Issue - meetings

Budget 2022/23 and MTFS

Meeting: 28/02/2022 - Council (Item 81)


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 for 2022/23. Councillor Janette Williamson formally moved the Motion, which was seconded by Councillor Yvonne Nolan, and which was set out as a recommendation of the Policy and Resources Committee of 15 February 2022, minute 129, ‘Budget 2022/23 and Medium Term Financial Plan’ but subject to an alteration, in that an addition be made with a new paragraph at (1) (i), as follows (the remaining paragraphs being re-lettered):


“An allocation of £125,000 from within the 2022/23 capital programme be identified to enable the total Climate Emergency Budget to remain at £250,000 from revenue and capital for 2022/23. This is in recognition of the increasing concern over the continuing pattern of severe weather and just recently, the worst storms we have seen in decades. We have an obligation to ensure our assets can be fit for purpose and remain in good order so that when such events occur again, we can continue to operate vital council services for residents, with no or minimal disruption’


This does not affect the existing revenue saving of £125,000 already proposed.”




The Liberal Democrat Group amendment was then formally moved by Councillor Phil Gilchrist, and seconded by Councillor Stuart Kelly, as follows:


“That the motion proposed as set out in the recommendation from the Policy and Resources Committee of 15 February, 2022, in minute 129, ‘Budget 2022/23 and Medium Term Financial Plan’ be subject to the following amendments in part (1):


(e) Delete final sentence and insert....


Brackenwood Golf Course currently proposed to cease operation as at 1 April 2022 to continue to operate until 30 September 2022 whilst expressions of interest for community asset transfer are sought and assessed which will provide a reduction of in-year savings of £55k. This will not affect the saving proposal to come into effect as at 1 April 2022, following Budget Council, for Hoylake Golf Course.


(g) (i) Delete all and insert....


Whilst it has been proposed that Greasby and Rock Ferry libraries are to remain operating for the purposes of community facility and library centres at a cost of £162k, it remains necessary for the Committee to look at the overall picture and consider the circumstances pertaining to all the other library locations covered by the current consultation.


(g) (ii) Delete £282k and replace with £113k.


Insert new paragraph after "(h) ....Greenbelt where those sites are within it."


(i) That the savings proposal listed at Appendix 2 headed “Temporary Closure and Remodelling of Bidston Tennis Centre” be amended to reduce the savings proposals so as to make sufficient monies available to enable Bidston Tennis Centre to continue to operate until 31 March 2023 whilst public consultation and further discussions take place with the Lawn Tennis Association; which will provide a reduction of in-year savings of £114k.”




The Green Group amendments were then formally moved by Councillor Pat Cleary and seconded by Councillor Jason Walsh, as follows:


First Amendment  ...  view the full minutes text for item 81

Meeting: 15/02/2022 - Policy and Resources Committee (Item 129)


Additional documents:


The Director of Resources introduced a 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.


This report presented details of the annual budget for 2022/23; key elements contributing towards the preparation of the budget; recommendations on the budget and council tax, and an update on the Medium-Term Financial Plan (MTFP) covering the period from 2022/23 to 2026/27, previously reported to the Committee on 1 December 2021 (minute 101 refers) as a component of the Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS).


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 information relating to short and medium-term budget planning, inclusive of consultation aspects and financial assumptions. These assumptions would change, and changes would be reported through the governance process for budget monitoring within the Committee system.


Included with these appendices was also the detailed Schools Budget for 2022/23.


The 2022/23 budget had been compiled using the figures in the provisional Local Government Finance Settlement for 2022/23 as the final settlement, had not at the time of agenda publication, been received. The Director confirmed that the final settlement had been received with a slight improvement of £1k, which did not impact on the assumptions included within the 2022/23 budget report


The 2022/23 budget had been developed with consideration of the recommendations made in the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) external assurance reports and in consultation with the Independent Panel convened to advise on the Council’s financial recovery plan.


The budget proposals, which had been produced with the engagement of Policy and Resources Committee and other Service Committees, and the associated recommendations laid out in this report were a key step in achieving the Council’s commitment to produce a stable, prudent and sustainable financial basis to operate from, recognising the finite resources available and prioritising them for the best outcomes for Wirral, with the ongoing aim of delivering better services.


The report was extensive, covering complex information on a number of areas including:

·  The national context and local government funding

·  Government engagement, DLUHC and Exceptional Financial Support (EFS)

·  Organisational change

·  The approach to formulating the budget, inclusive of Directorate budget envelopes

·  The budget proposals

·  The MTFS and future year assumptions

·  Council Tax

·  Business Rates

·  Schools’ budgets

·  Levies

·  The General Fund and earmarked reserves

·  Flexible Use of Capital Receipts (FUCR)

·  The Section 151 officer’s report on the robustness of estimates for budget calculations


Both the Director and Chief Executive responded to a number of comments from Members clarifying the external advice given of the need for a contingency fund of £3m minimum and also assuring the Committee of the rigour with which the Change Programme and delivery of savings would be implemented.


The Chair then moved, seconded by Councillor Jean Robinson, the recommendations set out in the report, with the following  ...  view the full minutes text for item 129