'Glimmer of hope' for cash-strapped Wirral after meeting with government minister

Wirral Globe: Wirral Council leader Phil Davies Wirral Council leader Phil Davies

Wirral Council leader Phil Davies spoke today of a “glimmer of hope” on Wirral’s multi-million pound budget shortfall following talks with a Government minister.

He met with parliamentary under secretary of state Nick Boles to discuss the borough's predicament as the authority prepares to slash up to £109m from spending over the next three years.

Councillor Davies acknowledged: “Clearly the government are not going to give back millions of pounds; but they were amenable to looking at what I would term ‘flexibilities’ around the budget.

“I am encouraged that the minister both recognised the scale of the budget challenge facing Wirral Council and by his commitment to allow his civil servants to work with us to explore what flexibilities could be made available to us.”

The council leader explained Merseyside Waste Authority had significant reserves that it wanted to give back to local authorities, which would return around £5m to Wirral.

But, he said, because of current budget ruling peculiar to Merseyside, the council might find itself in the “ludicrous position” of having to hold a referendum on freezing council tax before it could benefit from the offer.

The local authority is also pressing for further flexibility in dealing with “bad debts” of around £6m - mainly relating to adult social care.

Councillor Davies said: “These flexibilities would definitely help with the budget challenge. They would not be sufficiently generous that we wouldn’t need to make a significant amount of savings. “But the minister was very sympathetic.”

Councillor Davies led an all-party delegation at the meeting, which was organised by Wirral West Tory MP Esther McVey.

Tory group leader Cllr Jeff Green said: “I was impressed that the minister took the time to listen to our plans to resolve our current financial problems.

“I was equally impressed by his willingness to ask his officials to look into our request for flexibility as we seek to restore stability to the council’s finances.”

Councillor Tom Harney, leader of Wirral Liberal Democrats, commented: “Mr Boles appeared to have a good understanding of our predicament and I am optimistic we will work with his fellow ministers to find a way forward.”

Comments (5)

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12:42pm Mon 14 Jan 13

bigfoot says...

Crocodile tears Councillor. You are still committing taxpayers money to wasteful projects and the latest is the total for the suspended officers enquiry £50k plus the play-offs. Add to that the money spent by CEO 'Frank Drebin'
And really your administration isn't fit to run a junk shop.
Crocodile tears Councillor. You are still committing taxpayers money to wasteful projects and the latest is the total for the suspended officers enquiry £50k plus the play-offs. Add to that the money spent by CEO 'Frank Drebin' And really your administration isn't fit to run a junk shop. bigfoot

12:56pm Mon 14 Jan 13

PaulCa says...

But since £millions upon £millions were ploughed into the failed attempts to cover up their own self-generating scandals - going way back into the last century, and a further £810,000+ was then assigned to the coffers of the abusers....

....with not even a sniff of accountability....

....is there a glimmer of hope for us, the people who stupidly put these councillors into office?
But since £millions upon £millions were ploughed into the failed attempts to cover up their own self-generating scandals - going way back into the last century, and a further £810,000+ was then assigned to the coffers of the abusers.... ....with not even a sniff of accountability.... ....is there a glimmer of hope for us, the people who stupidly put these councillors into office? PaulCa

1:16pm Mon 14 Jan 13

WirralAl says...

No hope as they are all idiots who could run a bath and would argue with a sign post! And it still would not be their own fault.
No hope as they are all idiots who could run a bath and would argue with a sign post! And it still would not be their own fault. WirralAl

5:02pm Mon 14 Jan 13

Hugo1008 says...

Bring in the best of the government commissioners and lets see some real open honest accountability for what has been going on for the past 10 years at least, if not the last twenty years.

To trust this administration and the bunch of useless Councilors who have made all the poor decisions and used copious buckets of whitewash with any more money would be sheer lunacy.

We want drastic changes not more of the same.
Bring in the best of the government commissioners and lets see some real open honest accountability for what has been going on for the past 10 years at least, if not the last twenty years. To trust this administration and the bunch of useless Councilors who have made all the poor decisions and used copious buckets of whitewash with any more money would be sheer lunacy. We want drastic changes not more of the same. Hugo1008

11:26am Tue 15 Jan 13

Thepleb says...

Haven't heard mp mcvey condemn these cuts in the commons.
What have this coalition government got against public services and it's workers?
To make people redundant would mean more claiming benefits as there is not enough full time private sector jobs to cover the public sectors losses.
Haven't heard mp mcvey condemn these cuts in the commons. What have this coalition government got against public services and it's workers? To make people redundant would mean more claiming benefits as there is not enough full time private sector jobs to cover the public sectors losses. Thepleb

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