Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1 - Wallasey Town Hall

No. Item


Members' Code of Conduct - Declarations of Interest

Members of the Cabinet are asked to consider whether they have any disclosable pecuniary and/or any other relevant interest, in connection with any item(s) on this agenda and, if so, to declare them and state the nature of the interest.


No declarations of interest were received.



The minutes of the last meeting have been printed and published.  Any matters called in will be reported at the meeting.


RECOMMENDATION:  That the minutes be approved and adopted.




That the Minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 16 January 2017 be confirmed as a correct record.


Revenue Monitoring 2016/17 Quarter 3 pdf icon PDF 174 KB



Councillor Phil Davies, Leader of the Council, said:


Funding for health and social care remains a major issue across the country, with demand for services continuing to far outstrip the supply of resources. While we must continue to call for additional support, it is clear we must take immediate action in order to ensure our most vulnerable residents are able to receive the services they need.


We have therefore taken positive, proactive action to ensure the funding allocated to social care services is available to cope with the increasing demand for services. We remain committed to ensuring our financial resources are targeted to achieve best value, and achieve our 20 Pledges”.


Councillor Phil Davies introduced a report that set out the projected revenue position for 2016/17 as at the end of quarter 3 (31 December 2016). This was the first quarter that the projections had also been shown on the New Operating Model and the Wirral Plan Themes structures. This replaced the previous format based on Directorate structures.


Councillor Davies highlighted the latest forecast which was an underspend of £0.4 million for 2016/17.  This was an improvement of £0.2 million on the quarter 2 forecast (£0.2 million underspent).


This was a key decision which affected all Wards within the Borough.





(1)  the Quarter 3 forecast year end underspend of £0.4 million, which contained a significant number of variances, be noted; and


(2)  Officers be requested to identify actions and take measures to assist to reduce the impact of the projected overspends.


Capital Monitoring 2016/17 Quarter 3 pdf icon PDF 129 KB






Councillor Phil Davies (Leader of the Council) said:


The Capital Programme demonstrates the major investments we are making in Wirral: improving local infrastructure through investing in schools, housing, roads and public buildings. We are also looking to make use of the opportunities available to use capital funding to deliver transformational change to public services, supporting the delivery of our 20 Pledges.’


Councillor Phil Davies introduced a report that provided the Cabinet with an update on progress towards delivering the Capital Programme 2016/17 at the end of December 2016.


The report recommended that the Cabinet approved the 2016/17 Capital Programme of £30.7 million which took into account re-profiling identified during both the 2015/16 final accounts process, latest reviews of the current year and additional grant funding notified to the Council. It was noted that the expenditure to date was £16.4 million.


This matter was a Key Decision which affected all Wards within the Borough.




(1)  the spend at Quarter 3 of £16.4 million, with 75% of the financial year having elapsed be noted; and


(2)  the revised Capital Programme of £30.7 million be agreed and referred to the Council.


2017/18 Budget Proposals Scrutiny Report pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Additional documents:



Councillor Phil Davies, Leader of the Council – Strategic Economic Development, Finance and Devolution, said:


As austerity policies continue, the Council’s budget position does not get any easier.


We are in fact facing our biggest ever financial challenge, with a requirement to reduce our spending – or raise income – by £45 million just next year, as part of a programme of reductions of more than £130 million by 2021.


“This inevitably requires difficult proposals be put on the table for investigation, review and debate. This Administration has consistently developed budgets in a consultative, collaborative manner – inviting all Elected Members and other stakeholders to provide their views and make their voice heard.


“I am grateful to the Members of our Overview and Scrutiny committees who have once again provided invaluable insight and opinion on the budget proposals this year.”


Councillor Phil Davies introduced a report that set out the feedback from the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committees in relation to the Budget Proposals for 2017/18.  This followed a series of budget scrutiny workshops held during January 2017.  There was a separate report from each of the committees which were attached as appendices to the report.  These captured the issues raised and general feedback from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Members at these workshops.


As the report addressed the proposals for the 2017/18 budget, it related to all Wirral Plan pledges and all wards in the borough.


This report was not a Key Decision.




(1)  this Cabinet will take into account the content of these reports as part of its deliberations in developing its budget recommendations to the Council; and


(2)  this Cabinet thanks all of the Elected Members who attended the Scrutiny Workshops and contributed towards the scrutiny of the budget proposals for 2017/18. 



Additional documents:



“We have a responsibility to set a fair  sustainable and balanced budget.  This is a challenge which gets more difficult every year, as austerity policies continue to bite.


“We have committed to 20 Pledges in our Wirral Plan and, despite the continued reductions in our budget, we are determined we will deliver on what we promised.”



Councillor Phil Davies introduced reports on the following budgetary matters:


(A)  Revenue Budget and Council Tax Levels – an update on the Medium Term Financial Strategy and Council Budget that had been reported to the Cabinet at its meeting on 8 December 2016.  It set out the background and the key elements contributing to the preparation of the 2017/18 Budget.


(B)  Capital Programme and Financing – providing the draft Capital Programme 2017/20 which represented a combination of Schemes originally approved as part of the 2016/19 Programme and updated through the Capital Monitoring reports in 2016/17 and some new bids, for consideration and referral to the Council for approval. It also included information regarding the revenue implications of this Programme and an update on the latest forecast for capital receipts.


(C)  Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) – presenting the MTFS based on what was an evolving system of funding and a number of key questions yet to be answered.  However it was clear that the scale of the financial challenges remained. The report set out the steps it was proposed should be taken to ensure the Council set balanced budgets while continuing to deliver the Wirral Plan. The Strategy included a set of indicative financial proposals for 2018/19 - 2020/21.


(D)  Schools Budget and Formula Funding Changes 2017/18 – covering education provision for all Wirral Pupils aged up to 16 in Early Years, Primary, Secondary and academy schools and for some pupils up to the age of 25 in Special Schools and High Needs providers.  Most budgets were delegated to schools with some central provision for support services including school admissions, PFI and High Needs. The report proposed a number of changes to the funding formula for Early Years to take account of national changes and increased resources. There were also changes proposed to High Needs places and funding.


Councillor Phil Davies informed that the Council was facing its most challenging budget ever with £45m cuts in Government funding this year.  This included a 3% precept to help relieve a financial crisis in adult social care and children’s services. It had been an extremely difficult budget to draw up as the Council faced a massively unfair local government funding system which favoured the more affluent local authorities in the south over those in the north of England.


One by one Cabinet Members raised concerns about the Government’s approach to local government funding and in particular the lack of funding for social care and agreed to continue to lobby Central Government against the cuts.


Councillor Chris Jones was concerned that social care was seriously underfunded by the Government and Wirral Council Tax Payers had the burden  ...  view the full minutes text for item 91.


National Non Domestic Rates Discretionary Relief pdf icon PDF 108 KB



Councillor Phil Davies, Leader of the Council, said:


The Council is required to have a Scheme in place which details the support available to businesses and charities in the form of Discretionary Rate Relief. This report provides this Scheme to Cabinet.


National Non Domestic Rates or Business Rates was charged on all non-domestic properties and as a national scheme had been in place since 1990. Alongside the billing of properties there were a number of reliefs and exemptions available to help meet liability.  These may be part of the national scheme or via local discretion which each local authority decided upon.


Councillor Phil Davies introduced a report that sought approval of the Council’s National Non Domestic Rates Discretionary Rate Relief Scheme (Appendix 1) to be effective from 1 April 2017.


This was a Key Decision and affected all wards within the borough.




That the Discretionary Rate Relief Scheme (Appendix 1) to this report be approved as the Council Policy for 2017/18 onwards.