Agenda and minutes

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Items
No. Item

54.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Members of the Council are asked to consider whether they have any disclosable pecuniary interests and/or any other relevant interest, in connection with any matter to be debated or determined at this meeting and, if so, to declare it and state the nature of such interest.

 

A dispensation has been applied for.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Civic Mayor informed the meeting that he had been informed in advance of a number of Members who had a personal interest in agenda item 4c, ‘Budget 2021/22 and Medium-Term Financial Plan 2022/23 - 2025/26’ insofar as it related to the schools budget element by virtue of holding positions as school governors, as follows:

 

Councillors Bruce Berry, Allan Brame, Chris Carubia, Pat Cleary, Wendy Clements (who was also employed in an early-years setting) Mike Collins, Chris Cooke, George Davies, Andrew Gardner, Phil Gilchrist, Karl Greaney, Brian Kenny, Anita Leech, Dave Mitchell, Tony Smith, Paul Stuart, Mike Sullivan, Stuart Whittingham and Steve Williams.

 

Additionally, the Civic Mayor reported the following personal interests insofar as they related to the schools budget element, by virtue of those Members either themselves or close family members working in either Schools or the  Council’s Education and Children, or Young People’s Directorate:

 

Councillors Chris Cooke (employed as teacher) George Davies (daughter in education) Jean Robinson (employed in Early Years) and (son, supply teacher) Les Rowlands (spouse) Paul Stuart (foster carer) and Mike Sullivan (daughter).

 

The Civic Mayor further reported that the Constitution & Standards Committee at its meeting on 24 February, 2021 had granted a dispensation to Councillor Steve Foulkes in respect to Magenta Housing as he was a Board Member, so as to enable him to participate fully in the budget debate.

 

Members of the Council were then invited to consider whether they had any further disclosable pecuniary and / or any other relevant interest in connection with any matters to be determined at this meeting and, if so, to declare it and state the nature of the interest.

 

In respect of agenda item 4c, ‘Budget 2021/22 and Medium Term Financial Plan 2022/23 - 2025/26’ insofar as it related to the schools budget element, the following Members declared personal interests:

 

Councillors Adrian Jones (school governor) and (daughter, teacher) Joe Walsh (daughter, teacher), Julie McManus (school governor) and (son in Primary Education) Mike Collins (employment) Yvonne Nolan (school governor) Steve Foulkes (school governor) Chris Jones (daughter, teacher) Samantha Frost (family member in education) Tony Norbury (school governor and voting member of Schools Forum) and (sister works in early years) Sarah Spoor (employment in Liverpool school) Chris Spriggs (partner in education) Jo Bird (partner school governor) Christina Muspratt (daughter-in-law, teacher).

 

In respect of agenda item 4c, ‘Budget 2021/22 and Medium Term Financial Plan 2022/23 - 2025/26’ insofar as it mentioned Wirral Evolutions, Councillor Irene Williams declared a personal interest by virtue of her brother being a service user.

 

In respect of agenda item 4d, ‘Capital Programme 2021-26’ Councillor Anita Leech declared a personal interest by virtue her being a governor of two schools referred to in the report.

 

55.

CIVIC MAYOR'S ANNOUNCEMENTS

To receive the Civic Mayor's announcements and any apologies for absence.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Civic Mayor announced that apologies had been received from Councillor Andy Corkhill.

 

He then welcomed back a number of Members who had been unwell since the last meeting. Referring to the fact that it was now almost a year since the first lockdown, he expressed his thanks to all staff, the NHS and volunteers for all their work in the past difficult year. There was now hope on the horizon with the rollout of the vaccine, which both he and the Mayoress had now received. With the focus on Wirral being to keep people safe, there was also a need to recognise the challenges faced by residents and to support their mental, physical and economic wellbeing. Additionally with regard to recovery there would be a need to help those affected by the pandemic, particularly young people, many of whom had struggled with mental health issues. Local Authorities and the NHS would remain on the frontline in the battle against COVID.

56.

BUDGET MEETING PROCEDURE pdf icon PDF 46 KB

The Council is requested to consider the recommendation from Policy and Resources Committee of 17 February, 2021, in respect of the procedure to be adopted for this extraordinary meeting of Council, as specified in appendix A to the report of the Director Law and Governance.

 

Minute and report attached.  

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council was then invited to consider the recommendation from the Policy and Resources Committee meeting of 17 February 2021, in respect of the procedure to be adopted for this extraordinary meeting of the Council.

 

On a motion by Councillor Janette Williamson, seconded by Councillor Jeff Green, it was –

 

Resolved – That, for the duration of this extraordinary meeting of 1 March 2021 (Budget Council):

 

(a)  the procedure attached as Appendix A to the report, be followed in respect of the meeting; and

 

(b)  Council Standing Order 15.4 (timing of speeches) be suspended together with such other standing orders as may conflict with the Budget Council procedure or the Mayor’s administration of the meeting, in such a manner as the Mayor in his or her absolute discretion dictates, to ensure the objective of Council setting a lawful budget and council tax requirement prevails.

57.

MATTERS REQUIRING APPROVAL OR CONSIDERATION BY THE COUNCIL - RECOMMENDATION FROM POLICY AND RESOURCES COMMITTEE OF 17 FEBRUARY, 2021 CONCERNING BUDGET DECISION MAKING

Additional documents:

Minutes:

With regard to Budget decision making, seven referrals had been made by the Policy and Resources Committee at its meeting on 17 February (see minutes 58 to 64 post).

58.

REVENUE BUDGET MONITORING FOR QUARTER THREE 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 66 KB

Minute with recommendations and report attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The first item requiring approval was in relation to an increase in the budget because of Covid-19 funding.

 

On a motion by Councillor Janette Williamson, seconded by Councillor Anita Leech, it was –

 

Resolved – That the recommendations contained within minute 66 of the Policy and Resources Committee of 17 February, 2021, be agreed, in that:

 

Council approves the 2020/21 budget of £41.144m in relation to Covid-19 funding for Council use and notes the additional £134.490m of funds that is to be made available to the Council for onward relay to other organisations as passported funding. Council notes that this recommendation follows on from the recommendation made by Policy & Resources Committee on 11 November 2020, following the recent notification of additional funding.

59.

CAPITAL MONITORING QUARTER THREE 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 61 KB

Minute with recommendations and report attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The second item requiring approval was in relation to a revised capital programme for 2020/21.

 

On a motion by Councillor Janette Williamson, seconded by Councillor Anita Leech, it was –

 

Resolved – That the recommendations contained within minute 67 of the Policy and Resources Committee of 17 February, 2021, be agreed in that the following be approved:

 

(1)  additional funding for the schemes referred to in section 3.5 in the report, as follows:

 

  • Birkenhead Park World Heritage Project Team - £0.085m (over a three year period)
  • Connecting Wirral Waters - Detailed Design - £0.610m (over a two year period)

 

(2)  a revised Capital Programme of £86.0million for 2020-21, including the virements referred to in Appendix 3 in the report.

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:

Minutes:

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:

 

1.

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”

 

 

 

 

 

£144,000

2.

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:

 

 

 

 

£100,000

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

 

1.

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:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

£184,000

 (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:

 

1.

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:

 

 

 

 

£200,000

(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:

 

1.

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.

 

 

 

£100,000

2.

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.

 

 

£240K

3.

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.

 

 

 

£170k

 

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

61.

CAPITAL PROGRAMME 2021-26 pdf icon PDF 50 KB

Minute with recommendations and report attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The fourth item requiring approval was in relation to the capital programme for 2021-26.

 

On a motion by Councillor Janette Williamson, seconded by Councillor Anita Leech, it was –

 

Resolved – That the recommendations contained within minute 69 of the Policy and Resources Committee of 17 February, 2021, be agreed in that the following be approved:

 

(1)  new bids as detailed in Appendix 2 to this report requiring £12.133 million borrowing for inclusion in the Capital Programme;

 

(2)  any new bids supported by grant funding do not commence until written confirmation has been received from the granting authority;

 

(3)  the Capital Programme 2021/26 (as detailed in Appendix 3 to the report);

 

(4)  that progress on delivering the Capital Programme will be presented in accordance within the agreed Capital Monitoring arrangements.

62.

CAPITAL FINANCING STRATEGY 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 48 KB

Minute with recommendations and report attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The fifth item requiring approval was in relation to the Capital Financing Strategy for 2021/22.

 

On a motion by Councillor Janette Williamson, seconded by Councillor Anita Leech, it was –

 

Resolved – That the recommendations contained within minute 70 of the Policy and Resources Committee of 17 February, 2021, be agreed in that the following be approved:

 

(1)  the Capital Strategy for 2021/22;

 

(2)  the associated Prudential Indicators to be adopted;

 

(3)  the Council’s Minimum Revenue Provision policy.

63.

TREASURY MANAGEMENT STRATEGY 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Minute with recommendations and report attached.

 

A revised version of appendix 5 to this report will be circulated with the supplementary agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The sixth item requiring approval was in relation to the Treasury Management Strategy for 2021/22.

 

On a motion by Councillor Janette Williamson, seconded by Councillor Anita Leech, it was –

 

Resolved – That the recommendations contained within minute 71 of the Policy and Resources Committee of 17 February, 2021, be agreed in that the following be approved:

 

(1)  the Treasury Management and Investment Strategy for 2021/2022;

 

(2)  the Treasury Management Indicators.

 

64.

INVESTMENT STRATEGY 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Minute with recommendations and report attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The seventh item requiring approval was in relation to the Investment Strategy for 2021/22.

 

On a motion by Councillor Janette Williamson, seconded by Councillor Anita Leech, it was –

 

Resolved – That the recommendations contained within minute 72 of the Policy and Resources Committee of 17 February, 2021, be agreed in that the following be approved:

 

the Investment Strategy for 2021/2022 which includes potential investment in the following activity areas:

 

1.  Commercial Property

2.  Service Investments: Loans

3.  Service Investment: Shares (non-currently held)

4.  Loan Commitments and financial Guarantees