was going to emerge. He said it was open until 30th November 2011. Ian Coleman said that there would be a report in December. Cllr Gilchrist asked if there could be an interim report. Ian Coleman said that there would be no report until it was closed down, interim information was available and all information was available.