Issue - meetings

Budget 2021/22 and Medium Term Financial Plan 2022/23-2025/26

Meeting: 01/03/2021 - Council (Item 60)

60 BUDGET 2021/22 AND MEDIUM TERM FINANCIAL PLAN 2022/23 - 2025/26 pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Minute with recommendations and report attached.

1.  Budget recommendation

2.  Council Tax setting

Additional documents:


The third item requiring approval was the Council Budget and Council Tax setting. Councillor Janette Williamson moved and then spoke to the Motion, which was seconded by Councillor Anita Leech, and which was set out as a recommendation of the Policy and Resources Committee of 17 February 2021 (Draft Minute 68-2020/21) ‘Budget 2020/21 and Medium Term Financial Plan 2022/23 – 2025/26’ but subject to an alteration, as follows:

‘That is, that the Motion being proposed remains to adopt a revenue budget of £329.4m, but is altered to accept the amendments from other Groups, in parts,and to make a minor addition:


(1)  The following are deleted:



Accepting items (1)2 of the Green Group’s amendment and (1)5 of the Conservative Group’s amendment,

Savings proposal ? 30

“Charging for a range of new and existing Environmental: Services”








Accepting item (1)6 of the Conservative Group’s amendment and (2)2 in part of the Green Group’s amendment,

Savings proposal ? 36

“Climate Emergency Budget Balance:






(2)  Accepting in part the item (2)1 of the Conservative Group’s amendment,:



Savings proposal ? 16 

“Suspension of individual Member Ward Budgets: £250,000” now reads:


Mitigate ward member budget pause and allocate £1,000 per Member (£66,000) to support local voluntary organisations and initiatives:









 (3)  The following be inserted, after the list of budget savings proposals at B(2), to read:


“That further budget allocation be provided for the following:



Accepting the item (3)1 of the Conservative Group’s amendmentand item (2) of the Liberal Democrat Group’s amendment

To enable development of the wider youth offer in Wirral:






(3)  The budget gap of £510,000 that would thereby be created is then met, retaining a balanced budget of £329.4m, by


Insertion of the following budget savings proposals:



Accepting the item (4)3 of the Conservative Group’s amendment

Remove the Brexit Reserve:

Included within the earmarked reserves is a reserve of £100k for activities associated with Brexit. We recognise that the funding received for Brexit from Government was ring-fenced, however we believe that this reserve could be charged against salaries and activities undertaken during 2020/21 that have been charged against core council budgets and that therefore this would release £100k that can be made available for other purposes.






Accepting the item (3) of the Green Group’s amendment

Filling Staff Vacancies:

To support staff vacancies should be filled in a timely manner, to reduce pressures on our existing staff.

To achieve this council assumes that vacancies are filled at the top of the pay scale which is rare. It is therefore deemed prudent to reduce this to half of the potential £480k.





Accepting in part the item (4)1 of the Conservative Group’s amendment

Zero Based Budgeting:

In 2020/221 a saving was agreed at full Council of £600k from this exercise. The saving has not been achieved and is recommended to be removed in full, from the 2021/22 budget. We believe a small proportion of these savings can still be achieved.






(4)  ...  view the full minutes text for item 60

Meeting: 17/02/2021 - Policy and Resources Committee (Item 68)

68 Budget 2021/22 and Medium Term Financial Plan 2022/23-2025/26 pdf icon PDF 210 KB

Additional documents:


Shaer Halewood, Director of Resources, introduced a report which was part of the Council’s formal annual budget process, as set out in the constitution and in accordance with the legal requirements to set a balanced budget. The report presented details of the annual budget for 2021/22 and the key elements contributing towards the preparation of the budget and set out recommendations on the budget and council tax for 2021/22. The report provided an update on the Medium-Term Financial Plan (MTFP) covering the period from 2022/23 to 2025/26 previously reported to the Committee on 18 December 2020.


The report contained several appendices, some of which were required to be published as part of the statutory annual budget process and others which provided the Committee with relevant financial information relating to next year’s budget and future years’ financial assumptions. These assumptions would change, and any changes would be reported through the usual governance process for budget monitoring within the Committee system.


Included with the appendices was also the detailed Schools Budget for 2021/22.


The 2021/22 budget had been compiled using the figures in the provisional Local Government Finance Settlement for 2021/22 as the final figures had not, at the time of the agenda publication, been received. Shaer Halewood confirmed that there had been no changes to the final settlement figures.


Shaer Halewood drew the Committee’s attention to two errors within the report, the first being in appendix 1, ‘Pressures’, in that under the ‘Neighbourhoods’ heading, the ‘Waste Development Fund’ should refer to pressures on the waste service. The second was at paragraph 3.75 in the report, in that the level of Earmarked reserves were expected to be £29m and not £57m.


With regard to the precepts from other precepting bodies, referred to in appendix 9, Shaer Halewood confirmed that the vote to be taken at Council would be on the Wirral Council Tax element only.


Shaer Halewood then responded to a number of comments from Members and clarified that there was now a forecast surplus of £1m for the 2021/22 budget, which was included within the body of the report and gave a breakdown of this amount. The £4m for potential EVR’s was included within the £29m earmarked reserves figure. Fees and charges had a total increase of £230,000, for cemeteries and crematorium charges to offset some of the cost of the introduction of webcasting at the crematoria and music licences. She had taken a prudent approach with the budget formulation as there were no guarantees that the government compensation scheme would be extended beyond June, even though social distancing measure could be in place for some time affecting the Council’s income, including from leisure related activities, gyms etc.


The Chair then invited Councillor Wendy Clements to comment on the Schools Budget. Councillor Clements welcomed the proposed budget of £299.487m Dedicated Schools Grant, an increase of some £24.5m over the previous year’s, and which the Schools Forum had agreed to. Councillor Clements responded to a number of comments from Members and welcomed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 68