Issue - meetings

2022/23 Budget Update (Mark Goulding)

Meeting: 26/01/2022 - Economy Regeneration & Development Committee (Item 72)

72 2022/23 BUDGET UPDATE pdf icon PDF 75 KB

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Minutes:

The Lead Principal Lawyer (Regeneration, Planning and Property) introduced the report of the Director of Law and Governance which provided for consideration of the recommendations of the Policy and Resources Committee in respect of the 2022/23 Budget Update.

 

It was emphasised that the Council had a significant financial challenge and had to demonstrate financial viability, under the scrutiny of an independent Assurance Panel. The proposals outlined were part of a draft budget and were therefore not without prejudice, and it was for the Committee to focus on these specific proposals, any comments on which would be fed back to the Policy and Resources Committee.

 

Members questioned the details of some of the options in the report and noted:

 

·  That the proposed closure of public conveniences would achieve operational savings.  They also queried if disposal of the buildings to raise revenue had been considered.

 

·  Concerns about the closure of public conveniences in Thornton Hough and Moreton Common and associated anti-social behaviour.

 

·  The costs of maintaining empty corporate buildings and increases in energy tariffs.

 

Resolved – that:

 

(1)the 2022/23 draft budget proposals be noted.

 

(2) the relevant director with portfolio be authorised to take the necessary action to consult on any proposals that require additional consultation and take necessary action to deliver the resulting service changes in consultation with the Chair and Group Spokesperson or reporting to the Economy, Regeneration and Development Committee as the Director considers appropriate.

 


Meeting: 20/01/2022 - Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee (Item 66)

66 2022/23 Budget Update pdf icon PDF 90 KB

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Minutes:

The Head of Legal Services introduced the report of the Director of Law and Governance which provided for consideration the recommendations of the Policy and Resources Committee in respect of the 2022/23 Budget Update.

 

It was emphasised that the Council had a significant financial challenge and had to demonstrate financial viability, under the scrutiny of an independent Assurance Panel. The proposals outlined were part of a draft budget and were therefore not without prejudice, and it was for the Committee to focus on these specific proposals, any comments on which would be fed back to the Policy and Resources Committee.

 

Members discussed the background to the financial situation and recognised that all services affected some people. They noted:

·  the possibility of charging more for professional services

·  that some issues, notably the climate emergency, would continue even whilst mitigation measures were paused

·  concern over the option to reduce school crossing patrols (This minute was subsequently amended at the meeting on 1 March 2022 and the text now reads: Members expressed concern at the proposal to reduce school crossing patrols)

·  that there would be a risk assessment and consultation before any final decisions were made

 

Resolved – that:

(1)   the 2022/23 draft budget proposals be noted.

(2)   the relevant director with portfolio be authorised to take the necessary action to consult on any proposals that require additional consultation and take necessary action to deliver the resulting service changes in consultation with the Chair and Group Spokesperson or reporting to the Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee as the Director considers appropriate.


Meeting: 18/01/2022 - Tourism, Communities, Culture & Leisure Committee (Item 61)

61 2022/23 Budget Update pdf icon PDF 91 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Law and Governance introduced his report which provided for consideration the recommendations of the Policy and Resources Committee in respect of the 2022/23 Budget Update. He emphasised that the Council had a significant financial challenge and had to demonstrate financial viability, under the scrutiny of an independent Assurance Panel. The proposals outlined were part of a draft budget and were therefore not without prejudice, and it was for the Committee to focus on these specific proposals, any comments on which would be fed back to the Policy and Resources Committee

 

Members questioned details of some of the options in the report which established:

·  These were proposals and consultations on the proposals would take place with stakeholders

·  Some existing facilities could provide more varied usage to their local communities.

·  The justification and data for the proposals can be provided to Members at a workshop

 

Resolved: That -

(1) the 2022/23 draft budget proposals be noted.

(2) the relevant director with portfolio be authorised to take the necessary action to consult on any proposals that require additional consultation and take necessary action to deliver the resulting service changes in consultation with the Chair and Group Spokesperson or reporting to the Tourism, Communities, Culture & Leisure Committee as the Director considers appropriate.


Meeting: 17/01/2022 - Policy and Resources Committee (Item 115)

115 2022/23 Budget Update pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Executive spoke to the Budget Update report before the Committee stressing the need for the Council to address the financial challenges it faced, as emphasised by the Leader at the start of the meeting. The two external assurance reports commissioned by the Government were both critical of the Council on its leadership and governance and financial position, stating that the Council had tried over the past years to deliver the same level of services despite not having the financial means to do so. Wirral was only one of eleven councils in England to have requested exceptional financial support from the Government for 2020/21 and 2021/22. He went on to outline the work undertaken by both officers and Members, since the publication of the reports in November, to address the challenges faced and to establish and then maintain a sound financial footing for the Council.

 

The Director of Resources introduced the report, which was part of the Council’s formal budget process, as set out in the constitution and in accordance with the legal requirements to set a balanced and sustainable budget for 2022/23.

 

The Committee on 25 October 2021 agreed to ask for the views of residents, businesses, and all those with a stake in the future of Wirral, about what council services mattered most to them to help develop the budget plan. This consultation had run from 2 to 28 November 2021 and the outcomes were provided in an appendix to the report. 

 

At the Committee on 25 October 2021, and in line with the external assurance review recommendations to provide sensitivity analysis, three potential budget scenarios were presented as to what the budget gap could be for 2022/23.  The rationale for the three scenarios was to present assumptions based on known information at the time in advance of the draft Local Government Finance Settlement being published and in advance of the compilation of proposals for pressures and growth items and savings and income for the 2022/23 budget.

 

The Draft Local Government Finance Settlement was published on 16 December, 2021 and budget proposals had been developed in response to the previously outlined budget gap. The report provided an updated position on the draft budget for 2022/23 and related statutory consultation with the final budget proposals to be presented to the Committee on 15 February, 2022 for recommendation to full Council. A process of review and challenge was ongoing, to ensure that the final proposals made were fully scrutinised and fit and proper in terms of readiness for decision-making.

 

An appendix to the report provided details of all the current proposals for consideration prior to the need to make decisions on how the budget for 2022/23 should be formulated. Setting out the potential budget proposals in the report ensured statutory consultation could be carried out in advance of setting the 2022/23 annual budget.

 

Information in the report also provided the opportunity for the Policy and Services Committees, at their meetings in January 2022, to provide feedback  ...  view the full minutes text for item 115