Tonight at budget council, Labour’s ruling administration agreed to freeze Wirral council tax for the next two years and agreed a raft of measures aimed at kick-starting the local economy.
Councillor Phil Davies, leader of the Labour group, said: "Despite unfair and disproportionate cuts to Wirral from the Government that will see us lose 50% of our budget in just five years, I believe we have put forward a budget that is sustainable and helps tackle the Tory-led Government’s cost of living crisis.
"We are freezing council tax for residents; something we are able to do after lobbying central Government with other local councils.
"We are putting £1.5m into kick-starting house building creating much-needed skilled employment for young people and we are cleaning up Wirral with a real emphasis on tackling fly-tipping, something that blights many communities."
Conservative group leader Cllr Jeff Green proposed a move back to pre-2012 car parking charges, reinstating the “free after 3” scheme, and called for £1m to be spent on repairing roads.
Some of those issues were echoed by Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Phil Gilchrist, who also opposed a plan for schools to pay for crossing patrols.
Tories wanted the budget to include reverting car parking charges to pre-April 2012 levels; reinstating the ‘free after three’ parking initiative; halving garden waste collection charges and freezing all council fees and charges at current levels for a year.
They also demanded all school crossing patrols should be protected; plans to turn off street lights reversed; anti-dog fouling measures increased and £1m invested into a programme of pot-hole and pavement repairs.
Further proposals included a call for reinstatement in full of the pensioner discount scheme of 7.76% for households where all occupants are aged over-70. This has been reduced to 5% in the new budget.
Leader Cllr Jeff Green said: “Under this budget the only people who will be paying extra will be pensioners.
“It is the economics of the mad house."
Some of Conservative’s issues were echoed by Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Phil Gilchrist, who also opposed a plan for schools to pay for crossing patrols.
Labour's budget was carried by 37 votes to 26 with one abstention.