What is in Labour’s proposed budget for Wirral Council (proposed rise in council tax and £32.9 million of cuts)?
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Wirral Council’s Labour Cabinet (due to be abolished itself later this year) proposed a 4% council tax rise (from April 2020) and a budget of cuts that total £32.9 million.
The 4% council tax rise is just the rise in council tax that goes to Wirral Council and may be slightly different once the police, fire and Liverpool City Region Combined Authority elements of council tax are agreed.
Although at this stage, these are only budget proposals, the decision will formally be made by councillors on the 2nd March 2019 (or if there is no agreement then on the 5th March 2019).
As Labour lost their majority on Wirral Council last May and have only have 32 councillors (I point out also that the Mayor is a Labour councillor this year and therefore not permitted to vote on party political matters such as the budget) their budget can only be agreed with the support of one (or more) other political groups on Wirral Council.
Below is a list of the proposed cuts or proposed increased income. Part of the need for this is that £6.03 million of cuts originally in the 2019-20 budget are down as “unachievable”. The proposed budget for next year also includes selling £4.5 million of council assets (presumably although not stated land, buildings or leases).
Adult Care and Health
£500,000 – Housing for Independence including Extra Care Housing
£500,000 – Use of technology to increase independence and reduce falls
£2,300,000 – Care Package Review for Independence
£500,000 – Wirral Evolutions increasing employment and reducing cost
£200,000 – Use of electronic financial assessments to ensure accelerated income collection times
Children and Families
£1,270,000 – Managed movement of looked after children from high cost services to lower cost/better outcomes
£100,000 – Additional income from use of new 3G pitches
£100,000 – Lease of Marine Lake food and drink offer
£130,000 – Reduction in energy costs from low energy LED street lighting
Economic and Housing Growth
£30,000 – Cost reduction as a result of exiting leased office accommodation
Cross Cutting and Corporate
£2,590,000 – Reduction in the amount set aside for the future repayment of debt
£7,290,000 – Reduction in employer’s pension contribution following the triennial valuation
£2,000,000 – Investing in ethical and commercial opportunities
£1,180,000 – Capitalisation of pension strain from exits
£2,000,000 – Interest rate savings from refinancing of high interest LOBO loans
£5,000,000 – Council wide structural modernisation model (New Council Model)
£5,000,000 – Reduction in costs from renegotiating/ceasing council wide supply (Contracts Review)
£1,120,000 – Zero based budgeting
£1,120,000 – Capitalisation of salaries
The Cabinet report with more detail can be read on Wirral Council’s website.
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