Agenda item



Having suspended the Budget and Policy Framework Procedure Rules 2 (a) and (b) Councillor Green moved and it was seconded by Councillor Rennie, that –


“Minute 248, Cabinet (9/12/10) Budget Projections 2011-15, be approved.”


It was moved as an objection by Councillor Foulkes and seconded by Councillor P Davies, that –


“(1)  This Council believes that the Cabinet resolution is in breach of the Council’s Constitution and that this breach could render the whole budget making process illegal, including the final budget passed at budget Council in March.


(2)  Council therefore urges all members to step back from this position, follow the Council’s Constitution, and, under the terms of paragraph 2a and b of the Budget and Policy Framework, seek all party approval on those parts of the resolution where it may be found and refer all other matters to Special Overview and Scrutiny Committee/s, (to be called with due urgency), according both to the Constitution and to the custom and practice of this Council.


(3)  Council notes that:

·  The proposals contained within this resolution total £48million.

·  There has not been a single report to Cabinet on EVRs/Voluntary Severance, on which posts will be affected, or on what restructuring is necessary to protect services.

·  Restructuring costs have not been netted off the EVR figures,

·  No plans are presented to Council on what that restructuring will be, or what its cost will be.

·  There have been no reports to Cabinet detailing the £10.7m savings from the Strategic Change programme and their consequences.

·  The £10.7m is not broken down in the resolution.

·  This £10.7m has apparently been delivered despite claims from the Leadership earlier in the year that there was only half a million deliverable from the programme.

·  This was in direct contradiction to a draft report received by the Labour Leader prior to the elections, discussed with the DA, which indicated the potential for £15m savings.

·  The Interim Chief Executive used his powers to deny call in from the last Cabinet of the 9.5% reduction in fees to independent care home providers.

·  A number of staff who have not applied for EVR or voluntary severance will be put on the ‘at risk’ register because the services they work in will close following the decision of this Council meeting.

·  No prior scrutiny of these closures has taken place to investigate the consequences for service users or staff, or to consider potential timescales.

·  The budget proposals set out in this resolution which are not detailed for further consideration will be actioned at the conclusion of the Council meeting, including the authority for 306 people to leave the Council by the end of December, a further 100 or so to leave by June, and, according to a letter from the Leader of the Council sent to staff at 3am on Friday morning, a further 700 staff who were previously thought to be on a “maybe” list pending details of possible restructurings.


(4)  Council further notes that the intention of Scrutiny is to examine proposals in detail, call the Executive to account, and give the Cabinet the opportunity to revise decisions if it so wishes before, in budget and policy matters, they are presented to Council for a final decision.


(5)  Council believes that the failure to allow this Scrutiny, as laid down in the Council’s Constitution, could be perceived as a grave dereliction of democratic duty, as well as an illegal act.”


In moving approval of this minute the Leader of the Council also referred to the work of the Council’s ‘champions’ and that he was appointing a further ‘champion’, Councillor Don McCubbin as Wirral’s Library Champion.


Following a debate and Councillor Green having replied, the objection was put and lost (24:40) (One abstention)


The minute, having been moved by Councillor Green and seconded by Councillor Rennie was then put and carried (40:24) (One abstention) and it was –


Resolved (40:24:1) – That minute 248, Cabinet (9/12/10) Budget Projections 2011-15, be approved.