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

Strongly object to 3 wk green bin collection. What does Wirral Council propose to do about biological waste? There are many residents who look after a loved one at home (saving NHS millions of pounds) & have several bins that cater for this. It is madness to propose such a scheme. It would result in an exponential plague of rats, maggots, flies, filthy stench & fly tipping across the borough & a major hazard to health. Council should be flying the flag for Wirral not setting it back to Mediaeval times!!!

JCR 3 months ago

Do not close the Williamson gallery. Access to art should be free and easily available to all. Its collection is of a massive importance as a record of local history and culture.

Mike Iron 3 months ago

Given how severe the fly tipping issue is (both furniture and household waste), what a frankly stupid idea to reduce bin collections. Last week I got another angry letter telling me how bad the fly tipping is, with photos of bags of rubbish up against the wall, admonishingly telling me how much it costs to contract a company to clean it up - and they want to save money by cutting bin collections. If nothing else, it is consistent with the Council's history of cutting its nose to spite its face.

mitchellsomething 3 months ago

I am disappointed that there is no space to leave comments. As said elsewhere some of the questions need a nuanced response. It’s not possible to say yes to cutting or merging a service when the impact is not made clear. Generally I would say
- avoid cost savings that will only need spending later on to make good the damage - especially services for children and young people - a group especially badly hit by Covid. Also older people, again badly affected and whose unmet needs will cost health and social care in the future.
- avoid ‘quick wins’ that cut across other priorities. So definite NO to closing Williamson which would be inconsistent with Borough of Culture 2019, the latest Future High Streets Fund grant for Birkenhead, missed opportunity to build on arts and culture reputation, jeopardise potential to benefit from tourist income (alongside Liverpool venues?), relatively small saving and still need to pay for collecting storage. And above all - FANTASTIC arts and community resource.
- reduced green bin collection could work alongside weekly food bin collection. Scope for pilot over the summer in selected wards alongside current green bin collection then reduce to 3 week green bin collection during winter months?
- car park increases inevitable - and maybe more palatable than some other options - no charges for a while and helps makes good lost income.
-reduced grass and verge maintenance -less bad impact than some other options (and wildlife benefits)
-revenue and benefits service option looks tempting but not clear what that involves - reduced in house and more outsourcing? Any scope to look at tendering criteria for external consultants to reduce costs?
INCOME ideas - Car boots mentioned elsewhere.- can they be held on Council sites with buyer/seller charges ring-fenced for particular services to encourage engagement? Promote ‘just use soap;’ in place of shower gel/hand wash - alongside sale of soap from local suppliers? Or partnerships with local suppliers and share of purchase price? (Long term impact on recycling need? )

Gill.i.an 4 months ago

It's obscene that residents are being asked to choose between our few remaining essential services in areas that have already been cut to the bone. We all know this is a result of ideological government cuts but that doesn't justify blind acceptance, they will simply take it as a green light to implement further cuts. Where is the resistance? It may be illegal to into deficit, but it is also a crime to destroy life chances and quality of life. Are the council just an austerity implementation body or do they actually represent the people who fund them?

PeterPRB 4 months ago

Why is it just the Hive that's funding is being cut and not other youth services? Also, why isn't it stated in the plans that it is just from the Hive and instead is mentioned broadly? I disagree that any should be cut but definitely shouldn't be the Hive. Look at all the work they do - surely you have seen the many news article's. I am not a member at the Hive but I am definitely a supporter after seeing friends children develop so quickly after going there, has increased my friends' childrens confidence and supports them!

Jack22 4 months ago

Wirral has just been awarded the accolade of the fattest region in UK,how remarkable we now want to close Europa Pool and Gym to make way for retail ,what shops are now left that will want to open.Surely having retail ,housing and leisure facilities in the one area will encourage regeneration

Lacey 4 months ago

Can you let us know why you lend money to other councils that have no geographic connection to ours?
Does lending this money leave a shortfall in our budget?
Are the loans secured, what happens if they can’t be paid back?
Do we, the people of Wirral benefit in any way from these transactions?
There are significant amounts of money loaned, can we get it back quickly to plug the gap in our budget?
Please can you keep your answers reasonably simple so that everyone can understand the answers!
Thank you for the opportunity to have our say!

Curious 4 months ago

Many of the questions asked require nuanced replies. Whay are you not allowed to add comments to responses chosen?
eg: - why it may be acceptable to reduce children's facility support by £200K overall, it is not acceptable to remove this from one group's budget ie the Hive
- while it may be sensible to write off current council tax arrears with current funding, it is not acceptable to allow this to happen in the future.

Steve51 4 months ago

The Hive has provided for young people throughout the pandemic and has been a most valuable resource and service during this time.
The Hive can and is changing lives for the better providing opportunities that would not otherwise exist.
Removing funding would stop this.
Please support The Hive.

Lucas 4 months ago

Please keep the Williamson art gallery open Does the council not think that the impact of its closure will impact the community a great deal ? The gallery is a much loved cultural icon of the wirral and its loss would be devastating to a progressive image of the wirral. Please, please don't close it.

Rich 4 months ago

A lot of children, for various reasons, have suffered through this pandemic and therefore I strongly object to any cuts/reduction in support/services for them.

JPW 4 months ago

I would like to know why you think reducing funding to youth services will have any benefit to the areas and the young people who use the facilities? Is it not true that since a youth centre opened in Birkenhead it has only had a positive impact on the community it serves?

Jeanette 10 4 months ago

leaving the bins another week??? ridiculous..the council will spend more money on pest control..as if the streets didn't have enough "rats" on them at night!!..

Jennifer 4 months ago

why even think of closing the Williamson when it is one of the most culturally education places in the Wirral. This is used by many artists such as myself for inspiration, meeting and education. This plan is absurd in the least!!!!! why not get council members to take pay cuts in line with NHS staff like myself.Stop feeding the fat cats and think of the true meaning of community spirit!!

Jennifer 4 months ago

I would be interested to learn what is held in the current reserves and also whether there are any loans to other authorities outstanding and if so how much, so I can better understand the need to consider budget savings.

Davey 4 months ago

I have been made aware that you are considering stopping funding to the Hive. As this is the only youth organisation that has faithfully supplied a service to the most vulnerable young people in our area I think it would be a cruel thank you to a great institute
CONTINUING FUNDING THE HIVE

Deo 4 months ago

Removed by moderator.

Val 4 months ago

Currently there is a lot of housing under construction e.g. on the Cadbury site and prevoiusly Manor Drive. What happens to the 'Planning Gain ' ?

Val 4 months ago

Moving the bins would be a disgusting blight on this area. It is already embarrassing having rubbish blocking the drains and blowing all over the road. Half my road reports of mice or rats entering homes. This would make living in the Wirral an embarrassment and I really hope you consider this when discussing the budget. The bins are always full to the point that people use their recycling bins for everyday waste and put recycling waste on top of of it before the bin men come so they don't notice. There will be no recycling, filthy Street and rats in homes.

Andrew K 4 months ago