Posted by: John Brace | 2nd January 2020

What is in Labour’s proposed budget for Wirral Council (proposed rise in council tax and £32.9 million of cuts)?

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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Cabinet (Wirral Council) 23rd December 2019 2020-2021 Budget Proposals and Tranmere Rovers

Cllr Pat Hackett and Paul Satoor at a meeting of the Cabinet of Wirral Council (23rd December 2019) to discuss the 2020-2021 Budget Proposals

Cllr Pat Hackett and Paul Satoor at a meeting of the Cabinet of Wirral Council (23rd December 2019) to discuss the 2020-2021 Budget Proposals

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

Delivery Services

£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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Responses

  1. As a mpf pensioner, what does this mean
    “Reduction in employer’s pension contribution following the triennial valuation”

    • Hi William,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Every three years a formal valuation is done of the Merseyside Pension Fund funds.

      Based on this the contributions that employers in the MPF (such as Wirral Council) are set (based on advice from actuaries as to how long people will live etc).

      So the budget is being written on the basis that Wirral Council will have to pay less than was previously predicted (which will be a combination of less staff on the payroll next year (see lines regarding New Council Model and early retirement) and the triennial valuation).

      Hope that helps!

      However to answer your question literally it is the amount that Wirral Council pays into the Merseyside Pension Fund as employer each year for its existing employees (although there are also pension contributions taken from employees’ salaries too).

  2. £32 Million in cuts! Is there anything left to cut?
    They could save millions a year on cutting down on consultation fees they pay out!


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