Posted by: John Brace | 19 February 2018

Wirral Council’s Cabinet expected to recommend 5.99% council tax rise for 2018-19

Wirral Council’s Cabinet expected to recommend 5.99% council tax rise for 2018-19


Cabinet (Wirral Council) 18th December 2017 L to R Cllr Bernie Mooney Cllr Angela Davies Cllr Chris Jones Cllr Phillip Brightmore

Cabinet (Wirral Council) 18th December 2017 Left to Right Cllr Bernie Mooney, Cllr Angela Davies, Cllr Chris Jones and Cllr Phillip Brightmore

The author’s wife has a liability for council tax for 2018-19 for a property on the Wirral, so I declare that as a financial interest in the below piece.

I would like to also thank the Bureau of Investigative Journalists (BIJ) for their help in the area of council budgets and this piece.

Wirral Council’s Cabinet of ten Labour councillors meets this morning in Committee Room 1, Wallasey Town Hall, Brighton Street, CH44 8ED starting at 10.00 am to agree their recommendation for Wirral Council’s budget for 2018-19.

The plan is to increase council tax for the Wirral Council element of council tax for 2018-19 by 5.99% (although as council tax also includes an element from the police (the increase for them is set at 7.2%), fire (expected to be 2.99% but not yet formally agreed) and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (set at £NIL for 2018-19), the overall increase will be slightly different to 5.99%.

Although the new Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Mayor Steve Rotheram has decided to set a £NIL precept, Wirral Council (subject to Cabinet and Council approval) plan to lend the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority £1.3 million from Wirral Council’s revenue budget.

£10.5 million will be used by Wirral Council from no longer needed reserves (for example when Wirral Council self-insured themselves for events that didn’t happen and generated no insurance claims).

Wirral Council’s Revenue Budget for 2018-19 is planned to be £300.52 million, but £10 million of the expenditure this year is planned to be from the one-off sale of land and buildings. A Wirral Council Capital Budget of £70.69 million is also planned for 2018-19.

In addition to this a schools budget of £259,158,600 (Wirral Council contributes £990,300 of this).

Despite a grand total at Wirral Council of just over £630 million to spend in 2018-19, even before I attend the Cabinet meeting I’m sure Labour councillors will say it’s not enough money!

There are some increases to charges and decreases to services planned and the detail can be read in the papers for today’s meeting on Wirral Council’s website.

Just for comparison here are the figures proposed for 2018-19, compared to last year’s budget (2017-18).

Type2017-18 (£ millions)2018-19 (£ millions)
Capital 77.519 70.69

Any decision made by today’s meeting of Wirral Council’s Cabinet is just a recommendation. As budgetary matters are the responsibility of all councillors, it will form a recommendation from the Labour Group of councillors to the Budget Council meeting (to which all 65 Wirral Council councillors will be invited) to be held on the 5th March 2017 in the Council Chamber, Wallasey Town Hall, Brighton Street, Seacombe, CH44 8ED starting at 6.00 pm. The meeting on 5th March 2017 will also discuss the other alternatives being the Conservative Budget, Liberal Democrat Budget and if proposed the Green Budget.

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  1. £630 for the next year, so that will be not much for the services we pay for, millions for council staff wages and a hugh chunk for the Councillors, £24 Million for the golf course we don’t want.
    So once again the under paid workers foot the bill.
    If they can’t manage to run the place with £630 there’s something wrong somewhere?
    And can someone tell me how you insure yourself?

    • The Cabinet recommendations agreed this morning include a 3% pay rise for staff.

      I’m not sure what the total pay bill is for staff, but for Wirral Council councillors the accounts for last year show the total for allowances and expenses was £754,000. I’m not sure if that includes however income tax and national insurance on those amounts though. If it doesn’t, the amount would be a little higher.