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

As a golfer who has played the municipal golf courses for over 35 years ,l don't think the council realise what an asset they have arrowe park especially being one of best municipals in the country.A private company must think they can run them at a profit so why can't the council and invest the profits in other leisure services .

Dave 1 about 1 month ago

Once again disabled adults get hit again half a million out of Wirral evolutions every year they get the brunt of cuts my son who has mental and physical disabilities and loves the Heswall Centre the staff do a brilliant job and the adults love the place
Every year when WBC sort out there budget its the disabled that gets hit every time the people that make these cuts should be ashamed of themselves I bet not one of these counsellors know a disabled person yet year in year out they always get cuts

Chris Hopkins about 1 month ago

Could the council please quantify the severity that Covid has placed upon their budget? It seems to me that the money provided by central government has not been used for the purposes for which it was provided.
The services provided by the council for local residents has been notably eroded over the last few years - the roads have not been swept, gulleys cleaned or paths cleared for as long as I can remember, it is no wonder that we are seeing more and more flooded areas.
On top of that, to extend the bin collections will only cause further fly tipping, a situation the council should recognise as having increased since March 2020 due in part to the mis-management of the recycling stations which have been queued back to cause dangerous situations on our roads.
In addition to this, could the council please clarify how many of its workers were furloughed in 2020 and if the answer is none, why have services suffered so much?

geordielad about 1 month ago

If the ventilation system in Woodchurch baths really does need upgrading to be covid safe, why is this not being funded by some of the covid funding received from central government? I understand that this has not all been spent. The works could be carried out at the same time as the centre being used as a vaccination centre as the pool is a completely separate entity to the vaccination clinic.

worried res about 1 month ago

The mothballing of Woodchurch is a short stop to closure which would be devastating to the local community. If, there is no getting around the closure of Europa during the regeneration of the Birkenhead area. This will likely mean a couple of years without this pool also until a bigger and better version (hopefully) is built. Why not keep Woodchurch open and transfer all Europa user groups here for this interim period. This will boost the Woodchurch profits in this time, allowing for money to be invested in Woodchurch (maybe adding a gym etc) and hopefully giving it a much better and more secure future?

worried res about 1 month ago

Closing the Williamson would critically diminish the Wirral in cultural terms. Doing so would suggest to the world that we are not important enough to have our own art, history and identity. This is a huge step that will have repercussions on Wirral for decades to come. We are in serious danger of becoming a cultural backwater, just an area of housing stock across the river from Liverpool. If the Council have any sense of ambition for the borough they must not do this. Have the council factored in the long term economic costs, when we inevitably try to recover and promote our culture and history in the future?

PeterPRB about 1 month ago

Where did the £2million come from to buy the House of Frazer building what part of the budget and if it was covid money why was it used in this way when we have plenty other empty government building we could use in Birkenhead?
Have the heads of our council had any pay rises in the last 2 years and has there been any cutbacks in top job positions, wages and overtime ?

Concern2 about 1 month ago

The savings proposed by closure of the Williamson Art Gallery pre-empt the forthcoming Culture & Heritage strategic review, due to go to public consultation in 2021. The loss of the Culture Team would be regrettable but all these things need to be considered holistically in the light of aspirations for Wirral and The City Region. The coming of Eureka to Seacombe and Shakespeare North to Knowsley will give the region a number of additional visitors eager to explore as tourists.
Why cannot these be seen as opportunities? There are many examples of investing in the arts as a way out of troubled times. Embrace the opportunity to encourage local involvement and encourage tourism.

CMS about 1 month ago

Why are you considering cutting school crossing patrol? There are many schools like Heswall Primary who need them as the school is on a dangerous crossing for the kids.

HHughes about 1 month ago

Why are you not chasing the people that owe so much in Council Tax. There are millions of pounds owed?

Enraged about 1 month ago

Why does Woodchurch pool need to be mothballed? Even if a part of the building is being used as a vaccination clinic - there is a completely separate entrance to the pool facilities. If, as you state, refurbishment can only happen if the building is empty, again, I would say that the pool is a completely separate entity to where the vaccinations are taking place.
Surveys have shown that children are some of the worst affected through this pandemic - taking away their access to a healthy solution to help manage their physical and mental health (in an area where there is very little else available), this year in particular (when they have just had so much taken away from them) will have serious detrimental effects. The only reason why such a nice pool facility doesn't at the very least, break even can only be through poor management. Please show the details of how this loss has occurred.

worried res about 1 month ago

Can we have further explanation of why Woodchurch Pool needs to stay closed because of the vaccination centre – they are entirely separate parts of the facility with their own entrance/exits.
As we come out of lockdown it will be more important than ever for people to stay healthy and fit, something that swimming can do for lots of people who cannot otherwise exercise due to its low impact on the body. Investing in these facilities has been shown to be repaid with reduced costs for health spending and associated services as supported by several GPs in 2009 when Woodchurch was proposed to be closed as part of a review then.
Can we see the details of the £300,000 loss to run the pool – as similar ( and less accessible) facilities run by Caldy Pools seems to be doing quite well and is often overbooked, indicating there is demand for pool time that is not being met. It is my fear that once mothballed, the pool will never reopen - can we have a firm commitment and date as to when and how the pool will be reopned in the future .

CarlC about 1 month ago

How much does this Council have in Bank accounts and investments? How much money has this Council lent out to other Councils.

Fedup with labourscrackpotideas about 1 month ago

One of the issues that WBC conveniently forgot to include on their Budget survey, was the thorny question of the increase in Council Tax for 2021/22. WBC have been very quiet on this issue, although I did read in one of the local newspapers that Cllr. Williamson has intimated a 5% increase is on the cards.

However, on Monday 10th January, Sir Keir Starmer issued a statement suggesting that "absurd council tax rises should be scrapped, to ease the pressure on family budgets".

I hope that she takes notice.

NickB about 1 month ago

WOODCHURCH LEISURE CENTRE POOL
I went on the Teams meeting on 14th January and frustrated not a word about Woodchurch Leisure Centre but many about Europa Pools. Europa Pools will hopefully be rebuilt and may take 2+years to finish ? The future of Woodchurch Pool is very worrying indeed. It has lacked investment and doesnt have a gym unlike all other pools possibly with the exception of Guinea Gap. It covers a wide area and the heart of the Estate. My husband and I have been voluntary teachers with Woodchurch Swimming Club for over 30 years and we have seen how important it is for children to have swimming lessons before they join the club and then they become stronger swimmers and one day cold save their life. Many have gone on to be Pool or Beach lifeguards and also become swimming teachers. The situation has not changed from 2009 when we led a protest to save Woodchurch Leisure centre. Plans to have new football pitches at Woodchurch is great but wont save a life !! and not suitable for all ages, swimming is. Thank you. BT

BT about 1 month ago

How will children of Birkenhead and Woodchurch have the same opportunity to access local, affordable swimming with the closure of Woodchurch and Europa as their peers in other areas of the Wirral? How can these children, many already classified as vulnerable or disadvantaged under the Government definition, have the opportunity to maintain and improve their physical and mental health through swimming if there is no local pool?

M H about 1 month ago

Why is Wirral Council trying to deprive extremely vulnerable disabled people and people with learning disabilities of essential services they and their families are in desperate need of?

Katherine.123 about 1 month ago

In leafy west wirral there are luxury million pound mansions popping up all over the place, often on unspoilt greenfield sites. Why not increase the council tax on all the higher band properties? The people who live in these places can easily absorb the extra cost, but instead we are thinking about closing our main swimming pool and art gallery used by tens of thousands of local residents every year. The councils confused priorities are going to be disastrous for the Wirral in generations to come.

Sticky Jo about 1 month ago

Why are we giving cheap loans to other councils? Increase the Interest rate or demand the money back

M Thomas about 1 month ago

Why have you not addressed the question many Wirral residents have asked before. We have far too many councillors. I understand more than 60! This must be reduced, a prime example of Wirral Borough Councils short sighted view on how savings can be made!

Publish details of how much councillors cost and a proposal for the reduction by at least one third. 60plus simply not required, zero value added

M Thomas about 1 month ago