Council Budget 2021-22

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The Budget Consultation report has been published in the Documents section of this webpage. Thank you for your contributions. The report will help councillors make their decisions on final recommendations for the council budget 2021-22 at the full Council meeting in March 2021.

This coming year Wirral Council continues to face financial challenges which have been made more severe by the Covid-19 pandemic. Current figures indicate the authority needs to make savings in the region of £16.5m – a budget gap largely caused by the cost of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Failure to make these budget savings will mean the council’s expenditure will exceed its income, which is illegal.

The council has a legal obligation to set a balanced budget for the next financial year. Last year a balanced budget had been set, based on the expectation the authority could make a number of savings. However, the requirement on the council to urgently respond to the impact of Covid-19 throughout most of 2020 meant much of these savings could not be achieved.

Additional government funding has been made available through the year, but it is estimated that this will not fully meet the additional costs which have been borne by the council through 2020. The government has been asked to approve capitalisation of some additional costs which the council has had this year – and if agreed this will go some way to helping.

We would like you to tell us what you think about options for Wirral Council’s Budget 2021-22. Further detail on these options can be viewed in the Budget Booklet in the Documents section.

You can complete the survey and use the Ideas Board to give us your own feedback and ideas about the Council Budget. In January we will be holding online events to discuss the budget options so if you have any questions you would like to be heard at those events please let us know. The events will be held online through Microsoft Teams on Thursday 14 January.

Following the consultation, your feedback will be considered by the Policy and Resources Committee which will decide on a set of budget proposals to be recommended to the full council which takes place in March 2021. The full council will have the final say on the authority’s budget for the next year.

The Budget Consultation report has been published in the Documents section of this webpage. Thank you for your contributions. The report will help councillors make their decisions on final recommendations for the council budget 2021-22 at the full Council meeting in March 2021.

This coming year Wirral Council continues to face financial challenges which have been made more severe by the Covid-19 pandemic. Current figures indicate the authority needs to make savings in the region of £16.5m – a budget gap largely caused by the cost of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Failure to make these budget savings will mean the council’s expenditure will exceed its income, which is illegal.

The council has a legal obligation to set a balanced budget for the next financial year. Last year a balanced budget had been set, based on the expectation the authority could make a number of savings. However, the requirement on the council to urgently respond to the impact of Covid-19 throughout most of 2020 meant much of these savings could not be achieved.

Additional government funding has been made available through the year, but it is estimated that this will not fully meet the additional costs which have been borne by the council through 2020. The government has been asked to approve capitalisation of some additional costs which the council has had this year – and if agreed this will go some way to helping.

We would like you to tell us what you think about options for Wirral Council’s Budget 2021-22. Further detail on these options can be viewed in the Budget Booklet in the Documents section.

You can complete the survey and use the Ideas Board to give us your own feedback and ideas about the Council Budget. In January we will be holding online events to discuss the budget options so if you have any questions you would like to be heard at those events please let us know. The events will be held online through Microsoft Teams on Thursday 14 January.

Following the consultation, your feedback will be considered by the Policy and Resources Committee which will decide on a set of budget proposals to be recommended to the full council which takes place in March 2021. The full council will have the final say on the authority’s budget for the next year.

Ask a Question at Our Events

This consultation is now closed.

We will be holding online Question Time events in January. You can send us a question to be asked at the events and we will answer as many as time allows.

Please be aware all information you provide will be visible so do not share any personal information about yourself or anybody else here.

The events will be held online through Microsoft Teams.

 A Question Time event for residents to attend:

RESIDENT EVENT - Thursday 14th January @ 3.15-3.45pm

 A Question time event specifically for young people to attend:

YOUNG PEOPLE EVENT - Thursday 14th January @ 4-4.30pm 

 If you require more information about the events or how to access them, please contact:

BudgetConsult@wirral.gov.uk

This consultation is seriously flawed, everything is about reducing / removing or eroding services. You have not looked at all at the massive inefficiencies and none roles this council funds.

Remove us from LCR, massive vanity project that serves no purpose to Wirral what so ever. Provide details of what we spend here. A proportion of our council tax goes to this non value adding service!

M Thomas 3 months ago

Closing Europa Pools.
Once again the kids of Birkenhead have to put up with more incompetence from this Council. During the summertime the queues to get in Europa Pools are enormous. The pool is very popular and the gym is also popular and is booked up well in advance. Close the pool in West Kirby, why should our kids be targeted?Only a few years ago, thousands was spent on doing up the pool at the Oval, even then the Council had to spend extra to put right with what went wrong there, so you can find the money for there when it was needed.

Ask the people of Birkenhead what they want. The libraries are closed and not everyone has access to a computer. The Council are not really being fair nor are you giving the people of Birkenhead the opportunity to have their say, other than this site. (Only for the Green Party leaflet did we know about this forum).
I understand the limitations this awful virus is having but once again I feel the Council is short changing the people and their families of Birkenhead -just like we were kidded over the new houses in Ingleborough Road and affordable housing - shame on you. Leave Europa Pools alone, its a great place for the kids, you should be making better use of advertising it.
We could have a Birkenhead Sun Centre here, if only you got your fingers out, bringing in more revenue. And bringing in more visitors to Wirral. The Council are not making the best use of it. How many leaflets are in the bus stations and train stations advertising it? Its just like so many of the great places in Birkenhead - overlooked. Birkenhead really is a great place, but the shortsightedness of this Council is damaging it and damaging it for our children.

If you want to make Birkenhead a better place, start with getting United Utilities to get rid of that awful smell that is released from their water treatment plant.

Furthermore, closing public toilets, really, how much will that save?

Concerned local resident 3 months ago

It’s cruel to even suggest reducing funding to disability day services.

Sara82 3 months ago

Woodchurch Swimming pool- I would really like to see the detail in the numbers to understand how you would make this saving by closing the centre for a year. A swimming pool still requires some maintenance even if it is closed or it will simply decline and cost a lot to restore. You will not really save anything unless you make the staff redundant. It costs a lot to do that. Then you'd need to find people to run the pool in a year or so. I suspect you don't really achieve much by closing a pool for a further year given all these staff are likely to have been on full pay since the March 2020 lockdown despite the centre having remained closed throughout.
This pool is one of the nicer ones on the Wirral. It is light and relatively spacious. If it is under-utilised that is because the Council have not done enough to promote it. It is apparent that many Wirral residents do not even know it's there. The Council have often turned down opportunities to hire the pool out to clubs and commercial swim schools that would pay more commercial rates to use it. The Council make no attempt to make more income from this facility. How can it be that the Caldy pool has huge demand for groups willing to hire it from the early hours to 10pm every day (including bank holidays!) but the Council claims there is no demand for Woodchurch pool. Also, the fact that the Council have not invested in this centre means that areas other than the pool have deteriorated to a significant extent and they don't attract anyone.
The Woodchurch Swimming Club typically has 150 members and we would dearly love our pool back and we'd be quite happy to hire it for more hours than you've ever been prepared to grant us.
I don't accept that using the centre as a vaccines centre means the pool cannot be used. The pool is at one end and vaccines are administered from another part of this centre which is at quite a distance. Further, there must be plenty of other buildings which cannot be used due to Covid (Floral pavilion?) that could be used for vaccines.
Schools must offer swimming as part of the curriculum. If this pool is closed, schools that use it will now have to hire buses to use other pools. Hiring buses is expensive so have you taken these extra costs into account. This is likely just one example of extra costs arising from keeping the pool closed.
Europa pool. This is also an important facility for Wirral with huge demand. It should not be running at a loss if it is well managed. When you calculated your savings from closure did you take into account all the income lost from the car park charges?

Andrea Thomas 3 months ago

What is going to happened if youth hubs get shut down due to covid and young peiple who dont have acces to internet are struggling with mental health or need support?

Lilygrieves 3 months ago

WOODCHURCH SWIMMING POOL, can you assure us that the pool will be re-opened at some point. Or are their plans to keep it closed for much longer than this year? BT

BT 3 months ago

At a time when Young People need more, not less, support, The Hive provides vital youth services to over 3,000 young people. What justification does the council have for removing vital support for young people and how will the impacts of this be addressed in the short and medium term?

Fiona Norcross 3 months ago

Increases in mental health worries amongst young people have been widely reported over recent months. Youth workers at The Hive have played a vital role in providing young people across the region with trusted wellbeing support, which can in many cases prevent such issues escalating into long term issues. The Hive provides this essential support, both by offering informal listening ear, and by formerly training the majority of the youth work team in mental health first aid. If such support is reduced how does the council propose responding to the issue of children's mental health?

Fiona Norcross 3 months ago

Youth work is now officially recognised as essential, and qualified youth workers are now recognised as key workers. Does the council believe cuts to key workers are appropriate at this time and if not will it reconsider the proposed cut to The Hive?

Fiona Norcross 3 months ago

The Hive plays such an important role with assisting good behaviour within the Wirral. Cutting funding to The Hive will have a detrimental effect and would increase demands elsewhere relating to Mental Health, for example. Is the Council aware of resulting increases in costs to other areas of Council provision?
Charles Hurst

Charlie Hurst 3 months ago

The Institute of Fiscal Studies has said that young people are amongst those most significantly impacted by Covid. With £54 million to be administered in business grants, surely some of this should be made available to support young people. Would you not agree?
Charles Hurst

Charlie Hurst 3 months ago

With The Hive supporting the whole of the Wirral and complementing so much of the care from our Council, I am concerned about any cuts to such a vital social service at at time when it's needed the most. Is the Council aware that 84% of active members live outside Birkenhead/Tranmere, with members from all electoral wards?
Charles Hurst

Charlie Hurst 3 months ago

I am very concerned about misconceptions within the public relating to the proposed £200,000 youth spending cuts. At large, I am told the public will be expecting this to be spread throughout the region. Other areas of proposed cuts are more specific. Why has The Hive not been detailed within the published document, please?
Charles Hurst

Charlie Hurst 3 months ago

Local emergency services are supportive of The Hive and have referenced reductions in Anti Social Behaviour, deliberate fires, crowds gathering in the streets etc. in the area. Do the council realise the potential implications of reducing the budget for The Hive could reduce the opening hours which will undoubtedly have a negative impact on the local community?

Allan Wood 3 months ago

Recently the Institute of Fiscal Studies reported that CoVid-19 has impacted young people and women most significantly. The Council Budget outlines that £54m has been administered in business grants due to Covid-19. Whilst this has clearly provided a much-needed benefit to many local people and businesses, is it not fair and equitable that the Council should, at the very least, maintain the support for young people in Wirral at The Hive Youth Zone?

Allan Wood 3 months ago

The irony is that the proposed Hive funding cuts are because we are a non-Council, 3rd sector provision, but it is for this reason that we attract nearly £1m of non-Council income and significant volunteering time enabling us to provide such a superb youth offer. By halving funds that provides great value also risks losing hundreds of thousands of £££s of donations and volunteer's time and is therefore counter intuitive. Does the Council agree that cutting £200k from the Hive will result in a far bigger loss of Youth Service provision than £200k? Donor and Board member to the Hive.

Peter bibby 3 months ago

As a school we a grateful for the added value The Hive offer to us in regards to wrap around support with -
Delivery of isolation packs to our students
Food hampers for students and their families who are struggling
Programmes such as Inspiring Futures which has supported groups of young people who have disengaged with school. The programme has enabled them to try new activities and encouraged them to reengage with school.
If The Hive could no longer offer these services due to cuts, what would the council do to support with enhancing Young peoples’ attainment & engagement

Mrs Lane 3 months ago

Will parking charges for the Country Parks be scrapped permanently? More than ever exercise outdoors in crucial. However, at the same time it isn't good to give people the impression they can all turn up in cars at once to the popular parks and spaces. Is there a proposal to educate people to enjoy our beautiful open spaces but with responsibility to others' health as well as the environment?

FionaC 3 months ago

I have been involved with Woodchurch Swimming Club for over 30 years and very concerned for the future of Woodchurch Leisure centre Pool. Back in 2009 the club, local residents, user groups, GP's and councillors fought a threatened closure of the pool We were successful and here we go again 11 years later with an even bigger threat not only to Woodchurch but Europa Pools also. Past two years we have been well aware that Woodchurch Leisure centre was going to be THE AQUATIC CENTRE in Wirral. So what has happened to those plans at a high cost to train staff up to be qualified Level 1 and Level 2 teachers. The pool is used by two swimming clubs, council swimming lessons, school swimming lessons and obviously the public. If Woodchurch closes where are the children in that catchment area going to have their national curriculum school swimming lessons? Several schools in the area do not need to pay out on transport to get the children to the pool, they walk. If Europa closes, where do all those children in a wide area attend for their school swimming lessons ??

BT 3 months ago

Why is it so hard to balance your budget?

With around 153,000 residential properties in Wirral and if the average council tax bill is around £1,600 that would see a yearly income from residential council tax of around £244,800,000 alone. It may not look much but that is a quarter of a billion pounds. This does not include business rates and other income from car park charges or I'm just wondering why the council seems to struggle to balance its budget? Especially when you are getting additional funds from central government. The total gross expenditure for 2018/19 was something in the region of £826,600,000 and everytime this increases you look to the residents to make up the shortfall with increases to council tax.

Truth_Teller 3 months ago