Council Excellence Overview and Scrutiny Committee Wirral Council 27th September 2011 You Choose Budget simulator Part 2

Cllr John Hale asked a question about the consequences used for reduced budgets. He also asked about efficiency savings.

The Chair, Cllr Gilchrist said there was a ninety-three page guide. Cllr Ron Abbey said it was “only a tool” and a “means to an end”. Cllr John Hale said that there would’ve been a different response if efficiency savings had been used. Cllr Gilchrist referred to the Wirral Globe and a query that had been raised about the narrative. He mentioned figures of £35 million, savings of £25 million and £14 million. He asked for the query and the evidence.

Cllr Ron Abbey said it was made up of inflation, service driven costs and was a factual reality. Cllr Gilchrist referred to the London Borough of Redbridge’s results but asked how much the budget simulator costs. The answer given was £1,000 to £,3000. There would be an analysis done by postcode. Cllr Gilchrist referred to one of the 986 responses in Redbridge which was to cut the number of councillors and allowances.

Cllr Ron Abbey said that the evidence to the Independent Remuneration Panel stated that Wirral Council councillors were one of the lowest paid in North West England. He said that not all communities can gain access to computers, so the responses would be biased towards the rich. Cllr Steve Williams asked if there was any verification of postcodes. The answer was that they were not aware of any verification, but this was a YouGov issue.

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