Wirral Council launches Future Council consultation on 17 budget options for £2.5 million savings
Ed – Update 14:55 9/9/14 to fix 6 incorrect links to the budget options that was helpfully pointed out by a reader.
Yes, it’s another annual consultation on savings from Wirral Council that began yesterday and runs from yesterday to the 31st October 2014. What’s this one on? This is on £2.5 million of cuts that Wirral Council need to make in 2015/16.
Although the documentation refers to £4 million of budget options this seems rounded to the nearest million (the options total £3.75 million). Out of these options about £2.5 million will be chosen (two-thirds by total value).
Here are the documents and links:
Final Full Consultation Pack (this is a 21 page document which covers all options).
The options are then in various “themes” and are below by theme (I’ve also included the amount in pounds next to each option for financial year 2015/16 if that option is chosen).
This means some of the larger savings options are almost certain to go ahead which are those involving community libraries, the all age disability service, youth and play, preventative maintenance (highways and parks), Council Tax Over 70s discount and Girtrell Court.
These six options total £2.566 million of the £2.5 million savings required.
The other eleven options seem less likely to meet with public approval as they will be opposed by (in some cases) large sections of Wirral’s society. Some of them have already been rejected in earlier years following consultation such as charging for car parks at the country parks, school crossing patrols etc.
With the options below I’ve briefly included a sentence or two explaining what it’s about.
Reduce library opening hours to four hours (10am to 2pm) with these libraries opened either two or three days a week. This option does not seem to apply to the four central libraries or combined libraries/One Stop Shops whose opening hours remain the same.
Delivering Differently Theme
- West Kirby Marine Lake £25,000
- All Age Disability Service £600,000
- Youth and Play £450,000
Having the private sector run it instead of the Council.
This option involves services to disabled children and families (such as the Willow Tree overnight short breaks) as well as adult social care. Detailed consultation is also going to happen with children and families affected.
Close four satellite youth centres & end funding Play Scheme.
- Preventative Maintenance (Parks and Highways) £570,000
- School Crossing Patrols £90,000
Reducing preventative work they do on the roads and in the parks.
Remove 41 school crossing patrols.
Income and Efficiency
- Council Tax Over 70s Discount £600,000
- Commemorations, Registrations and Memorials £100,000
- Charging for Allotments, Bowling Greens and Football Pitches £35,000
- Car Parking – Countryside Parks £50,000
- Car Parking – Fort Perch Rock £25,000
- Litter and Dog Fouling Enforcement £70,000
- Cold Calling Zones £80,000
- Pest Control £65,000
- Public Conveniences £140,000
- Roadside Grit Bins £55,000
- Girtrell Court £385,000
Remove Council Tax discount for over 70s in certain council tax bands.
Merge births, marriages and deaths team with crematorium and burials team. Change fees (presumably increasing them).
Put up fees for allotments, bowling greens and football pitches over the next two years. Transfer management and ownership of some bowling greens to bowling clubs.
Introduce pay and display car parking charges at Arrowe Country Park, Eastham Country Park, Wirral Country Park and Royden Country Park.
Introduce pay and display car parking charges at Fort Perch Rock car park, New Brighton.
Merge dog fouling and litter enforcement teams.
Charge households £10 each for “No Cold Calling Zone”.
Staffing changes and 10% increase in fees for domestic and commercial services provided by Environmental Health. Charge for pest control services relating to rats and cockroaches.
Either have community services run the ten toilets or close them down.
Fill only 100 of the 298 grit bins with grit.
Girtrell Court is a ‘short break’ respite service for adults with disability with 20 beds (15 respite, 5 permanent). This forms a separate consultation with the 130 people that use it. Proposals are to have some beds there for use by the NHS (presumably charging the NHS) and to increase its usage.
There are files for the seventeen options listed above which are all linked to.
This is the link if you want to complete the questionnaire.
After the consultation closes, councillors will discuss the options, Cabinet will make its recommendation to Council and then all Wirral Council councillors will discuss it and have a vote on the 2015/16 Budget.
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