Issue - decisions
Budget Projection 2012-15
A report by the Director of Finance presented the projected budget for 2012-15.
Council Steve Foulkes told the Cabinet that he believed Wirral had been given a raw deal compared to other parts of the country. He was concerned about the impact that possible changes in local government financing could have on the Borough. In particular, the Cabinet noted that any future changes this year would come on the back of the removal of a £51m worth of Government grant.
Councillor Foulkes informed that the way the national pot was being distributed was not doing Wirral any favours. Wirral has some very deprived areas with very high levels of deprivation and the Borough deserved a fairer share of Government funding.
(1) Cabinet notes the current projected budget shortfall of £20.8m and the concerns raised in the report over the impact of possible changes to Local Government financing to take effect from 2013;
(2) Cabinet further notes that any future changes come on the back of the removal this year of £51m of Government grant from Wirral’s budget, much of which was targeted at the Area Based Grant which was specifically aimed at authorities with high levels of deprivation;
(3) Cabinet expresses its real concern that future changes to Local Government Finance could disadvantage again poorer authorities with less ability to raise revenue locally and compound the impact of decisions already taken;
(4) Cabinet therefore asks the Chief Executive, the Director of Finance, and other Chief Officers as appropriate to work together to respond to consultations and to put together the best lobbying case possible to take to Government, either individually or through organisations like Sigoma and the LGA, pointing out the real dangers of the direction they are taking for a local authority like Wirral, and asking them to reconsider before a permanent disadvantage is built into the system for local authorities with high levels of poverty or deprivation; and
(5) Cabinet asks the Chief Executive to seek an urgent meeting with Government Ministers to make our concerns clear.